This edition of the summer newsletter has many interesting articles and unveils a newly redesigned look for the publication. Articles in this newsletter include a reflection on ARI's first study trip to Africa, an article about working with local governments in Kenya, a look at sustainable agriculture and climate concerns in Vietnam, a profile of the work of recent graduate Thomas Matthew, and the reflections of a young adult service volunteer among many other intriguing reads.Read more
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. AmenRead more
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.Read more
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:Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Although I ate many and varied dishes during my stay, my hosts in Japan had never heard of kotsudan. According to Dave Barry it’s a dish made with dates although I suspect he got the name wrong. One of my favorite Japanese dishes was lamb grilled in the style of the Hokkaido Islanders. I watched my friends cook the lamb with cabbage and shallots on a small square grill on their living room table.Read more
J.F. Oberlin University is a private four-year university located in Machida, a suburb of Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1946 by Reverend Yasuzo Shimizu, the university is comprised of a College of Arts and Sciences, a graduate division, and four professional colleges. In the late 1920s, Rev. Shimizu attended Oberlin College in Ohio, U.S.A., where he learned about the educational philosophy of Jean-Frédéric Oberlin, an 18th-century minister and educator in France. As a tribute to the educator whose ideas influenced Rev. Shimizu, in 2006 the English name of the school was changed to J. F. Oberlin University. With an enrollment of over 9,000 students, many of them from overseas, J. F. Oberlin University seeks to foster global citizens on the basis of Christian values. J. F. Oberlin University is affiliated with the United Church of Christ in Japan and all of its chaplains are ordained ministers in the UCCJ, including Rev. Jeffrey Mensendiek, who as a Global Ministries mission co-worker has taught and served as a chaplain at J. F. Oberlin University since April 2018.
Having grown up as an American in Japan, one of my great passions is to be a bridge for people who want to encounter new cultures. This month we had a group of ten people from Los Angeles, led by Mike Okamura of Altadena Community Church UCC. They visited our partner church, the Kyodan, to learn about issues facing the Japanese church, and to visit specific projects and ministries. Mike’s relatives live in Fukushima. He was particularly interested in taking the group to see the Tohoku region which had been devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011.Read more