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Last Edited: 26 November 2019


Joel and Sally Kaufman

Joel's Story

*Born and raised in Cissna Park, IL

*Graduated from Wheaton College, Biblical Studies

*Worked with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship at Illinois State University 4 yrs.

*Arrived in Japan 1980, studied Japanese in Karuizawa Language School

*Married Sally Gramm 1981

*Church planting in Kanazawa (Ishikawa), Kureha and Shinminato (Toyama)

*Karuizawa Retreat Center Administrator, from 2012

Sally's Story

I came to Japan the summer of 1975, soon after graduating from college, to teach ESL in a church kindergarten in Yamanashi prefecture.In the next 5 years I also taught missionary children in a one room schoolhouse, and a Japanese Christian Jr/Sr high school, before returning to the USA to attend Moody Bible Institute. I married Joel Kaufman in 1981, and returned to Japan as a church planting missionary. We planted churches and homeschooled our 5 children in Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures for the next 30 years. In 2012 we moved to Nagano prefecture and began a ministry of evangelism, training and administration at Karuizawa Retreat Center.

Ministry Focus:

Our vision is a ministry center contributing to the healthy, fruitful, long-term building of the Kingdom of God in Japan.”

Our aim is to see this happen through God?s people finding rest and relaxation, as well as healing and encouragement, during their stay at KRC, leaving ready to return to their ministry physically, spiritually and emotionally refreshed. In the fast pace of life in Japan, in addition to the cultural challenges faced by Christians, the need for rest, relaxation, spiritual renewal and growth is put aside and this often leads to their vitality, energy and ultimately their effectiveness deteriorating. We would like to see this unhealthy trend change and our goal is to help this happen.The facilities at KRC are used to enhance both the professional and personal development of God?s people.

The ministry at KRC involves discipling, counseling, training, networking, and fellowshipping with Japanese Christians, through hosting events such as church camps, counseling opportunities, seminars and conferences where people?s lives can be enriched and, thus, their ministry becoming even more effective.

Primary Prayer Request:

Please pray that we would be able to contribute to the growth of the church in Japan by helping to develop reproducing leaders and laymen. We will be facilitating and also personally involved in encouraging, teaching and training such people in evangelism, discipleship, personal counseling, and Biblical lifestyles.