“I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?” Psalm 121
The beautiful campus of Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) has captured my heart ever since I started working here in the spring of 2014. The landscaping is exquisite. There is a Japanese garden hidden between classroom buildings and walkways which allow passersby to enjoy the beauty of each season of the year. Most impressive, however, is the open field at the center of the campus where the clock tower stands with Mt. Kabuto and the Rokko mountain range in the background. When the campus was relocated to the present site in 1929, the leaders recited Psalm 121 as they envisioned an educational institution that would enable students to learn and reflect on the true source from which all blessings flow.Read more
Japan’s peace constitution is in danger! The Abe administration has been making steps toward revising Article 9 of its constitution – the article that stipulates that Japan revokes military force.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 1: 9-15
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
As I write this, people in Japan are mourning the death of journalist Kenji Goto, who was being held hostage by ISIS. Goto, an independent journalist, was a Christian, and a member of our partner denomination in Japan, the Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan. Goto was known for his passion for peace and justice. His work centered around giving a voice to civilians and the children in war torn areas, and especially in recent years, in Syria.Read more
It has been three years and ten months since the great disaster in northeastern Japan. Many people are still struggling to regain a sense of balance in their lives. Some are fighting for their right to live in peace – free of want and hardship. Our partners in Japan continue to accompany those who suffer. Global Ministries supports the following four projects.Read more
The United Church of Christ in Japan expresses is appreciation for the support and prayers offered after the death of Kenji Goto.Read more
Thank you for praying for Mr. Kenji Goto.Read more
The "Shintono Tomo" (The Believer's Friend) Magazine is familiar all over Japan for Kyodan related church folk. The reader can find news about what is going on all around Japan in our churches. It also introduces new books, has pictures of new churches being built, and includes essays and Bible studies by some of the leading Japanese Christians. For the last five issues I have been following a series of essays on Fukushima.Read more
Japan - Funding is available for an immediate appointment for a four-year term. (Willing to commit to at least 2 terms)
Japan - Funding is available for an immediate appointment for a four-year term. (Willing to commit to at least 2 terms)Read more
Lectionary Selection: Isaiah 64:1–9
Prayers for Japan:
We give thanks for the Christian partnerships across the oceans, that make possible the work of Your mission in the world.
Help us to be ever mindful of Your hand that shapes us, that leads us to share the Good News in our own communities and those afar.
We give thanks today for the Christian witness in Japan, reaching out to share your love to those who are lonely or who have lost hope, and to those who still suffer after the tragic tsunami and nuclear disaster.
We also lift up the ministry of the Bazaar Café, which extends the Christian “table” and a community of support in Kyoto.
We pray for the Christian witness in working for peace and justice.
We especially pray for the people of Okinawa – may their voices for peace be heard.
Help us to know that we are partners in this work of bringing wholeness and healing throughout the world.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
One of the joys of my work is to have guest speakers come to my class to share their story with my students. This semester, I had the following guest speakers:
Makoto, from the Christian Buraku Liberation Center – speaking on the realities of discrimination toward the “Buraku” people in Japan, and the work of the center to overcome discrimination.
Masayuki, a young Christian man from Okinawa, taking a year off of school to travel throughout Japan to call attention to the issue of military bases in Okinawa, and to bring people to envision peace.
Reika, who works at the Bazaar Café, our coffee house ministry near the University. She shared her life story – a childhood of abuse and neglect, leading to her struggle with addiction. She then told about her finding the Bazaar Café and encountering a community that helped her overcome her addiction.
Each of these speakers tell the story of Christian witness in Japan – to speak out against age-old discrimination that still exists, to tell the story of people who are still bearing the brunt of a militarized world and yearning for true peace, and to offer a Christian community where those who have no where else to turn to, can find love, be recognized as a child of God, and be healed.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of Christian ministries in Japan.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Martha Mensendiek)
Mission Partners in Japan:
- Doshisha University
- Asian Rural Institute
- Emmaus Center
- Kobe College
- Korean Christian Church in Japan
- Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University
- National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
- Tohoku Gakuin University
- United Church of Christ in Japan
More information on Japan:
Global Ministries Missionary in Japan:
Martha Mensendiek, a member of Church of the Crossroads, United Church of Christ, Honolulu, Hawaii, serves with the Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. She teaches social welfare.