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Onboarding Program

Vision & Ministry Focus:

TEAM Japan’s Onboarding Program is designed for our new long-term missionaries as a time of intentional preparation for and integration into life and ministry in Japan so they may become as effective as possible. Beyond initial orientation to their new lives, we actively walk with our missionaries through their first years in Japan, guiding them through cultural adjustments, language acquisition, ministry training, and involvement in and understanding of TEAM Japan as an organization.
Recognizing that training for ministry actually begins long before a missionary arrives in their Ministry Area, we consider our Onboarding Program to have three phases: the Pre-Arrival Phase (guided by TEAM’s Mobilization and Learning & Development departments), the Wakaba Phase, and the Internship Phase. We focus on the final two phases.

Missionaries who are currently working in this initiative:

  • Leaders:
    • Linda Rudd, Onboarding Coordinator
    • Steve Baughn, Wakaba Phase Coordinator
    • Jon & Tammy Junker, Internship Phase Coordinator
  • Wakaba Phase Participants:
    • Gordon & Julie Hengeveld
    • Matt & Tori Jansson
    • Nick & Erin Petkoff
    • Chris & Tracy Pousseur
    • Michelle Reynolds
  • Internship Phase Participants:
    • Caleb & Beth Anne Trim

Wakaba Phase

The purpose of the Wakaba Phase is to provide opportunities for mutual encouragement and camaraderie within a learning community while intensively studying the Japanese language, learning about the Japanese culture, observing and experiencing the Japanese church, and discussing contextually appropriate ministry methods.
“Wakaba” means “new leaves” in Japanese. TEAM Japan uses it to refer to our new missionaries in their initial ministry assignment.

Internship Phase

The purpose of the Internship Phase is to allow missionaries to develop their specific calling, skills, and passion for ministry in Japan, while using and expanding their Japanese language skills and cultural understanding, through an experience tailored specifically to their needs in line with their future ministry assignment.