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 BM icon of Our Lady and Jesus, then set up their tables in the park and started feeding the homeless people. In the beginning, they fed less than ten people, with four volunteers.
By now the Beth Myriam serves lunch to 60-100 people every Tuesday in a community hall in Shibuya. The healthy meal consists of Hayashi rice (hashed pork with rice). With collaboration from the parish they also give clothes, shoes, medicines, and consultation for social welfare services. As the fruits of the counseling, about fifty people have got out of life on the street.
The volunteers also try to evangelize to those who are interested. There is absolutely no obligation to participate. As Japan is a Buddhist country nobody knows about Christianity. People don’t know 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 a talk to the poor. Satoru leads the poor to pray before meals and after the meals, he reads the messages and invites them to pray the Rosary together. Then, something happened to a few of the poor, they started to believe with Joy.
Address: Tokyo, Japan
Responsible: Satoru & Jacqueline Sugawara