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Julie Nitao

Rifu, Japan

(2016 - present)

Julie Nitao
Planting and Watering the Seeds of the Gospel

The Story:

Hello! My name is Julie Nitao. I am a 2nd generation Japanese-American, bilingual in both English and Japanese. Born and raised in Southern California, and went to school in the Bay Area to pursue my passion for young children, later working as a preschool teacher. My other passion is for the youth, coming to Christ myself during my teen years.

I have been partnering with a local church called Oasis Chapel in Rifu, Japan, since June 2017 as a ministry partner. It started out as a 3.5 year term to love and serve the church and its community. After finishing the first term on Dec. 2020, it has been decided to continue partnering Oasis chapel for another 3 years starting April 2021… especially to raise the next generation to become disciples of Christ!

Rifu is a small town next to a well-known city called Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. With a population of 36,000 people, it has both a beautiful countryside and a heart-warming suburban area with a community of growing families. Oasis Chapel is the only Christian church in this town, standing on this land for nearly 90 years. God has been working in this community through the church, including going through the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Although the Rifu area wasn't directly hit by the Tsunami, the earthquake did leave a great impact on their lives. Being a victim of the earthquake themselves, by faith, the Oasis Chapel church stood up to do relief work in the tsunami-damaged coastal areas. I started partnering with them from their 6th year of the 2011 Earthquake to support and walk alongside their transition from the relief work (Romans 12:15) and to plant the seeds of the Gospel together in this community(1 Cor 3:6.)

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it,but God is the One

who makes things grow."

1 Cor 3:6

The Vision:

Mission work in Japan can be a slow process due to cultural resistance to the Gospel. But our God is a good God who already has a plan for His kingdom. And He has been faithful here in so many ways. As a ministry partner, my role is to simply plant and water the seeds of the Gospel with the local church and trust His timing for it to be nurtured!

  • Plantings Seeds (June 2017 - Dec. 2020 & April 2021- )

    Planting the seeds of the Gospel can be done in so many ways but relationship building is often very important. Cafe ministry, children ministry, fellowship with youth, and interaction with the locals were especially places I focused on throughout the first term. This will continue on during the second term as well.

  • Watering the Seeds (April 2021- )

    The seeds have been planted, it is now a season to water these seeds of Gospel… especially with the word of God, filled with truth and life! After living in Japan for several years, I saw the importance of sharing the word of God as young as possible (Duet 6:6-7) so they can start forming their identity in God. The church and I are hoping and praying for more 1:1 Bible studies with the youth and to provide Biblical parenting for the families during the second term.

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Deut 6:6-7


Thank you for taking the time to read about God's work in Rifu, Japan!If you are interested in being part of this God's work in Rifu, there are 2 ways.


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    Give online here or if you prefer to give by check, make the check out to “JEMS” and write our name on the memo line. Mail the check to P.O. Box 86047, Los Angeles, CA 90086-0047.

    If you have any questions please call the JEMS office at 213-613-0022 or email Julie.

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