A path to WCC Busan Convention

Today is October 30th. The month is turning November. The day we had aimed and set as a goal, this commemorative day has finally begun.

Tohoku HELP had set this day as a goal, and have been working toward it from 2011, the opening day of “The assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Busan Convention”.

Korean Newspaper phrased this convention “The Christian’s Olympic”. This is a convention, where over 4,000 Christians gather together from all over the world. It has the oldest history of Christian Ecumenicalism.

Tohoku HELP was able to see this day, being greatly supported by various churches and denominations linked to WEA (World Evangelical Alliance), and various churches and denominations connected to WCC. It was around the autumn of the year 2011 I remember, when we learned that there would be a WCC convention in autumn of 2013, and narrowing our focus to this convention, we worked towards today.

WCC Busan Convention commenced on October 30th 2013, and will continue till November 8th 2013. We Tohoku HELP, together with the churches in Christchurch New Zealand, opened an art exhibition of master artist Soichi Watanabe in one booth, and will have an event on the theme “Church’s support in times of disaster”.

We have put our strength especially in the support project of churches in times of nuclear explosion disaster. This event has been named “Jericho Walk! With Hibakusha (radiation victims)”. The secondary title of this event is called “Asia Pacific Partnership aiming to become a nuclear-free world”, and the theme Bible verse is “Love covers over a multitude of sin”. (1 Peter 4:8)

This event is composed of prayer meeting and forums. (Please refer to the poster on the far right top)

Prayer meeting is held every morning from half past 8, and every evening at 8.

Forum named “Advocacy forum to link radiation victims” starts everyday at 1:10 P.M. I will report the details of this program successively. For now, I would like to report the course of our steps in order.

Last Thursday (th24th) we arrived in Seoul. Friday (25th) we were interviewed by a Korean television station called CBS, in Seoul all morning. (Pic 1)

The same Friday evening, we participated in the Japan Korea Theologian Science Council held in Presbyterian Church Theological University, and had a blessed time of conversation while dining together. (Pic 2, 3)

Sunday (26th) I gave morning sermon at Daun Community Church, and reported the present state of the disaster afflicted areas at Sarang Church’s Japanese worship service. (Pic 4, 5)

The people in Korea reacted sensitively, and had high level interest on the matter of “Fukushima”, and “Radiation”.

Next Monday (27th), we finally arrived in Busan. As soon as we arrived, I received the vital role of “24 hours fasting prayer” which started from 15:00. This fasting prayer would be held for 40 days until the end of WCC, with 40 pastors rotating every 24 hours in front of Busan City Hall fasting and praying. This was hosted by a denomination called “Korean Christian Partnership Seeking for a World without Nuclear”. (Pic 6,7)

Tuesday (28th) 15:00 as my fasting ended, the people from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, who would be joining us gathered in front of Busan City Hall (though the people from Taiwan missed the gathering place, and could not reach the place). After holding a worship service all together, we started our activity in Busan. (Pic 8)

On the evening of Tuesday, we returned once to our lodging, and as we were exchanging information with the people from many countries in a Coffee Shop, Christians from Orthodox Church and Christ Church in Australia approached us. We were filled with joy as if we were reunited with our old friends, and we actually felt that this was the “Olympic” mood.

Tuesday night, we entered BEXCO which would become the venue, and started setting up our own booth. (Pic 10~13.)

And today is Wednesday, October 30th 2013, 6:15. We will participate in an informal conference to report about Fukushima in the morning, and will finish up the setting up of our booth. From 1:10 P.M., the forum will be commenced with the presentation from Taiwan, and WCC Opening Ceremony following right after it.

So this is the kind of morning I’m savoring, spending this time by thanking God for his protection.

(October 30th 2013, written by Secretary General, Noaya Kawakami)

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