Prayer and Support a Hundred Years Ago and the Struggle of Ministry

It was during the visit the other day to Takada Advent Church.  I noticed there was a small picture frame of an old document hanging on the wall inside the vestry.   It was dated December 4, 1910, and it read that a third of the startup costs for “Nippon Sei Ko Kai Takada Outstation” was a donation by will from a devoted female minister of St. George’s Church of Toronto, Canada and the rest was from the theological students of Trinity College in the University of Toronto.  

It was this church in Takada that Revd. Hollis Hamilton Corey, who came to Japan in 1919 and later founded Okaya St. Barnaba’s Church, was first dispatched in Japan.  When researching the General Synod Archives of the Anglican Church of Canada, I found a handwritten letter from Revd. Corey to the then Bishop Hamilton, which said:

“Takada, Monday, February 6, 1922.  To my dear Bishop.  I thank you for your kind letter from the bottom of my heart.  I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Hamilton for sending me the genuine Canadian cheese.  It was if I could hear the sound of my nostalgic hometown.  Until now, we have been able to live on our salary, debt-free.  However, our monthly salary has always been running out 10 days before our next salary since we have been here.  For instance, we have not been able to buy any clothes since we came here.”  

In this letter is addressed the wholehearted attitude of the missionaries taking on the mission given to each in an unfamiliar land with a never-rich life.  I would like to keep in mind that we are here now because of the prayers and support of everyone from the Anglican Church of Canada one hundred years ago, and the “struggles” of these missionaries.   

The Rt Revd Francis of Assisi Renta Nishihara