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30 Years of Mission

A letter from Bill and Ann Moore serving in Japan

November 2015

Write to Bill Moore
Write to Ann Moore

Individuals:  Give online to E200388 for Bill and Ann Moore’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D504894 for Bill and Ann Moore’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery).

Dear friends,

One of the blessings of serving as mission co-workers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is that every three to four years we are given time to return to the U.S. for Interpretation Assignment. This is a time to make personal visits to congregations that faithfully support our work in Japan, strengthen ties with family and friends, and learn from Presbyterian World Mission staff how we may more effectively engage in God’s mission and interpret it to our denomination.

This spring and summer we were privileged to be on Interpretation Assignment with half of it based in North Carolina, where Bill’s family is centered, and the other half in Southern California, where Ann’s family lives. The high point of our time on the East Coast was visiting our supporting churches, some of whom have supported our family from the time Bill’s parents, John and Kathy, began service as missionaries to Korea 60 years ago. It was moving for us to realize that for six decades these congregations have faithfully supported the world mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by support of our family’s work in partnership with Christians in Korea and Japan. Without this support through prayer, encouragement, and gifts we could not have engaged in this long-term mission work.

Ann and Bill Moore at PC(USA) Headquarters

Ann and Bill Moore at PC(USA) Headquarters

Another blessing we received was the invitation of the Presbyterian Heritage Center in Montreat, North Carolina, to take part in their Japan mission emphasis during 2015 by giving a presentation we called “Presbyterian Mission in Japan—Looking Back and Looking to the Future.” This was an overview of how the Lord has used 156 years of Presbyterian mission involvement in Japan for the advancement of God’s Kingdom as well as musings on how God may use us in the future. We were pleased by the large attendance at the presentation and the interest in this subject.

The high point of our time in the western part of the U.S. was an invitation from Andy and Sunny Yu, retired PC(USA) mission co-workers, to visit a church they work with in Arizona in the Hopi nation and discovering that Hopi Christians face challenges similar to Christians in Japan. Both communities are very small religious minorities within their larger culture and both of them are under pressure to conform to the religious expectations and practices of the respective cultures in which they live, such as veneration of spirits manifested in nature. From Bill’s experience of learning from the Christian community in Japan he was able to share with the church ways in which Hopi believers could remain faithful to Jesus Christ and at the same time embrace important elements of their own cultural heritage.

Bill preaching at a church in the Hopi nation

Bill preaching at a church in the Hopi nation

One of the challenges we had during our four-and-a-half-month Interpretation Assignment was fulfilling our responsibility of leading and administrating Japan Mission in mission partnership with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) while being absent from Japan. This Japanese corporation (Japan Mission, for short) that we lead provides the legal and financial basis as well as mission strategy input for our partnership with the PC(USA). Thanks to our office worker, Jun Hashimoto, we were able to maintain the mission office through emails and telephone calls.

This month (November) we give thanks for the 30 years of mission work in Japan that we have been given. As we look back on these years that were mostly spent in new church planting, we realize how God was preparing us for our present assignment. The challenges and achievements that we were afforded over the years have given us the ability to take on the responsibilities of a large mission organization in Japan. The objective of the Japan Mission Board of Directors is to develop further resources so that Japan Mission may expand its witness not only in Japan but to other parts of Asia. Through our Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka we already have a tremendous witness to patients and their families as well as to 1,700 hospital staff. We seek to reach out in new ways to witness to the love and salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Nobuo Morisato leading worship at the Japan Mission Osaka Church

The Rev. Nobuo Morisato leading worship at the Japan Mission Osaka Church

An exciting ministry of Japan Mission is our Osaka Church, which is located near Yodogawa Christian Hospital. The Rev. Nobuo Morisato, one of our hospital chaplains, is doing an excellent job of pastoring this congregation, which meets in our Osaka sub-office building. Starting with two or three members, this congregation has grown to an attendance of 30 at Sunday services. Made up of present and former Yodogawa Christian Hospital patients as well as residents of the surrounding community, the Osaka Church reaches out in Christian love and service.

We thank you for helping make possible our 30 years of witness in Japan. We have been blessed by the opportunities for mission that we have been given and we trust that we have been a witness and blessing to those we serve. Due to a serious shortfall in resources available to Presbyterian World Mission, some of our PC(USA) missionary colleagues have been recalled this year. This has deprived the important ministries and partners that they served and diminished the world mission involvement of our denomination that has had a tremendous impact for 178 years.  Please continue to give and if led to do so, please increase your gifts so that the good news of Jesus Christ may be shared more abundantly in word and deed throughout the world.

In gratitude for your support of Presbyterian World Mission,
Bill and Ann

The 2015 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 247


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