Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Saturday, May 26, 2012 A Finished Fence, An Untold Story, and Crazy at the Mall

Marissa invited me on her 6:30 run to the top of the main bridge and back; the last three blocks home I start to fade and she makes me look like an old man. This morning Chad prays for the leaders at the kasetsu (pl) we met yesterday. Jonathan talks about the Sabbath, the Jubilee in the Leviticus Ch. 25, and Jesus' teaching of forgiveness in Matthew 18. He suggests that returning the land to the original owner, leaving it fallow, freeing the slaves, forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, and rest are all related principles with a powerful message: release from "bondage" is possible and starting afresh is possible. He prays about how we are seeing through this tragedy, that people are learning to be more open and trusting, more genuine and dependent on each other.

Eric prays that we would let go of the idea that this is a puzzle that we have to solve, but that we would place all of our "stuff" in God's hands and simply let him use us today.

We finally head back to the oyster farm where I see that Cody and my efforts on the sign post base have resulted in the retreat sign set back in its place. Someone says it translates to "take it easy."
We load a stack of fence rails on the truck and Jonathan gives us the outline of the tasks and tools we have to finish the job.
Instead of assigning jobs, he show how the bolts should go and lets us kind of randomly grab tools and trip over each other for the first few minutes,
until amazingly a system comes together and while not exactly a surgical team, we've got a system, and you hear "drill," "sledge hammer," "stain," "need a 255mm bolt," and we're gettin' it done.
Josiah came along and he's pitching in, and Maria tries her hand at all the tools and says a photo will show her family that she's really getting dirty today.
Mike gets us going while we're eating lunch on the sea wall with "why do the fishermen fish this way?" (so they get bigger mussels) and "what do you call a oysterman who keeps his catch to himself?" (shellfish).
Eric chimes in with "what do you call someone who steps right off into the water?" (without a pier/peer).

Done! And as we're leaving sakashita-fusai (Mr. and Mrs.) approach the dock in their boat and we get out to say goodbye.
She asks me if I learned any Japanese words during my stay and I say "makudonarudo" (McDonalds). (Mr.) sakashita-san is smiling, but he tells Jonathan in kind of an aside, "harder than you thought it would be, huh?"

On the drive back to Ishinomaki, I remark to Jonathan that while in the US we have heavy concrete "k-rails" to protect the road workers, here there are just plastic supports with horizontal metal poles--no protection from an out-of-control vehicle.
But I guess it's the visual warning they're going for.

Each section in the rice fields seems to have its own egret. We're treated to the sight of white wings spread wide before touchdown. (Couldn't get the shot from the moving car, so borrowed one from stock pictures.)
Jonathan tells about how his father-in-law, a non-believing newspaper executive, was down from Hokkaido for Easter, heard the speaker and wasn't impressed. But he said this, these volunteers who keep coming and all the donations, this story needs to be told. He said the foreign workers, especially Christians, have almost no exposure in the Japanese media. So Jonathan tells him, well, do something about it. Jonathan tells me over 1000 volunteers, and through BeOne, Helping Hands, and the White's Ferry Road church, over 2 million dollars, have passed just through this one small ministry in one small area. And multiply that by all the other aid missions.

The Let's Start Talking get acquainted coffee at the guest house is just breaking up and neighbors are talking and milling around outside; there were about 20 guests. Someone's sitting in the window just enjoying the beautiful afternoon. I say hi to the obaasan across the street and I thinks she's telling me that she has never left Japan so I ask Chad to translate and he says actually she's been to 6 countries including Paris, but doesn't travel that far anymore because her daughter worries, so now she just visits all the famous hot springs/onsen(s) all over Japan.

Mike and Kioshi invite the LST teachers and me and an adult student named ueshima-san to the mall for dinner and when we get there,
they're having way too much fun making bad jokes and on the way home we're holding our breath through the tunnels.

No comments:

Post a Comment