Christian Schools Council Holds General Assembly in Tokyo

Christian Schools Council Holds General Assembly in Tokyo
On January 28, 2010, the General Assembly of the Christian Schools
Council on Cooperative Mission was held in the Kyodan Conference Room and included time for presentations, discussion, and fellowship. First to speak was David Burger, whose theme was “Thirty Years of Work at Seigakuin.” While growing up in Tennessee, Burger attended the local United Methodist Church with his family and after completing preparation classes was baptized on Easter Sunday shortly before his 11th birthday.Burger met his future wife when he was 27, while he was teaching English
to a group of Japanese students preparing to enter American colleges. It was this experience that made him want to learn more about the Japanese language and culture. The father of another Japanese student at the U.S. college his future wife attended was the principal of Joshi Seigakuin Junior/Senior High School. He introduced Burger’s name to then president of Joshi Seigakuin Junior College, William G. Kroehler, who asked Burger to come to Japan as a missionary associate. Burger feels that unlike most short-term missionaries at Christian schools, in the beginning he
did not “choose” as much as he “was chosen” to come to Japan as a missionary to a Christian school. Nevertheless, he feels certain that God led him in this direction, so after much prayer, he accepted the call to become a missionary teacher at Joshi Seigakuin Junior College at the age of 29.
For Burger, it is most important that a missionary teacher is a
Christian who represents the spirit of Christianity while teaching. For example, when he taught a class in intercultural communication, he tried to convey to students that effective intercultural communication occurs when we have the same love for others that God has for all: namely, God loves all equally, so we also must love one another. He also believes that it is important for Christian teachers to be models of the Christian life to their students. To lead such a life is a great challenge to any missionary, but at all times, we must be guided by the same love God has for all. In 1994, Burger was asked to become Dean of
Students, and four years later he became head of the English Literature Department. In that role, he helped oversee the final year of the junior college’s existence before it merged with Seigakuin University and he became a member of the Japanese Culture Department. Nine years later, in 2008, he moved to the European-American Culture Department as chair,where he remains today.
Burger said that the assurance of God’s constant presence and guidance continues to give him the confidence he needs to face whatever challenges are presented. Being the top person has never been his ambition but rather simply to be satisfied by doing the best he can at whatever he is asked to do. As Jesus taught in Luke 12:48: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required, and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” Burger said that he is forever thankful for all that has been given and entrusted to him during his time in Japan and for the opportunity to participate in the great mission of Christian schools to infuse a traditional liberal arts education with Christian values and mission.
The second speaker was Park Mi-Ae of Rakuno Gakuen University, who spoke on the topic “The Mission and Role of Missionaries in Christian Schools.” Park pointed out that despite the fact that the Christian population is quite low, it is impressive that Japan has produced world-class theologians, social activists, literary figures, and other Christian leaders. In addition, the fact that ten percent of Japanese universities are Christian schools is another blessing from God. Park was sent by the Presbyterian Church in Korea and served at Asian Rural Institute for eight years, 1994-2003, then served for one year at Nishinasuno Church. After a brief return to Korea, Park has been working as a missionary and teacher at Rakuno Gakuen University since 2008.
Chapel services are held three times a week at Rakuno Gakuen and are semi-required for first- and second-year students. There are many positive aspects of semi-required chapel services, Park feels, among them the opportunity for spiritual growth and mental development, as well as for a sense of belonging to an educational community. In Park’s Christian Studies class, the aim is for students to study the Christian ideas that form the basis for the establishment of the school, to form a sense of values and an understanding of the world, and to put into practice Rakuno Gakuen’s founding principle of a threefold love for God,humanity, and the earth.
Park expressed the belief that working at a university both as a
missionary and as a foreigner is a great advantage in that she is
naturally able to fulfill her role as a cultural exchange ambassador.Rakuno Gakuen currently sponsors a “Japan-South Korea Reconciliation and Peace Study Tour.” In addition to that, the university offers a Korean language course for independent study. Park also serves as a counselor. For students or teachers who may find it hard to go to the counseling room, even when they are having problems, Park has set aside a time and place where they can come and talk freely. For her, as a missionary and as an evangelist, this is another important role.
In reality, there is a limit to what can be conveyed in a chapel message or in a lecture, but Park can personally introduce a local church to students who are interested in Christianity and attend worship services with them. This is an important role she can play in furthering solidarity between Christian schools and local churches. Through a work camp at Asian Rural Institute, with the theme “A Trip to Learn about the Founding Principles of Rakuno Gakuen,” as well as through a tour of the Ashio copper mine ruins, students are able to learn the history of the Ashio mineral poisoning incident and about Tanaka Shozo, who had a great
influence on Rakuno Gakuen founder Kurosawa Torizo.
