The Words of the Jenkins Family after 2008
Women In Ministry (WIM) in the Washington, D.C. metro area has begun a series of Fellowship Teas for local women clergy and church leaders. The first event was held April 17th, at the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) national headquarters building. Under the leadership of Rev. In Jin Moon the ACLC clergy are addressing the issue of ongoing human rights violations in Japan. For this reason, Women In Ministry (WIM) chose the theme of "Faith and Freedom" for this event.
The guest speaker was Missionary Nanae Goto, who gave a very moving testimony of her journey of faith in Japan during the 3 years she had been kidnapped and confined because of her belief. In 1987 her father, a militant atheist, paid gangsters (known in Japan as Yakuza) $40,000 to kidnap and confine her in a condominium. She was able to escape after a few months, and after some time felt that her family was beginning to trust her. When she returned to visit them, she was confined again in 1988. Her second confinement lasted for three years and involved frequent beatings from her father.
Speaking in her native Japanese that was interpreted simultaneously, she told the group that her father often slapped her and berated her for hours at a time, and at one point threatened to take her life before he died. Her father also enlisted the aid of professional faith breakers who subjected her to days of grilling and verbal abuse. She was able to escape on Aug. 7, 1991, because a Unification Church member placed a screwdriver on the outer shelf of the window of her condo prison, and she used it to remove the metal grating that covered the window.
Hearing about these events was deeply moving, but even more so was hearing how she kept faith and prayed to God, and so overcome the struggle with her family. God came to her many times to give comfort and wisdom to overcome the situation. At one point God revealed how much He loved her father, even though he was an violent atheist. Nanae began to feel that there was hope for her family after all. The power of her testimony was so strong that we just kept listening, even though the event went over the scheduled time. "Today I am married to a wonderful man. I have a son, and my parents have embraced my family," she told us.
After Ms. Goto spoke, Rev. Angelika Selle of Women's Federation for World Peace responded with a heartfelt talk and called for action to support outreach against similar ongoing human rights abuses in Japan.
We thank Bishop Sennie Johnson for giving the opening prayer, and Rev. Jane Wells for being our MC and giving the Scripture reading. Rev. Randy Francis gave the Blessing of Family prayer, and Min. Reiko Jenkins gave a short introduction of Women In Ministry. Rev. Michael Jenkins closed the event with a group prayer.