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 12th November, 2011. Two 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. Two of them will be sent to Mongolia. Mongolia is a new mission area of JLMM. Mission started in the country only twenty years ago. JLMM missionaries will start the mission "live together" in young communities there with other Lay missionaries from many countries. The midwinter is starting soon in Mongolia and they will go there in April, 2012. We wish two JLMM Lay missionaries will live together with people in their mission areas. Your prayers and support are appreciated.
Ms.Harumi Machida (Tachikawa Church, Tokyo Archdiocese)
The seven months' training was over. Though it sounds long, I felt it short. Each of us left the center for new place but I do not have the actual feeling yet.
I had a lot of time to face God and myself in the various types of training. In the extracurricular study I learned the problems which foreigners faced in Japan, discriminations of the tribe and leprosy patients and everything was fresh and valuable experience. I carried on the training without stop to review but now I realize that everything was connected to each other.
I was attracted by the words "live together", I thought of the meaning and wished to live together but I despaired of my small-mindedness and ugly heart many times and I am not perfect yet. The life of four of us together meant the most to me. Living together with people of not only different characters but also different standard of customs and manners brought me surprises and wonders. In my brain I understood that we were different from each other but it was difficult to understand mentally.
At this stage I cannot simply say it was "nice" to have lived with them these seven months but I feel it necessary for my forthcoming life. I hope one day I will be able to realize it valuable and irreplaceable time and at the same time I am satisfied hoping so.
There were love to each other and the function of God when we understood the differences though we could not accept and when we could help each other though we hurt many times.
I appreciate the Missionaries-sending ceremony held for us. I would like to express my gratitude to Fathers who conducted Mass, the attendees and those who prayed for us. So many people attended the ceremony and I feel very grateful for it.
I think that the ceremony was not just a formality but the ceremony for me to remember that I am supported and prayed by many people and to return to the original stance when I get depressed during my mission in the future.
I do not know what kind of life is waiting for me in the new place but I believe God's plan and want to walk along it. I appreciate your prayers for us.
Ms. Risa Matsumoto (Kogakura Church, Nagasaki Diocese)
I enjoyed these seven months.
I sometimes felt lazy to attend the training and move by train in the morning and struggled to address the challenge given by one of the Fathers.
The trainees met each other everyday. We had conflicts in minor affairs like taking out the garbage, cooking and cleaning due to our different mentalities.
Everyday was valuable. Though we could not get a certificate or earn money in these seven months, this period was a time for me to value something which looked vain. People might think that I spent a relaxing time but I took this opportunity to learn to live slowly. I lived "slowly and carefully" as my motto. It was not easy to speed down my turbine which had spun full speed in my work but I have more or less moderated the rhythm of life.
Now I believe that God certainly gives me what I want.
During the first half of my training I did not find the answer why I was going abroad now while people were suffering after the big disaster. I got impatient and consulted with the Sister in charge every week. When I started to worry about another problem, my overseas training began. Honestly speaking I could not concentrate on the training. However, after I had reached Philippines I could not help but try my best to cope with the life there with no telephone and no Japanese language. Especially when I was alone in Mindoro, I decided to focus on the reality and lived every moment carefully forgetting my worries. On the last day of twenty days there I suddenly felt that I lived my mission and almost cried for joy. God certainly responded to me.
I experienced this feeing over and over again and deepened my faith in God. Though I still have worries, I am sure to get rid of them one day. I will accept whatever I encounter now on and value the reality of my life.
I spent the great time. I really appreciate the supports of many people.