We received the following story from Travis Lear, an English teacher who help Ganbaro Miyagi.
My name it Travis Lear. I was a tsunami volunteer in Thailand for the Burmese people for two years. I came back to Japan and just randomly came to Sendai. Ive been here for a year and a half and I serve the homeless faithfully every week. I love Sendai. I was quite shocked to find myself in Sendai for the Great Quake and the tsunami that devastated our coast in a most horrible way. So I was naturally inclined to help but could do nothing as I was in need too. My boss at my school a few days after the quake contacted me because my pay did not go into my bank. He told me to come down to the office and he paid me right away in cash which helped me so much as I had not eaten for a day and a half. My boss also gave me food as I had none at all. He called me a few days later to check on me and asked me if I needed anything. I replied, I was ok and and I was going to Kesenuma and Shizugawa with some other people who were buying relief items with their own money. He asked me if I had room for more relief supplies. I was shocked to find out Ganbaro Miyagi had many relief items ready to be distributed. The shelter at Kesenuma and Shizugawa had many things but needed some things that were not being supplied. I asked Ganbaro Miyagi directer if he could supply these needed items. He later got back to me and let me know that he had most of the items requested from the shelters. The guy I was going with has a k-car and has made this trip to the shelters with his friend many times. He is a Japanese guy who was raised his whole life in New Zealand and his friend is a native of New Zealand. So we got the relief supplies from Ganbaro Miyagi and divided the relief supplies between our car and my friend Ryosei’s friend’s car. I was so excited to finally get started and get the much needed relief supplies to the 2 shelters. We had to drive 42 km/hr to conserve gas but we finally got there to the devastated coast of Kesenuma. We tried to give some of the supplies to random people we saw but they would not accept them even though they were obviously in great need. We told them where we were taking the supplies and to please go get some. The shelter was starting to look like people were finally getting into some kind of routine system for daily life in a shelter. My heart was broken but the people looked very strong and satisfied. We took pictures of our delivered supplies and then I gave the man some bibles for the people to have. He asked me if he should just lend them and I said no, give them to those who want them and he was very happy and thankful. After dropping off the relief supplies we went to the beach to see the aftermath of the tsunami. You could smell death everywhere and people were roaming around in the mess where their houses used to be, trying to find something of value. Some young boys were playing around in the debris and I had a chance to speak with them and encourage them to keep strong and help their family/ community. We took many photos of boats pushed inland and cars in places that only a powerful tsunami could place them. We felt sad and encouraged at the same time. The Japanese are a hard working people and are starting to do great clean up already. Our friend in the other car who took the other half of the supplies to Shizugawa had a successful trip also. We were able to take the coast road many kilometers further than my friend did just a few days earlier. The railroad bridges were washed away like toys and train tracks were piled up like twisted up spaghetti in some very strange places. We were able to stop and look at more coast devastation and saw some family photos from someones home….I shed a bit of a tear then and prayed for strength for the people here. We were blocked from going further on the coast road due to destruction so we took a side road up the mountain and tried to get to a main road. My friend got so lost and we went in many big circles. It took us 7 hours to get home. I would like to do it again with the help of the Ganbaro Miyagi. They are so kind, caring, professional and hard working. Travis Lear- English teacher