the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some days

Some days I wonder why I even bother to go to Japanese church, and today is one of those days. What follows is a rant.

Today many students from Gijuku visited our church (as they are required to once a month). There was a decent sermon about how the church is one. After there was a giant "have everyone who attended today say your name" time (called jikoshokai 自己紹介) and then students were given a stamp on the bulletin to prove they had attended. 本当に教会の意味は何だろう?みんたいな。

What was the point of this giant self-introduction time? To learn names? why? So that hopefully those students can develop relationships and continue coming to church so they can someday have a relationship with Christ. I think that's what they're trying to do.

But what happens? Church members stand around awkwardly (komatteru 困ってる) and students run out the door. I've been trying to stand by the door and talk to these students, but I feel like I can do very little. I've been hoping someone would see me and come and help me, but I'll have to find a way to be more blunt next time.

And to top it off today, what did church members do instead of welcoming students and trying to build relationships with them? They had a giant meeting to wash all the slippers in the church. In a denomination that is STARVING for young people, I find this unbelievable. マジでありえない。

I feel SO useless.

I guess the same thing happens at home. But here, outside my own culture, it's like "Duh!" I've spent too much time here being angry at the local church, but I just can't seem to help it at times like this. If you can, please pray for us. Thanks.


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