【October 2017 No.394】The Life of Shimizu Yasuzo, Founder of J. F. Oberlin University and Affiliated Schools

by Mitani Takayasu, president  J.F. Oberlin University*

J.F. Oberlin Gakuen will soon celebrate its 100th anniversary, as it was founded in 1921. I want to trace the path of Oberlin’s origins by first introducing Shimizu Yasuzo, Oberlin’s founder. He was born in 1891 on the western shore of Lake Biwa in Takahama-cho, Shiga Prefecture, as the second son of a comparatively wealthy household engaged both in farming and business. However, as his family experienced bankruptcy, he had a difficult childhood. He entered Zeze Junior High School, which was an elite school, but due to the circumstances of his impoverished household, he was not able to concentrate on studying. In the words of Shimizu, “To get to my ranking in the class, it was always faster to count from the bottom.” The big turning point in his life, however, was when he met William Merrell Vories (1880-1964).

 

Vories is known as the famous architect who designed the buildings of many churches and Christian schools in Japan and as the missionary evangelist who constructed one large facility for education and social welfare in the town of Omi Hachiman. When he met Shimizu, he was just a 24-year-old English teacher. Shimizu was invited to a Bible class led by Vories where, for the first time, he encountered Christianity. Later on, strongly influenced by Vories, Shimizu was baptized at Otsu Congregational Church in 1908 and, aspiring to become a pastor, he advanced to Doshisha University School of Theology, which did not require any tuition.

 

He made a major decision when he visited Toshodaiji Temple. He was deeply impressed by the zeal for evangelism shown by the founder of that temple, Jianzhen (pronounced “ganjin” in Japanese). He also heard an anecdote about Thomas C. Pitkin, a missionary from the US who was martyred in the Boxer Rebellion, and he vowed that he would become a missionary and go to China rather than working in churches within Japan.

 

Just before leaving Japan, he said to a famous commentator, “I am going to China. In my twenties I will establish an elementary school, in my thirties I will establish a junior high school, in my forties a high school, and in my fifties a university.” Then he said, “I don’t care if you say that I am just bragging. I will travel across the sea with my dream.” That was reported in the next day’s newspaper. Who would have imagined that years later that dream would become a reality? This incident marked the beginning of “Shimizu, chaser of dreams.”

 

In June 1917, Shimizu arrived in Fengtian Shenyang (Mukden), China, but two years later, “bleeding and sweating,” he moved to Beijing in order to work for the benefit of the Chinese people. In 1919, the year he moved to Beijing, a severe drought ravaged the northern part of China. Responding to the disaster, churches all over the world soon extended a helping hand. Without delay, Shimizu also actively participated in the relief efforts. With just a small amount of money donated from Japan, he went around to the farming villages in the areas surrounding Beijing and gathered together 799 children from poor farming families who were suffering from extreme hunger. He gave the children protection by taking them to Chaoyangmenwai in Beijing, to a facility that had been hurriedly constructed to provide relief from the disaster. The year after the drought ended, he took each one of the children to their hometowns. Some of the children who had unfortunately lost their parents found someone to adopt them. He continued until the very last child was safe.

 

Chaoyangmenwai was the area of China where the largest number of poor people lived. Actually, every day young girls were sold. He was convinced that the only way to save these unfortunate girls was education, so he established a school to educate them to be literate, to teach them the skill of sewing, and to train them to be independent. The school did not charge tuition. It was founded on May 28, 1921. The name of the school was Sutei Gakuen. This was the origin of Oberlin University.

 

Sutei Gakuen grew healthily until World War II ended in 1945. When the Showa Era began in 1926, the school was certified by the Japanese government as a school for girls. Students came, not just from areas within Japan, but also from the Korean Peninsula. It was a so-called “global school,” with Chinese, Korean, and Japanese girls all learning together. People in Japan began to take notice of this global school. Also, the students’ sewing skills became a source of vitality that revived the local industry and halted the spread of poverty in the area. The Chinese people thought highly of Shimizu’s hard work devoted to them, and eventually began to call him the “Saint of Beijing.”

 

At that time, the Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan, and all Korean students had likely experienced soshi kaimei, which means that they had been forced to change their original Korean names to Japanese names. Because of soshi kaimei, most Korean people referred to themselves by their Japanese names. However, at Sutei Gakuen, the students were called by their Korean names. The students were also educated about their ethnicity so they would not lose their pride of being people of Korean ethnic background.

