Volunteer trip to Tanabe shi Wakayama
It was shocking. The conditions of the damaged region were very similar to Tohoku. I had not heard that much through the media about the damage from the typhoon so I did not expect to see much, but the flooding of the river was terrible. The water has risen all the way to the second floor of the house that I helped clean out. The river is quite wide, the house was located 150 meters away from the river and additionally, the house is raised about 10 meters from the ground… even so, the water made it to the second floor. The family awoke at 4am to the sound of water coming into their home. They had been sleeping on the second floor. The shoes had all been swept away, so they climbed a nearby mountain barefoot and watched til the waters subsided. They spent one night in a little cabin or shack on the mountain. All the houses and furnishings there were covered in mud. Everything was muddy and floating in the water in the house. We took the belongings out of the house and cleaned off the mud, but the items really didn’t get that clean. I was not expecting to see such a bad situation, where people were grieving that they basically lost all their belongings in just one night. I hope these people will soon find healing for their grief. Not many young people live in that region so there is a need for volunteers there. Due to my need to return home at night, I could not stay late to help in Wakayama and I feel badly that I could not stay longer. I do hope to return. A pastor and missionary are the the main volunteers there. Please pray that through the pastor, God’s gracious love will be poured out upon the people and that that region will be changed.