Walking in Faith, Arriving in Hope, and Sharing Love in Tokyo with United Methodist Women

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Beautiful Japanese Wall Art at Haneda Airport

” When you first stepped on that plane in Detroit, what were you thinking Dorthea?”  Ms. Pamela Sparr from the United Methodist Women politely asked me.

The initial thought that came to mind was ” How can I share my own experience  and use this as an opportunity to bless others? ”

With tears of joy in my eyes, I knew that this opportunity was something that only happens once in a life time for many. It was truly an honor to even be considered  as one of the five representing US participants. In that humbled moment, I felt honored, grateful, and very blessed. Also, as I began to wander in my thoughts and bask in the moment I realized that  to whom much is given much is required. Therefore, I said to myself ” This trip is not about me. It’s about my community. It’s about our environment. It’s about restoring our faith and fighting for social justice. It’s about fulfilling a mission to inspire a movement of young people, minorities, and women through faith.” My objective and main goal became to pay attention to details, seek wisdom and understanding, and build lifelong connections.

Jennifer McCallum being interviewed by Tokyo TV Reporters for "Why Are You Here?"

Jennifer McCallum being interviewed by Tokyo TV Reporters for “Why Are You Here?”

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City view from the Cab in Minato-Ku

When we arrived at the gates, we were asked to do an interview with Tokyo TV for the show “Why Are You Here?”, which is a broadcast about finding out the reasons people travel to Japan. We talked about our representation for United Methodist Women,  the Climate Justice Seminar,  and our stay in the Wesley Center. We were also asked about our occupations and cultures.

Our cultures are vastly different but yet we still share so many similarities. Tokyo is considered the largest city in the world. Detroit is considered the largest city in the State of Michigan. In my city, we often take the luxury of our surroundings for granted.  Seeing the beauty of their nightlife, fashion, and art reminded me of the place I call “Home.” We have limitless potential and discovered raw talent in Detroit. We just need the motivation to use this to our advantage.

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The Wesley Center is a beautiful building with state of the art technology in every room. When I first walked into the main office, there was a sign on the desk that grabbed my attention. It said ” Faith, Hope, and Love.” These words pulled on my heart. I instantly felt safe, comfortable and at home. In my first encounter I was reminded with this opportunity “I must walk in Faith in order to instill Hope in others to restore Love back into my city.” I love Detroit and I can’t wait to learn all that I can and use it to restore, rebuild, and renew my home. My first day in Tokyo was breath-taking! Thanks to the United Methodist Women, and I look for many more to come for the next 10 days.



  1. Reblogged this on Dorthea E. Thomas- fighting for women, families, and the environment and commented:


  2. What a beautiful introduction to the opportunities for women from this seminar! Thank you, Dorthea, for sharing about yourself and your aspirations for your own city of Detroit as you embark on this journey in Tokyo. I’m looking forward to following how this time will help lead you and those who are gathered into making “love in action” happen through faith and hope.
    Sung-ok Lee,
    Staff of United Methodist Women
    New York

  3. Thank you so much for commenting Sung-ok Lee! It’s been an amazing experience thus far. I look forward to sharing more of the journey along the way. This opportunity has truly been a blessing!

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