Saturday, March 19, 2011

The first trip- arrival in Sendai      最初の旅ー 無事に仙台に着きました

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ from Sendai! First, a message from Pastor Chizuo:


This morning I read Acts 11: 19-30. Saul persecuted the church and Stephen was martyred. More believers were assaulted by the persecution, and they were scattered abroad. But the first thing which attracts my attention in this story is that these believers preached the Word of God wherever they went! As the result of the persecution a church arose in Antioch. It amazes me to learn that Paul, the ex-persecutor then turned evangelist, started to teach there at Antioch! Later, Agabus signified by the Spirit that there would be great famine all over the world. The disciples responded and determined to minister to those who lived in disaster-stricken areas. It is very encouraging for me to know that they sent relief through the hands of Barnabas as well as the ex-persecutor Paul. God is very merciful and gracious indeed! I am learning about the true meaning of "relief" here in Sendai. Chizuo Sakurai 今朝、私は使徒1119-30を読みました。サウルは教会を迫害し、ステパノは殉教しました。たくさんの信者は迫害によりひどく攻撃され、海外へ散らされました。しかし、まずこのストーリーで私の目を引きつけたのは、それらの信者が行くところ先々で福音を伝えたことです。迫害の結果、アンテオケで教会が立ち上がりました。かつては大迫害であった者が伝道者となり、アンテオケで教え始めたパウロの姿に私は驚ろかされます。アガボは世界中に大きなききんが起こると聖霊によって預言しました。弟子たちはそれに応じ、災害に遭われた場所に住んでいる人たちに仕えることを決めました。、バルナバだけでなく元迫害者であったパウロの手を通しても救援物資が送られたことは大きな励ましです。神はとてもあわれみ深く実に恵み深い方です!私はここ仙台で本当の「救援」の意味を学んでいます。
桜井 知主夫

The first team arrived in Sendai Saturday afternoon completely without incident, praise the Lord, except for having to wait in long lines for gas in Yamagata, the nearest big town. The team could feel the prayers of the saints as the road was cleared for an easy entry.

Sendai is a very large city of approximately 1 million people, and except for some minor damage from the earthquake and huge lines of people outside the grocery stores, one might think there never had been a disaster there...until you come to the tsunami zone.

The team immediately made an initial survey of the devastated area, and neither words nor pictures can accurately describe the scene, but here are some shots with their caption information:

Pastor Chizuo talking to the states from a waterfront community. Behind him is the path of the tsunami which went about four kilometers inland, and then in the far background is the Sendai city skyline.

Walking amid the destruction of the waterfront community. To the right used to be a park, we were told.

One example of a house that did not get swept away but is completely ruined.

Another example of the destruction, iron rebar and concrete poles toppled over.

Pastor Chizuo talks with an elderly couple who were returning to their neighborhood for the very first time since the tsunami. No one in their family was killed or seriously injured, but the lady was trapped in the top floor of their house as it was swept off the foundation and pushed three kilometers west where it finally stopped and she was able to leave the house safely. They were given some supplies from the truck to meet their immediate needs.

Pastor Chizuo talks with the man in the middle of what used to be their house. Residents of these areas are starting to rummage through the destruction for cherished items to salvage. Also on scene are many search and rescue workers.

Another example of the destruction, a car swept up and into the side of a house.

After surveying the destruction, the team arrived at the local church and with the help of members began organizing the relief supplies.

Two hours after arriving at the church, which is within about one kilometer of the edge of the tsunami impact, the assembled members pray with Pastor Chizuo before going to several refugee sites to distribute the perishable foods.

The team delivers food to a refugee site of about 1000 people who are living in a large elementary school building. A total of four refugee centers were visited last night, including one which housed children whose parents were still missing. In addition to food distributed, the church team, many of whom were teenagers, gave out toys to every child they found in the centers. Love in action!

The team will continue to visit destruction zones and deliver relief supplies to the people the Lord brings. Please note on the blog site a prayer request list which will be continuously updated. Thanks for your prayers! God bless, will post again in one day.

1 comment:

  1. I decided to go back and read frm the begining. I don't know how I didn't see this post. The pictures and stories behind them are simply heartbreaking. It's almost unbelievable, it's hard to comprehend how something like this could of ever happened.. wow.. this is just heartbreaking.