At the Japan Union Conference, there have been several health programs to promote workers’ health. In the past, JUC held a campaign to rejuvenate blood vascular age using healthy eating and exercise habits. Another time, staff members walked two miles a day, an idea loosely borrowed from Matthew 5:41: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two” (NKJV).
At the beginning of July 2022, a seven-month health program titled “Sugoroku de GO!” was started for all employees of JUC and any pastors who wanted to participate. they had not been able to conduct this kind of health program since 2020 due to COVID-19, but finally, they were able to resume the program. Since many of the employees work at a desk with little exercise in their daily lives, this program was planned to help them be more active. (Sugoroku is a Japanese board game played with dice similar to the Game of Life.)
The participants were divided into nine teams of six members each. On Mondays, each team reported the number of steps they walked from Sunday to Saturday. Then they rolled the dice according to the total number of steps by the team. For example, if the total steps of a team were more than 120,000 in a week, they could roll the dice once. If the number was more than 300,000 steps, they could roll twice.
The program was fun and exciting; some of the squares contained directions to be followed, like moving forward or backward, missing a turn, or trading places with the team in last place. There were 200 grids in total; the first part of the game was designed based on the Old Testament, and the second part was based on the New Testament, with the second coming as the final goal.
Many workers normally commute and go shopping by car, but this program motivated them to try walking instead of using a car. Some tried to get off bus two or three stops early and walk. Some used the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Because the program was a team competition, all members reported how much they were walking, so they were able to encourage each other, which may have contributed to team building. The winner in the individual category walked every day with a goal of 10,000 steps a day. He said he developed an even deeper relationship with God by memorizing Bible verses and praying during the walk every morning. In addition to the habit of walking, he also adopted the habit of eating two meals a day, which led to significant weight loss and made him lighter and happier mentally, physically, and spiritually. It was truly a NEWSTART!
A morning walk is a great way to get sunshine, fresh air, and a better quality of sleep at night, all of which work in synergy to promote good health. People can trust that their health will be sustained by the natural remedies God has given, which will be a light to the world. JUC staff are praying that this work of the right arm of the Gospel will spread and lead to the salvation of many people in this world.
“Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature's remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one to rightly use this knowledge” (Ellen White, The Ministry of Healing, p. 127).