September 2011: Seeking to Serve

September 2011: Seeking to Serve

September 2011 Bulletin Insert Format [PDF]
Septiembre 2011 en español

God is not so unjust as to
overlook your work and the love which you showed for God’s sake in serving the
saints, as you still do. Hebrews 6:10

Global Ministries
missionary, Jeffrey Mensendiek and his family are long-time residents of
Sendai, Japan. Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami Jeffrey has been
ministering to the displaced, grieving and broken. Jeffrey’s sister, Martha
Mensendiek also a missionary who lives and works in Kyoto, has been translating
Jeffrey’s daily journal entries so that Global Ministries can post them on the
website. This is one of Jeffrey’s recent entries: I took part in a meeting
attended by Buddhist and Christian religious leaders. The purpose was to
organize a common ministry to serve the spiritual needs of the public in
Sendai. The government and various organizations can address the material needs
of the people.  But there definitely is a spiritual need which only the
religious community can address.

It is important that the
Buddhist and Christian community join together at this time in a spirit of
respect. It shows the public that we are not here to compete, but to serve. The
spiritual needs are so deep. Many people are afraid of religion, and
believe that religious people are aggressive and self-serving.  Not so for
those of us gathered on this night. Our hearts go out to those who have lost
loved ones; those who cannot return to the place where they lived for fear of
the memories which might return to them. Many people are still not accounted
for. The suffering continues. The religious community is ready to serve at any
time, but for those who have lost loved ones, the time may not yet be
right.  Humility is an important part of Buddhism. Waiting, listening,
emptying oneself, letting go of desires are all important values. When my
father first came to Sendai 60 years ago, he visited a blind man in a small
fishing village near Ishinomaki.  He witnessed the desperate
poverty and asked; “Is there anything that I can do for you?” The man
replied; “Desire is endless.” There is so much to learn from the
wisdom of the Buddhist tradition.  On this forty-ninth day I bow my head
remembering that many of my Buddhist friends are praying for peace and healing.

Let us pray for strength
for the suffering and those who minister to them.

Jeffrey Mensendiek, serves
the Council on Cooperative Mission. He is assigned to the Emmaus Center in
Sendai, Japan, where he now works as director of recovery response.