Some news from Reiko in our Sister Parish, St Andrew's Kiyosato, Japan. While we have been enduring heat waves, they have had heavy snow...
As you might have heard, we had two heavy snowfalls last month. First one was on Saturday, February 8th and the snow piled up 80 or 90 cms. Even before the snow thawed, the second snow fell from Friday, February 14th and on Saturday morning it was more than 150 cms!
Of course it was the heaviest snow we have ever experienced. TJ and I even could not get out of our house. We shoveled the snow little by little to make a narrow path, where just one person can walk. It took two or three days for the snow plower to come on the public streets.
We had to shovel the path to the street (more than 70 meters) manually. Both TJ and I got a severe muscle pain. Fortunately we had sufficient foods and kerosene so we could survive. It was after seven days that we could go out to the supermarket by our car.
Yamanashi Prefecture, where we live, was most severely damaged in history. So many plastic greenhouses to grow grapes and vegetables were destroyed. Dairy farmers had to discard their milk because the milk collecting lorries could not come. All the railroads and streets were closed for 4 days.
No one could come to church for two weeks. The church building was actually buried in the snow. Last Sunday we finally could go to the church and shovel the snow off the roof. What an experience!
And here is a photo of parishioners removing snow from the church roof and another of the narrow, hand-made tunnel leading to the street.
Once again, an opportunity to give thanks that St Mary Magdalene's has air conditioning and is never likely to experience weather like this.
We continue to pray for our Sister Parish, St Andrew's.