We will also be able to see our children and one grandson (now 2 yrs.) during July. Each household will be with us for differing lengths of time, but all of them will overlap at our place for 3-4 days. We zoom with them weekly but haven’t seen them in-person since our 2019 Christmas break. So we are excited!
While in the US we plan to carry on with our TMC leadership ministries remotely. Dale will continue coaching the newly formed Worship Team leaders, coming alongside the pastoral and missionary staff, and leading the new ministries Facilitator Team. Ann will continue compiling monthly prayer requests, sending out a monthly ladies connection newsletter, and planning for Christmas children’s events. We are also continuing a baptismal preparation class for one young lady. And we will be virtually joining Sunday worship services and Wednesday prayer meetings. In addition Dale will be remotely teaching 10 one-hour class sessions for his “Contemporary Theology” class at Japan Bible Seminary.
Lucas & Hannah responded to our recruitment email sent to the 1000+ evangelical missionaries in or connected with Japan through the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. They are both US citizens, and Hannah is also Japanese. Hannah lived in Tokyo until about junior high school age and then moved to the US. They met after finishing their university studies in the US and after coming to Japan in 2011 to serve in different tsunami recovery ministries in northeastern Japan. Then they served with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for about nine years preparing for and following up after large BGEA gatherings in various countries in Asia. This ministry required moving to a different country every 12-16 months.
In late 2020 they decided to transition from their nomadic BGEA lifestyle to a more settled way of life in Tokyo, where Hannah’s father lives. They wanted to eventually serve in some kind of bi-vocational ministry after finding employment in Tokyo. When they read our TMC recruitment email they realized the Lord might want them in ministry sooner rather than later, so followed up with Dale about serving at TMC. After a few weeks of them getting to know TMC and TMC getting to know them, it became clear that TMC would be a good fit for them. So on May 30 TMC members invited Lucas & Hannah to join TMC staff as our part-time English ministries pastoral couple. About a week later they responded positively.
Lucas & Hannah are uniquely equipped to serve at TMC. Hannah completed her university studies in missions at Toccoa Falls College, Georgia. Lucas has completed two years of graduate online seminary study at Dallas Theological Seminary. He hopes to complete his M.Div. degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the coming years. Much of their prior BGEA ministry has been with international churches in Asia and the UK. They have both demonstrated their team work as Hannah has interpreted from English to Japanese for Lucas when it is his turn to preach at our twice a month joint English/Japanese worship services. Both are 34 yrs. so fit well with our young adults who seem to comprise the majority of TMC. They desire to encourage TMC’ers to share Christ with their family, friends, and colleagues.
We are now praying for and seeking another part-time pastoral couple who can join Lucas & Hannah to form an English ministries pastoral team at TMC.
We have decided it is time to pass the TMC baton.
So TMC’s leadership team has given Dale the green light to recruit someone to lead English language ministries alongside TMC’s Japanese language ministries pastor. We are looking for a missionary or pastor with some ability in the Japanese language and who has a heart for reaching people in Tokyo for Christ, both Japanese and expatriates. Oh yes, and they will need to be financially supported! TMC has only a small stipend for them.
When the Lord leads us to such a person or couple (hopefully by spring 2022 or earlier) we plan to move our primary residence from our apartment in Tokyo to our house in Maine USA. From there we would continue some level of remote/virtual ministry at TMC such as administration and children/ladies ministry—if that is what the church desires.
In addition…Read More…
We are so pleased that in the midst of the pandemic the Lord is sustaining our TMC ministries and raising up a few new ones.We are thankful for the following language-specific ministries that are providing avenues for Jesus to transform lives:
- WORSHIP services on the first and third Sundays of the month are in both English and Japanese, through interpretation. Separate English and Japanese worship services meet on the remaining Sundays.
- CHINESE FELLOWSHIP meets one Sunday afternoon a month for Bible study and fellowship. TMC hopes to eventually add a Chinese Mandarin worship service to our current English and Japanese language worship services.
