DALE & ANN LITTLE

From Leading to Advising at TMC

Dale is trying to transition from major decision making leadership at TMC to an advisory role. He’s encouraging others to lead TMC’s monthly Leadership Team meetings and Members’ Meetings. Ann has already made the transition in her areas of responsibility. After Dale moves to an advisory role both Dale & Ann would continue to connect with TMC leaders and others for encouragement and coaching. Dale would also continue recruiting and onboarding new leaders.

However, TMC’s current leaders are not quite ready to assume the leadership roles Dale carries. But one couple is interested in coming aboard as full-time English ministries leaders (more in our next letter). So perhaps Dale will be able to make the transition in the near future.

An advisory role at TMC for Dale would give Dale & Ann more time to focus on their Regional Coordinator ministry in Asia (Taipei, Chiang Mai, Manila, Hong Kong). But any missional ministry, whether at TMC or in Asia, is contingent upon their good health and the financial support of their support team in Canada and the US.

TMC Visit in Jun

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We were at TMC on the Sundays of June 9, 16, and 23, with Dale preaching on June 16. During the weekdays each of us met one-on-one with some members or attenders. David & Lina Cheng are taking the lead in many ways, not only in Chinese ministries. This is the kind of leadership we are nurturing at TMC.

In June David & Lina became Mission Associates with ServeBeyond, seconded under a Memorandum of Understanding with their primary mission agency, SIM in Singapore. You can donate to their account #2-2377 at efcc.ca. The two mission agencies are partnering in mission for planting and establishing TMC.

In the middle of our Tokyo trip Ann returned to Maine to care for her 95 year old mother who had been hospitalized shortly after we arrived in Japan. Her mother was discharged but needed Ann’s help at home. June-July is hectic strawberry season on the family farm, so Ann’s sister, who is mom’s primary caregiver, was grateful that Ann was able to help with mom. We are thankful that mom is now doing much better.

Children are Welcome at TMC

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Tokyo Multicultural Church is like a one-room school (remember those?). We meet in one large room (at least by Japan standards) on the first floor of a business building. All TMC activities happen there, including children’s ministries. Some children come to TMC’s twice a month Sunday school and some only come during the worship service that follows (they live further away). The total number is about a dozen. For a few months a play corner was set up at the back of the church for them during the worship service, behind a divider. But hey, legos on hard table tops can be noisy!…as well as the excitement that goes with them. So recently the children’s ministry team has been focusing on how to incorporate the children into the worship service by preparing things for them to do. (In Japan and many Asian countries, the worship service is seen as for adults, not children.) This attempt to welcome the children into TMC worship services seems to be working, at least for the moment. Ann has been coaching the children’s ministry team along in this direction.

TMC Visit in Feb

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We were in Tokyo Feb 4 - 23 for in-person coaching and leadership at Tokyo Multicultural Church. Dale led another monthly leadership team meeting (as he normally does but often by zoom) and a congregational meeting. Dale & Ann both met one-on-one with various TMC members and leaders, usually at coffee shops or restaurants. One highlight was a visit by two ladies from EFC of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada), one of our primary supporting/partner churches.

TMC Additions and Subtractions

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For the past few years our focus has been to recruit and onboard new young pastoral/missionary staff for TMC ministries so the church can be established and we can transition out of our overall leadership role. In 2023 the Lord faithfully sent us Bob & Keiko for part-time English ministries and David & Lina for full-time Chinese ministries. Praise the Lord!

But one development over the past few months feels as if it is moving us in the wrong direction: TMC’s Japanese ministers pastor will be moving on from TMC. Dale has always had a good relationship with this pastor who joined TMC in 2019, and that positive connection continued through Dale’s numerous discussions with him about leaving. Since 2023 TMC has only been able to pay him a stipend rather than a salary. So he needed to consider other pastoral options. However, because of the expectation in Japan (not at TMC) that both husband and wife of a Japanese pastoral couple serve the church, he felt his gifts would be better used outside a full-time pastorate. So as of April he will take secular employment and perhaps develop a part-time ministry. May God bless him and his family as he goes!…and TMC as we seek the Lord’s will for leadership in our Japanese ministries.

