As Pastor Hiroshi Ito opens the doors to a small storefront he explains that the building used to be a convenience store before the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake. The Japanese characters above the door now read “Higashi-Matsushima Amazing Grace Center.”
In the relief center that Convoy of Hope has helped to fund, there are piles of clothing, supplies, a small library, children’s activities, coffee and tea ready for distribution. Among the items are also bicycles, heaters, kitchen appliances and other needed items that were donated by Convoy of Hope through our partnership with the center.
As Pastor Ito showed us around the center, Japanese volunteers began to file in to prepare for disaster survivors who would be arriving shortly. Just as volunteers do at our community outreaches in the U.S., it was inspiring to see people coming together to help one another – no matter what nationality.
To get their attention for a group picture I call them “a team of heroes” followed by laughs, smiles and even a flex from Pastor Ito. Thank you for letting me introduce you to some of Ishinomaki’s heroes.