I went to the symposium with a few colleagues. As I was sitting in the hall today, listening to the testimony and the work that these field workers are sharing, I began to have a deeper understanding of the issues of hikikomori, NEET, mental care in the local Tokyo community. The symposium ran from 10.30am to 6.10pm, with only one hour break in between, attracted around three hundred people at least (the hall was full), young and old, composed of many volunteers with only one hope, that is to see these kids get back on the healthy track again! How lovely if I have Heart4Japan members with me today, that we can pray together after the meeting, and come out with ideas and forming networks in urban poor outreach in future?
Gain and Lost
The symposium was not about academic gain, nor data, but its a gathering of a group of concerned people, hundreds of them... which all presented the feelings and desires of the people who are caught in this route of sickness, whether are they care giver or sufferer. The voices of the parents, and the efforts and theories of the psychiatric social workers, psychiatrists, the latest government policy on mental health care and the function of the mental care association was heard. The forum gives us a picture of what have been done, where were wrong, what were appreciated, and most importantly, what are the limitations! Still, the other Christians workers in the network had shown no interest in this kind of gathering. I could understand what should be made priority, and Sunday services should not be neglected. Yet, without being exposed to the real field, what could we really understand from the pulpit talk? How would we know where shall we start and how should we start?
Before we work, shouldn't we listen?
I am proud for the people who are really in the field, going all out to reach out to people, the poor and sick in spirit, with the little that they have... yet when the Christians are saying that they care, and the church says this is important element, how many care to spend a minute to give an ear to these people who are outside the walls of the church? and I guess if I stay longer in Japan, I can probably understand even more why the Churches are taking a step back rather than a step forward, because we do not know how to reach out, except of putting a "CRUSADE" banner at our forehead! We are so lost when we have to work with the buddhist, the "pagans", we do not know what to do about it, and we decided to run away. AND trust that if God is willing, these people will come to us, and we can use our theologies and knowledge of Christ to speak "life" into them. I don't blame the church nor the Christians,because I myself have very little time and have to "prioritize" too. We are minority, we are just too weak. Yet, seriously, I don't think we are too far from the Pharisees nor the common crowd when Jesus came 2000 years ago. Don't we realize that we have so much more to give while compare to others? We could give HOPE in the Spirit, LOVE of the Father that knows us all, and PEACE that could condense into the deepest bottom of the heart!
Do you not say, ''There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!" John 4:35
The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few... How many people can realize that I can't do this alone, and I'm not called to do this alone. I need people to fill these gaps! If the Lord has called me to the field to see these gaps, as I identified it, and I need to share it, and that's where we will need people on the field! If you are in this group, you are called to PRAY, to GIVE your talents and thoughts and actions to the field! Church, WAKE UP!!! I pray that I would only be His mouth piece, where I need not to be smart myself to share about the needs in the field, it would and it should be His words and His desires that I speak of!