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“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” — John 13:34

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Photograph of Yukiko Altman.

Read Letters from Yukiko Altman

March 14, 2011
November 13, 2009

For older letters, contact Mission Connections

Yukiko Altman

Yukiko retired from mission service appointed by PC(USA) World Mission in 2011

Yukiko Altman has been under appointment as a missionary with the PC(USA) since 1972. She now lives in Tokyo, where she is assigned to the United Church of Christ in Japan. Since 2000, she has been a caseworker with the Asian women’s shelter HELP (House in Emergency of Love and Peace), a refuge for non-Japanese women who have escaped from the sex industry. HELP also serves the survivors of domestic violence, both Japanese and non-Japanese.

Yukiko is the widow of Dr. Harry Altman, also appointed in 1972. Harry died in a mountaineering accident in the summer of 2000.

As a caseworker with the Asian women's shelter, she has learned to “be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” She says that most of the non-Japanese women at the shelter have overstayed their visas and cannot get access to various social services. “Most of the survivors of domestic violence come with their young children,” writes Yukiko.“Mothers and children need legal help as well as psychological, physical or/and medical help. I, as one of staff — we have a director, five full-time workers, and three part-time workers — work as a caseworker, a counselor, a baby-sitter, and staff the hotline.”

From 1994 to 2000 she taught a class in women’s issues in English to third-year students in the Social Welfare Department at Shikoku Gakuin University in Zentsuji. From 1996 to 1998 she also worked as a counselor and facilitator for counselors at Takamatsu Lifeline.

In 1989 she followed her husband to Korea when Harry’s visa was not renewed due to his refusal to comply with a regulation that all foreigners be fingerprinted, a law that discriminated against Koreans. In Korea, she was a teaching assistant in a Japanese class at Han Num University in Tejon. From 1985 to 1988 she taught part-time at Shikoku Gakuin University. From her appointment in 1972 until 1985, Yukiko was a homemaker.

Yukiko holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in natural science from the International Christian University in Tokyo and a master’s degree in social welfare from Shikoku Gakuin University in Zentsuji, Japan.

Birthday: November 13