Our mission focus is the local church because we believe Scripture teaches that the local church is God's way of reaching the world for Christ. Our desire is to see healthy, vibrant churches established in Japan. We do whatever the Lord brings our way to that end, from neighborhood outreach to translating helpful discipleship/evangelism tools, from encouraging new missionaries to helping improve TEAM as an organization through input as internship coordinators and supervisors, from pastors meetings to Japanese and foreign mission leadership meetings.
A blessing in our work: Opportunities and needs abound! It has been great to see God honor it when believers and churches simply take Him at His Word, and to see changes occur such as revitalization of a church.
A challenge we face: So many churches and unbelievers are content with bare survival instead of desiring to thrive. How do we get more people to catch the vision of taking God at His word?
Jon trusted in Jesus at the age of 5 and was baptized at the age of 10. He didn't really start to follow Jesus until 10th grade. It was a simple, "I will follow you" Jesus, but it changed his life. He started loving God's Word, praying, attending church, and loving people. One thing he didn't want to become was a missionary. But in college God used Acts chapter 2 to impact him in such a way that he gave up putting sports first and started preparing for being a missionary. He didn't care where it would be, but God in graciousness, let him return to Japan. Being a missionary in Japan can be really challenging, but like one of his co-workers said, "church planting is fun". God has been gracious in giving him opportunities to serve the Japanese, serve fellow missionaries and to serve his Savior. You couldn't ask for anything better!
Tammy trusted in Jesus in the 6th grade, but didn't actually start following Jesus as Lord until a junior in college. After being discipled in Campus Crusade (now the Cru), she went on a short-term missions project in Osaka Japan. It was there that God used the verse "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Beseech the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers to the field" to call her to missions in Japan. That call continued to be confirmed as she taught English in Japan for three years and served at a local Japanese church (her first home church) and helped local missionaries. During work as a short-term missionary with TEAM in Japan, Tammy met Jon, and they've been serving the Lord together happily ever after since!