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Communications on Aug. 30, 2002

2009.08.24 12:27

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* The Youth Exchange Meeting of Korea and Japan Offered Opportunity of Solidarity for Korean and Japanese Youth

The 8th Youth Exchange Meeting of Korea and Japan was held in Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan, from August 17 to 22, with the theme of "Solidarity".
Sharing each other's culture and life, some 60 Korean and Japanese participants could confirm that they are all brothers and sisters in one faith.
Rev. Inagawa, who is in charge of this meeting on the part of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, said in the closing Mass, "even without realizing it, we could encounter Jesus Christ during this meeting and in Him we became one," and expressed sincere hope that this meeting could go on in the future.
The closing Mass was unique. First, the youth of two nations prepared as introductory rite a didactic play expressing that the evil is defeated by the good. Lectures were made by two languages in turn to express their oneness in the Word of God. They offered bread they prepared by themselves and wine for the Eucharist.
After the Mass, a farewell performance was displayed. Korean participants sang hymns and Gospel songs, all being dressed in red just as they were in cheering the 2002 World Cup.
Even though they had difficulties in communication, the youth of two nations could gradually understand each other participating through various programs such as cultural tour and experience, sharing of Gospel, discussion etc.
A Japanese participant Inoue Masatsugu, 24, said, "I was very pleased to have meaningful time with Korean youth and make friends with them," and a Korean youth Kim Yun-gyeong, 23, said, "I could realize that having open mind is enough to have real friendship with people. Speaking different languages can not be an obstacle."
Korean youth also had time to experience culture and life of Japanese people through two-day of home stay in Japanese families.
Among the Japanese participants, in particular, there was a religious brother of Korean ancestry who recently changed his name from Nisihara Doku into Han-deok, a Korean name. For him, this meeting was very significant time to discover his identity.
He said, "when I first came to know that I am a Korean, I could not tell others about my Korean root for fear of discrimination. Participating in this I have more courage to be myself and conviction that the Lord is with me. Now I do not fear anything," and stressed, "I think it is my vocation to be of a help in bridging Korea and Japan."
In the meantime, on the last day, Sojunichi, 25, the representative of Japanese youth, presented impressive personal experience of this meeting. Following is his story of experience.
"I have experienced great changes through this exchange meetings. I have participated this meeting five times since the 4th meeting. At first, I decided to do it just because of friends' invitation and with expectation to make some Korean friends.
This meeting gave me many things. Personally, I changed my major in University into Korean Economics. It broadened my outlook, so I became not indifferent to the situation of other countries, especially that of Korea. My attitude toward people is also changed.
Frankly, I hesitated to meet Korean people at first. In fact, as my grandmother and father had unfriendly feeling toward Korea, they did not welcome my thought to visit Korea.
Therefore, in my first meeting, I did not talk so much and just passively participated in programs. However, the Korean friends came to me first and tried to share something with me. The language was not a problem at all. All that we need was to be together and smile to each other.
To express the relationship of Korea and Japan people say that the two nations are "close but distant". It means that we are close in physical distance but far distant in mental distance. I felt certain limit to experience Korea while living in Japan. Thus, the good point of this meeting is to visit each other's nation and share what we have and what we think.
In this meeting we do not look at each other at which we stand. Instead, the meeting requires us to come a step closer to each other. By doing this together, we can narrow the distance between us two times closer than when just one side moves. I believe that Korea and Japan can become "closer" nations through this kind of attitude.
I learned something in this meeting. It influenced my life greatly. I hope that my rich experience to serve as foundation for my social life.
I hope this meeting will narrow the gap between two nations. However, in a sense, there might be no distance at all from the beginning."


* Korean Catholics' Charity Enables to Construct a Hospital in Zambia

Thanks to the contribution of Korean Catholics and the subscribers of Pyonghwa Weekly, the natives of innermost depths of Zambia can hope to benefit from medical care very soon.
On July 21, Sr. Caritas Kang Young-min from the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis who is working in Zambia as a missionary had a ground-breaking ceremony of the hospital in Ntambu with 50,000,000 won(US$43,000) that she collected last June in Korea with the help of Pyonghwa Weekly," said Sr. Hidy, Superior General of the Congregation who attended the ceremony.
Ntambu is known as a dark corner of medical care and health insurance in Zambia. For people of Ntambu it is not easy to get even one aspirin tablet and they have to walk 2-3 days in order to get some medical cares.
The inhabitants of Ntambu suffer terribly from AIDS that is rampant all over African land. Ntambu is not exception and it is changing slowly into a 'land of death'. In addition to that, they suffer from malnutrition and easily contract malaria and die in 2-3 days.
The hospital in construction will have 120 beds and it will require five hundred million won(US$417,000) to be completed.
"If Korean Catholics support us for construction expenditure and medical instruments, we will be able to open the hospital by next fall" said Sr. Leonora who is in charge of collection of funds and asked generous support of Korean Catholics.


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