“Where were you when the tsunami hit?”

This man watched his home wash away in the tsunami.

One village where OM Japan is working had 100 houses before the tsunami hit. Only 12 remain now, and many villagers are still unaccounted for. One family lost their cousin, a fireman, during search and rescue. OM has been helping remove the foundation of their house, to make way for a temporary home the family will receive.

OM ministry leader Stephan Smithdorff writes,

One of the highlights of working side-by-side with these precious people, is to sit down during lunch and tea breaks with them and to listen to their stories. Our favorite question is: ‘Where were you when the tsunami hit?’ One elderly neighbor said he was at home, but he ran up the hill, and watched the waves wash away his house in front of his eyes. It must be hard to see all your possessions drifting away into the ocean.

One elderly lady kept on cursing the tsunami for ruining their lives, but as the days went by, she stopped cursing and started to thank us for coming to help, pleading with us to come back again.

While Ming Siew, one of our team members, took a prayer walk at sunrise, she was invited in by two brothers who have lost both their wives and all their children, except for one daughter. Two days later while some of us sat in a local public bath, the man sitting in the bathtub with us, was one of the brothers! Instead of us encouraging him, he kept on encouraging us in our volunteer work.

Slowly we can see relationships are expanding as we return to the same area week after week. Everyday brings another opportunity to pray for people and see God at work in the lives of our dear new friends. We stand amazed and humbled at the privilege to be part of what God is doing in Japan today.

Please continue to pray for the people of Japan.  You may give to OM’s relief efforts here.

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