Back in Tohoku

1 Comment » Written on May 13th, 2013     
Filed under: earthquake, missions
It’s been ten months since my last trip to Tohoku. Every time I return to the 3.11 disaster zone my heart grieves again, and yet each time there is so much that has changed since the last visit. Today was a travel day with stops in Kesennuma and Rikuzen-Takata before arriving in Ofunato where we will be spending the next few days. Our team of volunteers have come from the Seattle First Covenant Church and most are people I’ve known for a very long time.

We left Tokyo at 6:45AM and were at Jay and Ellen Haworth’s house by a little after 8:00. They had prepared a wonderful breakfast for the entire team before heading north.

Gourmet Breakfast at the Haworths

Gourmet Breakfast at the Haworths

The next several hours were spent on the road and by 1:30PM we were in Ichinoseki where we stopped for lunch.

Lunch in Ichinoseki

Lunch in Ichinoseki

By mid-afternoon we were on the coast in Kesennuma. We visited the Kesennuma 1st Bible Baptist Church which was completely destroyed by the tsunami, then drove by the harbor where fires burned out of control for two days following the tsunami.


Continuing north, we were soon in Rikuzen Takata where we stopped briefly. I don’t have words to express the sorrow and sadness I feel whenever I’m in this city. After two years and more than ten visits, this city is still a place of abject horror and heartbreak for me.

By 7PM we were in Ofunato at our destination, Grace House, which is a base of the 3.11 Iwate Church Network. We will be staying here for the rest of our time and hope to be of service in 8 different temporary housing complexes over the next two days.

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