Read letters from Barbara Jo Easton
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Barbara Jo Easton
Mission co-worker in Japan
Serving at Kwassui Women's College at the invitation of the
United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan)
About Barbara Jo Easton's ministry
Barbara Jo Easton continues to serve as a professor of English and Christianity courses in the English Department of Kwassui Women’s College in Nagasaki, Japan. Barbara's appointment is sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through the United Church of Christ in Japan, known as the Kyodan, which was formed in 1941 as a result of the merger of 30 Protestant churches. Kwassui Women’s College is related to the Kyodan and consists of junior and senior high schools and a four-year college with a small graduate section.
Students are attracted to the college, according to Barbara, “because of its qualities as a Christian school, even though few of the students are Christian. The college provides chapel services and religious education along with the departmental curricula, and these make a deep impression, at least on some students, at a time when the young women seem to be experiencing the most freedom of their lives.” As a church-related institution, the college is concerned with peacemaking issues as is the church as well as human rights for minorities and disadvantaged persons in Japan
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In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Barbara leads an after-school Bible study group in English with her British Methodist colleague. All of Kwassui’s students are required to study the Bible and attend weekly chapel in Japanese, but the Bible study group allows for more discussion and use of English. Barbara also organizes monthly English-language chapel services before school. She also helps to supervise the non-Japanese teachers and their courses and to direct the short-term study abroad program for students going to Indiana to study at the University of Evansville. At Nagasaki Church Barbara leads a Bible class.
Japan is the world’s third largest producer of goods and services in the world and the fourth largest importer and exporter. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japanese workers enjoy a high standard of living. More than 127 million people live in Japan, making it the 10th most populous country in the world. Most people in Japan consider themselves adherents of Shintoism, Buddhism or both. Fewer than 1 percent are Christian.
About Barbara Jo Easton
After graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio with a B.A. degree in sociology and anthropology, Barbara taught at Kwassui Women’s College for two years. She came to the United States to complete an M.A. degree in teaching English as a foreign language from Ball State University in Indiana and returned to Kwassui for another two years, from 1974 to 1976.
Again in 1983 Barbara returned to Kwassui after completing a second M.A. degree and Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii, where she was also a graduate assistant and tutor in the department of linguistics and a joint doctoral research intern in the East-West Center at the Culture Learning Institute in Honolulu. Her doctorate is in linguistics.
Barbara is a member of First United Presbyterian Church in Muncie, Indiana.
Birthday: March 13
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I have read and am touched by your service to the people of Japan.I pastor four congregations and also a Chaplain to a Senior High school with a population of one thousandtwo hundred students