New EFCCM International Mission Director

From a Dec 2021 announcement by EFCC Executive Director Bill Taylor:

We are happy to report that after interviewing our top candidate, we are unanimous in our decision to hire Ike Agawin as our new EFCCM Director. Ike has accepted the position and will start as EFCCM Director on January 1st, 2022. Read More…

Mary, the mother of Jesus

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

What better choice in December to focus on in our series than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was from the town of Nazareth in Galilee. Once a young woman had her monthly period, as early as 13-14 years, she was deemed capable of child birth and old enough to marry. Engaged to marry Joseph, Mary is visited by an angel and told she was going to give birth to a son, and not just any son. He will be the Son of the most High. (Luke 1:31-33) What can we learn from Mary?

Mary believed and obeyed despite her fears, despite not always fully understanding, and despite the painful journey. Read More…

Asia Profile

The structure and a good portion of the content that follows is reworked from the Preface by Bong Rin Ro in Asian Christian Theology (2019). This post is also at efccm.asia.

Asia has a population of 4.6 billion or 60% of the world’s 7.9 billion people (Oct 2021). There is debate about whether to divide Asia into five or six regions and what to name the regions. For this profile I will consider Asia to have five regions, with the understanding that if Asian Russia (northern and eastern Russia, sometimes called Siberia or North Asia) were to be included the number would be six: East Asia (sometimes Northeast Asia), Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia (or Middle East). The EFCCM is currently engaged in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Asia.
map asia regions 2
Asia is characterized by diversity of racial, cultural, historical, and religious backgrounds. Percentages of adherents vary according to sources consulted, with about 22% of Asians identifying as “unaffiliated,” but all contemporary religions are present in Asia and all were birthed in Asia: Hinduism (25%), Islam (24%), Buddhism (12%), Christianity (7%), Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Judaism, Confucianism, and Taoism (World Atlas, 2018). Confucianism and Taoism are often not considered religions. Other than the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) Asian religions tend to be animistic. Read More…

To Maine for the Summer

In mid-June we returned to Maine USA for several months for ongoing medical treatment for Dale. The gradual reduction of medication for his auto-immune disease is going well and he hopes to be off meds later this year. Medical follow-up in Maine will be required every six months for a year or two.

2020_09 Boothbay ME Read More…

New Pastoral Couple for TMC English Ministries

We praise the Lord for leading Lucas & Hannah Chatelain to TMC!
2021_04 Lucas and Hannah
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.

Normal Japanese Animistic Religiosity

Here is a May 10, 2021, news item that made its rounds throughout Japan. It illustrates the normality of animistic practices that vary from town to town and lie at the heart of both Japanese Shinto and Buddhism. Read More…

Laying Plans for Passing the Baton 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…

Tokyo Multicultural Church Ministries

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.
Our desire is to see new champions for even more ministries, and to see these people form the backbone of our TMC facilitator team.

Return to Tokyo, then Quarantine

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.

2021_01_01-7 DnA