Japan Missionaries

Japan Ministry Team

Roy Toma, JEMS Missions Director (2017 – present)

From the time I first shared the Gospel as a college student, I knew that sharing Christ and making disciples was my calling in life. After college, I served in the church, started a plumbing business, got my M.Div. and later spent fourteen years in the mission field in Japan with my wife Nancy, and three children. I continue to enjoy spreading the Gospel message and equipping others.

Now as JEMS’ Japan Missions Director I look forward to continuing to share the Gospel and use my experience and skills to minister to the needs of the JEMS missionaries in Japan.

Vision: Work to see that each JEMS missionary is well trained, equipped, fully funded, and supported spiritually and emotionally to thrive in their families and ministries as they work to reach the world with the love of Jesus Christ.

Darryl Wong, JEMS Missions Coordinator

Darryl Wong graduated in the year 2000 from Fuller Theological Seminary with an MA in Cross-Cultural Studies. He started serving at JEMS in 2001. Darryl grew up in the Bay Area and moved to Southern California in the early 1990’s. He has been involved in mission activities since 1994, when he first served as an English conversation teacher in Japan.

Darryl has a significant role in the recruitment and training of JEMS missionaries, and is involved with the assignment of workers to churches overseas.

Donate Now

Rev. Dr. Ryohei Kawano, Overseas Mission’s Consultant – JEMS米国内外宣教コンサルタント 河野亮平師レター

Rev. Dr. Ryohei Kawano is the JEMS overseas mission’s consultant and itinerant preacher to churches in Japan and in the US.

Kawano-sensei brings to JEMS over 54 years of ministry experience as a pastor in Japan and the U.S.A. with the Far Eastern Gospel Crusade and various churches including a Mennonite church. Tokyo Sendagaya Chapel and pulpit supply once a month for the Grace Mission church in Yao, Osaka. His experience in Japan also includes being a chaplain for a retreat site called “Orivu no sato.” While working there, he also was involved with a homeless ministry in Ueno park, Tokyo.

Donate Now

Current Career Missionaries

Tim and Chie Burns – (2013-present)

The Burns are working in Nagoya, the largest city in Aichi which is about five hours from Tokyo. The vision is to see a church near each of these campuses focused on reaching students. Together with Wayne and Amy Newsome and other team members, the Burns will be working in Nagoya. One of the goals of this outreach is to identify and train future leaders of the Japanese church in cooperation with Christ Bible Institute, a seminary in Nagoya.
Please pray for a great harvest in years to come. Pray for Tim, Chie, their son, Mitsuki and daughter Emi.

Donate Now

Charles and Yumiko Chen – (2017-present)

Charlie and Yumiko Chen have been serving with Oyumino Christ Church in Chiba, Japan since April 2017. Oyumino started as a single church plant by six missionaries in 1992. God has multiplied it to 3 locations, 6 Sunday services and 270 regular worshipers.

Charlie grew up in Pasadena, Calif. and learned to speak Japanese when he lived in Tokyo for 7 years in his twenties. Yumiko is native Japanese from Fukushima. The two met and wed in Tokyo but moved to Southern California to raise two children. “Our children are now grown and the Lord has called us back to Japan to spread the love of Jesus and the hope of the Gospel.”

Donate Now

Ethan and Michele Fisher – (2016 to present)

The Fishers are serving in Gifu as tent-making missionaries. Ethan is an Assistant Language Teacher at a public school. The Fishers participate in ministry to children and students in the community through their local church, Grace Chapel in Gifu. The Fishers have three young boys.

Todd, Jayne, Jeremy and Ayumi Fong – (2014-present)

The Fongs are missionaries to the greater Tokyo metropolitan area, living in Higashi-Kurume. Their ministry is “To the One Percent,” Japanese Christians and Christian workers in Japan, through whom God will reach the 99% of Japanese who are not yet saved.

Todd will serve local missionaries, Christian leaders and pastors to help develop and implement ministries that reach out to younger people (college students and younger) and young families. Of particular interest is to help churches develop ministries that leverage Christian returnees, those Japanese students who accept Christ overseas and want to share the gospel at home in Japan. Jayne will serve at the Christian Academy in Japan as a speech therapist, a role critically needed for Christian missionary families with children with special needs.

