Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Up north in Ferndale, WA, Sarah and Debi Covert-Bowlds have been receiving much support for the Journey of Repentance. The Ferndale Record Journal included a half page article about the trip (ferndalerecordjournal.com, 7/22/09).

Sarah was interviewed on KGMI Bellingham radio (KGMI.COM, podcast, 7/20/09) with an articulate and concise response to the mission and her individual reason for going as a 15-year old high school student. She answered that it was "crucial" that young people learn about the history of WWII, to learn from the history of all wars, to prevent repeating the mistakes and atrocities of the past, and emphasized the need to prevent the use of and work to abolish nuclear weapons. Sarah and Debi spoke of their trip's mission to their faith community of Zion Lutheran Church throughout July, and members folded origami peace cranes for them to take to Japan. A "love offering" from this small country church was received towards trip expenses.

On Saturday, 7/26, Debi and Sarah presented at a camp for children of migrant farmworkers, ages 6-11. The children were quite engaged by the picture book "Sadako and the Thousand Cranes" Sarah read to them, and they were very focused on the paper crane folding. They were shown photos of the Sadako peace monument in Hiroshima and told that the delegation would lay the cranes at this special place. One 10 year old told her friend who came late that Sadako died "by bombs we dropped." The emphasis was they all can be peacemakers even at a young age. One 10-year old boy declared camp for him was about having fun, and Debi replied that we can work for peace so that all children can have fun, because that is what all children deserve.

The children are very excited for us to lay their cranes at Sadako's Peace memorial, and signed their names on the wings of the peace cranes. Requests for trip reports and presentations are coming in. Sarah and Debi are eager to share their JOR experience in classrooms, churches, and to whomever is interested. They are overwhelmed with gratitude for the shared excitement and support of family, friends and community members, and realize that they are representatives on this Journey for our entire beloved community. They are especially grateful for Chris, husband/father, who is journeying with them vicariously through the many library books and videos he has brought home for them to watch, read, and discuss.

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