Even though the coronavirus is bringing fear upon the world, fearless young people in Japan are coming up with creative ways to make a stand for Jesus and Bible health principles.
From March 17 to 26, 2020, a group of young people, who were supposed to participate in the March Youth Rush program but could not because of the coronavirus outbreak, came up with a new idea called “Daniel Rush.”
Daniel Rush was designed to provide young people an opportunity for spiritual growth and fellowship during the long quarantine time and lack of going to school. They did not want to waste their time and be lazy at home.
Three Youth Rush university students and a Youth Rush leader prayed about, discussed, and planned the Daniel Rush program in less than a week.
In the Bible book of Daniel, the four Hebrew youth were taken to Babylon as captives. Instead of eating the exotic and unclean Babylonian food, Daniel and his friends asked to be given water to drink and vegetables to eat for 10 days. The Daniel Rush program encourages all participants to take God seriously and try to introduce healthy lifestyle habits in their lives for 10 days.
During the program, all communications and activities are done in the online group room at Line, a mobile application for instant communication. Through word of mouth and personal invitations, 125 people joined the program online.
Every day, Daniel Rush leaders posted health quizzes and surveys on the Line group. The participants were also encouraged to learn more about the Bible and health using an online program.
The purpose of this program was to teach young people how to enjoy finding and implementing healthy habits, organizers said.
“Rather than coming up with reasons not to do something and putting off healthy changes, Daniel Rush encourages participants to start with something they can do right away,” organizers said. “We believe that the journey of pursuing health is closely connected to the process of sanctification in a Christian’s journey.”
Since everyone available online was able to participate whenever they had time, leaders reported that not only students but also adults could join the program.
“We had participants from a wide range of ages, from teenagers to people in their 70s,” organizers shared. “There were 125 people from various backgrounds.”
Participants commented positively about the experience.
“I was able to do my best because of team support!” one of them said. Another added, “Just having a different mindset and accountability changed my day! Thank God for this opportunity!” A third wrote, “At my church, there are no young people in my age group. Through this Daniel Rush, I was able to have spiritual fellowship with young people my age! I am very happy!”
After the 10-day program was over, leaders said they are planning to repeat the experience for those who desire to do so. They are also planning to prepare a booklet with testimonies from participants.
“In these difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic, we hope that the testimony booklet will be an encouragement for people in Japan,” leaders said.
Through Daniel Rush, leaders hope to have turned a crisis into a new opportunity. Leaders also would like this to be not a finish line but a starting point.
“We pray that even after the ten days of Daniel Rush, young people will continue to take the health message seriously and burn with passion for gospel mission,” they said.
The original version of this story was posted on the Northern Asia-Pacific Division news site.