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Religious Youth Service

Japanese Participants Has Meaningful Experience at a Religious Youth Service Project in Mongolia

 Participants: 35  

Ulan Bator, Mongolia— As Friends Project

When: August, 1999

In late August, as the chill of autumn mixed with the summer sun, thirty-five RYS participants trekked to the intriguingly beautiful nation of Mongolia. This Asian nation became the thirty-fourth nation to host an RYS project.

Participants worked in two teams in Ulan Bator with the first helping on the repairs of the famous Dash Choe Ling Monastery under the guidance of the Khamba Lama. A second work site was at School No. 127 where participants helped build a small playground, construct a toilet, painted and landscaped the school grounds.

Ten Japanese participants had an especially deep experience as the week marked the 60th anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Mongolia at the beginning of the Second World War. Many of the Japanese RYS participants marked this anniversary by coming to Mongolia to offer their friendship, sweat and tears. The quality of friendships they and others formed through the time together was especially rich.

We concluded our reflection period out on the Mongolian plain where crossing rushing rivers and climbing the step greens hills provided a chance to discover ourselves and the spirit of RYS.

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