5/1-5:陸前高田市活動-後編ー

(You can see in English after Japanese below.)

活動日としては、3日目、いつもの通り、まずセンターに行き、昨日までの作業の続きの希望を申し出ると、昨日までの2軒のお宅以外にも、さらに奥2件まで、依頼していなかったお宅が、ボランティアの方の作業を見て、うちも是非とお願いがあった事を聞き、まだまだ隠れたニーズがあることを痛感しました。

その後、前日の老夫婦のお宅にいき、今回3日間作業を共にした方々と一緒に合流すると、さっそく、自分達のメンバー6名を合わせ、10名ほどで作業を開始。1時間ほどすると、14名ほどのチームの方が来られました。海外の方もいらっしゃるようで、一緒に作業してみると、皆さん愛知の知多半島中央キリスト教会のクリスチャンのボランティアの方々だということがわかりました。早速、初対面であった向井先生方と挨拶し、南米の教会から来られた海外の方々と共に作業をすることができました。(向こうは向こうでこちらの帽子を見てクリスチャンだと気づかれていたようです。)最終的に総勢で30名ほどのチームだったのですが、その内20人はクリスチャンというとても恵まれた環境に導かれました。

納屋や、家の周りの泥や大小様々な瓦礫を撤去する作業後半、知多半島中央キリスト教会の方が2名ほど、そのお宅の老夫婦の方々に足湯や、マッサージをされていて、とてもリラックスした会話をされていました。その話の中で、イエス様の事や神様の愛も分かち会われていたようで、とても参考になりました。勿論いつも出来るとは限らないでしょうが、今後とても良い働きになると思います。

人数が沢山いたこともあり、規定時間の3時までに、大方の作業を終わらす事ができ、次の日は来れないことも分かっていたので、次の日に来れる方に、老夫婦の依頼事項とリーダー業務を引き継ぎ、その日の作業を終了しました。その日に作業を終了することもあって、老夫婦のお二人と共に皆で写真などとりながら、楽しく終了することが出来ました。その際、南米の方々の申し出で、お二人の為にお祈りすることも出来ました。
   

今回、とても強く思わされたのは、ネットワーク・つながりの素晴らしさです。みんな被災地の復興という一つの目標に向かって、ボランティアセンターのボランティアの方々は、センターで受付けを行い、全国から集まってきたやはりボランティアの方々は、助けを必要としている方々に“つなげ、”られて助けていきます。さらに、そのつながった人から新たなつながりも今回生まれていきました。

ボランティアには、個人はもとより、日本国際対策機構の方々や、避難民支援機構の方々、教会などチームの方々も多く参加していて、帰ってくると、日本赤十字の方々が、うがい薬や、手洗いをくださり、またお菓子や飴をくださる方もいます。

他にも、行政の方々も関西地方などから、駆けつけ役所を助け、自衛隊も警察や消防の方、電気工事の方、各電話会社など、多くの方々がそれぞれの役割を通して、一つの目標に向かってつなげられ、共に復興を目指していました。

 

私達は、そのようなネットワークの中、さらに力強い教団や教会の方々の祈りのネットワークを強く感じながら、さらに他の教会やクリスチャン団体のネットワークとも出会い、良いつながりが、さらに良いつながりを生むことをみることができました。海外の教会からは今物資が運ばれていて、またボランティアに来てくださろうとしている方々もいます。 

 

  教団の五月聖会の祈りを含め、皆様のお祈りの力添えを心より感謝いたします。一回教会の女の子が体調不良を覚えかけたのですが、短く祈るとすぐに回復され、そこでも皆様のお祈りを感じました。さらに、他にも様々な出会いや、活動の守りが与えられ、心から感謝いたします。(他の項目でもレポートします。)


May 1st-5th: Activities in Rikuzentakata City–Part 2

   This was the third day; we first went to the center as usual. When we volunteered for the rest of the work from the day before, we learned that two more houses near the other two which requested for volunteers a day before also requested as they saw the volunteers working on those houses, and I keenly felt that there were still more needs unknown.

 

After that, we went to the elderly couple’s house from the previous day; we, six members joined those whom we worked together with for the last three days. As total of ten people or so, we started working. About an hour later, a team of fourteen people came. There were some people from other countries in the team, and as we start working together, we learned that they were Christian volunteers from Chita Peninsula Chuo Christ Church in Aichi prefecture. Immediately, I greeted Pastor Mukai whom I met for the first time, and we could work together with those from churches in South America. (They also realized that we were Christians when they saw our hats.) By the end, we grew to thirty people as a team, and we were led to the blessed place where twenty out of the thirty were Christians.

 

In the last half of all the works such as cleaning the dirt, removing big and small rubbles out of the barn and house, two people from Chita Peninsula Chuo Christ Church gave the elderly couple who were the owners of the house footbath and massage. They were having a relaxed conversation. During the conversation, they seemed to be sharing about Jesus and the love of God with the couple. It was very good learning for us. Of course, we might not be always able to do like that, but I think it will be a great ministry in the future.

 

With many people there, we were almost done with the works by three o’clock which was the allowed time. Since we knew we would not be able to come back the next day, I turned over the requests of the elderly couple and leader’s work. Thus, we finished the day. We could finish happily by taking pictures with the couple knowing we would end working that day. At that time, people from South America offered to pray, so, we could also pray for them.

 

   What I strongly felt about during these times is the excellence of networks/connections. Toward the goal of recovery of the disaster areas, the volunteers at the volunteer center work at the information, and also the other volunteers from all over Japan “get connected” to those who need help and then, start helping. Moreover, the new connections came along through those whom we became connected to during these times.

   Among all the volunteers, there are not only individual persons, but also those from Japan International Food for the Hungry, those from Japan Association for Refugees, and teams from churches that join. There are those from Japan Red Cross who give the volunteers mouth wash and hand wash and also those who give them snacks and candies.

   In addition, people of the government from Kansai area (western part of Japan) ran to help the public offices. Likewise, through each role, many people such as those from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the police, the fire department, the electrical works, the telephone companies and so on became connected to one goal and were working toward the recovery.

 

   In the networks like that and with feeling the strong networks of prayers of our denominations and other churches strongly, we met the new networks of other churches and Christian groups; in this way, we could see that a good network makes for another good network. The supplies are being transported from churches in other countries to Japan right now, and there are also some people from other countries planning to come to Japan for volunteer works.

 

   Thank you very much for all your prayer supports including your prayers during the JCOG National Conference from the bottom of my heart. There was one time when one of the girls in our church felt sick. But, as soon as we prayed a short prayer for her, she recovered immediately. And, I felt your prayers there also. Moreover, we are truly thankful for meeting various people and the protections over activities. (Planning to update a report in another entry.)