Mission Accomplished in Ishinomaki!

Ishinomaki 43by Deacon Mark Palmer, OPC Short-Term Missions Disaster Response team leader (December 2012)


All the tasks in rebuilding the church in Ishinomaki were completed. Three members from the Tokyo church and many members from the Sendai area came for the last day as we were packing up. They thanked us for all the work. But really they were thanking all four teams. We just had the privilege of doing the final trim, paint and completion. We are very grateful to the four teams, to those who planned and managed the project, to those who organized the teams, and to the OPC members who prayed for and contributed to the work.

We were able to take pictures of the finished church without the blue tarps covering the material!

Team four finished installing window and door trim, trim arIshinomaki 47ound the top and bottom of many rooms, installing outlets and covers, light fixtures, doorbells,  sinks, false front behind pulpit, door knobs, tile backsplash, flooring, entry tile (where it was broken), painting all the exterior trim, painting the exterior siding, sided and painting the rear shed, building a long shelf for the shed, making a wheel chair ramp, caulking trim, painting the interior trim (3 coats), painting doors, installing downspouts, exterior lights, sanding stairs, loading up the unused material and taking it to Sendai, and a host of other projects, many being ask to be done at the last minute.

We had no injuries or illnesses. It snowed a few nights, once being 2 inches of snow. The heaters were installed the last day we were there. It was cold but warm enough on one day to do the painting of the exterior, which was my biggest concern. We worshiped in four different churches. Different members from different churches would bring us dinner and Ishinomaki 49they usually would leave sandwiches for the next day's lunch. We were treated out to dinner twice, but every meal that was brought in was a meal out. We also learned the real meaning of recycling. We had time to take a couple of short excursions to the water to see the effects of the devastation one and a half years later. The completion of the project proved that our work was earthquake proof. We experienced a 7.3 earthquake one evening. The ground swayed like being on a boat, and the hanging lights swung. An evacuation order was put out because of a possible tsunami. The locals and we left in a very orderly way.

Pray that the church that was rebuilt will be filled with people. Pray that the Nozomi relief center will be a good witness to those who are still homeless and searching for purpose in life. Pray for the Reformed Churches in Japan.



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