 

Shimizu had his own idea about education and called it “gakuji jinji,” which means to “Learn and serve others.” Using this motto, he worked hard to develop human resources that could serve society. Though times changed, Shimizu’s teaching lasted and was inherited by Oberlin University as the school’s mission statement.

 

With the end of World War in 1945, the Chinese government took over Sutei Gakuen, and Shimizu’s property was confiscated. He was left with just one trunk of personal belongings, and together with his family, prepared to return to Japan. He was already 54 years old at the time. Fortunately, through the help of Kagawa Toyohiko,** he was able to obtain the former site of a munitions factory. On that site, starting with no money, he founded Oberlin University. It was May 28, 1946, only a few months after he had returned to Japan. In 1966, he finally saw his lifelong dream come true, when the school was established as a four-year university.

 

As the years passed, the small university grew larger, and now there are five academic departments. The scale has expanded, and the school has become an integrated university with a graduate school. A total of 8,700 students are studying at the university and graduate school.

During this whole time, Shimizu always served as the head of the school administration, as the university president and school chancellor. On Sunday, Jan. 17, 1988, when he had finished delivering the sermon, he said, “I’m tired.” Then he lay down and went to be with the Lord. He was 96 years old. He had never retired. He always had a big dream and pursued his dream in order to make it a reality. He was the kind of person who says something and then makes sure it happens. He was a morally upright pastor and an excellent educator who always served God and humanity as a servant of God. (Tr. KT)

___________________

*The school is named after Johann Friedrich Oberlin, a pastor and educator who worked in the Alsace Region of France.

**Kagawa Toyohiko, a Kyodan pastor, was world famous at that time for his social work in Japan.

桜 美林大学 学長 三 谷高康

桜美林学園創立者 清水安三の歩み

2021年に桜美林学園は創立100周年を迎える。100年前の1921年、桜美林学園はどのようにして誕生したのか、その軌跡をたどりながら創立者である清水(しみず)安(やす)三(ぞう)を紹介したいと思う。

清水安三は1891年、琵琶湖の西岸、滋賀県高浜町の 半農半商の比較的豊かな家庭に次男として生まれた。しかし、実家の没落と ともに困難な幼少時代をすごすことになる。長じて旧制の膳(ぜ)所(ぜ)中学に入学するものの、貧しい家庭環境のため学業に集中できず、安三の言葉を借 りると“い つもクラスの中で最後から数えたほうが早い順序だった。”そ のような安三であったが大きな転換期が訪れる。メルリ・ヴォーリス(1880~1964) との出会いであった。

ヴォーリスは今でこそ、多く の教会やキリスト教主義学校の建物を設計した名建築家として、また近江八幡Omi Hachimanの町に一大教育・社会福祉施 設を作りキリスト教伝道に尽くした宣教師として知られているが、安三と出会ったときは弱冠24歳の英語教師に過ぎなかっ た。安三はヴォーリスが主催するバイブルクラスに誘われ、そこではじめてキリスト教に触れるのであったが、その後もヴォーリスの強い影響 下1908年、大津組合教会で 洗礼を受け、さらには牧会者としての志を立て、学資の必要としない同志社大学神学部 へと進学するのであった。

同志社時代、安三は大きな決 断をする。唐招提寺を 訪れた際、開祖の鑑真(和尚の宣教への熱意に打たれ、ま た義 和団の変で 殉教したアメリカ人宣教師ピトキンの 逸話を耳にして、自分も国内の教会で働くのではなく、宣教師となって中国へ出向くことを誓うのであった。

出発直前、彼は高名な評論家 を前にして「自分はシナヘ行って20歳代で小学校、30歳代で中学校、40歳代で高等学校、そして50歳代で大学を建てるつもりで す。」と言ってのけ、「ホラを吹いたと言うならそれで結構。夢を持って海を渡る。」と語った。それがそのまま翌日の新聞に記載されたと言 う。後年、この夢が現実になるとは一体誰が想像出来たであろうか。

“夢追い人安三”の誕生である。

1917年6月、安三は中国の奉天(瀋陽()に 着任したが、2年後、「血と汗をぶち込ん で」中国人のために働こうと北京へ 移るのであった。同年1919年、 中国北部を大干ばつが襲ったのである。この未憎悪の災害に対して、世界の教会は援助の手を差し伸べるのであったが、安三も遅れず救援に立 ち上げるのであった。日本からのわずかな資金をもとに北京周辺の農村を巡り、飢えに苦しむ貧しい農家の子供たち799名 を集め、北京の朝陽門外に急設した救済施設に保護す るのであった。干ばつがおさまった翌年、安三は子どもたち全員を故郷へ送り届けるのであったが、不幸にして親を失った子どもは養子先を見 つけ、最後の独りまで救い続けたのであった。

