Siblings Take Mission Trip to Japan

Breanna Narlock

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Two D.C. Everest Senior High students traveled to Japan in mid August of 2017, for a mission trip with the organization Pinnacle Ministries to teach English and share the Bible at both locations. They already had plans made for who would help teach English.

“I went with the organization in order to assist with small churches in Japan, with their youth ministries and teaching English to youth so they can be more practiced for later interactions with English speakers,” said Preston Winowiski.

Winowiski’s sister, Hawi, also went on the trip which quickly became personal because she has a dream to one day go back to her home country in Ethiopia and share English and the Bible like she did in Japan.

“I wanted to go back to my home country to teach English and my dad heard there was a couple, who are missionaries, going back to Japan to teach English and the Bible. I wanted to take the opportunity and check it out,” said Hawi.

The two had plans with the church to help create a children’s camp, and eventually an English camp.

“We were getting to know the members of the church, and every night we would have a super long meeting to plan where we were going to go. It was really cool because the Japanese culture is so selfless,” said Preston. “When someone had a child who couldn’t participate in the swimming thing they thought ‘we could do this instead’ and provide those opportunities for students who couldn’t participate.”

The plan for helping the children and  some adults was a little bit different in both locations.

“In Tokyo, we had a children’s camp where we stayed for three days and helped children get exposed to the language as well as provided opportunities for them to practice certain phrases or discussions. In Shingu, we were involved in a ‘daycamp’ of sorts, having children and adults come to the church during the day for programs like Bible lessons, English cafes, and American cooking lessons,” said Preston.

A lesson during the English daycamp at Shingu with Pastor Masa

English cafes are where a native English speaker sits down with an English learner and just has a conversation.  The goal is to immerse the learner in a situation where English is required, so they have to work on their recall and fluency skills. There may be some issues with communication at some points, but that just allows for more creative sentence construction to get a point across.

While visiting Japan, the two had some free time to explore the city and have some experiences that normally wouldn’t be seen in America.

“One thing I noticed when I got there is they didn’t have public trash cans because they believed people hid bombs in the trash cans and so they really separate it,” said Hawi.

Another opportunity for the two was also to try new foods and immerse themselves into the culture with their host family.

“With the food, that was interesting. Japan likes to do a lot of American things but they do them very different than we do. Mayonnaise on pizza or barbecue sauce soaking all of your McDonald’s burgers, that kind of thing,” said Preston. “My absolute favorite thing being there desserts. I had melon sodas and shaved ice and Japanese peaches all the time because I would see them and dive after them because they were fantastic.”   

Along with teaching and English and the Bible, the two had a little down time which they used to go sightseeing.

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Siblings Take Mission Trip to Japan