Out of the memory of Massy
The Rt. Rev. Samuel Osamu Onishi
Bishop of Osaka Diocese, Nippon Sei Ko Kai
More than a decade ago, while responsible for pastoral care in Nagaoka-shi, Niigata-ken, I was also responsible for managing the nursery school attached to the church. At that time, a little boy called Massy (Masashi) was one of the junior class members. His father was a Japanese, and mother, a Filipina. They looked happy at the school, though the mother, as well as Massy, was yet to acquire full command of Japanese. After school, Massy was taken cared by his elder sister who was in the fourth grade of primary school. In June of the following year, the mother suddenly went back to the Philippines, taking the two children with her. Whenever I saw his mother, she used to tell me “I wish him to enter the ministry and be a priest.” Is he fine in the Philippines and enjoying his high school life these days? When such sentiment comes across to my mind, I feel repentant for not having been able to listen to them of their daily life more in early stages. If so, I could have possibly been more helpful to them!
It is really difficult for any single church to support the foreign residents, particularly those living in the countryside. I really feel it necessary, from this point of view, to tackle this
problem as one of the ecumenical activities.
Today, Aichi St. Luke’s Center in the Diocese of Nagoya provides those school-age kids from the Philippines, who are unable to go to ordinary school, with international schooling. The schooling became a reality primarily with efforts by people related to the N.S.K.K. organizations, and nowadays with support by some businesses, volunteers and also by public agencies, though rather limited. There remain, nevertheless, challenges to overcome, including a variety of human rights as well as complicated political problems.
To bring hope, I would like to present the opening and activities of Kani Mission last year: this mission is meant for those from the Philippines working in the neighborhood of Kani City, not only for praying but also for keeping company with each other. The activities are being undertaken jointly by the Philippine clergymen and both the congregation and the clergymen of Chubu Diocese.
It is only natural that we join hands with the foreign residents, whose population in Japan now exceeds two million, and together we share a happy daily life with them. Although for us, Christians in particular, this is taken as a matter of fact we should be more concerned about the “unnatural” conditions existing around us. The barrier that we have to break through first is to get ourselves away from exclusionism, anti-foreign sentiment, illusion of mono-racial society, etc. that may still be inside ourselves.
Having moved to Osaka to reside, I further became conscious of the barrier. In the populous area of foreign residents, Koreans in particular, the presence itself of “SEIKOKAI Ikuno Center” and the value of its activities are really significant, if we look back into the Korean-Japanese relations history.
“SEIKOKAI Ikuno Center”, a symbolic entity of reconciliation and peace, was built on the faith in Christ who destroyed spiritual barriers among people and races. With gratefulness for
prayers and support by many people across the country, we look forward to being able to continue our walk forward together with those disadvantaged, as well as discriminated, minorities.
The blessing of God Almighty be upon KAPATIRAN that incessantly contributes itself to those who are in need of help and support.
A message from a new member of
the Board of Kapatiran
Kyoko Mary Kageyama
“You are not alone.” This is the message the Kapatiran office staff and counselors endeavor to convey every day, in many ways. And at the moment when callers or visitors to Kapatiran realize they now have advocates and supporters, they have taken an empowering first step. I wanted to introduce the Beliefs of the United Church of Canada to Sampaguita precisely because this creed mirrors Kapatiran’s mission statement. I hope they will prove useful to you in your daily lives.
Beliefs A New Creed (The United Church of Canada)
We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
■Total Number of Calls and Categories TOP3
(1) Visa Related Problems …… 49
(2) Domestic Violence ………… 19
(3) Child Custody ……………… 14
(1) Visa Related Problems …… 20
(2) Domestic Violence ………… 15
(3) Mental Health Problem …… 7
■Total Number of Case Working/ Face to Face Counseling
＜January＞Case Working 6 / Face to Face Counseling 5
＜February＞Case Working 12 / Face to Face Counseling 8