Paul and Yu Kang – (2014-present)

Paul and Yu Kang are part of the missions team for Christ Bible Institute (CBI) in Nagoya. CBI is the parent organization of Christ Bible Seminary (CBS) which trains Christian leaders and pastors in Japan.  Paul serves as the Chaplain at CBS, , main interpreter of CBI and is an elder and staff at All-Nations Fellowship (ANF),  an international church plant started through CBI.  Yu Kang is a native Japanese born in Nagoya and leads a ministry to young mothers and children.  The Kang’s two children are Issac (Jesus is coming back) Soon Kang and Sara (We are saved by) Faith Kang.   Please pray for the Kangs as they minister and serve in Nagoya.

Naokazu and Barbara Hanada – (January 2020-present)

The Hanada’s have been faithfully serving in Ibaraki, Japan for over 20 years as tent makers and JEMS affiliates. They are newest missionaries and will be receiving a link for those that want to partner with them and/or to find out more about their ministry.

Donate Now

Steve and Miku Inouye (2019-present)

Michael and Chris Mason – (1997-present)

Michael and Chris are career missionaries, serving at Oasis Church in Izumiotsu City, a suburb of Osaka.

The Masons arrived in Japan in the Spring of 1997, and began serving at Sakai International Bible Church.  In 2001, they were installed as the head pastors of SIBC and functioned in that role until  2012, when the church transitioned to a simple-style house church.   At this point the church changed it’s name to Oasis Church.  Michael still provides leadership to the church, especially in the areas of teaching and leading worship.

After serving 8 years at Kansai Christian School in Nara, Chris has recently transitioned to doing Member Care. This includes providing support and encouragement of the various JEMS missionaries serving in Japan. Chris (together with Michael) will be ministering in this area while also continuing to serve at Oasis Church.

Their son, Luke, currently attends Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.

David and Yuka Mills –  (2008 to present)

Our mission is to reach the people of Japan in ways that are culturally sensitive, relevant to their lives and relevant to the spiritual conditions of Japan. Our vision is to see generations of Japanese believers reaching
out to new generations after them. Matthew 28:19 (Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) and 2 Timothy 2:2 (And the things
you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others). That Japan might be transformed into the Land of the Risen SON.

Paul and Rie Mizuki – (2019-present)

Paul and Rie Mizuki are second career missionaries, who have been waiting for God to release them for service in Japan since He closed the doors for them to go in 2015. They are beginning to raise support to move to Nishinomiya (between Kobe and Osaka) in Hyogo prefecture in March of 2020.  They will be partnering with fellow JEMS missionaries, Kuni and Kristen Onishi, who launched a church in April, 2019.  As the “older and wiser (?) folks” at the new church comprised of young families, Paul and Rie hope to mentor the younger men and women, provide support (such as babysitting) so they can strengthen their marriages and reach out to friends, and serve as a connection for their parents and people of their parents’ generation to the church.  They would also like to minister to middle-aged couples going through the transition of retirement, as husbands who were previously busy working will suddenly be home much of the time, creating potential conflicts in marital relationships. Since Paul will be about the age of these men facing retirement, he hopes to share with them the new purpose they can have in Jesus Christ.

Donate Now

Munetaka and Sandy Mori (2017-present)

We feel burdened to get God’s Word into the hands of Japanese seekers and to be used by God to share His Word through everything from tract distribution to Bibles and to assist the recipients with opportunities to go deeper in their grasp of its truth. We believe that as seeds continue to be planted in the hearts of the Japanese that seekers will need more than ever to have access to opportunities to be saturated in the richness of Scripture.

Between spring of 2018-spring of 2019, Munetaka was enrolled in a one-year theology and doctrinal course at Tokyo Bible Seminary (TBS).  Munetaka was trained in the scholastically rich tradition of TBS and grew in his love of the study of Scripture. After this initial year of study, Munetaka and Sandy relocated to Amakusa in southern Japan where Munetaka continues to dive into Scripture as he prepares messages at the churches where he and Sandy serve and engages with seekers and believers alike in both formal and informal Bible studies.

Sandy was engaged in park evangelism while in Tokyo and continues to seek opportunities to conduct similar types of outreach in Amakusa. The leading that God provides is part of the joy of serving in this manner. Sandy trusts that God can use even these brief encounters with seekers as God’s Word brings Light and Life. This leading can be seen in the following verse from Isaiah 30:21, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.’”  Sandy also teaches English as a platform to develop friendships with people who walk through the doors of the church, seemingly open to their Christian teacher and her lessons from the Bible.

