Konnichiwa! Greeting from Japan! We are also in a state of emergency here because of the pandemic and although confinement is not compulsory, the government has asked us not to go out unless it is necessary. Therefore, all face-to-face activities have been suspended in churches, schools and universities and many jobs have also been put on standby. We are now offering our activities online.
Normally in Japan people have very little time and it is difficult for them to participate in our activities. The academic year, which normally starts in April, hasn’t started yet, so everyone is at home. It has thus become a privileged time, an opportunity for people who have more time to participate in our online meetings and the number of participants has grown.
We had a Zoom meeting with the youth to bring together the experiences of the mission in the Philippines. They prepared it creatively, sharing the experience they had had through photos and videos
Recently (16th -17th May) we had an online weekend retreat on the theme of “Work”, which was requested by some young Christians, who are beginning to enter the working world and wonder how they can live as Christians in this environment. It was an appropriate time to deepen together about God’s dream for work and its true meaning.
Many participants reflected that it was the first time they had considered work as a vocation and a way of collaborating in God’s creative work. It was something that opened up a new horizon for them. They felt strengthened to freely defend dignity in the workplace and to dare to undertake projects inspired by God which respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged. A girl told us she is concerned about creating a school for children with the same difficulties she herself had experienced as a child. Another boy talked about his work with people who felt excluded from society for various reasons and who are now happy.
On Saturday May 23rd we shared the experience of the pilgrimage to Portugal. It was prepared by the young people who had participated, mostly non-Christians. It was very nice to hear them talking about how important it was for them to learn to reread the journey and share their experience with others. It was an experience that marked them and now they want to continue it in their day to day lives.
We believe that through the Body of Christ all the love we put into this time is reaching those who are in most need of love, hope and peace.