Ray Report: Jul 2 ’11
I know it has been a while, but again, we have been busy. Besides other things, Let’s Start Talking has been going on at Tomobe. Three young people from York College came this year for 3 weeks of LST and one week of other things. LST was short this year, as one team canceled. The York team came and did a good job. After LST classes, they went to Sendai for 3 days and helped in the relief effort there.
I heard that they worked pretty hard. There is just so much to do in that area. Because the news has stopped reporting so much on the quake and tsunami, most people think the work is almost finished. The work is shifting day by day, but still so much to do. They are still far away from even knowing exactly how many people died. Whole families disappeared. The receding tsunami carried so many out to sea.
Now, one of the main problems is caring for the suicidal. In Japan, suicide is always very high. Now, in that area, many are dying everyday. Some have no hope and it seems like the only way to escape. Most, if not all of their family and friends are dead, they have no work, no house, and no money. We have been in several training classes to help us try to deal with this problem. Of course, the Bible talks on this subject, but most of these people do not believe in God or the Bible. Now is not the time to try to convert them. We must first listen to them and show that we care, help them to feel that someone is there.
Schools in our area were affected by the earthquake/tsunami. Most were not open for several days, to a week, or more, especially high schools and colleges. The trains were stopped and students couldn’t get to school. That time has to be made up, so summer is shorter.
That means that camp has to be rescheduled. Which also means that we must find more helpers. Colleges are going into the summer break, so we have fewer college students. The relief work is also cutting into the camp’s work force. Preparation is also being disrupted. God will help us and I know camp will go on. I hope we can answer some of the questions about why God would allow this to happen. If you are not a believer, it is a big question. And it is even for many believers.
We will go up on the 18th, which is a holiday to cut grass and clean the cabins. After that, work will begin on the 21st to set up the camp. Camp will begin on the 25th.
On August 12-13 we will have the Ibaraki Summer Retreat. It will be a good break from all our problems and work. This year it is only one night, but I think it will be a good one.
If you want to read more about the disaster and relief efforts, you can see past reports and pictures from us and many others at our sponsoring congregation’s homepage.
Also, Park Ave. church of Christ in Memphis is still collecting contributions and sending them to Japan by wire transfer. It is much simpler and cheaper to group them together and send large sums (Japan doesn’t use checks and sending cash is not safe). The flow of donations has been slowing down, but the need has not. Please ask your friends to do whatever they can to help.
I want to thank all of you who have sent money and have prayed for us in Japan. Money has come in from all over the world and workers also. The Japanese people thank you and we thank you. We have gotten letters and e-mails from everywhere. I have not answered all, yet, but I hope to. I know communication is very important, and so is working. I am a better worker than communicator. Jean has been taking care of some of the correspondence. She is also on Facebook, Jeanne Lemm Ray. I can hardly get into it to read some of the comments. But I do appreciate all of you. Thanks again.
Serving Him in Japan, Marlin and Jean Ray