Tag - Japan

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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
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Why I’m Learning One of the Hardest Languages in the World
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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life
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Photo Journal: Japan
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Planting the Seeds of Love

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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Why I’m Learning One of the Hardest Languages in the World

language learning japan
We don’t go through language learning to get to the “real ministry." Learning Japanese is ministry. Photo by TEAM

There was a time God used a travel-size bottle of shampoo to connect me to language learning. In May 2015, my husband and I went on a vision trip to Japan. We were toward the beginning of our support raising process to be long-term missionaries there. During our stay in Tokyo, I ran out of shampoo, so I stopped at a local store by the train station to purchase some more. I found a small bottle and saw that the price tag in yen appeared to be roughly $1 USD. Not a bad price for travel shampoo I thought. Happily, I took my…

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A Short-Term Mission Trip to Japan Changed My Life

japan-temple
A short-term mission trip to Japan gave one couple vision for longer-term missionary service with a few plot twists along the way. Photo by TEAM

It certainly wasn’t the first short-term trip I had taken. My husband and I knew before we were married that we wanted to be missionaries in Japan, as we had traveled there with our church and other organizations. Short-term ministry was nothing new to us, but on March 11, 2011, as we saw the tsunami hit Japan in one of the worst disasters the country ever experienced, we knew we had to go back and help. In our mind, we wanted to just go and aid the country we loved in their hour of need. What we didn’t know is that…

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Photo Journal: Japan

The Pagaragans work in Japan.

Meet Team Kibou: Jeff, Kelly, Taylor, Bailey, Kendyl, Reagan, and Colson Pagaragan. Originally from Hawaii, they are a fun, bubbly family serving with TEAM in Japan. The Pagaragan’s vision is to “bring hope for the future to the unreached in Japan by spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere.” In Japanese, “kibou” means hope or a belief grounded on substantial evidence. The Pagaragans are a perfect example of the hope of the gospel and grounded belief that comes from trusting Christ. Jeff and Kelly are in language training and will be working with the Tokyo Metro Ministry Initiative…

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Planting the Seeds of Love

Along with other volunteers, Alecia planted wheat seeds into the soil after cleaning up the debris left behind by the tsunami floodwaters. Photo by Alecia Tallent.

We asked Alecia Tallent, TEAM’s Global Ministries Administrative Assistant, to share about her experience on a short-term missions trip to Japan. Alecia and her husband went with TEAM Serve to provide relief work after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters. Even though it had been more than seven months since the disaster, debris still littered the coastline, and thousands of people still lived in temporary housing. TEAM had partnered with CRASH Japan, a relief organization, and we lived at one of the CRASH bases in Tono that was being run by TEAM missionaries Jim and Eileen Nielsen. The Nielsens…

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