朝陽門外一帯は中国最大の貧 困層が住む地域であり、若い娘たちが日常的に身売りされる現実があった、安三は、こうした不幸な女子たちを救うには教育以外にないと確信 し、

識 字教育と裁縫の技術を身に付け自立する女性の育成のため、無償の学校を設立するのであった。1921年5月28日のことである。学校名は「崇貞学園)」(Sutei Gakuen)。これが桜美林学園のルーツ である。

その後、1945年の戦争終結まで学園は順調 よく成長し、「昭和」に入ると日本の女学校の認可も受け、日本国内だけではなく朝鮮半島からも生徒が集まり、中国人、朝鮮人、日本人がと もに学ぶ、所謂、「グローバルな学校」として日本国内でも注目を浴びるようになるのであった。また、生徒たちの裁縫技術は地場産業を興 し、地域の貧困化を是正する活力となって行った。こうした安三の献身的な働きは中国の人々から高く評価され、いつしか「北京の聖者」と呼 ばれるようになるのであった。

また、当時植民地であった朝 鮮半島出身の生徒は、通常、創氏改名

により日本名を名乗ることが 一般であったが、「崇貞学園」では朝鮮名で呼ばれ、朝鮮民族としての誇りを失わないように民族教育がなされていたのである。

安 三は自らの教育の理念を「学 而(がくじ)人事(じんじ)」(学びて人に仕える)と称し、社会に仕える人材の育成に努めたが、この教えは 時代を超え桜美林学園の建学の精神へと受け継がれている。

1945年、戦争が終わった年、中国 政府は「崇貞学園」を接収し、安三も財産を没収されトランク一つで家族と共に帰国の途に就いたのであった。その時安三はすでに54歳であった。

幸 運にも、賀 川豊彦の 紹介で軍需工場の 跡地を手に入れ、そこに無一文から桜美林学園を創立するのである。1946年 5月28日、 帰国が僅か数か月のことである、そして、ついに1966年、 生涯の夢であった4年 制大学の創立を見るのであった。

小 さな大学は年と共に成長し、今では5学 部、大学院を合わせると8700人 の学生の学ぶ綜合大学へと規模を拡大したのである。

こ の間、安三は常に学校経営の先頭に立ち、学長、学園長を歴任し、1988年1月17日、日曜日の説教を終え、“疲れた”といって横になったまま96歳で神のもとに召されたので ある。生涯現役で、常に大きな夢を持ち、それを追いつつ、実現する有言実行の人であり、常に神の僕として神と人に仕えた敬虔な牧師であり 優れた教育者であった。

【October 2017 No.394】Tohoku Area Youth Attend SMJ Camp in New York

This year’s SMJ (Special Ministries to the Japanese) Discovery Camp was held July 23-Aug. 4, 2017 at Camp Quinipet in Shelter Island, New York. There were 9 campers from Japan and 17 local campers, as well as 2 counselors from Japan (myself and Miss Kishi Hikari), and 5 counselors from the US. I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to participate in the SMJ Discovery Camp on its 40th anniversary, and in the last year of the joint project to bring students from the Tohoku area to the US to participate in the camp.

 

I came to understand the importance of Discovery Camp through the testimony of Sean Jang, one of the counselors, who shared how the friendships forged in the camp helped him to see God’s faithfulness in his life. Through his words, and through speaking with Director Iyoda Akio and the other counselors, I came to see the rich history of Discovery Camp. It is a place where campers are able to come to a knowledge of Jesus and His word in a safe and fun environment. It is a place where campers make friends who are like family to them.

 

A number of campers this year had never been to church or touched a Bible in their lives but were able to get a Bible and learn about Jesus. It warmed my heart to see our youngest campers enthusiastically reading and discussing the Bible. I was glad to see that the students from Japan were able to discuss the Bible and Christianity freely during the Bible study sessions.

 

I was also glad that they were able to get a better understanding of Christian community through their interactions with the believers in the US. This was the case not only for the Christian campers but also the members of the Japanese-American United Church (JAUC). I am grateful for their hospitality and love for the campers. I am particularly grateful to Imado Chizuko, a fellow counselor who worked hard to make sure that we had a smooth arrival and stay in New York.

