My Ministry in Atlanta

Hello! I’m Daisuke, the North American head who loves ramen.

…I started writing, but this time I won’t touch on ramen at all. (Ah, I really want to eat ramen…)

I’d like to touch on the recent situation in Atlanta.

Maybe because I’ve been serving as the Director of Equipper Conference for a few years now, I’ve been hearing a bit more about EC’s image lately. But the original heart and passion of our ministry lie in “Local Ministry.” I also recall that my path as a ministry was cultivated by opportunities to share testimonies and the gospel with international students and expatriate families.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta is the largest city in the southern United States on the East Coast!

When I first came here, I didn’t understand anything, but now I find myself being introduced to more Japanese people in the community.

In addition to JCFN, where I am, there are several missionary organizations reaching out to Japanese people, and we work together as a team to minister. It’s nice to be able to focus on God’s work together without any territorial disputes or feelings of being taken or taking from others. It’s beautiful!

The work in the Atlanta area is largely focused on “Events,” “Building community networks,” and “building a Personal relationship”

We hold an “English Cafe” every month, where not only non-Christian international students gather, but also parents with kids to those in their 30s. By the way, when it comes to February, the world celebrates Valentine’s Day!! In the February English Cafe, we plan to discuss the difference between the love celebrated in the world and the love Christians receive. It’s a team event where we have weekly meetings and make various preparations for this packed content.

 

We also value collaboration with local churches, pastors, and missionaries.

We plan gatherings with the collaboration of churches to invite Japanese non-Christians to fellowship. It’s a precious opportunity for them to learn about “What is a Christian?”.

Through cooperation with local Christians, we aim to further introduce our ministry, hoping that when people connect with Japanese individuals, they’ll also connect with the Tsuchida family!

Lastly, we provide support for understanding in Japanese.

When spoken to in English, even if we don’t understand, as Japanese people, we tend to say things like “Yeah…” (laughs). I totally understand that feeling… Even though we’re told “If you don’t understand, ask,” it’s like we can’t bring ourselves to ask!

However, as a result of such casual responses, Americans often happily report things like “He accepted Jesus”… well, I guess that’s to be expected.

But later, when you ask in Japanese, you might hear, “Huh! That’s not exactly what happened!!” – the language/culture issue.

Personally, I take opportunities to ensure that through testimonies, scriptures, and prayers in Japanese, individuals can truly understand what the Bible teaches.

Because it’s a ministry for Japanese people overseas, I feel that understanding in Japanese is even more important every day.

In the place where God has put me,

I will do my best!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

January is already ending in 2024! I’m sure I’m not the only one surprised by the speed of time passing.

A friend I met today exclaimed, “January is ending, and I haven’t even put my resolutions into words yet… wait a minute!!” Amen.

I have completed EC, but I haven’t been able to take enough time to settle down yet.

My beloved husband, Mao, bought a bicycle last Christmas. He commutes to church by bike, which takes one hour and 20 minutes one way. When he told the church members about it, they asked, “Is it an electric bike?”  That wouldn’t do any good, does it?

Since the new year, he’s been commuting! Wearing a bright yellow hoodie, a helmet to protect his big head, he travels to the church and back, taking one hour and 20 minutes each way. Amazing!

Mao’s remarkable trait is his ability to persevere. (At least more than me.)

This summer, you might meet a “slimer” Mao.

But for now, it feels like Paddington Bear riding a bicycle…

I think about doing something new this year and continue it, but the year might end probably before I even start it.

Setsu Shimizu

古いものと新しいものの共存

この写真は、戦前に撮られたものらしいのですが、御茶ノ水に来られた人なら誰でもわかるであろう、御茶ノ水駅の駅舎(御茶ノ水橋口)の写真です。なんと、昭和7年に建てられたそうです。
そして、これが現在の御茶ノ水駅(御茶ノ水橋口)。

御茶ノ水駅の駅舎は、昭和初期に建てられたものをベースに増改築がされてきたようです。そして、またまた、大きな増築(新築)がされているのです。

先日、12月2日(土)には、新聖橋口改札がオープンしました。聖橋口改札は御茶ノ水口改札の真逆の方向に位置し、長年建設を進めていた建物が一段落したこともあり、聖橋口改札がとうとうオープンしました。

いかにも現代の建築という感じの聖橋口改札。

また、隣接する御茶ノ水橋、聖橋は、これもまた、昭和初期に架けられたものです。そして、御茶ノ水近辺には、様々な建築物が新たに建設中。少し歩けば、趣のあるニコライ堂(昭和初期完成)。古いものと新しいものが共存する街なんです。

JCFNは、この年末で33年を迎えます。私がこの働きに携わらせていただいてから、25年が経とうとしています。そうなんです。この界隈では「古い」ものになっていたのでした・・・。

それでも、神様が召してくださったこの働きに、「もう十分だよ」って言われるまで、新しいものと共存できるように、古いものなりに良い味が出せるよう、努力していきたいです。

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