Friday, June 7, 2013

Visitors from the Diocese of Leicester in England

May 24-26 We had visitors from the church of England. They were visiting various churches and their programs all around Japan. One of their final stops was the Let Us Walk Together Project. We were so thankful to have them! They have been a huge source of support for the project over the last two years.

After they arrived in Sendai Friday night we had dinner with the members of the Standing Committee and the staff. Throughout dinner introductions were given as well have thanksgivings for the various people in the room for all the work that they have done. Our visitors were impressed with the cute obentos (lunch boxes)  that our food came in.

The next day the we all attended the Let Us Walk Together Project's Thanksgiving Mass. After the service we had enough time for the group to talk with the various parish members and service attendees. Then we went to Shinchi. At the Shinchi Base we were told the history of the area and more specifically the history of the church. We also watched videos of the tsunami coming in on March 11, 2011.

After hearing various personal accounts of the tsunami we visited a few devastated sites. Mr. Tsuyoshi Miyaku who lost everything in the disaster joined us. It was the first time that he had been to the coast since that terrible day. We went where the video that we saw at the base was taken and then a temporary housing. At the temporary housing we were able to talk to Mr. Nobuyuki Miyake about the current state of the residents in Shinchi. It was Mr. Miyke's duty, on the day of the disaster, to go around warning everyone that a tsunami was coming. Because he was warning others of the dangers to come he was unable to save his mother in time. He shared with the group from Leicester the realities of the radiation problems and the stress of those living in temporary housing. It was eye-opening for the group.

Once we finished asking him everything we could think of we went on to Fuji kindergarten. On March 11, 13 members of this kindergarten were lost. Three of were teachers and 9 were kids. The building is no longer used. They have been able to rebuild a new facility but the tragedy of that day still haunts them.

On Sunday the group went to Sendai Christ Church for morning mass. After a quick lunch they presided over a mass for the Filipino women the project has been working with. Every family present received a hand-crocheted cross made by parishioners of the Diocese of Leicester. After the service the Filipinas present were able to share some of their stories with the group from Leicester.

We were so glad that this group was able to visit.
Talking with Mr. Nobuyuki Miyake
Mr. Tsuyoshi Miyake visiting the coast
for the first time in 2 years

Mass with the Filipinos

No comments:

Post a Comment