Looming Bracelet Crafts…

In a few weeks I return to Japan for the 4th time in 4 years. Our church is continuing our support of SOLA in Ishinomaki, Japan. SOLA is a non-profit working with children in the Tohoku region that was devastated by the earthquake/tsunami combo on March 11, 2011.

Community room that SOLA operates out of in Asahigaoka.

Community room that SOLA operates out of in Asahigaoka.

Last year, my family took a family vacation to Japan to tour the country and visit family. While we were there, my wife and I got to visit SOLA for a day and hang out with some of the volunteers and children. We played Settlers of Catan (Japanese version), from which my wife quickly learned the Japanese words for “town” and “road”! It was great being there again, and a good reminder of why we keep going back.

photo 4This year, we will visit again with a team from our church. As we prepare, one of our team members suggested we try bringing Rainbow Looms to Japan to teach the children how to make bracelets. Rainbow Looms (for those of you who are not ‘in the know’) are the hot new fad on school campuses today. It uses a “loom” made of plastic hooks to weave small colored rubber bands into bracelets and key chains.

These are the cheap knock-offs. We bought a bunch of the higher quality name-brand Rainbow Looms, but also picked up these in downtown LA in the toy district for a fraction of the cost.

These are the cheap knock-offs. We bought a bunch of the higher quality name-brand Rainbow Looms, but also picked up these in downtown LA in the toy district for a fraction of the cost.

My first attempts were epic failures. I tried making an “intermediate level” bracelet, only to find myself making what looked like a large black spider. It was scary in so many ways. The youtube videos online aren’t much help. They’re mostly from tween (or younger) girls with a ton of energy and a limited vocabulary (one of their repeated unclear directions was “ok… now you get it, and you put it”). Am I too old for this?

photo 2(2)I hope I can master it better by the time we leave. I don’t want the Japanese kids to wonder why this doofus brought a craft that he couldn’t do.

Ganbarou Tohoku!

**If you’d like to support our missions team, please contact Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles

**If you’d like to support SOLA directly, please visit their website here.

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