On Sunday evening Virginia took the Missouri and South Africa teams to see one of the nearby cities which had considerable damage to give us a sense of the magnitude of how the tsunami had wiped out city areas. Up until this point for me I had not seen any major areas of devestation. A few homes here and there which were in the mist of being worked on. When we arrived to the Onagawa area you can see how streets were completely cleared of any buildings. One of the most amazing sight was concrete green building toppled completely on its side like a lego block.
And sometimes pictures really can't give you the sense of the magnitude of height and affect of the flooding. The hospital which is on a hillside had risen so high that it flooded up to 1.95m (6 ft, 4.7 in) the first floor level which is now marked on one of the pillars. As you can see with Ivan and Gerritt standing next to the pillar to give you a sense of relative height.
And another photo of how high the stairways along side of the hospital gives you a sense of where it sits on the hillside.
Taking the quick view of the tsunami area gives you the chance to see how completely wiped out the area was affected. And sense of the loss of the people in the area. As well this gives you a reality check of how nothing is forever, all of our material possessions, structures, and buildings except our hope and salvation in Christ. Progress is being made, but there are plenty of people's lives that need to be rebuilt. The mission staff often remind us that our presence there gives the people hope that they are not forgotten over a year later. And that the world still does care for them. Often the organizations that remain for the long haul have only been the Christian missions to the region.