Our gifts for Mission & Service support displaced people in Canada. Dr. Kathy Yamashita reflects on what it means to be a Japanese Canadian in light of the Japanese Canadian internment camps during World War II, and the support of Mission & Service of The United Church of Canada that works with the small Japanese United Church to grow into the multicultural church it is today.
“The relocation camps were in the interior of British Columbia and in southern Alberta, where those in the camps did hard labour sugar beet farming. During this time, The United Church of Canada supported Japanese people through the The Board of Home Missions program. We had missionaries who helped us with high school education, as the province only provided elementary education in the relocation camps. They helped us to remain as a Christian community that supported each other through those difficult times.
“After the war, those who were of the Japanese congregation in southern Alberta continued to worship together and eventually purchased an old hall in Lethbridge, Alberta. As time went on, the Japanese United Church was less dependent on the Japanese language, and thankfully, with support from Mission & Service, it has grown into a multicultural United Church. We worship in English. We are now financially stable and value Mission & Service, remembering the help we received in the past. Through reading Minutes for Mission in church, we have learned of the good work done through our giving for Mission & Service.”
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.