TMC 2023 Christmas in Tokyo

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Christmas 2023 at TMC included a children’s event, potluck, and caroling in the part—in addition to worship services celebrating Advent and Christmas Day.

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Sep-Oct in Japan and Asia

Our first trip to Japan in 2023 was in Feb, the second in Jun, and the third from Sep 23 - Oct 21. For the first 10 days of our fall trip we visited Chiang Mai and Singapore as part of our Asia Regional Coordinator role with ServeBeyond. The rest of the time we focused on guiding Tokyo Multicultural Church through leadership transition, Dale meeting one-on-one with pastors and Ann with some of the ladies.

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The highlight was meeting David & Lina Cheng in-person for the first time. They had arrived with their two children via Hong Kong just a few weeks earlier in order to begin serving as TMC’s full-time Chinese ministries couple. We met with them for orientation to both Tokyo and TMC, as well as to ServeBeyond because they are seconded from SIM Singapore, their sending mission agency. For the next few months we will continue providing them with orientation over zoom a couple times a month. Then after that we will meet with them every 4-6 weeks as we do with most of our ServeBeyond global workers in Asia.

While in Tokyo Dale also preached, led a TMC Members’ Meeting, and finished teaching the last half of his Contemporary Theology modular class this year at Japan Bible Seminary. In addition, TMC held its first children’s blessing event (not to be confused with baby dedication).

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Resources for Teaching Kids

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Ann set up a curriculum library at Tokyo Multicultural Church for continuing children’s ministry. Over the years she has collected a number of free resources. One such resource is the free “Bible App For Kids” for parents and teachers. It is available for mobile devices (App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore). Presently there are 41 interactive Bible stories available in 66 languages. Children can listen to the Bible story and follow along with the words. Touching the screen brings entertaining animation. In addition, each story comes with an activity to review the story. More information and printable flashcards and coloring pages can be found at this website: https://bibleappforkids.com/

June in Japan

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Our first trip to Japan in 2023 was Feb 21 - Mar 9 (3 wks). It was supposed to be 4 weeks but we had to shorten it because we both came down with covid (light symptoms) a few days before our original departure from the US. More about that trip here.

Our second trip was May 30 - Jun 29 (4 wks). We travelled to Tokyo on weekends from our house in northern Japan where we stayed mid-week. So we were able to be in-person at Tokyo Multicultural Church every Sunday in June. Read More…

New Pastoral Couple for TMC English Ministries

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On Apr 23 Dale led a TMC Members’ Meeting by zoom from Maine, in which members voted to call Bob & Keiko as TMC's next part-time, bi-vocational English ministries associate pastoral couple. Bob is from Zambia and Keiko from Japan. Keiko had been a missionary in Zambia but they met in Japan while Bob was studying at Tokyo Christian University. They had been in the candidate process since Dec, meeting several times with the Pastoral Search Team and also with Dale & Ann. We are grateful Bob & Keiko accepted the invitation and look forward to onboarding them.

They will join Moto (Japanese ministries pastor) and Kevin (Chinese ministries associate pastor). Lord willing, David & Lina will soon join TMC via Singapore as Chinese ministries full-time pastoral couple. We are thankful for Jon & Laura’s continuing part-time ministry at TMC until their retirement in a few years.

TMC 10th Anniversary

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On Easter Sunday Apr 9 TMC celebrated its 10th anniversary! We were back in Maine by then so sent a bilingual English-Japanese video greeting, recalling the early years of launching TMC in our Tokyo apartment complex.

TMC Budget Reduced

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On Mar 5 Dale led a Members’ Meeting in-person at TMC in which it was decided to reduce the budget in order to become less dependent on subsidies and help achieve financial stability. Tokyo’s covid restrictions over the past few years have made it financially difficult for the church. TMC’s pastors who need financial support now receive a stipend instead of a salary.

TMC Baptism

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On Feb 26 Dale baptized a young TMC lady from South Africa. For preparation Ann & Dale had zoomed with her 5 times. Her testimony of God’s faithfulness was so encouraging! It was also a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with our primary partner church on the west side of Tokyo where we held the baptism, Tokyo Musashino EFC or Musashino Chapel Center, and where we pastored 2008-2010.

