Missionary Stories

Watching Over Hong Kong

Dear Friends,

New conflicts are happening daily in Hong Kong in mass protests against the Hong Kong government. What triggered the last four weeks of mind-boggling events was the government’s unwise proposal to allow Hong Kong residents charged with certain crimes to be extradited to other jurisdictions, even where there was no formal agreement between the two places.

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The Rest of the Story

Dear Friends,

Do you recall some big protests in Hong Kong at the end of 2014? That was the heady time of the “Occupy Movement” and “Umbrella Movement”. Tens of thousands of citizens, especially young people, took to the streets in a mass sit-in to fight for universal suffrage and democracy. The 79-day event seems long over and forgotten.

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Broken

 This Lenten season, my mind is stuck on an image of a dilapidated house that I saw in Fukushima. The house is still standing, but it is beyond repair. On first sight, it does not look habitable. Yet when evening comes, there is a light that goes on in the kitchen toward the back of the property. The house was damaged by the earthquake eight years ago. The trees in the small yard are overgrown. The front of the house is a mess. I would not have given the house much thought had it not been for my Japanese colleague pointing it out.

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Reflections on the Eighth Anniversary of Japan's Triple Disaster: Part 2

March 11, 2019 marked eight years since Japan’s “Triple Disaster.” Communities and individuals are still marked by this disaster and continue the work of healing. Mission Co-worker in Japan, Jeffrey Mensendiek, shares some reflections from a recent trip he took to Fukushima with Derek Duncan, Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific.  Part one can be found here. This is part two:

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Challenges and Hope

2018 was a tumultuous year in many ways. Personally, I had to say goodbye to several dear friends, one of whom was Teruko Enomoto, the founder of the Bazaar Café. 

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Here Lies Our Land

Whenever visitors come to Hong Kong, they are amazed at the density of high-rise buildings that house the city’s population of 7.3 million residents. Some towers go as high as 60 floors. This skyscraper phenomenon is due to Hong Kong’s geographical profile. Much of the city’s 425 square miles is hilly terrain, which is not suitable for construction. 40% is zoned for country parks and nature reserves. Thus, less than 25% of the land is developed for commercial and residential use.  

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Reflections on the Eighth Anniversary of Japan's Triple Disaster: Part 1

March 11, 2019 marked eight years since Japan’s “Triple Disaster.” Communities and individuals are still marked by this disaster and continue the work of healing. Mission Co-worker in Japan, Jeffrey Mensendiek, shares some reflections from a recent trip he took to Fukushima with Derek Duncan, Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific.

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New Life and New Projects at Union Theological Seminary

This spring we have had two new projects at the seminary. First, Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines was part of the celebration of the Second Founding Anniversary of Peasants and Church People Movement of Cavite (PCPMC).

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Pacific Theology

Last week, the only regional ecumenical institution in the Southern Hemisphere, the Pacific Theological College (PTC), celebrated the induction of its new principal, the Rev. Dr. Upolu Lumā Vaai. Rev. Dr. Vaai hails from the island country of Samoa.

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Prayer of Intercession

Lord of Life, of Love, of Justice and of Peace, we give thanks today for the gift of life you have given us and a world of wonder to sustain us and give us joy.

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