Pray with Japan Sunday, August 4, 2019
Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:13-21
Prayers for Japan:
God, who speaks to us through parables,
Jesus told a parable about a rich fool who looked upon his blessings and then went about building himself a new barn where he could store his crops. Life had been good to him so he told himself, “Relax, eat, drink, and be merry,” for he was pleased with what he had. But the fool didn’t know how to see beyond himself. He didn’t know how to be rich toward God. God, grant us the vision to look beyond ourselves, the wisdom to live for your kingdom, and the courage to live toward a future of blessing for all of your Creation. Amen
1) Please pray for the people of Fukushima who continue to be placed at risk because of the radiation in air, land, and water. Pray for the 4000 people who work daily to clean up around the Fukushima plants. Pray that Japan can face the truth of what happened and prioritize the safety of human lives over economic and political interests.
2) Pray also for our partner churches in the Kyodan who continue their ministry of accompaniment in Fukushima. (Despair is like a dilapidated house that remains standing after a devastating earthquake. It holds memories and meaning for the generations who lived there. It serves as both reminder and the curse of a stalled future. Despair is the inability to think ahead and dream again.)
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
I joined a “Kid’s Camp” in Fukushima for children who come from multi-cultural families. The mothers of these children, who are married to Japanese men, come from countries like the Philippines, Korea, China, Ukraine, Thailand, Pakistan, and Brazil. Their children go to public schools, where they often have a hard time making friends and keeping up with their studies. The camp was organized by several voluntary grassroots groups that provide academic support for these children. There were fifty children and mothers who attended the camp. The mothers had an opportunity to share their common struggles and ask questions about how to navigate the Japanese educational system. The children had the chance to meet others in similar situations and be a part of a community of people who appreciated them for who they were. We celebrated the diversity of cultures and languages, and the children were able to affirm their mother’s culture. I joined the camp because Global Ministries has been supporting migrant women in Fukushima ever since the great disaster of 2011. In the end, as we were saying our farewells, I asked a Pakistani boy, “How was the camp for you?” I saw the joy in his eyes as he answered, “Oh, it was wonderful.” Everybody knows what it feels like to have your dignity honored. The Japanese women who organized this camp do a great service to lift up these families and to honor them for who they are.
Prayer and Mission Moment by Jeffrey Mensendiek
Mission Partners in Japan:
More information on Japan: https://www.globalministries.org/japan
Global Ministries Mission Co-worker in Japan:
Jeffrey Mensendiek serves with J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, Japan. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.