I was raised in a Christian home where the importance of trusting in Christ was taught daily. I made many decisions for Christ, but I made a public confession of faith, followed shortly after by baptism at the age of 10. It was in 10th grade that I chose to really follow Jesus as Lord. My attitude toward reading God’s word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers dramatically changed, as I then had a strong desire to put Christ first in my life. I went to Tennessee Temple where God started speaking to me about missions. My senior year, I gave my life to serve the Lord as a missionary. The day I graduated from college, I started raising support and I was serving in Japan within a couple of weeks. I served in various ministries and opportunities with TEAM.
My parents came to the Matsumoto valley after language school and the birth of my brother David. After 47 years of ministry in the valley, they were able to see six churches put into Japanese leaders’ hands, and now all of them have their own land and buildings.
When I was 12, I trusted in Jesus in response to an altar call at the end of a Christian rock concert given by Calvary Chapel. My parents were nominal Christians who went to prosperity gospel churches and did not read the Bible. I didn’t realize the depth of my sin or the need to submit to Jesus as Lord until my junior year of college, when God used a trip to Japan and Campus Crusade for Christ towards that end. I fell in love with Japan and Jesus during my last 2 years of college.
Jon (husband), Tammy (wife), Children: We have two boys and a pre-schooler daughter that keep us on our toes, and we love them a lot.
Jon's Ministry Focus:
Our team desires to build biblical churches that transcend culture and what is ?Japanese?. The Japanese pastor on our team and our churches have a vision to reach out to weak and struggling churches. We stress the importance of working with other churches, and this takes leadership in doing so. We are on the way to becoming reproducing churches.
Tammy's Ministry Focus:
I have led various ladies meetings and Bible studies and taught English at the Azumino Family Chapel. At Abundant Life Church in Matsumoto, I have focused on building community in the lunchtime fellowship after Sunday services. I have also led a weekly ladies Bible study, and taught Sunday school to children ages 6 to 12. I have been able to leave each of these ministries in the care of faithful women who, in answer to prayer, by God?s grace are doing even a better job.
Since 1549 with Francis Xavier?s arrival and other Catholic priests, Christianity has impacted Japan. Xavier departed from the normal Catholic activity to make sure that the Japanese had a clear understanding of Christianity by teaching from Genesis and continuing on to God?s judgment. This was changed by other priests who seemed to have more interest in politics and economics. Christianity was ?stamped out? for over 260 years, only to be opened by Commodore Perry?s gunboat diplomacy. This was when Protestant Christianity started to make inroads into Japan. It was seen as a western religion and until World War 2 was ?guided? by the government. After World War 2 Christianity has freedom to be shared to anyone and anywhere like no other nation. But there is still a lack of growth. According to the ?Joshua Project?, Japan is the second largest unreached people group in the world.
Primary Prayer Request:
We sense a lack of hope and leadership among the Christian believers. Japanese culture has control of the church more than a Biblical kingdom culture. We believe that the community in Christ is the hope of the world. That a vibrant Biblical Japanese church is God?s action plan to reach Japan. Please pray that we will see this happen! Please pray about partnering with us so that this happens.