From Aug. 13-20, a joint Kyodan and Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Youth Mission event was held under the co-sponsorship of the Kyodan’s Commission on Ecumenical Ministries and Committee on Education. This year, youth from Taiwan came to Japan to explore the theme “Let’s share Jesus Christ together.” Along with Japanese youth, we visited the Tohoku Disaster Relief Center, Emmaus, and participated in the Tohoku District Junior/Senior High Camp in Inawashiro and the National Christian Youth Alliance retreat in Karuizawa. There were seven participants from Taiwan and seven from Japan.
First we went to Sendai, where we visited the towns of Arahama and Yuriage and saw the current conditions of these disaster-stricken areas. Together we prayed for their rapid recovery. After visiting the Tohoku area, we went to the town of Inawashiro in Fukushima and participated in the Tohoku District Junior/Senior High Camp. During the camp, Kataoka Terumi, a member of Wakamatsu Sakaemachi Church and a representative from the Tohoku District Nuclear Disaster Relief Task Force, IZUMI, spoke to the group about the nuclear disaster, emphasizing how parents want to protect their children. Following the lecture, the Taiwanese youth shared the problems of nuclear power in Taiwan. We then visited Kirisitan (hidden Christian) remains in the area and learned about the history of Christianity in Japan 400 years ago.
On Aug. 17, a typhoon blasted through, but we were able to arrive in Karuizawa to participate in the National Christian Youth Alliance retreat. On the second day of the retreat, Kyodan missionary Nag Woon-Hae spoke of his work in Korea. Then at the evening worship, Chang Ya-Chun, one of the Taiwanese participants, shared her faith and told us how Jesus had brought change in her life through the witness of a missionary from the U.S.
On Aug. 19, the last day of the Youth Mission event we returned to Tokyo and met General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo. He told us of how his own experience as a young person at a retreat had led to his call to ministry and how he has continued to serve Jesus. Both Japanese and Taiwanese youth were encouraged by his witness. Together in Christ, we were able to create wonderful memories and, surmounting our history, make good friends through this joint mission program.
—Sho Khi-Kho, second-year student,
Taiwan Theological College and Seminary
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I was richly blessed by God through this Youth Mission event. It was a time of rich fellowship that went beyond the boundaries of denomination and nationality. I was able to learn much from the messages of pastors and participants, and each part of the program helped me encounter God.
Because this camp was the first time for me to visit the East Japan Disaster area, the lecture at Inawashiro on nuclear energy was very impressive. I was overwhelmed by fear as I heard information that I had not known and was confronted with the fact that I had made no effort to get that information. News regarding nuclear energy has gradually declined and, while living in Tokyo, my own awareness had practically disappeared. Along with a renewed sense of the danger of nuclear energy, I became keenly aware of the danger of forgetting what we know about it. As we confront this issue, we need to consider what God is trying to tell us and continue to pray about it. It has been a pleasure to meet other members through this experience, and I thank God for the deep fellowship we have had with one another. Through our devotionals and free time together, we were able to think and share about the church and God. We talked about our studies and our families, about our world and politics. There were no boundaries as we shared and prayed together. Even if our churches and countries differ, I strongly feel that we are all members of God’s family, even though we are now separated.
As the last part of our program, each group shared an action plan for what they would do as Christian youth following our return home. We were to do this in the context of our individual faith, church, and setting. Rather than simply keeping what I have learned at this camp to myself, I have a renewed desire to share the joy I feel in God with those who surround me. I am convinced that God continues to work wherever we are and will use each of us as his instruments. Finally, along with thanksgiving for God’s blessings throughout this experience, I want to express my thanks to all who were a part of the planning, preparation, and support of this Youth Mission event. (Tr. JS)
—Uchida Ayumu, Omiyamae Church
Second-year student, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4848
ユースミッション2016 蔣 記剛(Sho Khi-Kho)
8月13日 から20日にかけて、教育委員会主 催、世界宣教部共催の日本基督教団（UCCJ）