- SMALL GROUPS meet twice a month to discuss the sermon from that Sunday using discussion questions prepared by the preacher. We currently have one Japanese and two English groups.
- PRAYER MEETINGS are held weekly in English and Japanese. The focus is on praying for one another and TMC. Prayer items from TMC members and attenders are compiled monthly in English.
- BIBLE STUDIES meet three times a week in Japanese and once a week in English.
- CHILDREN enjoy a monthly “Wakuwaku (exciting) Family Time” Bible story and craft in English and Japanese.
- LADIES connect in English through a monthly newsletter that includes a short Bible devotional and one lady’s testimony, as well as through a social media group.
- YOUNG ADULTS gather monthly for games and Bible discussion in English. Young adults are under the age of 40.
God has been good to us!
We have seen him at work in our life and ministry. On Dec. 26 we completed our six-month US home assignment and returned to Tokyo, arriving on Dec. 27, and then entered a 14-day quarantine. Our travel from Maine to Tokyo was not uneventful but we sensed the Lord’s presence as we jumped over each hurdle. Lord willing, we will very soon once again dive into in-person church planting ministry and leadership.
Lord willing, on July 17 we begin our scheduled fall home assignment based in Maine. We plan to visit our supporting churches in the eastern US while Dale receives US-based treatment for his recently diagnosed disease: polymyalgia rheumatica. We will continue our church planting leadership of Tokyo Multicultural Church while in the US. Read More…
Christmas Sunday December 22 at TMC featured a joint English-Japanese worship service followed by potluck, Christmas caroling in the nearby park and train stations (practice pictured above), and then some Christmas games back at TMC to end the celebration.
9:30am Sunday school was not reaching enough children associated with TMC, so in October Ann started a new TMC ministry to children and their parents. She calls it “Wakuwaku (exciting, thrilling) Family Time.” Read More…
Under the leadership of Pastor Motomichi Harada we launched TMC’s Japanese language worship service on Oct 13. Now on Sundays other than the first Sunday of the month our Japanese service is at 9:30am and English at 11:00am. On the first Sundays of the month we hold a joint English-Japanese service with communion followed by potluck. Read More…
Once again we held summer outreach English classes to help us connect with Japanese people in our area of Tokyo. Five volunteers (two couples and one single) from three EFC of America churches taught classes Mon-Fri July 22-26. Nine young children with their moms (and sometimes dads) joined our morning children’s classes and ten adults attended evening classes. All except one of the children were new to TMC. Read More…
For a number of years we have requested prayer for future TMC leaders, including someone who could focus on our Japanese Department. Resulting from a chain of divine encounters, Pastor Moto was introduced to us by one of our TMC Japanese couples in Dec. 2018. Discussion with him progressed quickly and naturally so that in March 2019 TMC voted to invite him to help lead our Japanese Department alongside Duane Dietze (ReachGlobal TMC staff member) and he joined us in April. Read More…
We hosted our second annual Easter Family Festival at TMC on Sunday afternoon April 14. The lively gathering of about 12 children plus their moms and dads generated lots of happy noise. We celebrated Resurrection Sunday with singing, crafts, cupcakes, Easter baskets, and best of all were able to share the Bible story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Easter shows up in Japan in commercial decorations and food, but the resurrection meaning is missing. Read More…
TMC Christmas Sunday worship service on Dec 23 included Christmas carols and Japanese interpretation of the English sermon. After enjoying a potluck lunch some TMCers went caroling at our nearby park and train stations while offering gift bags for children. Read More…
Ann led our family Christmas event on Dec 16, with the help of a number of TMCers. She had lost her voice due to a virus a few weeks earlier and was still recovering, so she was delighted with all the help.
18 children (27 were invited), 10 moms, and 5 dads showed up. It was very noisy and chaotic at times, but it was happy noise and chaos! The children watched a Christmas segment of the Super Book video in Japanese with subtitles in English. A TV channel in Japan is showing Super Book segments on Sunday mornings in Nov and Dec.
