• October 30, 2012

A Japanese Heart’s Home Center!

The Founding Team: Fr Paul, Thibauld, Anna, Sylvie

Heart’s Home has just opened a new center in Japan. Heart’s Home USA Member Rev. Paul Anel is spending some time with the founding team. Some brief news and pics about our first japanese steps.

"At the origin of Heart’s Home’s foun­da­tion in Japan, there is an encounter, or better: many encoun­ters. During a short stay in Tokyo in March 2011, on our way back from Vietnam, we met many Japanese people who were deeply moved when hearing about com­pas­sion. "At this point in the his­tory of our country, it is what we need the most," they all told us. Compassion for the count­less vic­tims of the nat­ural and nuclear tragedy that hit Japan in March 2011, from the hun­dreds of thou­sands of refugees to the tens of thou­sands of chil­dren under close med­ical watch. But not only. "My father com­mitted sui­cide on the day he retired," a woman told us. "Please come to our country, we are lost," a stu­dent cried. Suffering is such that "the thing Japanese need the most today, is a place where they can cry," a pastor said. Everywhere, he could feel an immense and urging need for com­pas­sion: com­pas­sion for the elderly and the orphan, for the stu­dent and the weary busi­nessman, for the hope­less and the lonely.

Seven months later, on October 8, 2012, we were a team of four, including Sylvie Muller, a lay con­se­crated member of Heart’s Home and former Brooklyner, two vol­un­teers and myself, heading to Sendai, the cap­ital of Tohoku, next to some of the most heavily tsunami dev­as­tated areas, and a city with one of the world’s highest sui­cide rates. There, we set­tled down in a small, tra­di­tional Japanese house, set on a hill between an orphanage and a shelter. Everyday we ride our bikes to Sendai International Japanese School, where we take inten­sive Japanese classes. Besides learning the lan­guage, we also strive to embrace the depth and rich­ness of Japanese cul­ture, with its unique sense of beauty and respect. Though it is not an easy task, it is the way to go and reach out to the heart of Japan, and to plant there, through friend­ship and pres­ence, small seeds of hope."

Sr Paula & Sr Therese (sisters of the Good Sheperd, who welcome us) (...) At the Japanese Language School Kids at the nearby orphanage Shinjuku - downtown Tokyo - the favorite meeting point for Japanese (...) Annual Parish Bazaar Tea Ceremony at the Annual Parish Bazaar The full team in Tokyo, getting ready to leave for Sendai
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