To Japan with Love: A Student's Story
Friday morning, March 11, 2011, I received an urgent text message that read, “Have you heard about the earthquake that happened in Japan?” As the morning progressed messages, emails, and phone calls began to pour in inquiring about the earthquake and tsunami that had taken place.
I have had the privilege of being part of the Tyndale Japan team for the past 2 years; this would have been my 3rd. I have developed many strong and lasting relationships in Japan, with people that I love and care about dearly. So the news of a severe natural disaster that had ravaged a place so near to my heart, a place that I had ministered in, was a harsh reality that I did not fully comprehend.
It took several weeks before the ramifications of the earthquake and tsunami on the nation of Japan became real to me. Although it would not be possible for the team from Tyndale to go back to Japan this year, God placed a burden on my heart to find a way to show the tangible love and hope of Christ to the nation of Japan. After many hours of brainstorming ideas about what this expression of love could look like, the end result was a carnival and carwash fundraiser called “To Japan with Love.”
July 30, 2011 was a beautiful sunny day that provided excellent weather for the fundraiser. It was a day filled with joy and excitement all in hopes of raising a significant amount of money to send to Japan. It was incredible to see the parking lot of First Alliance Church transformed into a carnival. The activities included: sumo wrestling, a dunk tank, cotton candy, a bouncy castle, face painting, balloon twisting, t-shirt sales, a raffle, and numerous other activities. There was also live music throughout the day as well as a barbeque lunch.
The carnival was a huge success and the main attraction was the carwash. We had planned to have a fire truck come in for a couple hours to give the kids a tour of the truck. Instead, the firefighters spent the entire day washing and drying cars alongside the volunteers. It was incredible to see people from all different walks of life coming together to support and encourage a broken nation!
Money is still pouring in from various people and places so the total amount raised is still unsure. However, it is certain that “To Japan with Love” was able to raise over $1,800 to support the people and nation of Japan. All the proceeds will go directly through OMF/Crash Japan to help in aided with relief efforts in Japan.
Thank you to everyone that volunteered, came out, prayed or showed their support in any way! This day would not have been possible without you.
- By Rebecca Eastall, 4th year B.A. Religious Studies.