From North America East Coast: Higakyan – East Coast Japanese Youth Camp – 2018

Hidekazu Imai

     This year I joined “Higakyan” – East Coast Japanese Your Camp – for the first time and was blessed with the refreshed understanding of the love of the Lord.  I have started a job early this year flying a commercial airplane all over the country based on New York.  My job as a pilot requires the utmost attention to be responsible for the lives of all passengers; one mistake could easily cause devastating fatalities.  The pressure of the responsibility was building up over the time and I was getting stressed.  I struggled to deal with the stress by myself in vain, and not by asking God for help.  My mother tried to redirect me time to time that worries and fears were not originated from God, but I was not understanding her words.  It was in such a time that my brother and sister-in-law, Kentaro and Arisa, suggested me to join Higakyan 2018 as a staff member.  It sounded inviting, but I was not sure if I could fulfill the responsibility of the leadership.  Rev. Kurisu welcomed me, however, just as I was, which made me very happy.

     Higakyan is a youth Christian camp in Japanese for middle and high school students.   It takes place at a camping ground in the midst of great and beautiful nature in Pennsylvania.  Kids and staff enjoy Bible studies and various fun activities in this wonderful setting.  Just to mention one, everyone seemed to enjoy the tubing in Delaware River.  Every evening we gathered together to listen to His messages given through Rev. Nishikori, and afterwards shared our reflections and thoughts at the small group meetings.  One of such messages in particular, titled “The Missing Piece”, reminded me of my past.  I wanted to feel satisfied and used to try many things, but was never fulfilled.  His message reminded me, made me re-realize, that it’s only God who could give us human the ultimate peace.  As I listened to Rev. Nishikori speaking, I was reminded of the time I accepted Jesus for the first time; it was at another youth Christian camp, such as Higakyan.  I was blessed once again with realization of His lover, just as the theme of this year’s Higakyan says, “Return to the First Love”.  I trust Him and wish to walk with Him; I shall seek His help first in my time of trouble rather than relying on my own understanding and strength.

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