Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Seventeen Inch!!! Sockets and Rusty Railings

We go around the room to do introductions since new arrivals for LST. Eric lead the devotional thoughts from Hebrews Chapt. 11 where he says the theme is "faith." And in verse 6: "without faith it is impossible to please Him." So Eric tells how he thought he and his family were in a good place, accomplishing good things in Osaka--home parties, building relationships, etc. Then he began taking part in the relief work and ministering to the emotional and spiritual needs in Ishinomaki, finally bringing his family.

Now he's totally out of his comfort zone, but it's been an amazing experience, because at the end of every day there are these incredible stories. Eric says, "I decided I'd rather be experiencing God to that degree every day, going to bed praying, and rising up praising." But still reminded that even the work we're doing here has to be in faith, opening your heart to what God is showing you today, going with Him when he redirects. Hebrews 11.39 "and these were commended"--is there anything better than God commending you?

The ministers in the room said a blessing over the LST team members. One group will make a dump run with trash accumulated at various work sites, Danny's and some of the LA group have some follow-up visits to make with people they helped last year, the LST team has an orientation scheduled to get ready for the first session of lessons, and Chad says for those going to do more dismantling at Abe-san's noori factory, remember, they need to pick up a seventeen inch socket. And everybody just is looking at Chad, and he's going like, "What?" And some of the guys say, "Seventeen INCH? Didn't you mean 17 millimeter?" And they're holding their hands out to how big 17 inches would be. Anyway, Stan, Richard and I head to Eric and Sue's to dismantle an unsafe rusted out second floor balcony that would be resting on the first floor sloped roof if the supports weren't rotted away. We pull up to the house and Sue's last words before leaving is to get some before and after pictures. I didn't remember when my last tetanus shot was so I'm wearing long sleeves and gloves.

Stan and I carry our shoes upstairs, clear some space under the windows, and plug in the extension cords. I'm ready to jump out on the balcony with the reciprocating saw and start cutting away, but Stan has a plan. And he's putting it down in a sketch in his note pad. To make sure we don't make the first cut on something that's holding everything else up, and that the sections we cut out are a manageable size and weight.
Before too long we're throwing the sections down in the yard and daring Richard to catch them, and begin breaking blades when the tubing sags and binds. I'm glad Stan thought it through, because with every cut the whole assembly shifts and sags a little more.

Since it is Japan, the flat plastic decking and the steel framing can not be taken to the dump attached; Richard tries first to be neat and methodical--maybe unscrew the deck screws, but they're rusted, gets nowhere trying to chisel the heads off, ends up using the whack it till it breaks method. Finally everything is been cut up and loaded in the truck which is back from one trip to the dump, and we've only broken 3 blades, and everyone else starts showing up; "are you done?" they say.
And we say yes except for the frame that's lag-bolted to the house, because we don't have a socket set. And the crew that went to the warehouse says, "well, they didn't have anything we could do at the factory today; they had someone else using a cutting torch, so we never used that 17mm socket; do you think it'll fit the lag bolts?" Brimming with expert certainty I say, "I doubt it, they look more like 14mm," probably thinking of American lag bolts. But I climb up the ladder anyway with the impact gun, and of course my big mouth is wrong--it's exactly the size we need, so the socket they bought for the factory that they didn't need, God knew it was the one for the balcony we did need.

During the evening LST session, Nelson and I hike up the hill on the road, and down on the trail, but this time after taking pictures of the Bhuddist temple, we take the 100 stone steps at the top to the Shinto temple and turned around to an incredible view of the entire Watano Ha area where we have been working.

After the hike we couldn't go back to the guest house, so we went to the apartments. The LA team had gone out to eat, so we get a key from Beth for the guy's apartment.

We mention how the trail was starting to get dark at the end of our hike, and she starts telling us that many people are still troubled at certain places by the overwhelming sensation of the ghosts of the tsunami dead;
but one older man who was so burdened he could no longer even go to work, when became a Christian, was released from his prison of feeling the dead all around him. Beth says she's never understood the greatness of God and the power of Jesus' presence, as she has since working among the people here who desperately need peace and hope.

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