(Photo: Earthquake damage. The window was from the second floor... the first floor collapsed)
Even with photos, it is hard to actually show the damage that was done by the earthquake in Kashiwazaki. Some houses looked perfectly fine to the untrained ear but marked are now marked as unsafe to enter. Other buildings were so demolished that it is had to imagine what they looked like as you stare at the rubble.
The hardest thing is the damage that has been done in the people. The military is providing food and water (they are even running hot water baths). The government is providing temporary shelter. But with their basic needs meet they are left to handle the loss of their homes, businesses, and their shattered dreams.
(Photo: Myself with the new bracing under one of the cabins)
The first work we started was to help the mountain bible camp that we would be staying. It was also to the team's benefit as they are now planning to stay for a least a month now. So, we had to secure sleeping quarters by bracing the underside of the surviving mountain-side cabins. Because of a lack of supplies, this would end up taking most of my time over the three days there.
The rest of the team was split into groups. One went to help at the Holiness church grounds in town which buildings were almost completely destroyed. And a team went to help a missionary family who lost their house and are currently sleeping in their small store-front English school.
(Photo: A few of the CAJ volunteers returning home with Michael and I)
The team was about 20 people from a mixture of nationalities, denominations, and missions. We had youth from CAJ, pastors from the Holiness denomination, missionaries and workers from Grace Christian Fellowship, Christians from Gunma Prefecture, and Michael and myself from Kyoto.
Please pray for the continued Christian relief work going on in Kashiwazaki. Last I heard they now have about 35 people; including a team from "Food for the Hungry" and a youth group from Hawaii!
For more details please check out CRASH's new website (http://www.crashjapan.com)