TMC Sunday School Restarted

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During the fall months of 2022, before moving out of our Tokyo apartment in Dec, Ann had been recruiting a TMC children’s ministry team. In Jan 2023 they were able to re-start a twice month TMC Sunday school. She continues to provide coaching and curriculum for the new team, including bringing Easter resources in our suitcases on our Feb 2023 trip to Tokyo.

Farewell to a TMC Pastoral Couple

Almost 2 years ago we brought aboard a young part-time, bi-vocational pastoral couple for TMC English ministries. But in Nov they resigned because they were too busy with their work and new baby, approaching burn-out. TMC’s leadership team warmly welcomed them to stay at TMC as members as they worked through their new lifestyle without the pastoral component. But in Jan they decided to move on. We wish them God’s best.

Dec 2022 at TMC

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Dec 2022 Christmas events at TMC included a children’s event, advent candle lightings, and worship services. No potlucks yet…that’ll need to wait until the new year when Tokyo eases off on covid restrictions for gatherings.

More pictures…
Read More…

Transitions and Finances

Looking toward our future retirement, we plan to transition from in-person church planting leadership at Tokyo Multicultural Church to “coaching from a distance” at the end of 2022. This means moving our primary residence from our apartment in Tokyo to our house in Cape Elizabeth, Maine US (Ann’s hometown), while retaining a secondary residence at our vacation house in northern Japan.

We will continue full-time ministry with ServeBeyond (EFC of Canada) for 2-4 years by (1) overseeing TMC; (2) coordinating ServeBeyond projects in Asia; and (3) continuing to teach theology in Tokyo (Dale). We will also visit our supporting churches in Canada and the US. So we will continue to carry a full-time missionary budget.

However, the way we do these ministries will change. Lord willing, we plan to take 2-3 annual trips of 1-2 months each to Japan and Asia. This will make it possible for us to be at TMC 6-8 Sundays a year and for Dale to teach modular seminary classes twice a year. By keeping a secondary residence in Japan we will be able to reduce our flight costs within Asia for visiting ServeBeyond projects and personnel because our itineraries can originate in Tokyo rather than the US. Read More…

Back in Tokyo for the Fall

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Our back and forth across the Pacific Puddle lifestyle can be tiring, but it is always great to get back to in-person church planting ministry at TMC. It’s wonderful to have some babies at TMC and to see some visitors deciding to become regulars!

This fall will be our final months of keeping our Tokyo apartment so we’ll be busy with sorting, throwing stuff, packing and moving in addition to ministry. Starting Jan 2023 we plan to transition to a hybrid remote/in-person ministry at TMC and in Asia, based primarily in Maine USA but also at our vacation house in northern Japan.

TMC is Seeking an English Ministries Missionary Pastor

TMC invites inquiries from a missionary single or couple who…
  • will contribute to overall church leadership and vision alongside TMC’s Japanese, English, and Chinese ministries pastors.
  • speaks English fluently and has some Japanese language ability.
  • holds a Master’s degree or equivalent from an evangelical seminary.
  • can unreservedly sign the Evangelical Free Church of Canada “Gospel Truths” statement of faith.
  • can supply own financial package as a fully supported or bi-vocational missionary, with the possibility of receiving a small stipend from TMC in the future.
(See here for more details.)
Interested? ...or know of someone who might be interested? If so, contact Dale.

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New Pastoral Couple for TMC Chinese Ministries

We praise the Lord for leading David & Lina to TMC through Singapore!

David & Lina are missionary appointees with SIM Singapore. David has worked in Tokyo and speaks Japanese quite well. After that he earned both a Masters and a professional Doctoral degree from a US evangelical seminary’s Chinese language program. His doctoral project was on discipleship. He has been both a pastor and a church planter. Lina has worked for a number of multinational companies with responsibilities in several North Asia countries and speaks excellent English. She does marriage counseling and serves in women’s and children’s ministries at their church.

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A TMC Chinese Fellowship gathering, Nov 2021 Read More…

TMC is Seeking a Chinese Ministries Pastoral Couple who...

