(original taken from http://web.me.com/roselineyong/Faith/Blog/Blog.html)
It began to strike me when I was questioned why do I come to Japan? and how did I begin in researching hikikomori? What are my major interests? It never occurred to me other answers while I was being facing these questions from Christians, even with my professors and friends from HKU who were non believers.
At the welcome party in my new department, I was again asked this question. I answered, “I became a Christian a few years back, and my life was changed. I started to pray for people, and when I prayed for Japan, I realized that there are many social problems and urging issues in the field, and I started to do my own research and readings. Here came the issue of hikikomori, that was totally confusing, and current reports were highly biased, more frustrating than being helpful, that I decided to work on this issue, to learn more about hikikomori, the epidemiology of it, so that I can re-channel these resources to the field workers.”
Yet, not long after that, I was again being asked the same question. To try to put more input of how God loves Japanese, I began to add new elements to the answer, and of course these were nevertheless the very true of how I was motivated in the beginning. “Well, I was praying, and I felt God was sad about Japan, and I began to discover social problems and the people are struggling with many issues and unhappy......” before I could continue, a remark was made by my Japanese friend, “Why do you think that Japanese are unhappy? You know Japanese do not express our happiness like other people group, but I think we are happy 幸せ people. Many Japanese are happy and content......” and of course, I listened to what my friends have to tell me, and probe for more of what they feel about being a Japanese. Then I began to realize we set values and targets of “happiness” and “expressions” in different levels, and being poor in Japanese vocabulary and poor in language expression, I could utter no other word to share about my faith nor His marvelous love for them.
I began to realize that I was probably hitting the chord at a wrong timing. Yet when will this ring a bell to the people that I care and love? I do not know. For me, I just have to keep trying. It’s not only about my research for hikikomori. My research is to help the field to understand better the elements in hikikomori, so that we can facilitate help and motivate self-help strategies and approaches. Despite the difficulties in undoing the harm that was done in heart and the life of hikikomori, I believe God can restore the broken hearted, and give a new meaning into the life of hikikomori.
Yet, regardless of who we are, people need to know that God loves them! and He is eager to heal and have the relationship with us! God help me! Because I’m so single minded, I felt I am stealing from your honor when I don’t mention about God as the reason of why I have come to love Japan, to love the culture and the people, and hold hikikomori so dear to my heart! My heart breaks when the people that are dear to me are not heard of the passion of Christ all because I am stumble at my words and poor expression...... it hurts!
Help me, God! Help me to be faithful to what you call me to! Help me to be able to deliver your love to the Japanese people!