Munetaka and Sandy have been assisted by veteran JEMS missionary, Lily Suzuki.  Their transition and acceptance as missionary newcomers in Amakusa has been greatly aided by Lily, her network of friends and the trusting relationships she has nurtured with ministry associates over the years.

Check out Munetaka’s recent online sermon here

Donate Now

Julie Nitao – (2016-present)

Julie Nitao is a 2nd generation Japanese American. She grew up in Southern California but attended college and worked in the Bay Area in Northern California as a pre-school teacher until 2016.

Currently, Julie is serving a three-year mission in Rifu in Miyagi prefecture, as a “ministry partner” at Oasis Chapel. Rifu is a small town next to a more well-known city called Sendai, located in the North East part of Japan. Though this area was not directly hit by the tsunami in 2011, the city was damaged by the earthquake including power outage, water shortages as well as many homes being destroyed and damaged. Out of faith the Oasis Chapel was actively involved in the relief work in the tsunami damaged coastal area as they themselves were recovering.

Julie’s main purpose at Oasis Chapel is to support the church’s transition from disaster relief to their regular lives and ministries in their community. This includes ministries to both the people inside and outside the church with an emphasis on ministering to children and the younger generation.

Since Julie’s serving a three-year term she has been focusing on three main points:

・Planting seeds of the gospel (1Cor. 3:16)

・Loving the church in transition from 2011 (Romans 12:15)

・To continue remembering those affected by the Earthquake in 2011

If you would like to find out more about what God is doing in Rifu, Japan, here is a link to my newsletters! Click to read⇨Julie Nitao_Newsletters_Rifu, Japan

The Nakamuras in Nagoya – (2016-present)

Kristin and Mitsu first met through the local Japanese Church in Lexington, Kentucky (where her father was pastoring). Since their engagement they have worked together to serve and encourage the Japanese Body of Christ through bible study fellowships and music worship ministry. After spending their first 7 years of marriage in Kentucky, they answered the call to return to Japan as missionaries, serving in Nagoya. Mitsu has been working to complete his seminary training at Christ Bible Seminary while also interning at an international church to learn about church planting. Kristin has spent her time hosting a weekly women’s prayer group affiliated with their church and reaching out to the community by practicing hospitality. She also shared the Gospel with and led a young mom to Christ through a weekly bible study (with the help of an interpreter). Praise the Lord!

The Nakamuras Next Steps

Mitsuyoshi will complete his seminary training for his Master’s of Divinity in the Spring of 2020. After that, God is leading us to move to a rural region in northern Japan called Aomori. The region is well known for apple farming as they produce two-thirds of the nation’s apples. Interestingly, we learned that the industry was first introduced by an American missionary! He is leading us to support a small church plant in the town of Hirakawa. Currently, there are 6 regular attenders so we will almost double the congregation upon arrival! The church plant is led by an Australian woman named Penny who has spent the past five years reaching out to the community through English lessons. She shares the Gospel with her 65 weekly students (from elementary age to adults) in Japanese at the end of each lesson. She also organizes preachers and worship leaders to regularly visit the church. Recently she has began a gospel music ministry. This past summer she saw her first salvations, a family of four and two others came to Christ!

We hope to use our giftings in preaching, teaching and worship ministry to reach the hearts and souls of the Aomori people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Donate Now

Kuni and Kristen Onishi – (2015 -present)

The Onishis will be serving as church planting missionaries in Japan. Kuni is fluent in Japanese. He was born and raised in Japan. He also speaks English and some Korean. Kristen was born in South Korea. She
speaks fluent Korean, English and conversational Japanese. They have a one-year old daughter. They took a vision trip in September 2015 to Tokyo and Osaka. Kuni’s father is a church planting pastor in Osaka.

Kuni and Kristen most recently served with Korean Campus Crusade for Christ, from 2013-15. Kuni previously served on staff with Sa-Rang Church from 2007-13. Kristen served on the Japanese Campus Crusade for Christ from 2007-09. They anticipate departure in a year.

