Tag - Japan

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How to Pray for Unreached People Groups
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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Oyakodon
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A Shelf Full of Gods — and No Hope
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Would You Betray Your Parents for Jesus? [July Prayer Focus]
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Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?
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The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
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Biking to Belong in Japan
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When Slow Business Brings People to God
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A Blessing for Missionaries Becomes a Ministry
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A Day in the Life of a Missionary

How to Pray for Unreached People Groups

A missionary talks with a woman from an unreached people group in Chad.
Unreached people groups are found in rural villages, high-tech cities and everywhere in between — but all have the same need for the Gospel.

What pops into your mind when you read the words “unreached people groups”? Simple, tribal living or high-tech, city life? Intense religiosity or no religion at all? Commitment to community or extreme individualism? Hard-to-reach or just a plane ride away? Actually, any of those answers could be correct. Ask TEAM missionary Eric Kroner about the unreached people group (UPG) he serves in Chad, and he’ll share about farmers who live without electricity or running water. “They are very much aware that their livelihood is dependent upon rains, at the whim of disease, and with the very rhythms of day and…

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TEAM Eats: Recipe for Oyakodon

Japanese meal
Not only is oyakodon a family favorite, but it's also the first Japanese meal TEAM missionary Beth Anne Trim learned to make! Keep reading to get the recipe.

In Japanese, oyakodon literally translates to “parent and child on rice.” It is a popular dish in many restaurants here in Japan, and I first had it when I came as a short-term missionary to Japan in 2006. It was also the very first Japanese meal I learned how to make. (My daughter now asks for it all the time.) However, I like to add a unique twist by adding shiitake mushrooms because I think it adds a lot of flavor. Traditionally, this dish is made in a special oyako-nabe pan designed for donburi (“on rice”) dishes, making only one…

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A Shelf Full of Gods — and No Hope

Japanese Buddhist
She needed community. It was the doctor's orders, but for Machiko, all it took was a going a walk around the block to find what she so desperately needed. Read her story! Photo by TEAM

You need to join a club or social circle so you’ll have interaction with others on a regular basis, Machiko’s doctor said. You risk getting dementia if you don’t. When Machiko* went for her annual check-up, she already knew she struggled with depression. She knew she was socially withdrawn and battled an anxiety disorder called hikikomori. But she never thought her lack of a social life could cause her to lose her mind. She needed company — she needed friends. She needed help. It was overwhelming. When she got home, she decided to take a walk down the street to…

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Would You Betray Your Parents for Jesus? [July Prayer Focus]

pray for Buddhists
If leaving your religion meant leaving your culture and family, would you do it? Read about the obstacles missionaries face when reaching Buddhists and see how you can pray! Photo by TEAM

How do you lead someone down Christ’s narrow path when they believe almost every path leads to salvation? That’s a question missionaries in Buddhist-majority countries face every day. And not only do Buddhists struggle to understand their need for a Savior, but they also face external pressure to remain in the faith of their family. In Buddhist cultures, to turn your back on the religion of your parents is to betray them on the deepest level. Your community will cut you off, taking away your friends, limiting your job opportunities and even kicking you out of your home. Overcoming these…

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Is It Possible to be Japanese and Christian?

returnee ministry
TEAM missionary Roberta Peabody shares the struggles and the payoffs of working with new Christians in a Japanese returnee ministry. Photo by TEAM

When Kira* accepted Christ, she thought she had everything she needed. Kira and her friend, Azumi*, found Jesus while living in America for their husbands’ jobs. They both joined a large church that was full of energy and strong ministries. But after five years overseas, Kira returned to Japan, and quiet loneliness engulfed her like a fog. No one understood her new beliefs, including her own husband. He wanted her to stay home on Sundays because those were his days off from work. When she found a Christian mom’s group, he discouraged her from going because of the money she…

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The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism

The Art of Cross-Cultural Evangelism
Cross-cultural evangelism is a process. Read how seasoned missionaries have learned to evangelize in unique cultures around the world. Photo by TEAM

If anyone should have been ready for Muslim ministry, it was Felicity*. She grew up in the Middle East and had discussed the Quran with Muslim friends since elementary school. When she moved to a new Muslim-majority country as a missionary, she thought she would have similar discussions. There was just one problem: “I’ve tried doing that with my neighbors, especially the ladies, and they have no idea what the Quran says.” No matter how prepared you are, cross-cultural evangelism will always be full of surprises. That’s why we asked seasoned missionaries from four countries about the lessons they’ve learned…

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Biking to Belong in Japan

Moving halfway around the globe can be challenging. At the beginning of my time here, I had difficult days. Days where I thought I'd never fit into the culture. On those days, I'd take out my bike and ride. Photo by TEAM

I twist and turn down the bumpy sidewalk in my suburban neighborhood of Tokyo, and I feel the cool air hit my face. I hear the cars passing me, and I smell exhaust fumes mixed with scents from the corner restaurant. As I approach a pedestrian crossing I hear the screech of my brakes, and I’m reminded of why I feel at home here. I never thought riding a bicycle in Tokyo would become my favorite pastime. My husband and I moved to Tokyo just four months ago, along with our two young children and dog. If you would’ve told…

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When Slow Business Brings People to God

sonrise cafe missional coffee shop
For a missional coffee shop in Tokyo, slow business is a good thing. Photos by TEAM

If SonRise Café were more concerned with making a profit, Taijo might not know Jesus today. That’s why the coffee shop’s director, TEAM missionary Steven Taylor, doesn’t even try to keep up with his fast-paced Tokyo competitors. “We’re more like a ministry pretending to be a business. … If we were as busy as Starbucks, we would never be able to get to know our customers and have time to build relationships,” Steven says. Step inside, and you’ll find delicious paninis, chiffon cakes and coffee drinks. But most days, those treats will be accompanied by English classes, a musical performance…

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A Blessing for Missionaries Becomes a Ministry

karizawa retreat center
Nestled amidst Japanese maples and quiet creeks, the Karuizawa Retreat Center has been an enduring refuge for missionaries all over Asia. Photos courtesy of KRC

When you arrive at the Karuizawa Retreat Center, it’s hard to believe you were in the largest city in the world just an hour ago. Trading the hustle and bustle of Tokyo for a gorgeous and quiet resort town feels odd at first, but as you take a deep breath of mountain pine and stare at the beautiful mountains, it’s easy to feel at home, even if it’s your first time visiting. Karuizawa is a small resort town known around Asia as a top destination for rest and refreshment. While it’s now known for hosting vacation homes of influential people…

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A Day in the Life of a Missionary

tori and matt missionaries in japan
Being a missionary isn't always an adventure. Sometimes it's just ordinary. TEAM worker Tori Jansson shares her candid thoughts on what it's like to be a missionary in the normal but beautiful everyday. Photo courtesy of Tori Jansson

As a worker in Tokyo, I’m often asked, “What is a day in the life of a missionary?” Well, which day are we talking about, exactly? How about my first day training at SonRise Cafe? Or, our first month grocery shopping – trying to read Japanese labels to distinguish between sugar and salt, laundry detergent and bleach? What about Christmas time with a different outreach every week, sharing the Gospel at every turn? Or, the first time I was able to ask a train station worker for help in Japanese? That week we got to share our testimonies with 200 freshman high…

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