Refresh (Retreat) Programs 2015

▮ Day trips for kindergarteners

This program provides kindergarteners related to the Anglican-Episcopal Church in Japan with opportunities to leave their “ordinary” behind and experience nature, in a carefree way. Once every month, the program takes kids out, on a day trip, to somewhere with low radioactivity in their neighborhood.

* It has been proven that spending some time in a place with low radioactivity can help the body reduce the radioactivity it has taken in.

▲Click each image to enlarge it and read the cation.
At Environmental Aquarium Aquamarine Fukushima, Onahama, Iwaki, Fukushima, and Koriyama City “Fureai” Science Center
(June 2015)

▮ Refresh programs

  • “Summer holidays in Takashima, an island in Nagasaki, southern Japan” (July to August)
    Assisted by the Kyushu Diocese of the Anglican-Episcopal Church in Japan, this retreat, the fourth travel to Takashima, took kindergartners related to the Church and their parents to the southern island. They had a great time having fun on the beach, fishing, catching some insects, strolling around in the island, and so on. Having outdoor fun is something Fukushima’s kids cannot do usually, and they fully enjoyed what they were doing. The adults accompanying them also had a good retreat. Together, they now have many happy memories.
  • “Refresh camp for Fukushima children in Gifu” (August)
    In this retreat, those children of kindergartens related to the Church and their graduates, unaccompanied by their parents, spent some great time outdoors in the wealth of nature in Gifu Prefecture — having “splash” fun in a clean stream, eating “so-men” (thin noodles of flour) running in a flume of bamboo, catching fishes with hands, gathering around a camp fire, having a candle-light worship service, observing nature including constellations of the summer sky, and many more.

▼Click each image to enlarge it and read the cation.

  • “Homestay in Okinawa” (August)
    This is a “homestay” program held in cooperation with the Church’s Okinawa Diocese. Children from Fukushima stay either at some churches of the Diocese or at the homes of some members of it, and experience many activities they want. This August, the participating children enjoyed fellowship with locals that a commercial tour cannot provide. They were “refreshed” both mentally and physically, in the beauty of Okinawa’s nature and people.

▼Click each image to enlarge it and read the cation.

▮ “One Family” Program
— To help Fukushima in unison —

Nurses at Koriyama’s St. Paul’s Kindergarten are always working with anxieties – over how best to protect their children from radioactivity, a struggle that seems to be never-ending. Immeasurable fatigue is building up in their mind and body.

We, the Project, spoke to some people of the Okinawa Diocese about their torment. The Diocese responded with the “compassion from one’s gut” that often moved Lord Jesus. Standing firmly in the conviction that we are of “one family” with Fukushima, they launched the “One Family Program — To help Fukushima in unison —,” to send some staffers over to the kindergarten.

This time, in the Program’s third round, Rev. Naoto Iwasa, rector of All Saints’ Church, Shimabukuro, and Ms. Yoshiko Maeshiro, nurse at St. Matthew’s Kindergarten, came to Fukushima to help.

Together, they shared some precious time, which brought peace and rest to the mind and heart of both the children and nurses of St. Paul’s. The next round is expected to be held this October. They are looking forward to seeing each other.

Ms. Maeshiro and Rev. Naoto
Ms. Maeshiro and Rev. Naoto