One of our TMC mothers who lives in our neighborhood near TMC invited two of her friends who are also moms. One was able to attend. It was the first time for this mom and her children to be at TMC. We hope they will be able to come again in order to hear about Jesus.
Our American Thanksgiving dinner at TMC was Nov 25, aligning with a national Japanese holiday. Janet D., an Overseas Missionary Fellowship missionary who attends TMC, gave a biblical perspective in Japanese on giving thanks. We were pleased that one lady in Ann’s English class came for the first time to this TMC non-English event.
We are thankful for the many happy memories of O-san, especially at our fall retreat just days before he died, where the pic was taken.
We are more thankful that his wife and grown daughters share in the hope of resurrection and eternal life in Jesus Christ. Mr. O. attended TMC but the rest of his family are at a different church. We were able to hold a TMC fellowship time for them and many from TMC were able to share their fond memories of him to encourage them.
We look forward to a grand reunion in heaven.
Revelation 21:4— He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
TMC's first retreat was Sep. 15-17 at Yamanaka Lake, Yamanashi-ken, one of the lakes around Mt. Fuji. Read More…
TMC’s July 23-27 outreach English classes have been cancelled because of lack of short term teachers. The good news is that we have some possibilities for teachers next summer (2019)!
Alternatively... Read More…
TOKYO MULTICULTURAL CHURCH quietly turned 5 years old on April 8, the Sunday after Easter. Thus the many hands showing five fingers in the above pic. We (Dale & Ann) launched TMC on Sunday Apr 7, 2013 in our apartment complex’s meeting room with eight people in attendance, including a core group of six. Read More…
TMC is looking for 3-5 teachers for this summer’s outreach English conversation classes, July 23-27, with teacher arrival in Tokyo on July 20 and departure on July 31. Read More…
15 TMC members or attenders and 3 guests joined us for our first TMC membership meeting on January 21, 2018. We glanced back over the past several years, looked forward to our 2018 lineup of events, and opened the floor for discussion of several issues. Read More…
On Sun afternoon Dec 17 we held our annual TMC Family Christmas event. We welcomed parents and children from our Sunday school, our apartment complex, 2017 summer English program, and Ann’s “Moms and Tots” English class. We shared the story of the first Christmas and sang Christmas songs. TMC young adults taught games and crafts, and served refreshments. It was a lot of fun and we value the personal connections we are making with each family. Read More…
TMC holds these kinds of Japanese language outreach events 3-4 times a year.
This brings us a step closer to launching TMC’s Japanese language worship service.
TMC is indeed moving toward creating intentional space for the multiple cultures and languages the Lord is bringing to TMC—China, Hong Kong, Macau, India, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, UK, USA, Canada, etc.—while at the same time reaching out locally in Japanese.
TMC’s worship service is in English so we have been planning ways to incorporate other languages in our regular Sunday events. Ann’s children’s Sunday school in Japanese is one such non-English event, along with our weekly adult Japanese Bible study taught by Duane. This month we are also planning to begin a monthly Sunday afternoon Chinese language fellowship, led by Kevin. And we are moving toward launching a Japanese language worship service on Sundays, perhaps initially with a few months of Japanese translation during our current English worship service.
It was great to be back at TMC for a few Sundays!
We also renewed our Tokyo Multicultural Church rental facility contract for another three years, filed our Japanese taxes, said good-bye to our one year short term missionary Alicia who returns to Ottawa Canada in April, and welcomed Kevin & Grace from the Evangelical Free Church of Macao to our TMC missionary staff.
The portion of our Ministry Enhancement Fund that is set aside for TMC has been helpful in encouraging TMC toward full financial independence from the EFCCM, covering the shortfall of our TMC facility rent that is not handled by the offerings of TMC worshippers. We hope that by the end of this year TMC offerings will fully cover our facility rental costs so that TMC will no longer need to access our Ministry Enhancement Fund, allowing us to set aside some of those funds for launching TMC#2 in the next few years.