At a time when there is an absolute lack of Christian teachers, and when there is a question of how we can educate and nurture young people who have the Christian spirit, Park hopes that the work of missionaries can be of some help in realizing this goal.
―Aminaka Shoko, staff
Christian Schools Council on Cooperative Mission
Pastor, Bethel Church
(Tokyo District’s Southwest Subdistrict)
2010年1月28日(木)日本基督教団会議室において宣教協力学校協議会総会が行われ、発題と懇談の時が持たれた。はじめに、David Burger先生は「聖学院での30年間の働き」と題して、発題した。
テネシー州に生まれ、家族と共に合同メソジスト教会に通い、11歳の誕生日直前に受洗準備会に参加し、イースターに洗礼を受けた。27歳の時、留学準備の夏期学校で日本人グループに英語を教えたのがもっと日本語や文化を知りたいと思うきっかけとなり、将来妻となる女性と出会ったのもその夏期学校であった。妻が通う大学の日本人学生の父が女子聖学院中高の校長で、当時女子聖学院短期大学の学長であったWilliam G,Kroehler 先生と連絡を取って下さり、短大で準宣教師として教えることになった。日本にいるほとんどの教育宣教師とは違い、私は自分で選んだのではなく選ばれて日本に来ることになったと思う。実際、神さまが私をこの方向に導いて下さったということは確かで、一生懸命祈った結果、29歳で女子聖学院短期大学教育宣教師になるという召しを受け入れることになった。一番大切なことは教えている時に、クリスチャンとしてキリスト教精神を示すこと。教会的な異文化間コミュニケーションは、神さまの全ての人たちへの愛から生じていることを教えるよう努力した。神さまは全ての人を平等に愛して下さっている。だから私たちもお互いに愛し合わなければならない。
学生に対しては、クリスチャンとしての生活のお手本になることが大切だと思う。常に同じ信念に導かれていなければならないと思う。そんな生活をすること自体、宣教師にとっては大きな挑戦である。1994年に短大の学生部長に任命され、4年後、短大最後の年に英文科の主任となり、大学への移行の手助けをした。大学の始めの9年は日本文化学科に所属し、のちに欧米文化学科長となった。神さまが共にいて下さるという自信が与えられ、ベストを尽くして前向きに受け止めることが出来た。私はトップになることが目的なのではなく、いつも与えられたことを一生懸命することだけで満足していた。ルカ12:48に「全て多く与えられた者は、多く求められ、多く任された者は、更に多く要求される。」とあるように、私に多くのことが任せられたことを絶えず感謝している。キリスト教学校は一般教養をキリスト教の価値観と伝道の精神で満たすという使命を持っていることを再確認したい。
酪農学園大学 朴美愛先生(ぱくみえ)「キリスト教学校での宣教師としての使命と役割」日本のクリスチャン人口は少ないが、世界的な神学者、社会運動家、文学者などクリスチャン・リーダーが生み出されていることをうらやましく思う。そして日本の大学の10分の1がキリスト教主義学校であることも神さまの祝福だと思う。私は大韓イエス教長老会から派遣され、1994年から2003年まではアジア学院で8年、日本基督教団西那須野教会で1年働き、一時帰国の後2008年から酪農学園大学で宣教師、教員として働いている。酪農学園では週3回礼拝をおこない、1,2年生は準必修。霊的、精神的な成長、教育共同体としての一体感など、礼拝の準必修は肯定的な面がとても多い。
キリスト教学の講義では、建学精神であるキリスト教の思想を学び、価値観と世界観を形成し、「三愛精神」を実現することを目指している。宣教師として大学で働くことは、外国人としての存在そのことが、文化交流者の役割を自然的に表すことが出来る。これは大きなメリットである。
酪農学園大学では「日本と韓国との和解と平和を考えるスタデイツアー」を実行している。それに加えて、自主講義としてハングル講座を開いている。また、カウンセラーの役割もある。学生や教員が何か問題を抱えていても、相談室までは行きにくい時、気軽に話が出来る場所と時間を作っている。
私には宣教師として、福音伝道者としての大切な役割もある。学校礼拝や講義で伝える内容には限界があることは現実だが、個人的にキリスト教に関心がある学生には地域にある教会を紹介したり、一緒に礼拝に参加したりしている。これはキリスト教主義学校と地域教会の連帯のために大切な役割だと思う。ワークキャンプでは「三愛精神と健土健民を知る旅」でアジア学院でのワークキャンプと足尾銅山跡地の見学を通して酪農学園創立者黒澤酉蔵に大きな影響を与えた田中正造と足尾鉱毒事件の歴史を学ぶ。
キリスト者教員が絶対的に足りない今、どうすればキリスト教の精神を持った人材を育成する教育が出来るのか、宣教師の働きが少しでもその役に立てばいいと願っている。 —– EXTENDED BODY: —–