Monday, November 26, 2012

Mission Trip

This poor little blog of mine has been neglected lately but I plan to rectify that starting today!

Two weeks ago, I spent 5 days in Ishinomaki on a mission trip with our base chapel.  We took 15 people up to work in an area that was hit hard by the tsunami over the long Veterans day weekend.   This was my 2nd trip to this specific town {you can read about my first trip here} and unfortunately I think it will be my last.  The needs of the area are changing and they desperately need people who speak Japanese now which counts me out.  Over all I spent about 5 weeks in Tohoku and that area will always hold a very special place within my heart.

This trip we spent most of our time working on two projects.  Picking the tiny pieces of dry wall left in an apartment complex and putting up an enormous tent that the missionaries will use for storage.

While we were there a local fisherman donated some fresh fish, squid and crab to the missionaries so we had a BBQ our last night in town with everyone.

 rice, salad, grilled veggies and lots of grilled seafood, YUM!

After dinner, some ladies who are working on the Nozomi Project came by to sell us some of their jewelry.  

From their website
"Nozomi, translated 'hope' in Japanese, is a social enterprise organization striving to bring sustainable income, community, dignity and hope to the women in Ishinomaki, Japan by providing employment crafting unique jewelry products that can be commercially sold. Most of these women are single mothers and grandmothers who lost their livelihood when the tsunami crashed through half of their city in 2011."

We worked with some of these ladies on our 1st trip so it was great to see how much product they had created since we were last there.
We were able to purchase some of the pieces and we almost wiped them out.  I bought 3 pieces myself. 

The bracelet and necklace on the right were made by the lovely Yuri who happened to be there that night along with her daughter Moeka.

Yuri's story was shared with us later that evening and no one in the room had a dry eye when she was finished.  {some of my details may be a tad off here} She was with her daughter and 3 year old son when the sirens went off.  Her ex husband came by and took her son saying he would keep him safe and meet up with Yuri and Moeka once they were given the all clear.  That was the last time she ever saw her son.  She was holding him safe in her arms and let him go thinking he would be safe.  Unbeknownst to her, she was pregnant at the time of the tsunami with her new husband.  When her new son was born she was so overcome with grief that she couldn't bare to hold her newborn.  After months of working with the missionaries and the Nozomi project, she has started to overcome her grief and pain and it now a loving mother to her little boy. 

Yuri and her family are now a permanent fixture in my prayers.  If you are once who believes in the power of prayer, I ask you to pray for Yuri and the women of the Nozomi project.  These women have suffered more than most of us could imagine.  At this time, there jewelry is only available locally but as soon as it is available for purchase online y'all will be some of the 1st to know {I plan to do a giveaway and make an announcement as soon as I hear anything}.


Chantal said...

I think it's wonderful how you're helping out!