Japan

The RCA provides missionaries to work with the United Church of Christ in Japan according to the church's priorities. RCA missionaries work with local congregations in Tokyo, focusing on evangelism and church revitalization. Youth ministry missionaries have a relational outreach to youth in Yokohama, Japan's second largest city, and are working to build a network for youth outreach across the country. Educational missionaries teach in educational institutions such as Nopporo Christian School and Tokyo Union Seminary. Some of these schools are historically related to the Reformed Church.

The RCA also responds to requests for assistance in specific programs. Although Japan is an affluent country, the Christian population represents less than 1 percent of the population and the church has limited financial resources. For special programs such as radio evangelism, church resourcing, and social ministries, the church seeks help from North American partners.

Through participation in the United Church of Christ in Japan's Commission on Ecumenical Ministries, the RCA is involved in planning and carrying out the following new dimensions in mission:

  • Encouraging and sharing in mission with Koreans living in Japan.
  • Implementing mission to Japanese nationals living in the United States.
  • Understanding mission to Asia through the experience and viewpoint of the Japanese church.
  • Understanding peace, justice, human rights, and militarization issues through the insights of people living in Asia.
  • Encouraging exchange programs between Japan and the U.S.

There is a dire need for Christian teachers to serve in Christian schools in Japan. The RCA provides excellent English teachers through its Mission Volunteer Program. Every year more than a dozen volunteers are sent as contract teachers. They have the opportunity to share their faith through teaching in a cross-cultural situation and leading Bible studies for students.

The church in Japan continues to need missionaries. The future calls us to explore, with Christian partners in Japan, what it means to be involved in mission that shares resources and people.

Wayne & Miho Jansen

Tokyo Union Theological Seminary (TUTS) trains pastors for congregations of the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan). As a homeroom teacher for the freshman class, Wayne Jansen gets to know newcomers to the seminary and provides pastoral care for them through their time at TUTS. He also works with the seminary’s Clinical Pastoral Education program. Miho Jansen has a degree in linguistics and has taught English in Japan and Japanese at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Sayuri & Abraham Kist-Okazaki

Abraham and Sayuri Kist-Okazaki are ordained RCA pastors who work in evangelistic training for congregations of the United Church of Christ in Japan.

Abraham and Sayuri work as associate pastors at Kugahara Church in Tokyo, in the area of local mission. They are also called by many churches and regional gatherings throughout Japan to evangelize and provide training so these churches and groups can more effectively reach out to non-Christians, who make up 99 percent of Japan’s population.

Nathan & Nozomi Brownell

Many young people in Japan are struggling, despite material abundance, with matters related to the heart and soul. Many withdraw and become hopeless and too many end in terribly tragic situations. The church in Japan is having trouble reaching the next generation. Nathan and Nozomi Brownell are working in cooperation with the church to renew youth outreach across Japan.

Nathan and Nozomi have three sons: Kenneth, Raymond, and Luke.

The Brownells serve in partnership with Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan (the United Church of Christ in Japan).