Thursday was our last full day in Tohoku. We split up into four teams. One group went back to carpentry work at the temporary housing area. Another group spent the morning visiting with elderly women at another temporary housing area and then to yet another area for afternoon activities with the residents. Another group spent the morning doing some yard work at a home where things still haven’t been put back in order and then they helped with an English class for little kids at a temporary housing area. And the last team stayed at our base camp and worked on painting and carpentry. The base camp is a private residence that was badly damaged in the tsunami and the elderly owner doesn’t plan to live there any more and is renting it to us for almost nothing. Fortunately we have been given permission to do basic renovations. Three of us worked on painting the walls in the kitchen while another did carpentry work in the living room.
The bottom line is that there is so much to do that we could keep volunteer teams busy for a long time. But in the end our goal is to communicate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ to these needy people. The beautiful part is that God opens doors in so many ways. We are continually amazed at how open and friendly these “victims” are. Serving them is always a blessing!
Friday is a travel day with the long drive back to Tokyo. Then Saturday it’s time for the Newsong team to fly back home. I don’t have any clever words to conclude this trip but it truly was a joy to watch this team, to work with this team, and to serve with this team. God is doing a great thing in Tohoku! “Sing unto the Lord a new song!”