Dave and Tomo Robison – (2012-present)

Dave and Tomo Robison are serving in Iwate Japan, to work with the Iwate 3.11 Church network. Their goal is to aide in establishing reproducing churches among the Tsunami devastated coastal towns of Iwate, Japan. Dave has served as a youth pastor, bible study leader and elder at their local church. Tomo is Japanese and was raised in Tokyo, serving faithfully for many years at the church where her father pastored. In 2003 Dave participated in a short-term trip to serve at Tomo’s church, where they met for the first time. They were married in 2009, and began raising support to serve as missionaries in Japan. In 2011, after the events of the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami, they felt God leading them to serve among the Tsunami devestated region of Tohoku.

Along with their one-year old son Titus, Dave and Tomo moved to Iwate in March of 2013, where they are spending their first two-year term in preparation to begin church planting. During this time they are prayerfully seeking out partners with which to join or form a church-planting team, determine which city God is working in to raise up new believers in need of a church, participate in survivor care ministries, and dedicate time for Dave to advance in language acquisition.

Jon and Maki Robison   – (2012– present)

Jon and Maki Robison are evangelical church planters in Japan. Jon has been a missionary in Japan since 2007. Maki was raised in Japan, serving faithfully for many years at the church where her father pastored. Since getting married in 2008, they first worked in Kanto, but from 2013 began serving with a church plant in Morioka, Iwate (Morioka Minami Church). The planting denomination officially declared the church ‘planted’ in 2017, so Jon and Maki worked an extra year there to finish up complete five years of service in Tohoku.

From March of 2019 year, Jon and Maki have been working on a church planting team near Tokyo. The team is working with a mother church to plant a new church, which are currently in the planning stages. Jon is enjoying preaching and working with outreach and fellowship ministries that the team hopes to replicate when the new church plants begin.

The new ministry budget which includes housing and kids’ education adjustments for the 2020 year is $604 in monthly support. Please pray for Jon, Maki, Their three sons and one daughter, as they continue to serve our Lord in Japan.

Donate Now

Follow us at:  jonandmaki.net  or https://www.facebook.com/groups/jonandmaki/

Lily Suzuki – (2000 to present)

Lily Suzuki’s home residence is in Canada. From July 2000 to June 2003, she was serving at Machida Christian Center in Tokyo, where she was involved in witnessing and many church activities, as well as teaching English. She served at New Life Church Omochanomachi for one year. She currently serves in a ministry of JEMS in Amakusa, Kyushi region in Southern Japan.

Fabio and Elizabeth Tsukayama – (2017 – present)

Meet the team: Fabio + Elizabeth = Joshua, Dominique, Israel, Johann, Olivia and Annaliese. Our family is a mixture of size, hair color, birthplaces, skills and spoken languages.

Our main goal is to impact unreached cities in Japan through establishing healthy churches, as well as reaching and discipling children and their families through after school programs that meet the needs of modern Japanese society.

Fabio and Elizabeth met in Japan in 1999 where they got married and also served at a Latino church. In the States, from 2004 to 2009, they pioneered a Hispanic ministry in an American church in the Chicagoland area. In 2010 they went to Brazil where they served through street evangelism and later pioneered a family ministry, producing books, study material and ministering seminars in churches and schools.

Joseph and Yumiko Wu – (2015 to present)

We are currently part of a bilingual church in Kobe called Logos International church and serve in various way by leading Bible studies, organizing worship sets, helping with kids ministry and doing translations. We also host a small group once a month in our home now. We would like to focus on discipleship and continually want to reach out to people who don’t know Jesus yet.

Short-Term Missionary Opportunities

If you have an interest in the following opportunities, please contact us through info@JEMS.org

(Posted Summer 2016)
David and Yuka Mills, J-Lodge in Kanagawa:  Their mission plan for 2016 is to continue building the business of the J-Lodge Coffee Shop so that it becomes self-sufficient and no longer a financial burden to the Chigasaki Church.

They are looking into an exciting possibility of opening a 2nd Coffee Shop ministry in partnership with a couple living in Shizuoka prefecture. Like J-Lodge, this ministry will focus on university students.
They also plan to extend our outreach to students at Tokai University through a hospitality outreach as we bring more and more students into our home for dinner and conversations.  In partnership with a local Japanese pastor, we are planning to extend our church planting efforts from monthly meetings to a weekly service.

They are interested in short-term career missionaries who can serve here at J-Lodge. This is a support-raised position.

(Posted Summer 2014)

New Life Church Omochanomachi in Mibu, Tochigi prefecture. The primary ministry is teaching conversational English to children and adults as an entry point to share about Christ.