Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. This series highlights leaders in the movement from history to the present. In this installment, KyongJung Kim, MWC regional representative for Northeast Asia, reflects on his visit with Eun Hunki (Takai Satoshi in Japanese), a Korean Mennonite farmer living in Japan.
Eun Hunki’s Mennonite Dairy Farm is located 40 minutes from Hukuzumin Mennonite Center, Hokkaido, Japan.
Eun is a 1960s graduate of Mennonite Vocational School in Kyungsan, South Korea. When Mennonite Central Committee came to do relief work in South Korea after the Korean War, they set up a vocational school for orphan boys like Eun. The students learned not only academic knowledge but also Mennonite faith-based values, some of which were different from what Eun had learned before.
His life was not easy, but he never failed to carry the spirit of Jesus that the Mennonites taught him through his vocational school years in 1950–60s. After graduation, he studied dairy farming and finally moved to Hokkaido, Japan, to live with his family.
After many years of hard work, Eun established a Mennonite Dairy Farm in Hokkaido 2007. His farm signboard says: “In memory of Mennonite Christians serving in the name of Christ at the Mennonite Vocational School in Korea 1951–1971” He hopes his life and work contribute to the kingdom of God.
Eun’s life journey took him into a foreign land to make a new home. (Many Koreans experienced the Japanese colonial rule of Korea from 1910–1945 as harsh and oppressive.) For Eun, reconciliation is an ongoing process; he is choosing to follow the way of Jesus even in a what might be called an enemy country. He is an example of how a victim can be transformed to produce fruits of the Spirit that are beneficial for all in God’s kingdom.
The relationships offered by Mennonite World Conference and networking with national member churches are valuable to Eun. He is interested in having Mennonite workers come to serve and learn together at his farm in Hokkaido.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38).
As Eun cultivates his vision to participate in God’s mission alongside Anabaptist churches in Japan, may his work and life also become a catalytic source for Japanese churches to grow.