 

It was very hard for all nine campers from Japan to say goodbye to their friends in the US. In the two weeks there, they had had a lot of fun together. On a typical day there was morning chapel followed by Bible study, art, sports, and games. The youth also went charter boat fishing and blueberry picking. It was satisfying to watch everyone having a good time while eating smores, dancing, and singing at the campfires. I also enjoyed the talent shows where everyone showcased different talents and worked well together.

 

After the camp, many of the campers kindly came to join us as we went sightseeing around New York. I am particularly grateful to the three younger counselors (Jonathan Tanigaki, Sean Jang, and Kobayashi Shuhei), who were like big brothers to our students. We laughed, chatted, ate, and danced our way through New York. Personally, I am very grateful to my co-leader Kishi Hikari. I learned a lot from her love and compassion for the campers and am grateful to have shared many heartfelt talks and laughs with her.

 

I am grateful to the Special Ministries to the Japanese, the JAUC, the Union Japanese Church of Westchester, the Kyodan, and the Mission Schools Council. I am also grateful to my school, Iai Joshi Gakuin, for allowing me this opportunity and for all its administrative help as well as to Director Akio, for his generosity and wise leadership. Praise God for His tangible providence, goodness, and faithfulness! May He continue to bless Discovery Camp, its leaders, and participants in the years to come.

  —Zi Ning Wee, from Singapore,

educational missionary, Iai Gakuin, Hokkaido

SMJ(Special Ministry to Japanese)米国 日本人特別牧会主催

第40回ディスカバリーキャンプに参加して 日本側引率者 遺愛女子高等学校 ツィー・ニン・ウィー(宣教師)

 

2017年7月22日~8月8日にか けてニューヨークにあるキャンプクイニペットで開催されたディスカバリーキャンプに9名の中高生と共に参加しました。この企画は4年前にSMJから被 災地の学生を招待したい旨の申し出を受け、東日本大震災救援対策本部と宣教協力学校協議会の後援により実現し、今年で3年目になりますが、救援対策本部の後援は今年で最後となります。日本か らは岸ひかりさん(千葉本町教会)が私と同じ日本側リーダーとして参加しました。

ニューヨーク周辺の日本語教会を通じて現地の学生の参加もあり、参加 者総数は26名。キャンプのリーダーは伊与田昭夫先生(ヒックスビ ル合同メソジスト教会伝道師)が務め、日米合同教会を中心として3名のカウンセラーが参加しました。

2週間のキャンプ中は朝礼拝に始まり、午前、午後と聖書を学んだり、スポーツをしたりグループ活動等盛りだくさんでし た。夜には2回キャンプファイアーを行いました。初めて聖書に触れる参加者もいまし たが、違和感なく過ごせるような配慮がなされ、時間と共に深い友情で結ばれ一つの家族になったかのように感じられました。(実は今年の9名中3名は昨年の参加者で、すべて自費でも参加したいとの強い意向を示されたのでした。)そしてこの深い交わりは神様への信 頼に繋がるのだとの思いを強くしました。

最後の二日間はニューヨークの街を観る時間が与えられました。3名のカウンセラーだけでなく仲良くなったキャンプ仲間も同行してくれた ため、私たちは安全に、楽しく、時に笑い合いながら見聞を広げることができました。

このような貴重な機会を与えてくれたSMJ, 日米合同教会、ユニオン日本語教会、宣教協力学校協議会、そして日本基督教団に心から感謝しています。

【October 2017 No.394】Executive Council Focuses on Finances and Evangelism Policy

The Executive Council of the 40th General Assembly Period (2016-18) held its second meeting, July 10–11, at the Kyodan headquarters with all 30 members present. First, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo gave the report of official observers who had attended the various annual district assemblies. The continuing decline in the overall statistical strength of the Kyodan is a concern that he intends to raise in the two upcoming meetings of district moderators during this general assembly period.

 

Next, Kyushu District Moderator Umesaki Koji reported that flooding in northern Kyushu occurred with the torrential rains of July 5. He stated that while the Asakura area of Fukuoka Prefecture and the Hita area of Oita Prefecture experienced severe damage, there was no significant damage to the churches other than at Kusu Church’s daycare facility.

 

In his report, Acting General Secretary Dohke Norikazu announced that Shuza Church in Osaka will withdraw from the Kyodan at the end of March 2018. Following discussion concerning that, it was approved. Dohke also reported that Financial Affairs Secretary Kera Yuji finished his term of service last March and that Iijima Makoto, Secretary in Charge of East Japan Disaster Relief Projects Planning Headquarters, would be stepping down in August.

