Dear Friends 28 April
My students came back to the dormitory of Tagajo campus.
I'm the house master of it.
Mr. Abe and Mr.Fujii share a room with each other.
I took the photo of them.
You can see it below.
I said to them "Smile! Smile! Smile!".
After taking this photo, I noticed their facial expressions getting dark as they were speaking about their stories.
They were staying at their family homes when the earthquake occured.
They lost thier houses by tsunami.
Because Mr. Fujii's house was near the seashore of Kesennuma, he evacuated to the elementary school at onece.
He saw an older woman caught by tsunami.
As the water wasn't removed days around the school, it was difficult to send them the relief goods.
He ate the pot noodle which he picked up in the water.
Of course the hot water was not available.
He told me that when he could have a hot soup after days he couldn't control his emotion.
The tsunami was accompanied by a big fire.
After it was burn out for days, someone set fires here and there.
That was an older woman who lost her house and family.
I don't know why but it is really a sad story.
Mr. Abe's house was located at the most inner area of Minamisanriku.
Just after he heard the sound of the tunami siren, he evacuated the higher place taking his grandmother.
The people next doors didn't believe the tsunami comming sush an inner area.
Mr. Abe told me that they were laughing and were removed by tsunami.
He couldn't believe too at first.
But he saw a cloud of dust first and the tsunami destroyng his town next.
They had a wildfire on a hill behind them.
Japan Self-Defense Forces dropped them the relief goods.
We have the Golden Week holidays from tommorow.
Almost of all students come bach their family home.
I noticed my mistake at once just after I said to Mr. Abe "Do you come back to your family home?".
"Sorry!" I said to him and he kept his face smile.
Mr.Fujii told me that he intend to come back to the evacuation center in which his family live.
Indeed the place in which their family lives is their home.
Mr. Miura, one of my seminar students showed me the photos of Ozuchi town.
Ozuchi is the hometown of his mother.
He said to me "Almost all houses were swept away. They have a problem of sewage pollution. There must be many dead bodies under the rubbles and in the water. It is difficult for us to eat the sea products from now on."
I talked with students about their experiences.
They have each different stories.
And I can sympathize with them.
It isn't so easy for them to explain their situations.
But at the same time, they need to share their experiences with others.
They need neighbors to accept their own experiences.
Rev. Naoki Sugioka who is the pastor of Kinki Evangelical Lutheran Church introduced me his literary work below.
Natural disasters and the Gospel -from two huge natural disasters- Missio et theologia : Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary theological journal, No.32(2010),pp.12-18 http://dl.dropbox.com/u/316285/church/sugioka/NaturaldisastersandtheGospe_Japanese.pdf
English Summary is
Rev. Sugioka had the strong concern about the people who met the disaster as he himself experienced Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995.
He wrote in the above article as “When the victims of natural disaster are moving from the first stage of panic to the next stage of calm they realize a huge loss. Natural disasters literally take away all their properties and the loved ones，then the feeling of loss sometimes turns into irrational anger.”.
And he showed the fact as “Sufferers from both Hanshin earthquake and Indian sea tsunami disaster needed to speak out their awful experiences to somebody who is willing to them.”.
These are the same expriences of the people who had the disaster and that of me.
He pointed out as “Now what a Christian can do for sufferers of natural disasters is to stay with them listening to them and trying to understand their situation and feelings”.
I feel sympathy with the above.
Today I introduce about Tagajo town.
Tagajo is the old town which was founded at 724 as a base camp of government.
You can see the photos of the historical sites of Tagajo among the above link.
We have the beautiful cherry blossoms.
There exist some spots where famous poet for example Basho, Onono Komachi, Kiyoharano Motosuke and so on made poems.
But now we have to see the mountains made of rubbles gathered from the affected area.
It smells bad around the rubble mountain.
Indeed we have the affected area, non affected area, the people suffering from the disaster and the people who have the normal lives.
Again we need to listen to each other.
We need to stay with each other.
We need to be the neighbors to each other.
And we need to pray to God for each other.