Survivors of Japan’s triple disasters—earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear fallout—warmly welcomed a group of Anglicans who visited them from the Diocese of Riverina in Australian last week.
Katy, Elizabeth, Kelsey and Luke (aged between 15 and 20) the Revd Paul Kumasaka, and the Revd Sue Chilvers visited Kamaishi-shi, Iwate Prefecture, where they saw firsthand the impact of the work of NSKK’s Let Us Walk Together Project.
The group visited childcare centers including a kindergarten. Here they played with the children and shared western songs and dance with them, which the children all enjoyed despite the language barrier.
Next they went on to meet people living in temporary accommodation. Knowing the group had travelled all the way from Australia some of the elderly people there were moved to tears. Some of the residents shared with them their experiences of surviving the tsunami and of losing loved ones to the waves. It was described as “a moving experience for everyone.”
Overall, the visit was very positive, and the hope is that the Riverina group learned lots from their time in Kamaishi. The Diocese of Riverina has had a companion relationship with the Diocese of Hakkaido for many years. The group’s next stop before returning to Australia is to Kokkaido-- which has been a central focal point of relief and rehabilitation for the Anglican Church in Japan’s Let Us Walk Together Project-- to reaffirm this companion relationship.
Article By Shinya Samuel Yawata, Secretary of PIM, NSKK in Kamaishi
Editors Note: Further information about the 'Let Us Walk Together Project' can be found here