CYT Japan has recently been approved for a short term outreach trip by The Evangelical Alliance Mission, and plans are underway to introduce CYT to East Asia.
The trip is planned for July 23-August 15th, and the team members likely to go include familiar CYT faces: Sandy Burgess, former Director, Musical Director and Teacher for CYT Spokane and Vancouver; Matthew McKinney, current Moody Bible Institute student and CYT Alum of both CYT Spokane and North Idaho; Charslie Johnston and Tiffani Kittilstved, both active members of HYPE in CYT North Idaho; and Eric Stapleton, former CYT Spokane Director and Area Coordinator.
I recently chatted with Eric, the man behind CYT Japan (and team leader). Eric recently returned from The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) headquarters in Carol Stream, IL, and answered some of my questions about the logistics of the trip, as well as the team’s goals.
He also wanted to pass along some words for the wise:
“If you haven’t already ‘liked’ CYT Japan on Facebook, do so. I’ll be posting photos as the team meets and prepares, including video of practicing some of our dramas- especially the ones we perform in Japanese!”
Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about the Vacation Bible School/Music Drama Day Camp that you’re planning for the missionary children in Japan.
The Vacation Bible School/Music Drama Day Camp will have around twenty kids to work with (8 grade school & 12 middle/high school). Since we’ve been asked to run the groups separately, we will use theater games and creativity exercises to form the dramatic around Bible Stories/Parables. Sandy Burgess, my musical team member, will use appropriate music to teach the kids. We will have about three and half days to put this together culminating in a presentation for the missionaries at the conference on the last day.
Does the camp have a theme?
Yes! The theme is “Praise and Proclaim.”
You’ll also be reaching out to the youth of Japan by sharing the gospel through “drama and literature distribution” on the streets of Tokyo and Karuizawa. What does that look like?
The plan is to utilize drama to communicate the Gospel and hope to the youth of Japan. We will have the opportunity to do so in public areas (train stations, streets, public squares and parks) and also in cafés as well. Since most of the our team isn’t proficient in Japanese, much of this will be mime drama with music. However, it looks as though we will get the opportunity to work with young missionaries there in the drama outreach!
I also hope to teach my team a drama or two with a little Japanese for them to learn phonetically. We will also be resourced with the Gospel in manga (Japanese comic book form) to distribute to the youth.
How did you hear about The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM)?
I heard about TEAM while visiting Japan last August. I met Paul Nethercott who has been serving there for more than 20 years. He especially has a passion for empowering Japanese Christians to share their faith using performing arts and has helped to produced Japanese Christian films. Another missionary friend of mine in Japan recommended him to me and I was able to meet up with him at CRASH Japan Headquarters in Tokyo. He likes the concept of CYT and thinks it could very helpful in restoring hope to the Tohoku area hit by the tsunami last March.
How can we find out more information about them?
TEAM’s website: www.teamworld.org. They’ve been about the Lord’s work for 120 years or so…
Paul Nethercott’s film website: www.studiorefilms.com.
CRASH stands for Christian Relief Aid Support Help and their website is: www.crashjapan.com
For those who donate money, is there a way they can see what is happening on the ground in real time?
WiFi and Internet connectivity is often more difficult in Japan if one is not a resident there already. It’s pretty locked down and not a lot of free access unless one already has an account in Japan. It IS likely that I will post to the CYT Japan Facebook page or @CYT_Japan Twitter within 24 hours. And, of course I will make sure that donors get the scoop on what we are doing and what we accomplish while there.
Where can people donate?
Tax deductible donations can be received online, here.
Let’s dig deeper. What are your teams goals for the trip?
Our goals for the trip are:
1. To help missionaries in Japan share the Gospel with the people of Japan using theater arts.
2. To connect CYT Youth from America to Missionaries and Japanese nationals in Japan.
3. To introduce the concept of CYT to a broad base of potential partners in ministry while at the TEAM conference.
4. To get invited to multiple areas of Japan over the next few summers with similarly designed trips aimed at working more directly with Japanese youth.
5. To build an interest in Japan for Christian Youth Theater, and to
6. To build a support platform in America for launching a full-fledged TEAM partnered CYT in Japan.
Thank you for sharing you heart Eric…
Thank you for the opportunity!