Kami-Fukuoka Church and Me: Past and future
“No matter what happens, never abandon your Christian faith.” These were my mother’s parting words to me more than 20 years ago, before I came to Japan to start a new life with my Japanese husband. I confidently assured her that I won’t, not knowing that things are quite different here. There are so many things that we just take for granted in the Philippines when it comes to faith, like easy accessibility to churches, the several daily masses especially on Sundays and the fellowship with people of the same Christian faith. These things are difficult to find in Japan. Initially, my husband and I just attended the Mass wherever we happened to be. Then, we found Kami-Fukuoka church, and without realizing it, we started coming here regularly. Kami-Fukuoka church at that time was old and not imposing at all, but it gave me the feeling of being home away from home, not only because of the presence of many fellow Filipinos, but also of the caring Japanese church members who tried to understand, accommodate and meet the needs of the foreign members of this church.
God blessed us with two daughters and they grew up here spiritually, celebrating Christmases, Holy Weeks, and Easter Sundays at Kami-Fukuoka church. It didn’t seem like a long time ago when my daughters were crawling/running around the church playing with other grown children. Now, they themselves have grown up, and they themselves find it fun interacting with the cute children in the church.
The reconstruction of Kami- Fukuoka church was about 11 years in the making, and it was great to be part of it even in just small ways from the planning to fund raising to actual construction. Church members cooperated with a passion, which was only possible with the grace of the Holy Spirit, until we finally saw the new church standing. However, a church is just a building without its faithful. It is its people sharing the same faith in Jesus that makes a church. People come and go, but it is my hope that the church will continue to be a beacon of light for everyone, regardless of color or race, as well as a place of spiritual comfort and growth.
As for my children, they sometimes couldn’t attend the Mass every Sunday as they have become busy with their school and club activities. As a parent, I worry about their future, and I find myself repeating to them what my mother said to me before, “Never abandon your faith…” I hope that their Christian faith formed at Kami-Fukuoka church will continue to serve as an anchor in their lives.
Reprint from “Kami-Fukuoka Catholic Church
50th Anniversary Book”（Oct 20.2013）