I was born and raised in Ohio. While a sophomore at Ohio State University, I felt God’s call to be a missionary. God used a Bible study, a missionary biography and various missionary speakers to challenge me with the need for more workers. While serving in the Navy on a ship stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, God laid the people of Japan on my heart.
While in Japan in the Navy, I first met Georgia at the Yokosuka Christian Servicemen’s Center, and then again after a typhoon damaged my ship and we pulled into Sasebo harbor (where she lived) for repairs. You can check Georgia’s profile to find out the name of the typhoon that brought us together.
After my three years in the Navy I attended Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. During Christmas vacation of my first year I married Georgia and she joined me in Columbia. God blessed us with a baby girl, Dorcas, a year later. I received my M.Div from Columbia; then we applied with TEAM to go to Japan.
We came to Japan with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) in December 1981. We spent two years in language school. After graduating from the Karuizawa Language School, we moved to Kyoto to help plant a church. During that time God sent us a son, Danny, and completed our little family. We spent two and a half years in Kyoto planting a church, doing evangelism and discipleship, having worship services on Sunday, and a Bible study during the week. After our first home assignment we moved to Hiroshima and helped plant another church where we ministered for almost four years. Both of these churches have Japanese pastors and small congregations today.
During our third term of service, we located in the Tokyo area so that Dorcas and Danny could attend the MK school – CAJ – Christian Academy in Japan. We lived in Tokorozawa for two years and in Oizumi Gakuen-cho for two years. Along with assisting at two different Japanese churches, Ray worked in missions administration in TEAM`s Japan field office in Mitaka as Treasurer, Business Manager, as well as temporarily as Vice-Chairman.
Since December 1998 we have lived in Karuizawa of Nagano prefecture, where we were asked to manage TEAM`s Japanese language school for missionaries. It was KLS – Karuizawa Language School until 2008, and then renamed LCM Japan – Language and Culture for Ministry in Japan.
LCM Japan, formerly KLS, is a Japanese language and culture training center where missionaries from various evangelical mission agencies and countries from around the world come to learn to speak Japanese. Most are here for two years of full-time study, one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn. Our aim is to provide the optimum learning environment so that our students will be able to effectively minister cross-culturally to the Japanese in their own heart language in a culturally appropriate manner.
We added Skype Japanese lessons in 2009 providing an avenue for those who can’t move to Karuizawa to learn this language and culture. Skype lessons allow students to stay where they are but still have consistent language and culture training. God has blessed us with Skype students from many places, not only from several places in Japan, but also students in the US and Mexico. Our teachers are Christians and active in local churches. Because of the capabilities of Skype, even our teachers are not all on-site but live in various places. Two of our teachers have moved to Scotland. The wife wants to continue to teach for us, so it’s exciting to have a teacher living as far away as Scotland.
Our language and culture training program includes a ministry course which covers ministry vocabulary and teaches the students how to pray, lead meetings etc. We usually have an LCM Session each week; sometimes a “practice” chapel giving our students opportunities to introduce themselves, read the Bible, pray, give their testimony or a short message. Sometimes friends are invited to come hear a short Bible talk. Other times our LCM Sessions include discussions about culture, language learning strategies, and various other topics which help prepare new missionaries for their first years of service.
For new missionaries, this is a crucial time in their lives–the last two years of their academic training, as well as the first two years of life in their newly adopted country. We count it a privilege to work with them, helping them adjust to the culture, as well as helping them develop a personalized learning strategy for language learning.
We hope this gives you an idea of what God has called us to do in our corner of the world. Please check out the links for LCM Japan and TEAM Japan to see a bigger picture of TEAM’s work in Japan, as well as more detail about our ministry.
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