24 February 2004

The Omi Mission in Japan, 1915

February 1915, the tenth anniversary of the arrival in Hachiman of Mr. W. M. Vories, marked the beginning of the second decade of the Omi Mission.

The distinctive features of this Mission consist in its being financially self-supporting; undenominational--advocating and practising co-operation in all Christian efforts; administered entirely on the field; international--having voluntary supporters in America, Europe, and Japan, and both American and Japanese workers on equal terms, the general secretary this year being Japanese; rural from choice and conviction; aimed at the establishment of a model Kingdom of God, rather than at individual conversions alone; many-sided in its approach--preaching, Sunday Schools, railway and Student Y.M.C.A., with hostels, farm, motor cruiser (Galilee Maru) on Lake Biwa, physical work in the embryo antituberculosis camp, two monthly publications, newspaper evangelism, loan library of evangelistic books, many types of women's work, and architectural office--for support and for training self-supporting mission workers; and finally, in its compromising a practical Laboratory of Mission Methods, where new lines of evangelistic and institutional effort are being tried out--and the results open to any mission in the Orient.

Beginning without resources and with only one green young worker in 1905, the Mission numbered in 1914 thirty workers, eight of whom were Americans.

The first ten years were marked by the complete alteration of the attitude of the community, from that of open and violent opposition and persecution to open and cordial favour; the building up of a staff of native workers--which is the hope of any mission enterprise; and the crystalization of aims and methods adapted to peculiar conditions, after experimentation.

The direct achievements, though sounding well in report, are, we trust, merely suggestions of real harvesting in the next decade.
SOURCE: "The Omi Mission," by W. M. Vories, in The Christian Movement in the Japanese Empire, including Korea and Formosa, a Year Book for 1915 (Conference of Federated Missions, Japan, 1915), pp. 136-137.

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