Martha Mensendiek serves with Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
How would you describe the mission of our partner in Japan?
Doshisha University is a Christian university with a history of being in solidarity with the poor and discriminated class in Japanese society as well as in the wider world. It has a School of Theology as well as a Department of Social Welfare – both of which have a long history in Japan. Many pastors in Japan are graduates of Doshisha, and many pioneers in the field of social welfare are also graduates.
How do you fit into their mission?
Teaching about social problems and building awareness about the world. Linking students to the wider community. Especially work with minorities and women.
What led you to engage in this calling?
My interest in working with migrant workers and minorities, as well as women exploited in the sex industry (human trafficking).
Is there a passage of scripture that carries special meaning in your daily work?
What are some of the challenges facing the people of Japan?
The triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident) is an issue that continues to need prayer. The Japanese government is moving forward with continuing nuclear power plants, despite the danger that still exists.
Are there books that have shaped your understanding of your work?
- Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living, by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Human Liberation in a Feminist Perspective–A Theology, by Letty M. Russell
- Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman
- Cry Pain, Cry Hope: A Guide to the Dimensions of Call, by Elizabeth O’Connor
Which movies have shaped your understanding of your work?
- “City of Joy”
Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.