Voice of Participants: Youth Summer Camp in USA 2018

Youth Summer Camp in USA 2018

This camp has 8 youths and a pastor as participants. Here is their daily reflection of their 7 days summer camp.

Haruka’s reflection of the day .
We spent lots of time travelling on the initial day. The flight time was almost 12 hours in total! Though I was quite exhausted the flight time and transit time were actually great opportunities to have fellowship with the other participants! I’m looking forward to the camp that’s going to start tomorrow!

Day 1
Hikari’s reflection of a day .

I was a bit nervous but church members and people on the camp site talked to me friendly. So, in order to respond to their hearts, I tried to communicate using as many English words and gestures as I could with my full effort. Though it did not go so smoothly, it was impressive that everybody listened to me, trying to understand what I would say, with their serious look and smile. While considering “stay woke,” I found a new goal to achieve for myself. That is not just to enjoy myself but to spend time with others and to share joy with them. In order to achieve it, I will spend 7 days left cooperating and helping people around me to communicate and support the other participants to enjoy together.

Day 2 Reika’s reflection of the day.
I got accustomed to the English-speaking environment, and I learned little by little to chat with my cabin mate and people who sit next to me over meals. Since the activities of the program started in full swing today, I had a fulfilling day. In our small group of Bible study called Growth Group, we discussed when we feel that God is beside us and when we could not feel so so far. I myself would like to be able to realize that God is always with me even when I am in a valley. For Asian American Identity Program, which was held at night, we shared various issues which are happening all over the world and which we participants are concerned with. Then we discussed their solutions and what each of us actually can do. We also considered what our own identities are through this activity. It was impressive to know that there are a variety of ideas and perspectives people have. I recognized that not only listen to others but also do I need to have more courage to express what I myself think about, I would like to have communication more actively and deepen my own ideas even if I cannot express what I want to tell well.

Day 3
An’s reflection of the day.

What I think about on the third day of the camp is that I’m enjoying myself fully! I supposed that I would be able to communicate by trusting my gut without English grammatical knowledge. However, it was totally wrong. I could barely introduce myself and have a small talk, and it was quite hard to understand what people are saying and it’s even more difficult for me to jump into their conversation. However, I got aware of my certain growth in this environment. I sometimes feel sad when I cannot have the conversational ball rolling; however, I feel warmness of the hearts of the participants all the more. So happiness accounts for a large percentage of my feelings!
“You should not stay in your comfort zone,” – this is the message given in today’s morning service. That is, however long you stay where you just feel comfortable, you cannot grow up. This message remained in my heart. I can say that I’m now going out of my comfort zone since I am challenging myself in the States, which is the unknown world to me. As I took this new stride, I would like to keep moving forward to new stages.

Day 4
Dai’s reflection of the day.

We had a lots of activities today such as a dance party, Rope Course, and playing in the water. In the party, everyone danced in their unique styles, so I felt the American culture in my bone. Even when it became time for sleeping, it was so exciting to have fun with my cabin mates that I could not sleep soon. I would like to fully enjoy the rest of the camp days with all of them.

Eisuke’s reflection of the day.

What I think of the most is that the more time goes by, the more I get used to the camp and the more fun comes to me. On the other hand, I feel time passes faster than before.
Today I would like to write about a tournament game of basketball held during the free time and meditation conducted at night. I joined the basketball game with my fellows as a team called Nihon Goes. The results of the games were a win and three loses. We struggled to snatch the ball due to the difference in physiques, but we enjoyed ourselves calling out encouragement to one another like “Good job!” and “Good move!” Though I sprained my foot in an accident, our director and my team mates helped me out so kindly that I could prepare myself for getting in bed. In the meditation held at night, college students asked me, “Hey, brother, what do you feel now?” I was so happy to be called brother since I have been called just Suke, which is my nickname, so far. I felt I was rewarded for my effort to keep trying to talk to and have conversation with them in English. There is just one day left of the camp! I am thankful for being given the encounter with such amazing mates, and I hope we all can enjoy and learn together.

Yurie’s reflection of the day.

As if by magic, nervousness and unease that I had had since the first day left me, and I made many friends and gradually got to understand English. In Sharing Show, we the Japanese team performed otagei, a dance that can express the goodness of Japan. We had a lot of fun too to see the other teams performances in which their gifts were fully used. When praising God and praying together, we all look to the same God, so I do not feel any barrier of language that I sometimes have at other times. I feel that we are all one in God and all of us are loved by God. I can experience many things that I cannot do in other places. There is not so much time left that I am already missing the camp and that I do not want to go back to Japan. Please pray that our camp will keep protected and blessed to the end.

Day 7
Sumire’s reflection of the day.

I had mixed feelings of unease and expectation before attending the camp. However, this one week has been deep enough for me to grow myself since I could consider my own individuality while asking other members what they think about, and I also could face the future at the same time. I will do my best to apply what I have learned and grow up further in Japan.