Seeing the Big Picture First Hand

7 comments Written on July 8th, 2011     
Filed under: earthquake
Today was a long day of driving, and more importantly it was a deeply sorrowful day as we passed through town after town, village after village, and saw the destruction everywhere. We drove along the coast from Miyako to Minamisanriku, almost two hundred kilometers. Town after town we saw the power and fury of natural disaster. Entire towns swept out of existence… But rather than just be tourists, we made it a priority to visit several churches along the coast and to take time to pray.

Our first stop was the town of Yamada, where there is no church. The great majority of the central area was completely destroyed, much of it by fire.

Praying in Yamada

Next we visited the Kyodan church in Kamaishi. They are doing major renovations after experiencing tsunami water levels above the windows in the first floor. Our impression was that they had a pretty well organized ministry that was reaching out to many.

Kamaishi Kyodan Church

The Sanriku coastline is just so beautiful that it’s hard to pass through without taking note of the scenery.

This is obviously more than leg stretching!

We then proceeded south to the city of Ofunato where we visited the Baptist church that was heavily damaged and yet is still standing and has been largely repaired. We had a chance meeting with some CRASH Japan team members there and just took a minute to pray for that small church.

Ofunato Bible Baptist Church

Before long we were in Rikuzen Takata and visited the small church there. The city experienced some of the greatest suffering of any, and yet the church was miraculously spared.

Rikuzen Takata Church

We then headed inland and over the mountains to get to Kesennuma where we saw some of the hardest hit areas and visited what remains of the Kesennuma First Bible Baptist Church. It lies close to the water and was completely swept away. All that remains is the foundation and floor, and a couple of crosses that have been propped up.

Kesennuma First Bible Baptist Church

Praying in Kesennuma

Jonathan leading in prayer

From there we continued south and were pleased to find that the coastal road is open all the way to Minami Sanriku and beyond, before it turns inland toward the Sanriku expressway. The perfect close for our long but fulfilling day was the beautiful sunset.

Rural Skies

Skies on Fire!

Driving close to two hundred kilometers of decimated coastline is deeply troubling. But our prayer is that team members will begin to get a glimpse of just how huge this disaster is. If there ever was a situation to make us recognize our helplessness, this is it! Thy will be done!

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7 comments “Seeing the Big Picture First Hand”

The Kamaishi church building is certainly going to be lovely.

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I was moved deeply to watch the photos and to read the comment with them.
I am glad to have been able to take part in your praying for the churches in those areas.
Thank you for your ministries in the Lord.

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Jim, thanks to you and your family for the blog for taking care of our group while they are there, and all the great work you are doing. Love the photos. Jeff.

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Jim! I want to see another blog soon as I miss you guys and need an update! I pray for you often brother and hope all is well!

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Keep up the good work~ Love is never a “no show’~

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