 

Takahashi Jun and Tanaka Kaoru, committee chair and secretary of the committee on support for rebuilding churches damaged by the April 2016 earthquake in Kyushu, used slides to explain the situation in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures.. Of the 15 churches damaged in the quake, two need to be rebuilt completely: Beppu Furocho Church and Yufuin Church. Demolition of the latter has already been accomplished Sugahara Tsutomu, chair of the Council for Reviewing the System of Clergy Development, reported that while the Clergy Summer Retreat sponsored by the Office of Evangelism Promotion could be considered as applicable to the clergy development system, training courses for clergy at 10 years and 20 years of service should also be implemented. He also reported that 511 people attended the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Protestant Reformation held June 22 at Fujimicho Church.

 

The second day began with deliberation on financial matters. Commission on Finance Chair Aizawa Toyoshige reported that while Secretary of Financial Affairs Kera had stepped down at the end of March, his replacement had become ill and was unable to take over from April as planned. So it has been arranged for a licensed tax accountant to serve as a financial advisor for a fee of 100,000 yen per month.  Following approval of the first and second revised budgets, the financial statement of income and expenditures for fiscal year 2016 was discussed and approved.

 

The session that afternoon was extended by 30 minutes to finish work on the “basic policies on the promotion of evangelism in the Kyodan” proposed by the moderator. These were discussed and enacted with the statement, “Our goal is to restore the strength and vitality of evangelism in the Kyodan so that the Kyodan can faithfully obey the Great Commission of our Lord, and in order to do that, we establish these basic policies on the promotion of evangelism in the Kyodan.” The intention is to make these proposals concrete by promoting evangelism through the “prayer movement” (praying together), the “laity movement” (evangelizing together), and the “offering movement” (giving together). (Tr. TB)

—Kato Makoto, executive secretary

常議員会報告

第40総会期第2回常議員会報告

加藤 誠

 

第40総会期第2回常議員会が2017年7月10,11日と教団会議室で開催され、常議員30人全員が出席した。議事の冒頭石橋議長は教区総会問安を報告し、教勢の衰退傾向が気になるが、今総会期中に2回行われる教区議長会議の議事にしたいと述べた。続いて梅﨑浩二九州教区議長が7月5日に発生した九州北部豪雨被害について「福岡の朝倉地区、大分の日田地区で甚大な被害が出たが、教会関係では 玖珠教会の保育園に被害が出た以外にはなかった」と報告した。総幹事報告で、道家紀一総幹事事務取扱は「主座教会(大阪教区)が3月末で教団から離脱するとの報告を受けた」と述べた。質疑応答の後これを承認した。また道家総務幹事事務取扱 は計良祐時財務幹事が3月末に任期満了で退任し、8月には飯島信震災対応幹事が退任すると報告した。

昨年4月に発生した熊本・大分地震に対する被災教会会堂再建支援委員会からは高橋潤委員長と田中かおる書記がスライ ドを用いて説明。被災15教会中建て替えが必要なのは別府不老町教会と由布院教会で、由布院教会はすでに解体されていると報告した。

教師養成制度検討委員会の菅原力副委員長は、「教師の養成制度については、伝道推進室による教師の夏期研修 をその一環として受け止めながら、卒業後10年研修、20年研修の実施を検討して行きたい」と述べた。また、宗教改革500周年記念事業で、6月22日、富士見町教会で開催された記念礼拝に511人の出席があったことが報告された。

二日目は財務関連議案の審議からスタートした。2016年度第一次、第二次補正予算案を承認した上で2016年度教団歳入歳出決算を承認した。承認に先立って愛澤豊重予算決算委員長は、計良前財務幹事が3月末で退任、しかし後任者が体調を崩しているため、2017年4月より税理士法人と経理顧問契約(月次顧問料10万円)を結んだことを報告した。

二日目後半は終了時間を30分延長して、議長提案「教団伝道推進基本方針」を審議・制定した。「教団の伝道力の命と力の回復を目指し、主 の伝道命令に忠実に従う教団を形成するために教団伝道推進基本方針を制定する」として、祈祷運動(共に祈ろう)信徒運動(共に伝えよ う)、献金運動(共に献げよう)を掲げて伝道を推進していく提案が、今後具体的に展開することになる。

【October 2017 No.394】Greetings from Kyodan Missionaries in Belgium

by Kawakami Yasushi and Kawakami Masaki

Brussels, Belgium

We are both ordained pastors, and in April we were sent to the Japanese-language Protestant Church in Brussels, Belgium. At the end of March 2016, after nine years of service, we resigned from Iida Azumacho Church in Nagano Prefecture and moved our base to Tokyo. Then after approximately a year of preparation, we left for Belgium without incident.