On Sunday December 11 we had another full house at TMC! Worship service brought out 27 adults and 6 children. That is a record number of children on a Sunday morning!…and so Ann is dreaming about launching a TMC Sunday School, perhaps in the fall of 2017.Read More…
Baby Ray seemed right at home, falling asleep in Dale’s arms during the pastoral prayer on Sun Dec 4.
Born to loving parents who are TMC members from Japan and Bangladesh, we know that baby Ray will have many opportunities to be nurtured in the love and obedience of Jesus Christ.
But as an alternative to Halloween, on Oct 31 Ann threw a party for TMC’s Moms and Tots outreach English classes that would focus on animals of the Bible’s Noah narrative. The kids and their moms donned monkey masks, had fun playing animal games, learned about Noah and his ark full of animals, played in a model of the ark made from large cardboard boxes, and enjoyed some snacks.
For a first time event at TMC, this was fun! It provided another opportunity to share the Scriptures and develop personal relationships with young moms. Maybe Ann will do it again next year!
Alicia Lim’s home church, Ottawa Chinese Bible Church, sent a team of young people to teach outreach English classes for one week at Soka EFC in late July and early Aug. We had an opportunity to lead them on a prayer walk in Sumida-ku, the area around TMC. The prayer walk ended with a meal at TMC and a time of sharing TMC’s vision. Read More…
And it was also great to have Mel Sayer, EFCCM Asia Director, share from the Word on this special TMC Sunday!
We have enjoyed reconnecting with our TMCers…
and getting ready for TMC Christmas events.
One of our talented young adults from China, an architect working in Shinjuku Tokyo, volunteered to help us with a logo design and soon started doodling. With input from the rest of us, she eventually designed a great TMC logo! Read More…
Little Lambs English Circle classes include English teaching and songs for 2-3 year olds, as well as a Bible story. Lilly (from Taiwan) is helping Ann. Lilly and her husband Soshi (from Japan) have joined TMC for 9 months before they move back to Torrance California. Read More…
- Our TMC Christmas Sunday lineup included...
- Worship service with special music, advent reading, and English sermon translated into Japanese (18 adults).
- Potluck lunch.
- ”Open church” in the afternoon: inviting passersby into our TMC facility for refreshments, kids Christmas video (multilingual), and a Christmas craft. Within 45 minutes we had distributed over 200 tissue packets with a TMC business card inserted, and a bag of candy for the kids. Three people took us up on our offer, with many others happily receiving our TMC information.
Duane Dietze leads our new Japanese Department. Read More…
Jon Prins from Watertown EFC (Minnesota) was also able to join us. He preached both Sundays at TMC, helped with making meals, and began writing an orientation manual for future TMC short term teams. Jon is raising financial support to return full time to Japan as part of our TMC staff.
We are still quite "bare bones" when it comes to furnishings, but one person has already "discovered" TMC because we moved into our own facility.
May the Lord gather his scattered peoples in order to bless Tokyo with the gospel. And may Jesus Christ be pleased to build his church as we plant TMC.
CHRISTMAS 2013 EVENTS
* Christmas Child "shoeboxes" preparation and mailing: Nov 17. (They are heading to the Philippines.)
* Advent wreath candle lighting: Dec 1, 8, 15, 22.
* Mon, Dec 9, 9:30am-12:00pm: ladies Christmas craft (wreath making).
* Sat, Dec 21, 2:00pm: cooperative children's outreach Christmas event at Sumida Bible Church.
* Christmas wreath making, Dec 9
* Sun, Dec 22: Christmas worship service.
* Mon, Dec 23, 2:00pm: children's outreach Christmas event at TMC, in cooperation with Pastor and Mrs. Ishikawa from Sumida Bible Church.
TMC FACILITY SEARCH CONTINUES OVER CHRISTMASOne rental option we had been looking at was rented to another applicant in early December. So we are still searching, even at Christmas time.
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, who is building the church we are planting, will lead us to just the right place in his perfect timing.
But… Read More…
Getting away from Tokyo is just what the doctor ordered!
