By Danie Mouton
Stephan Smithdorff was sent by the Uitenhage-North Dutch Reformed Church to carry out mission work under the banner of Operation Mobilisation. Here is Stephen’s report on the latest relief work in Japan:
“I just returned on Tuesday from a very fulfilling trip to the earthquake-tsunami stricken region. Below is a report I wrote for OM International. Appreciate your prayers.
“OM Japan is helping people to rebuild their lives after the deadly tsunami destruction. After a few days of bringing relief, helping to clean out mud and debris from houses and bringing words of encouragement and prayers to people, I am back at my comfortable home again. But that is so different from people in Miyagi prefecture.
Looking at their lives, it is very hard to imagine what they are going through now, more than one month after the tsunami hit their villages. One of the families we have helped, not far from Minami Sanriku, are fishermen by trade. But they have lost everything; including their boat and their house. For them it is like starting a new life all over from nothing.
A Christian agency has donated two containers for them to live in temporarily. They are now slowly starting to rebuild their house. But it is hard to find any building material in Miyagi prefecture; supplies are low. And with no water, gas or electricity available in their area, the task is daunting.
The children’s school is washed away so they have to travel more than one hour to another city, to attend school. Like them, there are thousands of families along the North Western coast of Japan, who have to start over again.
“We are amazed how much the Christians are helping us during this crisis. We cannot thank you enough!” said one grandfather, as he happily opened the relief parcels we delivered.
Pray that their hearts will be moved as they receive help, and that they will embrace the Great Restorer of Lives. This region in and around Minami Sanriku had no churches before the Tsunami. Pray that families like these will eventually turn to Christ, and that God will build His church, where there was none before.”