GT day 5—Samaritan’s Purse day 2/balancing act

Breakfast and travel

We had apple pancakes for breakfast, and they were amazing.

We did a lot in the car. Talking about skits, planning day 7’s church service, practicing songs…

It’s good that the Red Bull in Paul’s drink cup hasn’t been opened yet—it’s been there from day 3.

I really wish that there were a metal-backed, red-letter, compact NLT Bible available—I haven’t found any yet. All that are available are non-red-letter.


We continued yesterday’s work today. There was still a lot of hedoro (fart-dirt, dirt with petroleum mixed in. Because it keeps moisture, it isn’t good to have any under a house) under Takahashi-san’s house.

Today was really a “balancing act.” We were on trusses pretty much all day, doing different work like shoveling the hedoro into bags, plowing the dirt and then raking it to make the dirt even.

20 cm down, an ocean of dirt that I dare not fall into (actually it doesn’t really matter)
Kayla, left, and Daniel, right, raking clean dirt after they removed hedoro.

People from a separate team (whom we were working with) even found a huge bucket, about 70 cm tall, embedded into the ground—that means that probably there is hedoro that deep in the ground.

The Takahashis’ house. Contrast between the restoration of the Takahashis’ house and the take-down of the neighbor’s house to the right is interesting. BBQ prep in bottom right of photo.


Paul was on the grill as grillmaster. We had carrots, onions, corn, asparagus, Japanese blend hamburgers, and American hotdogs.
We all pitched in the process, like cutting the corn cobs (they have those in Japan!!!), cutting bread and putting hamburgers in, et cetera.
The food was good, and many people, including three teenage girls, came.

Paul, the grill-master!

Interaction with the community

We sang 4 Japanese songs—Still, Kaerareta Song, Minna Sanbi, and God Bless You.

Us singing at the barbecue

All of the songs were relevant to everyone’s situation—Still, to call for spiritual peace, Kaerareta Song to say how Christ changed us, Minna Sanbi for the animists in the audience to say that all nature praises God, and God Bless You to speak a blessing over the people.

Especially for God Bless You, I couldn’t help but look into the eyes of everyone listening and personally speak a blessing over them.

The love that I felt for the people, especially Mr. Takahashi, was overwhelming.

Mr. Takahashi, the husband of Mrs. Takahashi, came for the barbecue. He is amazingly artistic with photography and kirie, the Japanese art of cutting paper to create an image.

We talked about God, and he said that he believes in the Japanese nature gods. He described them as “kind.” My heart kinda broke at that. I held back my retort, something along the lines of “if the Japanese nature gods are kind and you have an anti-tsunami god, why did that god allow this to happen to your neighbors, home, friends, family!?”

His story was crazy. He was at his company when the earthquake hit. When the tsunami came, he took photos of it–with the water 2 meters away from him. Quite a few cars had people trapped in them.

Mr. Takahashi speaking about the tsunami and his friends in temporary housing. The book on the table is the book he put together with the photos.

He put together a book with pictures he took of the tsunami. He took thousands of photos, and selected a few to put in that book. He photoshopped out the people trapped in their cars.

The Takahashis have friends in temporary housing—the have enough food and clothes. What they don’t have, Mr. Takahashi said, is hope.

We need more people to go to Tohoku and spread the hope that is Christ, for how will they hear when there are none to tell them?


  1. More Christians/missionaries in Tohoku because there aren’t enough people to spread the Good News.
  2. Safety in travel because we’re traveling a lot.
  3. Wisdom in general.

Comment on this post!