I was born in Medford, Oregon, during the time my dad, Phares Huggins, pastored a church in Williams. Three years after my birth, we moved to southern Japan to be involved in church planting and evangelism. During my junior year in high school I signed my name “on the dotted line”, surrendering my life completely to God for missionary service. After graduating from Multnomah Bible College I served in Japan for five years doing evangelism and church planting in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture.
God brought Ray into my life with a typhoon which damaged his ship and brought him to Sasebo harbor for repair; would you believe the typhoon was named “Georgia”. Yup, that’s right! His life was never the same again.
During Ray’s Christmas vacation of his first year at Columbia University we were married. A year later God blessed us with Dorcas Joy! We came to Japan with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) in December 1981, spent two years at Karuizawa Language School, then moved to Kyoto to help plant a church. God blessed us with a son, Danny, not long after our move 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. I had so much fun with a ladies Bible study and craft/cooking class every week. Some of those first ladies became Christians. Both churches, in Kyoto and Hiroshima, have Japanese pastors and small congregations today.
Our next move was to 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 Oizumigakuencho for two years. I got very involved with the CAJ and even served as the PTA Chairman.
Since 1999 we have lived in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, where we manage TEAM`s Japanese language training center for missionaries. It was KLS – Karuizawa Language School until 2008, and then renamed LCM Japan – Language and Culture for Ministry in Japan.
Ray; Dorcas (daughter) and Jeremy (three grandkiddies) and Danny (son)
KLS and now LCM Japan 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.
At the moment we have two on-site students and 17 Skype students with a teaching staff of eight teachers, all of whom are Christians and active in local churches. Because of the capabilities of Skype, even our teachers are not all on-site but live in other cities here in Japan. Two of our teachers are moving to Scotland for the husband to enter graduate school in Edinburgh. His 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. 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 on differences in culture, learning strategies to try 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 websites for LCM Japan and for TEAM Japan to see a bigger picture of TEAM’s work in Japan, as well as more detail about our ministry.
Primary Prayer Request:
My life verse if Colossians 1:9-11
1. asking God to fill me with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
2. that I may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way;
3. that I would bear fruit in every good work;
4. that I would grow in the knowledge of God;
5. that I would be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might;
6. that I would have great endurance and patience, and
7. that I would joyfully give thanks to the Father