The Missionary-Sending Ceremony was held at Chofu Congregation de Notre Dame and the Mass was conducted by Archbishop Ikenaga (Advisor Archbishop of JLMM) on 13th November, 2010. Five new Lay missionaries were blessed and encouraged by many people. We could hold a wonderful ceremony with the help of Sisters from Chofu Congregation, church people and many others. Four missionaries out of five will be sent to Cambodia and one East Timor. We wish these five Lay missionaries will live together with the people in their mission areas. Your prayers and support are appreciated.
Mr. Masashi Shinoda (Karasaki Church, Kyoto Diocese)
I came across JLMM three years ago. At that time I wanted to join JLMM from my curiosity of living abroad. Now, having completed the training, I feel that I have got JLMM's way of life, "Living Together."
In my life I have been at major crossroads a few times and every time I studied my current life carefully and imagined future. At most of the times I did not choose the way I liked. That was, however, a part of my life. This time I have finally realized my own way. I am sure that I could reach here through any route. After all, the wind has blown this way.
I am aware of the importance to abandon myself to the invisible power. I will be sent to the floating village on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. Though it will be tough to get involved in the life of people in a floating village which is totally different from the life in Japan, I have no fear. I feel happier being sent there.
I will widen my view by living together with local people and share it with people in Japan.
Ms. Sakiko Ishida (Seijo Church, Tokyo archdiocese)
At the last retreatment I was asked by Father Amorous, "How do you feel of being sent as a Lay missionary?" I answered, "Well, I feel pressurized by the word of missionary." The Father said, "Something may be wrong if you feel pressurized." What does Missionary mean to me? When I was taking a walk in the garden, I found a plant shining in the morning sun. A plant grows quietly rooting at the place where the seed has landed. It cohabits with other creatures and it has everything required, which illustrates the love of God.
I was taught in the lectures during the training, "Mission is to express the love of God by words and deeds." I want to live my life sharing the love of God which is shown in the small plant with people. Through the training, I became aware that there are many different powers in our lives and so many times we fail to realize the love of God. I believe and pray to God in my trials and will be sent to my mission area.
Mr. Masahiro Aizawa (Akitsu Church, Tokyo Arcdiocese)
I started to work as an assistant nurse in hospice, became a nurse there and after that worked in a children's hospital. I have experiences of emergency life guard, highly-advance medical technology and end-of-life care. I have been thinking of life and death. When I was wondering of my future, I got to know JLMM through my acquaintance Sister. I sent them my application and made a final step to the day of being sent to the mission area.
The training was for me to reflect and prepare myself as well as to study about being sent as a Lay missionary
Through the training I learned to be myself and natural and that everybody has his/her good personality. So it is important to appreciate and understand each other and advance together.
I shall experience a lot of grief, anger and depression as well as pleasure and happiness. I will remember that God is with me all the time and want to go forward step by step.
To East Timor
Ms. Yui Fukahori (Yuigahama Church, Yokohama Diocese)
In the seven months' training I met many people and had various feelings. As I have no working experience, everything was new to me and faced a lot of problems. Most of them were due to my weakness and every time I was helped by office staff or my family or community fellow or other trainees or the color of the sky that I looked up at.
God always appeared in different ways, sometimes as human and other time things, and gave me a supportive push. I shall see God in various shapes from now on. When I was walking to my home from the railway station, I found a star shining in the dark night sky. There should be countless stars, but I could see only one. It was as though all the distracting thoughts, worries and stress had been cleared and only one straight way getting sucked into East Timor.
I believe and pray to God everyday. I thank everyone I have met during my training.
Mr. Takeshi Ono (Motoderakoji Church, Sendai Diocese)
My mission place is Steong Meanchey District in a suburb of Phnom Penh. Many families there make their living by selling recyclable items collected from the refuge dump. They were farmers in the countryside but failed to support their families due the lack of farm water and inferior agricultural technology and moved to the city. The children are working in the refuge dump to support their family. Many of them cannot go to school or fail to advance to the next year or drop out of school. Now JLMM missionaries are working on the health education, the literacy education and food stall project. I like to live together with the people there so that the children can get independent and work for the country future. The life and culture must be different there but I hope to achieve the aim and have awareness and meanings by living with them.
I recall the day I retired from the company, applied with JLMM and completed seven months' training and now I am at the stage to be sent as a Lay missionary. I owe all these to the trainers, Sisters from the Congregation de Notre Dame, office staff and many people who have been praying for us and other trainees. Thank you very much.