Missionary Stories

Advent Thought for the Week

This is the season of Advent for Christians in Hong Kong as they await the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Christmas next week. For most home buyers in Hong Kong, however, they are awaiting something less spiritual: lower and affordable housing prices—a wait that never seems to cease regardless of the season.

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Crossing Stormy Seas

Hong_Kong_-_Chan_Be_Still.JPGAfter four months in the U.S., I safely returned to Hong Kong after Thanksgiving. Even with everything going on in America, I managed to keep up with Hong Kong news online. So I was already aware of some big stories here such as the two young legislators barred from taking office due to their unconventional oath-taking and the growing list of possible candidates in the Chief Executive election next year.

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Homecoming

Hong_Kong_-_Justice_Banner.jpgComing to the U.S. for home leave always brings mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have to leave behind my work and family in Hong Kong. On the other hand, I get the chance to reconnect with my work and family in America.  That’s the reality for mission co-workers who live their lives in two continents on opposite sides of the world. It’s a privilege and a journey of discovery.

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Fresh Air Retreat

Japan_-_J_Mensendiek_Oct_2016_IMG_3280.JPGFor the past several years I have been involved locally here in Kobe with twelve churches that sponsor an annual Fresh Air Retreat for families from Fukushima. This year six mothers and thirteen children came for a week of fun and relaxation. Kobe City is far to the southwest of Fukushima, which means that mothers feel comfortable allowing their children to play freely outside. Now, five and a half years after the nuclear disaster, most Japanese have stopped thinking about the stark realities in Fukushima. What I share below is a summary of a conversation I had with five women who are involved in hosting the annual Fresh Air Retreats.

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In God We Trust?

Old Testament:  Isaiah 26:1–4
Epistle: Romans 5:1–5
Gospel: Luke 10:21–28

God of love, God of peace, may the meditations of my heart, of my mind and of my spirit be acceptable and pleasing to you, and may they faithfully express the wisdom you have given to all of us. In your Son’s name, we pray. Amen.

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Prayer of Intercession Seventh Sunday of Easter and Mother’s Day

Creator God, today we honor our mothers and remember how they have given birth to us and have nurtured us throughout our lives. Through our times of joy and our times of sorrow, they have always stood beside us and supported us. Words are not adequate enough to express the immense blessing that our mothers are to our lives. Today, and throughout the year, we give thanks for our mothers in our lives.

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Sixth Day Since Disaster

The sixth day since the first large earthquake in Kyushu. One characteristic of this recent disaster in Kyushu is the number of tremors that continue throughout each day. Just hours ago Kyushu was shook again with a Magnitude 5 earthquake. 

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Kyushu Earthquake

The southern island of Kyushu was shaken by an earthquake on April 14th (M 5.7) and then on the 16th with a Magnitude 7.3. The second earthquake caused considerable damage. To date 43 people have died and 100,000 people are evacuated from their homes, either staying in temporary shelters, or spending the night in their cars. Tremors continue. Only an hour and a half ago there was another 5.7 tremor. Heavy rain has also caused landslides. Railroad tracks and roads have been taken out. Emergency supplies are scarce in some shelters.

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'One Country, One System' in Hong Kong?

A journey that began for 14 youth last August ended at the beginning of February when the third, and last, one-month module of the seventh School of Peace (SOP) conducted by Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) concluded in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Like ICF’s last SOP in 2013–2014 in Sri Lanka, this SOP had a gap of several months that allowed the participants to put into practice in their own communities in Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam what they had learned in the first two modules in August and September. Like previous SOPs, the program sought to sensitize the participants to the various identities that all people have based on gender, race and ethnicity, nationality and religion and the ways in which one’s identity today can become a source of conflict. Discussions also revolved around how people respond to conflict with engagement of “the other” through dialogue promoted as a non-violent means to reach a consensus on how to address disputes. In the final module, the emphasis was on transformation of first we as individuals and then our communities and societies.

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Newsletter for Fiji/The Pacific Region

The 2016 academic year at the Pacific Theological College in Fiji started on January 25th. The Pacific Theological College is a regional seminary operated by churches from Seventeen different countries in the Pacific region.

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