In November 2005, while Vassula visited Japan she asked: “Why isn’t there a Beth Myriam in Japan? It is easy to start, try to give some food to just a few people, it’s OK.” Then Satoru and his wife Jacqueline did exactly so. They went out to the streets of Tokyo with other volunteers from the TLIG Prayer Group of Tokyo and found many homeless people living in the parks of this busy metropolis. They started bringing food once a week. They would simply choose a tree to hang up the icon of Our Lady, then set up their tables in the park and start feeding the homeless people. In the beginning they fed less than ten people, with four volunteers.
By now the Beth Myriam feed 60-100 people every Tuesday for lunch in a community hall in Shibuya, where they are served a healthy meal of Hayashi rice (hashed pork with rice). With collaboration from the parish they also give clothes, shoes, medicines and consultation for social welfare services. This consultation is not by the BM but by people from the parish.
As the fruits of the counseling, about fifty people have got out of life on the street. The volunteers also try to evangelize there – since Japan is a buddhist country nobody knows about Christianity. People don’t know even that Mary is the mother of Jesus, nor who St. John is. Fr. Heinrich Jokiel S.J., the spiritual advisor of TLIG Japan, often gives talk to the poor. Satoru leads the poor to pray before meal and after having meal he reads the messages and invites them to pray the Rosary together. Then, something happened to few of the poor, they started to believe with Joy.
Address: Tokyo, Japan
Responsible: Satoru & Jacqueline Sugawara
Email: [email protected]