18 May, 2017

A taste of what I do

One of my big jobs is as managing editor of a quarterly magazine by and for misssionaries in Japan.

We are gradually building up our website with content that appeared in the magazine and just a few that haven't. I'm excited by the possibilities, it's just been hard to build up that side of the magazine when I know little about website design and am fully engaged in putting the print magazine together. We've been hoping for some time to gather a team that could work on building up the website, but it's been very slow in coming to fruition.

The theme of the issue that came out last month was Minority Groups and we got some interesting articles. Here are some that we've gotten up online for you to check out:

Bridge building among Latinos in Japan. Did you know there has been a lot of movement between south America and Japan? Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan and a migration agreement was signed between the two countries way back in 1907!

Welcoming people with disabilities. This was written by a former OMF missionary in Japan (who now is a salaryman) who is in a wheelchair himself. It's specifically about Japan, but many of the principles he mentions are applicable across borders.

Learning to love like Jesus This article is by a foreign Christian woman who now has a close Japanese friend who is a lesbian. It shines a light on this segment of the population in Japan.

Sports ministry is by a current OMF missionary. It's exactly about what the title says: reaching out to people using sport, not just big organised events with famous people (one of the first things I think of when I hear this topic), but he gives a few very doable ideas for individuals, groups, and churches. This one was a stretch to include in a "minorities" themed magazine as apparently 70% of Japanese are involved in sport in one form or another!

Children of the outcasts. Did you know there was a class of people in Japan who were outcasts? "In the Edo period (1603-1868), society was divided into four casts: samurai, farmers, craftsmen, and merchants. Below these were the outcastes—confined to ghettos and given 'unclean' work, jobs involving dead animals or people" (from the article). Discrimination against such people has not completely disappeared, though it is largely a hidden problem.

Delivering the love of Jesus is by a mother and son about reaching out to Japanese people who are profoundly disabled, the son himself has autism and communicates mostly by writing.

Ministry to the homeless another sector of society that most people outside of Japan don't know about. Like most countries, there are people living on the streets here, especially in inner city areas and close to large train stations and parks. This shares three testimonies of homeless men becoming Christians and was written by the father of one of our eldest son's classmates.

One of the most exciting parts of my job is as Acquisitions Editor (no I don't have that title in such a small magazine, but it is one of my roles). I love getting new articles, having ideas and finding people to write about them, networking, working with authors to form their ideas and experiences into a beautiful piece of writing, and finally seeing those articles get into print. I love to write too, but in this job I get to help other people write things I never could. Of course I could, but not from the first-person perspective that they can. What a privilege!

I'm about to start another round of this in the next couple of weeks for the Autumn issue (with the Summer issue just inching into the design phase). It's a lot of juggling, but I love the variety that this job offers.

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