 

During that year, we visited many churches, mainly in Tokyo, and attended their worship services. In addition, we had the chance to deliver sermons and make appeals, asking for prayers and support for our Belgian mission. We were extremely grateful for the warm welcome given to us at all the churches we visited. When we were apt to lose heart while preparing for a difficult journey, thanks to the people who offered us words of encouragement, we were given the strength to continue our preparations.

 

Most of the financial needs of overseas mission work are covered by the people in Japan who support this work through donations. At present, nearly 400 individuals provide both spiritual and material support for the Belgian mission to move forward. We are amazed once again that we have been afforded so much help and feel profound gratitude to God and to all those who have helped us.

 

Since we assumed our post, the church has been moving forward slowly but steadily. This church had been without a full-time pastor for about two-and-a-half years, and as is the tendency in many overseas expatriate churches, members who had been posted in Belgium for a few years were returning to Japan, leading to a decline in membership. Likewise, there was no functioning church council when we arrived, so we have been overcoming these difficulties as we move forward. At the same time, many small joys have been multiplied, such as newcomers being led to the church and members who have been away being led back to the church. At Sunday worship services, it is obviously an irreplaceable joy for Japanese living abroad to worship together and talk to each other in their native language.

 

Our next challenge is for the church as a whole to identify its mission and, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, how each of us will respond in service to that mission. Once again, as we pray earnestly for the guidance of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, our hope is that we will accept the mission God has given this church and all those joined together with it. In addition, buoyed by the prayers and financial assistance for this foreign mission by many churches and the prayers of many sisters and brothers, we believe that God’s works will be revealed here and we will move forward, following the Lord’s guidance.

 

Finally, we ask that you would pray for the spiritual as well as for the physical health of all those engaged in foreign mission, including ourselves. Prayer is not merely a comfort, but God’s power itself. In the name of the Lord, we pray for your continued support. (Tr. DB)

4月よりベルギー、ブリュッセル日本語プロテスタント教会に遣わされた川 上寧(Kawakami Yasushi)、川上 真咲(Kawakami Masaki)と申します。

2016年3月末に、9年間お 仕えした長野県、飯田吾妻町教会を辞して東京に拠点を移し、約1年間の渡航の準備を経て無事にベルギーに参りました。

この1年間 で、東京を中心に多くの教会をお訪ねし、礼拝に出席させていただきました。また説教奉仕、ベルギー宣教のアピール等の機会もいただき、お 祈りとご支援のお願いをして参りました。いずれの教会でも温かく迎えてくださったことは、本当に感謝に堪えません。難航する準備にともす れば挫けそうになるところを、励ましの言葉をかけてくださる方々に力をいただきながら準備を進めて来ることが出来ました。

海外宣教の働きは、その経済的必要のほとんどを日本でご支援くださる方々からの献金でまかなっております。現在400名近い、物心共に支えてくださる方々によってベルギー 宣教は進められております。これほど多くの助けが与えられているということに、改めて驚き、主なる神さまと皆さまに心より感謝いたしてお ります。

着任以降、教会はゆっくりとではありますが着実に歩みを進めております。約2年半近い専従牧師の不在、駐在員の教会メンバーは数年単位で帰国してしまうという海外教会特有の傾向、教会員の減少、 役員会の不在等の現状から少しずつ前を向いて踏み出しております。それに伴い、新来者が導かれたり、しばらく離れていた教会員が再び礼拝 出席に導かれたりと、小さな喜びが積み重ねられております。共に母国語で礼拝をささげ、語り合うことの出来る主の日は海外に住む日本人に とって代えがたい喜びの日であることを目の当たりにしております

今後の課題としては、この教会に与えられている使命が何であるのか、その与えられた使命に対して一人一人がどのように 仕え応えていくのかを、聖霊と御言葉の導きを通して教会全体で学んでいくことだと思っております。今一度、御言葉と聖霊による導きを強く 祈り求めながら、この教会と教会に結び合わされた一人一人に与えられた神さまからの使命を受けとめてまいりたいと願います。また、この宣 教の働きを祈りと経済的支援によって支えてくださる多くの教会と兄弟姉妹の祈りに支えられながら、神の御業がここで現わされることを信 じ、主の導きに従ってまいります。

最後に、私たちも含め海外に派遣されている宣教師の霊的かつ肉体的な健康のためにお祈りください。祈りは単なる慰めで はなく、神の力そのものです。どうぞ主にあってよろしくお願いいたします。

