Jesus and Marshmallows (JP’s Update on Camp)

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Earlier in July, I (JP)shared a need on our “Corherns in Japan” Facebook group regarding my attendance of an English Camp with a ministry called Let’s Talk. Our last email update included a brief snapshot of what happened, but I also wanted to give a more in depth account of the camp. (And if you would like to be a part of our Facebook group, please contact Katie.)

Let’s Talk exists with three boldly stated purposes: 1) have English Conversation; 2) develop International Friendships; and 3) all volunteers have a relationship with Jesus, and we want to tell you about Him so you can make a decision for yourself. So while the ministry and camp revolve around English conversation, we have a clear goal to share the Gospel with the students that is not “bait and switch”.

Camp Guys

All the guys from camp

The camp itself was a great time for us as volunteers to have fun and connect with students. Ten students from Tokyo attended, and we went hiking and canoeing, played games, and roasted marshmallows, all the while building relationship together. We also held daily discussions where we watched the movie “Big Hero 6”, divided into five “episodes”, and asked questions regarding identity, forgiveness, and sacrifice, ultimately trying to open a door to talk about deeper things. Two of the students in attendance are believers, so they’re answers also helped us dive into the things of God as they had a different perspective than most of the unbelieving students there. I was also asked to share a testimony from my life during the camp where I got to tell the students about how God’s love gives me strength to live my life, and another staff shared the Gospel to the entire group.

It is amazing to see people hear the Gospel, something I have come to know and cherish in my life, and say, “No thanks”. “I have heard this, but I don’t believe it.” Or when asked, “Is there anything you would be willing to die for,” they reply, “Nope,” or “Have you ever asked for forgiveness from someone,” they answer, “No, that would mean admitting I was wrong.” These are the mindsets we encountered. However, other students were interested, and while none of them chose to follow Christ, one regular attender expressed interest in knowing more, which is a win for me!

With the DTS and the soon coming Baby Corhern, I am unsure what my involvement going forward will look like. I did get the chance to continue meeting with a student that I had met at last year’s camp, but when we last met, he expressed that he no longer needed to meet with us for the goal he had for the time, which was hard to hear. However, our conversations opened into a natural sharing of the Gospel, and he seemed to be impacted by it. I look forward to what God continues to do through Let’s Talk, even if I am not able to be a regular part of it!

One last thing, when I first shared, I was needing funds to cover my trip. We had felt that we could afford to cover the cost of the trip, but even with the scholarship from the ministry, I was still needing about ¥9,000 ($90). Well, one of the DTS students came to me and said he had sold his PS Vita (portable gaming system) for ¥8,000, and he wanted to give it to me, and here is the first ¥4,000. Wow! I was so blessed. However, when it came time to give me the rest, he gave me ¥5,000, totally unaware that it would cover my entire need! Praise the Lord! So the camp ended up being covered and a blessing.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for praying!