Bishop Burton presents Mormon church aid to Japanese fishermen

Prominent signs placed amid the miles and miles of devastation and destruction in the Japan's Miyagi prefecture send a one-word message of the resiliency of the people here: "Ganbaru," which means hold out, stand firm and hang in there.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hoped to send the same message Wednesday to a group of fishermen who have not been able to work since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami destroyed or damaged their equipment and all but two of their 90 boats.

In an official ceremony, LDS Church Presiding Bishop H. David Burton presented members of the Miyagi Prefecture Fishing Cooperative with a certificate pledging help from the church's humanitarian fund.

Bishop Burton explained that the fisherman's plight could not have been resolved without support from an outside organization. Even as they were rebuilding their boats, the tsunami destroyed an ice maker that allowed the men to preserve their daily catch.

"Ice and refrigeration are very important for fishing," said Shinetsu Kikuchi, chairman of the cooperative.

Bishop Burton said the Church will provide the ice maker, a refrigerator, a cooler truck and other equipment and supplies.

"We are honored to make this donation," he told Kikuchi during the ceremony. "But along with the donation we offer our hearts and prayers as you press forward in building for your future. We hope in some small way this will assist you. We wish you well."

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