16 December, 2014

Some progress in post-tsunami reconstruction

Periodically we are asked questions about the reconstruction after the earthquake disaster (though usually only when we bring the subject up first). This is an extract from a newsletter about a small country town where our mission has set up a base that offers a Cafe ministry plus more to the surrounding residents:

In July I wrote that little progress seemed to have been made in Yamada towards reconstruction. That is no longer the case. Since September, the grassy weeds and bare foundations around Ippo Ippo Yamada have been replaced by construction equipment, piles of earth, ditches and workmen. The ground shakes constantly to the distress of café customers who wonder sometimes if they are experiencing yet another earthquake. Volunteers staying upstairs may be woken early as loads of earth are trucked in from as early as 5 am. The town is raising the ground level by between 2 to 3 metres. The prefab café may soon need to find a new home. Pray: 1. Despite the tsunami swept area of Yamada becoming a building site, new housing for displaced people is still a distant dream. After raising the ground level, it will take time for the ground to settle sufficiently to build on. Temporary housing units are intended to last 2 years. Nearly a quarter of the population of Yamada are still in temporary housing after 3 years 8 months. Pray that Ippo Ippo Iwate may be a light and an encouragement to people with an uncomfortable present and uncertain future. 

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