A letter from Bill and Ann Moore, serving in Japan
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Dear Friends and Partners in Mission,
This fall has been an exciting time for Japan Mission in mission partnership with the PC(USA). We have reached out with new mission initiatives not only in Japan, but also in Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Myanmar. In early September, we were privileged to have Mr. Puia, the administrator of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar’s Agape Hospital in Kalaymyo, with us for a week and a half. The main purpose of his visit was to observe the practice and administration of medicine at Japan Mission’s Yodogawa Christian Hospital. He rotated through all the major departments and was given a vision for what Agape Hospital could become in the future.
This was Mr. Puia’s first time to visit Japan and his first exposure to a world-class general hospital, so the difference between his Agape Hospital and Yodogawa Christian Hospital in staffing, facilities, and capacity for healing was quite dramatic to him. When we visited Agape Hospital last year, we learned that becoming ill in Myanmar is a very worrisome thing. Because of the lack of diagnostic tools and well-qualified medical practitioners, hospitals in the hinterland of Myanmar are often unable to successfully treat disease that is easily cured in more developed countries. Furthermore, because of the lack of health insurance and low standard of living in Myanmar, paying for medical services can become a terrible burden.
Rev. Ling Zaw, general secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, told us that, “Since the time of the military takeover in 1962, Myanmar has been facing enormous difficulties in different spheres, including health care. The government has concentrated only on cities for development programs during the past 50 years. Despite her riches in natural resources, Myanmar is among one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. As the government has limited resources, it is not able to provide the people with good public health care. It is true that people in poor countries suffer from many more diseases than rich and developed countries. Poverty and lack of provision for health care by the state have seriously cost public health. Therefore, almost every family in the area suffers health problems, especially in the yearly monsoon season. Common diseases are dengue fever, influenza, malaria, typhoid fever, and hypertension. Most children suffer cough, asthma, cholera, and dysentery in the monsoon period. Many women face gynecological problems. There are many HIV and AIDS victims. Moreover, it is very sad that hepatitis C is rampant in the area and the proper treatment is too expensive for the poor. Another problem is that vaccinations against Hepatitis B, C, and dengue are expensive. Most of the people cannot afford vaccinations, so they suffer. Cancer and diabetes also are not strangers to the people in this area.”
Japan Mission has partnered with Agape Hospital to seek ways by which together we may bring about healing in the name of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. We are excited about the ways we can make a difference to many who are suffering by utilizing the medical expertise of our Yodogawa Christian Hospital. We are encouraged to hear that Mr. Puia returned to Myanmar with a vision and hope for better health for his people.
In October, Japan Mission organized and led a program through which young pastors from PC(USA) partner denominations in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan gathered in a beautiful retreat center in Kyoto for a week of studying the Bible, sharing the blessings and challenges of their ministries, praying for one another, enjoying fellowship, and resting. We, along with fellow Japan Mission Board member John McCall, provided leadership for the gathering, and 17 of us attended. The gathering was called “Sowing Seeds of Understanding: Ministry in a Global World.”
Soon after the program ended, a participant from Japan sent us a letter expressing his appreciation. He wrote, “The blessings I received from the seminar were many. I could form friendships with pastors from other parts of Asia and learn firsthand from my new Korean, Filipino, and Taiwanese friends what it is like to serve Jesus Christ and God’s people in their respective countries. Now I can pray concretely for them as they face many challenges. The pastors from the Philippines experience many difficulties but they were not gloomy. In fact, they were much more joyful than we Japanese pastors. I learned that the more challenges they face, the more they use humor and laughter as a spiritual weapon. From the sessions that John McCall led, I received much spiritual guidance. I was reminded that faith is not just an intellectual exercise but involves all aspects of life and work. The themes of the seminar had to do with prayer, scripture, and service, and they were presented in a very interesting and compelling way. In one of our small group sessions, as a pastor shared the problems she faced in her congregation, tears were shed. I learned that pastors should not be isolated from one another but should honestly share their pain. For being able to participate in this kind of seminar, I give thanks from the bottom of my heart to God and Japan Mission.”
The Japan Mission Board recently decided to hold another gathering like this in 2018 and to invite pastors from additional countries to participate.
It is these new initiatives that challenge and inspire us as we lead Japan Mission in mission partnership with the PC(USA). We are blessed with these opportunities and blessed by the support we receive from churches and individuals in the United States who make our work and witness possible. If you feel led to do so, we would be delighted to have your support as well.
Bill and Ann
Please read this important message from Jose Luis Casal, Director, Presbyterian World Mission
Dear Friend of Presbyterian Mission,
What a joy to send this letter! As Presbyterian World Mission’s new director, I thank God for your faithful support of our mission co-workers. The enclosed newsletter celebrates the work you made possible by your prayers, engagement, and generous financial gifts. We can’t thank you enough.
After I began in April, I met with mission co-workers and global partners and was blessed to see firsthand the mighty ways God is working through them! Our global partners are asking us to help them move forward with life-changing ministries. Because of your support, we can say “yes” to these creative and exciting initiatives.
I write to invite you to make an even deeper commitment to this work. First, would you make a year-end gift for the sending and support of our mission co-workers? We need your gifts to end the year strong. With your help, we filled two new mission co-worker positions and plan to recruit for others. The needs in the world are great, and World Mission is poised to answer the call to serve.
Second, would you ask your session to add our mission co-workers to your congregation’s mission budget for 2018 and beyond? Our mission co-workers serve three-year or four-year terms. Your multi-year commitment will encourage them greatly.
Our mission co-workers are funded entirely from the special gifts of individuals and congregations like yours. Now more than ever, we need your financial support.
In faith, our mission co-workers accepted a call to mission service. In faith, World Mission sent them to work with our global partners. In faith, will you also commit to support this work with your prayers and financial gifts?
Jose Luis Casal
P.S. Your gift will help meet critical needs of our global partners. Thank you!
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Tags: “Sowing Seeds of Understanding”, Agape Hospital, challenges, disease, health, isolation, John McCall, low standard of living, Mr. Puia, myanmar, pastors, poverty, seminar, Yodogawa Christian Hospital
Tags: Bill and Ann Moore
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