We held our first TMC retreat on the weekend of Aug 23-25 near Sendai in Miyagi-ken at "Takayama by the Sea,” House No.2. We did some TMC vision casting, held worship together, and had lots of fun.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this every year near the end of August!
We are thankful for a Sunday room we can rent for four hours or more every Sunday, right in our apartment complex. Typically in Japan, a rental room cannot be used for “religious” purposes. But after explaining in detail why we wanted to rent the room (Bible teaching, singing, outreach, etc.), our apartment manager assured us that we were more like a “circle” or “group” than a “religion.” So since April he has enthusiastically rented the room to us. We didn’t argue! The cost: only $2 per hour! Even after we move into a long term facility rental nearby, we will probably continue to use this rental room for some aspects of our church program.
Our core group we began with on April 7 has seen some change with both additions and subtractions. Six of us are regulars, with about that many again who come periodically. Here is a quote from one recent multicultural visitor from Tokyo, not referring to the summer heat:
"I felt very warm and comfortable at TMC!"
Even while we ask the Lord to lead us to people whose hearts the Spirit of God has prepared for the gospel, he is sending us leaders.
Jon Prins, a former missionary colleague returning to Japan as a missionary with the EFC of Canada Mission, will be joining our TMC leadership team as soon as his financial support is raised. He will provide intercultural insight and leadership.
Two interns from Tokyo Christian University, one from the EFC of Macao and the other from the EFC of Germany, will be joining us on Sundays for one year beginning September. As we encourage them in the development of their spiritual gifts, we are looking forward to their contribution in helping us plant TMC.
Yet another former colleague of ours in Japan, serving with ReachGlobal (EFCA), is seeking the Lord's guidance about joining our TMC leadership team. If he comes, his focus will be on developing our Japanese language worship service.
Our small group of TMCers have been joyfully contributing to the financial needs of TMC. We do not collect an offering during our worship services. Instead, contributions are placed in an offering box any time on Sundays. Donations from within Japan can also be made online. We now have enough funds on hand to rent a long term facility.
Our Tokyo Multicultural Church (TMC) core group of six people (including Dale and Ann) were commissioned during the March 31 Easter Sunday worship service at the English Department of Musashino Chapel Center (MCC).
Pastor Howard Plucar outlined the birth of the idea of TMC about six years ago at MCC, MCC's formal decision to become the primary church partner of TMC three years ago, and now finally the launching of TMC. Several members of the MCC board then blessed the TMC core group by praying for us.
TMC will continue a close relationship with MCC. But we launch our own worship services on April 7.
Our TMC core group has met about five times at our apartment in February and March for planning and praying. We are finalizing the last minute details in preparation for launch Sunday. We plan to eventually have several language-specific congregations, but will begin with an English worship service. Ann's children's Bible story during the service will be translated into Japanese. Dale will preach in English through simultaneous interpretation into Japanese, and his sermon notes will be projected in both English and Japanese. Our morning worship will be followed by lunch (bought at nearby stores) and a discussion centered on the morning's Biblical content.
The Lord has miraculously supplied a Sunday room rental for TMC, right in the apartment complex where we live. When we rented our apartment in January, we did not dream we could use the meeting room of the apartment complex for launching TMC, and hardly dared to ask for it. But after getting to know the manager of the complex, we did ask him about it. Much to our surprise, he seemed almost eager to rent it to us on Sundays! He has even given us permission to put up posters throughout the complex (250 units)!
So during January Dale focused on renting an apartment in Sumida-ku, teaching his last modular class of the year on Contemporary Theology at Japan Bible Seminary, and as voluntary President of Japan Evangelical Missionary Association leading board meetings and planning sessions in preparation for JEMA's annual consultation and business meetings Feb 25-27. We were able to move out of our Sendai apartment on Jan 28 and into our Tokyo apartment on Jan 30. We will be unpacking cardboard boxes and getting settled in for the next month or so--all the while trying to carry on ministry. Read More…
EFCCM - Asia (7)
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE (7)
HOME ASSIGNMENT (9)
TSUNAMI RECOVERY (2)