【October 2017 No.394】Discovering Christ and a Heart for Mission in Japan

by George Ndjungu, former assistant director

Student Christian Fellowship, Tokyo

George Ndjungu was born in 1989 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At age 8, due to his parents becoming missionaries, he moved to the US and the following year to Senegal, where his parents were appointed as resident missionaries. He graduated from a high school in Boston and soon after enrolled at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. He studied Japanese as a second language in college and now serves in Japan. — From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times)

As of December 2015 to the present, I have been serving as an assistant to Pastor Noda Taku at the Student Christian Fellowship related to the Kyodan. I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a young adult missionary with the United Methodist Church. More specifically, I have been sent by the mission arm of the UMC through a program called “Generation Transformation.” This program seeks to recruit young adults from all over the world, train them, and then send them back into the world for missions. Any young adult between the ages of 20 and 30, a Christian of any denomination who can communicate in English and who can commit for a two-year mission period is welcome to apply. As for me, I have had the particular privilege to serve here in Japan through the help of the Wesley Foundation.

 

My primary function at SCF is to assist Pastor Noda in all his work. However, given that the nature of the work at SCF focuses on young adult activity rather than office work, my sphere of activity largely falls here as well. We have numerous programs and events where young adults are central. From Bible classes to dinner nights, night hikes, barbecues, and so on. All events are bred by the young adults. As one of the young adults, it is my responsibility to be involved with all events from conception to realization.

 

I have in many ways been in the care of our young adults at SCF. They usually help me with many things even before I ask anything of them. In particular, they have been my greatest teachers in how to navigate my way wisely through the complex daily Japanese lifestyle. I am infinitely grateful. Besides advice on living in Japan, they have also been more than able teachers in various other ways. Chief among these is the lesson they have taught me in serving others. The Scriptures declare that Christ, who is God, emptied Himself, humbled Himself by taking on the likeness of a manservant, and died on the Cross—this in order to lead the human race back to God, against whom we had rebelled. The Scriptures also exhort us to learn from Christ’s example and so serve others, as He did. I was made to realize that I had not known this fundamental principle of the Christian life until I came to SCF. Therefore, not only am I thankful to everyone at SCF for so teaching me but I am also thankful to God who used SCF to show me my spiritual immaturity.

 

It is safe to say that, by coming to Japan, I have come to the knowledge of Christ; in other words, I have become a Christian. Now of course, I was aware of what it entailed to be a Christian before coming to Japan. Raised in a minister’s home, the greater part of my education has been founded on Christian teaching, and I have for my whole life professed the Christian religion. However, I am in no confusion that it was not until I came to Japan that Christ was truly revealed to me: this because I was made to realize that although I had come to Japan to witness to Christ, I actually did not know Him. Left helpless, I had nowhere else to turn than to the one who made me realize that I was empty: Christ Himself. From then on, He made me understand that mission does not begin with someone else, but that it first had to begin with my own heart. It is here in Japan that I came to understand that the Christian life begins when one says to God, “Here am I; let Thy will be done in me O Lord.” Returning to God with the whole heart; serving Christ as Lord and Savior; this is what it means to be a follower of Christ. I was made to realize that here in Japan. I thank and bless the Lord for this.

 

Pastor Noda has been very kind in giving me free reign to conduct the English Bible Study we currently have at SCF. Without the use of any other study materials, we gather together around the Word of God and listen to what He has to say to us. If the Lord inclines you to, please pray that this gathering may continue to the glory of God and that it may be a means by which many that are lost can be found again by their heavenly Father. To Him alone be glory now and forevermore. Amen.

☆ジョージ・ジュングさん George Ndjungu 1989年生まれ。アフリカ・コンゴ民主共和国生まれのコンゴ人。 8歳の時、 父親が宣教師として米国に赴き、翌年、アフリカ・セネガル共和国の 宣教兼務 となったことから、 米国とセ ネガルを行き来し、高3の時、米 国に定住した。 ボストン の高校から、ノースカロライナ大学に入学。日本語は第2専攻だっ たが、 現在、抜 群の日本語力を駆使して、日本で奉仕をしている。 (教団新 報、紹介記事より)

 

こんにちは、日本基督教団学生青年センター(SCF)のジョージ・ジュングと申します。2015年の12月か ら、SCF主事を務めておられる野田沢先生の補佐をさせていただ いています。

 

