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Karena Kenmotsu

Ishinomaki, Japan

(2018 - present)

Karena Kenmotsu
Nozomi Project

Ishinomaki is along the northeastern coast of Japan, which was badly hit by the 2011 tsunami. Homes were washed away, businesses were destroyed, and many people were killed. A small side effect of the tsunami was that a lot of ceramic pottery was broken. Nozomi Project ( was founded by members of the Ishinomaki Be One church-planting team to use broken ceramic pieces to make beautiful jewelry, magnets, etc. We also get to share the love and care of Jesus with the Nozomi staff.

Single mothers have a particularly difficult time finding employment in Japan, due to a number of cultural barriers in addition to the regular struggles of single-parent families. Nozomi Project intentionally employs women, some of whom are single moms, with a goal of bringing them hope and dignity.

I am honored to work with Nozomi Project, spending most of my time on their business side, utilizing the marketing skills I continue to hone in my part-time work with a software company (Liferay, Inc). My typical week includes some part-time remote work with Liferay, and some part-time in-person work with Nozomi Project.

Join the Team

I'm honored that you're journeying with me! There are two main ways you can join me in this endeavor. Feel free to choose either or both!


This is the most important! Let's pray for Japanese people – especially the Nozomi women – to know the vast love and sure hope of Jesus. Pray that I would be effective in ministry, quick at language acquisition, and able to make close friends. Pray against spiritual warfare, and that I would abide in Jesus. If you'd like to get emailed prayer request updates, please sign up via this form.


I need to raise some money to cover recurring and one-time expenses while on the field. Would you prayerfully consider giving toward my ministry? If you'd also like to get emailed prayer request updates, please sign up via this form.

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 Karena.

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