Hallelujah Moment from Japan: "God Brought These Women!"
by Devorah (Debbie) Umipig-Julian
I met Tereza in one of my visits to the detention center. She is married, the mother of two boys aged seven and five. Alily, the father of the two little boys, is applying for refugee status, thus the detention. The impact of the detention is a long struggle.
At the detention center, I began to meet other people with similar situations: a woman whose husband remained in the detention center for two years without a guarantee that he can be freed; a family that had been together for 20 years were separated because the father is detained; another family's 10-year struggle because of visa problems.
With a heart for creating a network, my husband and I opened our house to these families one weekend for a meeting to share their stories and form significant relationships.
Pretty soon the number of families attending monthly turned from three to six and sometimes ten.
There are more families in this condition, and I couldn't believe how they have been affected by the immigration control system.
They don't view our sessions as therapy, nor do we offer guidance. We encourage the families to have their own legal counselor while I help with facilitating referrals and group discussions.
Before the sessions, I prepare my house--cleaning, calling people, sometimes cooking, and generally making all these strangers--these people--feel welcome and comfortable. God brought these women together, and God brings the healing.
Debbie Umipig-Julian is a missionary and social worker for the Christian Coalition for Refugees and Migrant Workers in Tokyo, Japan.
Ways to Support this Ministry
Imagine a movement that mobilizes tens of thousands of people in 10 days. It's called 10-Fold. To learn more, link to: http://www.10-fold.org.
"Don'na tokidemo" (Put Your Arms Around the World: Global Songs and Activities for Children, #16), a song from the pens of Junko Takahashi and Schin'ichi Takanami, shares their deep belief that God is omnipresent, using words that anyone can understand. Consider singing this song as part of your prayer time in worship. Sing stanza one prior to the prayer. Close the prayer time by singing stanza two. Use a simple accompaniment, perhaps just guitar. If available, add a flute or recorder on the melody to support the singing.
The first phrase incorporates the same text for both stanzas. You could choose to have the congregation sing this one phrase with a soloist or the choir singing the remaining lines of the stanza. Transpose as needed to best fit the singing range of your congregation. If used as a part of an intercessory prayer time, set up the pattern by asking the leader to say, "The Lord is with us," followed by the congregation saying, "Anytime and anywhere, know that Jesus' love is there."
The possibilities for praising God in worship are unlimited. Children, youth, and adult choirs will enjoy leading this song. Once the song is in your congregation's memory banks, add hand clapping, colorful streamers, and liturgical dancers to the procession! Put Your Arms Around the World: Global Songs and Activities for Children and all Global Praise resources are available from Cokesbury Music Service (1-877-877-8764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, from Cokesbury (1-800-672-1789 or http://www.cokesbury.com/), or your local dealer.
Date posted: Jul 29, 2010