일본 파송 선교사
1. 선교사님! 소개를 부탁드립니다
My name is Esther HaeRin 혜린 Yoo. I am 25 years old and the oldest daughter of a family of five. My family consists of my father John, mother Suzy, my twin brother Paul, and my younger sister Hanna. Although I was born and raised in America, I still have much pride over my Korean heritage! I don't have a particular favorite food but have a very Korean/asian palate in the foods I enjoy eating. I graduated from California State University, Fullerton in the summer of 2018 with a degree in Human Services and a minor in Japanese. I am a native English speaker and although I am not yet fluent, I can speak conversational Korean and Japanese as well. I enjoy spending time with friends and listening to music in my free time.
2. 일본으로 선교를 가게된 동기가 어떻게 되시나요?
I've had an interest in Japan ever since I was in Junior High School through the language and music. My interest in Japan didn't originally start as a passion to serve as a missionary or to evangelize to the Japanese community, but I believe that God prepared me to do so starting with my interest in the language and music. Because of my interest in Japan in Junior High, I had picked up on the culture and language through watching/listening to Japanese media throughout my youth. My interest continued into college, and I made sure to take classes on the language and the culture to learn more about them on a deeper level. I took short vacations to Japan for leisure and through those trips I was able to connect with the Japanese Church I am currently serving at. I am at the church I am serving at ( as an English teacher ) through the connection of an acquaintance who offered me the opportunity.
Rather than a motive that lead me to choose to go to Japan, I strongly believe that God had been preparing me to go to Japan ever since my youth, and opened up the pathway to send me in his perfect timing. When the opportunity and offer to serve in Japan came to me; the timing, life circumstances, spiritual state, and prior preparations aligned in a way that made myself and my mom realize God had already decided on sending me to Japan a long time ago. To put it simply, my coming to Japan was an act of obedience to what I wholeheartedly believe to be God's calling. I am in constant prayer over how God will use me in the nation of Japan with the skills and knowledge he has prepared and blessed me with thus far.
3. 선교사님 사역을 간략하게 설명해 주실수 있으신가요?
The English program that I am teaching at is called Mustard Seed English and is hosted by Shoutai Christian Church in Kawasaki, Japan. The program is the church's Outreach program that focuses not only in teaching participants English, but to plant and nurture positive images (seeds) of the Church and the people in it to the participants. Religion and the Church do not have a positive image to non-Christians in Japan, so MSE works to build connections and break down the barrier of uncertainty and fear over what a Church does. Although the program mainly targets teaching children, there is also a strong focus in following up and building relationships and trust with the parents of the participants as well. Through the program, we hope to build lasting relationships that will allow participants to freely and comfortably seek the Church as a place they are always welcomed into. Throughout the year, we normally plan and invite the students and parents to seasonal and yearly church events (ie; Easter, Summer VBS, Christmas) to share the gospel through the connection of English class as well. Unfortunately due to Covid19, the program has not been able to incorporate many of the outreach events that we normally would have. Teaching and expanding on the English classes have been the main focus amidst the Covid19 crisis and the program is in need of prayer over the expansion and addition of participants. I and Shoutai Church staff earnestly pray that Mustard Seed English program will serve to be a meaningful outreach program to those who are involved.
4. 현지에서 사역하면서 어떤 어려움이 있으신가요?
Contrary to what I had originally believed to be difficult, the follow-up and Parent-care of the English students' parents have been the most difficult part of the ministry work. The work and care that needs to be put into building relationships with the parents is beyond what I had learned to do in my human relations classes. As with any work, knowing how to properly communicate and handle difficult and sensitive situations with people is the hardest part of missionary work. Trust and rapport is needed in order to effectively share the gospel with anyone, and having to build this trust and rapport with many different parents and students have proven to be overwhelming at times. I hope and pray that I may be able to love on each and every person I encounter with passion and enthusiasm. I hope that the Japanese community I serve can be encouraged by the way I live and treat them as well, and that they see that people of the Church are here to love and support them.
5. 선교사님을 위한 기도제목을 알려주세요
I know it is difficult to do so in the current circumstances, but if another teacher can be sent or found to build the program together, I believe the program and the outreach work that we do will be more effective and grow in a positive way. It has proven to be overwhelming to undertake many of the Mustard Seed English class duties on my own, and it would be appreciated to have a partner to share in the work.
"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)