SCFには、 青年宣教者として、アメリカ合同メソジスト教会から派遣されました。この合同メソジスト教会の宣教部が実施する「Generation Transformation」と言 うプログラムを通して、日本に来ました。このプログラムは、世界各国のクリスチャンの青年たちを集め、訓練し、また世界に送り出すもので す。教派を問わず、20-30歳の青年で、クリスチャンであり、英語が多少でき、二 年間コミット出来るような青年たちを募集し、派遣するプログラムです。

私が日本に派遣されることになったのは、合同メソジスト教会の日本での 窓口となっている、ウェスレー財団のお陰です。

 

SCFでは、 主に、野田先生のサポートをさせていただいています。ですが、SCFの働きは、事務的作業よりも、青年たちの活動に焦点を置いている場所なので、イベントが沢山あります。聖書を読む会、 夕食会、ナイトハイク、バーベキュー、等々なイベントを全部、青年たちが考えて企画してくれています。そして、私も青年たちと一緒にイベ ント企画から実行まで関わらせていただいています。

SCFでは、 自ら何かを相談する前に、青年たちが色んな形でサポートしてくれています。入居時の荷物運びや、日本での生活のアドバイスなど、色んな面 でSCFの皆さんにお世話になっています。

SCFの皆さ んのお陰で色んな面で成長しましたが、一番大きいのは、他者を仕えることだと思います。聖書は、キリストが神でありながらも、ご自分を無 にして、人間と同じ者になり、僕の身分までにへりくだって、ついに見苦しい十字架の死までに至ったと語っています。それは、神様に背いて いた全人類をもう一度神様のもとに立ち帰らせるためだと教えています。そして、そのキリストの姿に学び、私たちも他者を仕えるべきだと勧 めています。自分がまだ、キリストによる新しい生き方のこの初歩的な部分に従順していなかったことを、SCFに来てから気づかされました。SCFの皆さんには本当に感謝しています。そして、SCFを用いて、自分の未熟なところを見せてくだった神様に感謝しています。

 

日本に来てから、信仰が強められたと思います。いいえ、もっと正確に言 いますと、やっと信じることになりました。日本に来る前までは、もちろん、ある程度キリスト者が歩まなければいけない道がどう言う道であ るのかをしていました。けれども、日本に来て、宣教、伝道、キリストを証しすることの難しさにであい、自分の信仰の浅さに気づかされまし た。キリストを証しするために来ていたにもかかわらず、証しに来たキリストを自分自身がまだ知らなかった。クリスチャンと言いながらも、 キリストに自分の心の王座を譲れず、思うがままに生きていました。キリスト教的行事をやっていれば、それで神様は喜ばれるだろうと勘違い していました。でも神様がまず私に要求していたのは、宣教でも、伝道でもなく、私の心そのものだと、あとになって気づくことになりまし た。そのことに気づかされた私は、日本に派遣された理由をもう一度考え直すことにしました。伝道の最初の対象は果たして誰であったのか? 他の人か?あるいは自分自身か?自身の質問にキリストが答えてくれました。「偽善者よ、まず自分の目から丸太を除け。そうすれば、はっき り見えるようになって、兄弟の目からおが屑を取り除くことができる」。キリスト者として歩まないで、でもその歩みを他人に勧めていた理不 尽な自分に気づかされました。クリスチャンの人生は、神様に、「僕がここにいます。御心のままにしてください」から始まることを分かるよ うになりました。神様に心から立ち帰ること。キリストを主人として仕えること。これこそがクリスチャンになることだと言うことに、日本に 来てから気づくようになりました。主に感謝し、その御名をたたえます!

 

今SCFでやって いるEnglish Bible Studyはその名 の通り、英語で聖書を勉強しています。第一の目的は、来る人に神様の御言葉に触れさせることです。第二の目的は、その人に英 語の実力を発揮できる場所を与えることです。コンセプトは、福音書を四つも用いて、イエス・キリストの生涯を追いかけることです。教材など使 わずに、集まった人で読んで、考えて、分かち合う形式です。まだ始まったばっかりの集会ですが、どうぞ、これからも神様がこの小さな会を用い て、多くの人をご自分のもとに立ち帰らせるよう、お祈りをお願いいたします。

  • 共に仕えるためにPDF

    リフォユース最新情報はこちら

    宗教改革500周年記念事業

    International Youth Conference in Kyoto

    公募・公告

    エキメニュカル協力奨学金 申込書類一式

    日本基督教団年鑑2018年版

    よろこび

    日本基督教団 伝道推進室

    東日本大震災救援対策本部ニュース

    教団新報 archive

    教日本基督教団 文書・資料集 申請書等ダウンロードコーナー

    月間 こころの友