Does the idea of Japan being referred to as a missionary graveyard surprise you? A place so difficult to work that several missionaries have thrown in the towel, and have even discouraged other Christians from serving there. That sounds like a description of a country with government restriction, war, or health barriers, yet it is true of Japan, a wealthy and peaceful country with no government restriction against missionary work.
Fashion, technology, monetary success, and the country’s natural beauty distract onlookers from the underlying troubles of this great nation, expressed through symptoms such as:
- One of the highest suicide rates in the world.
- Being a destination, source, and transit country for forced labor and sex trafficking victims.
- Racism and bullying.
- Divorce and “in-house” divorce.
- Junior high school aged prostitutes.
- Hikikomori: young people quite literally afraid to leave their houses.
- Matahara: Maternity harassment, which, in some cases, has lead to women having an abortion in order to keep one’s job.
The country does not lack access to information or aid—they have wealth, medicine, education, and a dedicated workforce—yet they still remain shrouded in hopelessness. The one thing the people of Japan don’t have, and need most, is the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God has broken our hearts for the Japanese and called us to go and be a light for His glory. We have committed to serve in Japan, a culture both beautiful and bleak, in order to bring the hope of Christ to millions who have yet to hear about Him.
We need more Christians to go to the Japanese.
A Christian College in Osaka
Our family will be working alongside a large team of missionaries to found Genesis International College (GIC), an English language Christian two-year college which will offer undergraduate programs targeted toward students and professionals who need English training for academic and business environments. While our team works to establish the college they are hosting training events for Japanese students on a regular basis, such as TOEFL seminars and english conversation nights.
Our hope is that GIC will meet the real needs of Japanese people, particularly those who would be prohibited from entering into similar Japanese programs due to difficult life circumstances or a lack of means. We hope to use this college to gain a place within the culture of Japan, where it can be difficult for gospel workers to be taken seriously because they are often simply dismissed as outsiders, so that we can introduce the gospel by word and deed as we meet the needs of their people. We are praying that God uses the school and its staff to lead Japanese people to Christ.
Our team currently intends for Daniel to serve as the IT Director at Genesis, allowing him to utilize his 8+ years of professional experience in technology to assist with the infrastructure of the college.
New Churches in an Unchurched City
As we see new Japanese believers, we will be prepared to start new churches with trained ministry staff who are already on our team. We will also be able to share resources and fellowship with another congregation already in Osaka, at which a number of our team are currently attending as members.
Daniel and Carla will both serve within a local congregation in Japan while working as educators.
The desires of our heart are numerous. Most of all, we desire to witness the Holy Spirit’s work in awakening new Japanese hearts to love and follow after Jesus Christ. We desire that the culture, which is tainted by spiritual darkness in every corner, be transformed by the power of the gospel. We desire to see in Japan:
- broken families restored as parents and children become reconciled to their heavenly father,
- employees and employers who find their identity in Christ instead of in their occupations,
- people who turn away from suicide as God reveals to them that they have inherent worth as His image bearers,
- a nation which turns from the exploitation of young people for sexual pleasure after becoming satisfied with the joy of Christ’s salvation, and
- an ancient culture destroying its long-held idols upon realizing that there is only One God.
We are not engaged in this mission alone. We have sought out partners who share God's passion to reach the nations. These are churches and organizations who can can teach us, hold us accountable, care for our needs, provide counsel, pray for us, send us more workers, and/or supply what we are lacking in order to successfully take the gospel to Japan. To have these people standing beside us gives us great encouragement and joy.
We need your support
We rely on help from others in order to serve as missionaries. Would you consider supporting us?