July 2010 Archives
By Ms. Miyuki ASANO (Kikuna Church, Yokohama Diocese)
< Sharing failure and laughter >
We sell rotti, a Thai sweet, on the food stall, but the sales slows down from February every year because it gets hotter and children rather buy cold food. So we were seeking something new which can sell in the hot season but have not found the sellable food yet.
Last December, staff came from Tokyo and showed us new delicious foods but they were not accepted by Cambodians. We asked Ms Pen for help to alter them with Cambodian taste. After trials and errors we failed to cook new sweets and had to eat tasteless food reluctantly. Then we bursted into laughing. At that moment both of us certainly felt the bonding.
A few days later Ms Pen gave up cooperating with us and took action by herself. She bought food materials and snow cone maker. Trusting their talent I hope to make a sensational food one day.
By Mr. Masaya TAKAHASHI (Yonezawa Church, Niigata Diocese)
< Weakness is a blessing>
We staff of JLMM Cambodia hold retreat by ourselves every year. Retreat is to pray silently, deepen the relationship between God and ourselves and review our activities and experiences. This year we managed to get Fr. Mitsuaki CHIHARA from Yonezawa Church in my hometown as an instructor of the retreat. We took time of five days for retreat.
The topic of the retreat is "Weakness is a blessing," From the Father's talk I learned that defect and weakness which are generally considered faulty are gift so that God may bless them. I got aware of that change of life style from relying on oneself to on God is an important conversion for Christians. I am grateful for such opportunity given.
Usually I tend to pray very hard because I try very hard to reserve the time for retreat. This time, however, I rested without effort to pray hard as the Father advised us to relax. Slowly calm pray came out naturally and silence led me. Father explained us the primary meaning of English word of "retreat". Floating village, our mission place, is a "battle", and it was a precious time to take rest away from the battle.
During this retreat, I deepened the relation between God and me without thinking of our activities and village people.
I said sorry for my fault many times. I was blessed and sent here as a JLMM missionary, but I am ashamed that I could not change and still remain stubborn, lazy and not honest. I fed up my attitude and blamed myself. Then I was encouraged and healed by the Father's words, "Do not blame yourself." Through the words I felt love of Jesus taking me up to let me rest beside him when I was discouraged by my weakness and crouch in the street. I felt the warm hands of God touching my wounded heart in the retreat.
Jesus leads us to the life with serene mind and peace by showing his life. I wish to have good ears to hear the breath of Jesus.
I thank Fr. Chihara who came all the way to Cambodia and God who had send Fr. Chihara!
By Ms. Wakako MATSUMOTO (Minamata Church, Fukuoka Diocese)
<Agriculture and Art craft workshop>
About 20 women attended the workshop. They are from Chiang Mai, Chiangrai, Mae Hong Son, Phayao and other northern areas. Some of them had attended the seminar last year and said that they could have got to know the people and situation of other areas and been a meaningful one. A few men attended the workshop this year, too, which will help people to understand and support the activities carried on by women.
The workshop began with the retreat leaded by Sister's talk to reflect our experience and see how much it was connected to our religious faith.
After the retreat, we introduced ourselves. One Karen woman started telling the reason why she attended the workshop. She is always positively doing the activities. "I want to get ideas from the seminar to make use of our traditional technique to revitalize the area." We felt her strong thoughts on their traditional technique and own race. Her statement made the atmosphere of the workshop rather serious.