This Spring Break Baylor Missions sent a team to Japan to study Urban Foods and learn more about how Japan is dealing with urban food issues. Erick Huang and Marla Raiford recapped their journey in a post trip interview, explaining what they learned in Japan.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
Erick says, “I would say my favorite part of the trip was split between bonding with the Japanese students that where working with us, experiencing Japanese culture, and interacting with the kids. It was fun bonding with the students that worked with us because I felt it brought us closer as a team. We bonded through during various activities like randomly sliding down a long slide we saw in a park, jumping from one subway track to another during rush hour, playing ice-breaker activities on the bus, and much more. It was also amazing experience Japanese culture like Japanese tea ceremony, learning how to be “kawaii”, and learning the historical periods of Japan. However, I think the most rewarding experience was working with the kids, reading books to them, getting them to laugh by mis-pronouncing and “forgetting” their names, and showing them magic card tricks.”
Marla says, “My favorite part of the trip was getting to learn about Japanese culture. I learned by being able to spend everyday with Japanese university students as they showed us around Japan and volunteering with us. Through volunteering I got to get a first hand experience of the life of Japanese people in different situations which was great to learn and experience. I also got to make great new friendships with Baylor students and Japanese students.”
What surprised you most about your trip?
Marla says, “What surprised me the most was even though there was a language barrier between Baylor students and Japanese students we were still able to have fun and work great together even though t was sometimes hard to communicate.”
Erick says, “I knew it was going to be different then most of the other mission trip that I been too, but it what was surprising was how friendly everyone was and how welcoming and patient they were. While we learned how to do the daily tasks, they would patiently teach us and make sure we got it 100%.”
Why do you think people should participate in Baylor Missions trips?
Marla says, “I think people should participate in Baylor missions because it’s a great experience to serve God and other people. Being able to impact someones life even if its only a little is a unexplainable feeling that everyone should get to experience.”
Erick says, “I think people should participate in the missions trip because it is a life-changing event. It changes the way one thinks and the lifestyle that one has. For me, I have been on countless of mission trips, not just the one in Japan, and I can say that each one has significantly impacted my life. Mission trips taught me to be grateful with what I have. I think people should participate in missions trip to understand how blessed they are with what they have. It is a humbling and rewarding experience.”