日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

【October 2018 No.399】Reflections on the Mission 21 International Youth Ambassador Program


I recently returned from participating in the Mission 21 International Youth Ambassador Program June 11-24. Mission 21 is an evangelistic group centered in Basel, Switzerland that began at a missionary school in 1815. This is linked to a young adult project started two years ago, in 2016, when European young adults visited Mission 21-related religious organizations throughout the world and, in 2018, invited to Switzerland one young adult from each Mission 21-related religious body throughout the world.

During the first week in Aarau, Switzerland, we spent our time in workshops on international solidarity and discussing the issues faced in each country. We also took part in a portion of the Mission 21 Synod that was taking place at the same time. At the synod, there were reports of the situation in each country of the world and a joint sharing of the various perspectives on the theme of immigrants and refugees, which is being discussed throughout the world. Two youth coordinators from among the ambassadors made presentations and proposals. At the “mission feast” held after the worship service on Sunday, we enjoyed food from the Mission 21-related areas in stalls that became places to experience the warm fellowship of the Mission 21 project site.

During the first half of the second week, all participants of every team were sent to various areas in Europe, and those of us on the Asian team went to Germany. We interacted with seminary students and young adults in the area, and those of us from Japan sensed the deep significance of our going to Germany, which had been similarly defeated in World War II. We also visited the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) to consider and discuss mission. Following that, the participants met together once again in Basil, where we mutually shared what we had discovered, held workshops, then closed the meeting and returned to our respective countries.

One insight I gained from this program is that young adults think for themselves. The goal of this program was to stimulate young adult participation in the work of Mission 21, and various opportunities were provided. Out of those experiences, the declaration we proposed to the synod was: “We are present not only future” (sic). Young adults are not just persons to be educated, but are independent beings who are living out the present. Moreover, this program was fundamentally managed by young adults. At times they led; at times they related to us as friends of the same age, serving us from the same level. Through “caring for travelers,” they interacted as young adults.

The second insight was in regard to Christianity and international relations. When I have discussions with my fellow Asians, I pointedly make it clear that I think the invasion of Asia by the Japanese military was absolutely wrong. In the same way, Europe was also a colonizer and even used evangelism to accomplish this end. Likewise, there is a long history of the church being very strongly in the background of international cooperation between Europe and North America, as well as in mission activities, and that is a wonderful thing. But on the other hand, when going to another country to do something, people as a rule must fight the temptation of being arrogant and prejudicial. I realized that for this reason, the concept of working “with” the local culture rather than of going “to” a local culture is important, and what is necessary is an ecumenism based on mutual “solidarity” rather than a relationship based merely on giving and receiving. The work of the mission organizations that I encountered in Europe is accomplished through prayer. I think it would be wonderful if in Japan as well, we could bring peace to the world through the Bible.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the Kyodan and Mission 21 for giving me this opportunity. (Tr. RT)

by Kishi Hikari, member of Chiba Honcho Church Chiba Subdistrict, Tokyo District


mission21 International Youth Ambassador Programに参加して

千葉本町教会 岸ひかり

 私は、6月11日から24日にかけて、mission21 International Youth Ambassador Programに参加してきました。



 日曜日には礼拝後、mission21関連地域の食事が屋台のように楽しめる「mission feast」があり、mission21のプロジェクトサイトを知り交流する暖かい場所となっていました。



 当プログラムから得た学びのひとつは、青年の主体性です。当プログラムの目的がmission21の活動に青年の参加を促すことであったので、様々な機会が与えられました。その中で私達が総会へ提出した声明は「we are present not only future」です。青年は常に被教育対象なのではなく、今を生きる主体的な存在なのです。また、このプログラムは基本的に青年によって運営されました。彼らは時に導き時に同じ年代の友達として接し、同じ目線に立って奉仕してくれました。「旅人をもてなす」ことを通して、青年としてのアクションを示してくれました。


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