…will launch Chinese worship services (currently a monthly Chinese fellowship).
…will contribute to overall church leadership and vision alongside TMC’s Japanese and English ministries pastors.
...has a heart for reaching people in greater Tokyo for Christ, both Japanese and expatriates.
...is inter-culturally sensitive and can lead with humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2).
...speaks Mandarin and/or Cantonese fluently, English well, and has some Japanese ability.

(See here for more details.)

Interested?...or know of someone who might be interested? If so, contact Dale.

2021_12_19 caroling Read More…

Transitions

(Updated May 11, 2022 )

Dale & Ann had been planning to transition from their in-person TMC leadership role in mid-2022 and make Cape Elizabeth, Maine (Ann’s hometown) their home base from where they would continue remote/virtual leadership. But for two reasons they have postponed this transition until late 2022. (1) Covid has negatively affected TMC achieving financial stability, with offerings taking a hit in 2020 and 2021. And (2) TMC needs more pastors/missionaries on staff. In addition to Dale & Ann’s planned transition, two other senior missionary households are retiring or stepping down from most leadership roles at TMC in 2022. Although TMC has a Japanese ministries pastor, it needs pastors/missionaries for both English and Chinese ministries because those two ministries are currently led by part-time personnel.

But after they do make this transition they will continue full-time ministry with ServeBeyond (EFCC) for a few years and so continue to carry a full-time missionary budget. 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.

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New Pastoral Couple for TMC English Ministries

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

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.

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Home Assignment in Maine USA, scheduled for Jul-Nov

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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…

Pandemic Life and Ministry in Tokyo

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How are you doing during this pandemic?

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Dale's Health, COVID-19, and Ministry Implications

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On Feb 11 Dale was admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo with a high fever, severe joint pain, and bacterial pneumonia in both lungs. Read More…

2019 Tokyo Multicultural Church Christmas

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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.

TMC Monthly "Wakuwaku" Family Time Launched

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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…

TMC Japanese Language Worship Service Launched Oct 2019

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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.

Summer 2019 TMC Outreach English

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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…

Pastor Motomichi Harada Joins TMC Staff

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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…

Easter Family Festival, April 2019

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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 2018

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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…

TMC Family Christmas 2018

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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.

TMC American Thanksgiving 2018

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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.

A TMC Farewell


Tokyo Multicultural Church’s O-san passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack in September at the age of 59. He was probably the most central member of our Japanese Department. He has left a big hole in his family and at TMC.

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.

First TMC Retreat


What a treat to get away to a beautiful area near Tokyo with our church family! We’re quite sure this is going to become a TMC tradition.

TMC Summer 2018 Outreach English (2)


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…

TMC's 5th Anniversary

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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 Summer 2018 Outreach English (1)

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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…

First TMC Membership Meeting


As a result, we decided to share testimonies during worship services twice a month, start some Sunday afternoon small groups once a month, and add a second worship service that would be in Japanese when we reach the seating limits of our rental facility (probably about 50 people).

We hope members will take increasing responsibility in decision making as TMC defines and refines its leadership structure. Membership meetings will probably be held 2-3 times a year, with non-members usually invited as observers.

The Lord has financially provided for TMC’s rental facility through the giving of Sunday worshippers and the financial partners who have contributed to our ongoing TMC Fund within our EFCCM Ministry Enhancement Fund. The purpose of the TMC Fund is to cover a gradually decreasing portion of TMC’s rental facility costs during the church’s early years as TMC gradually takes on full responsibility for covering those costs. We are thankful that by the end of 2017 TMC attenders were covering almost all of TMC’s monthly rental facility costs! If we don’t need the TMC Fund for TMC#1 in 2018 we hope to use it to begin building TMC#2’s launch fund.

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TMC Family Christmas 2017

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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 American Thanksgiving Meal 2017

Japanese Interpretation at TMC

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Starting in October, we began to offer Japanese interpretation of English sermons at Tokyo Multicultural Church on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. Duane, our ReachGlobal church planting colleague, is an excellent interpreter!

This brings us a step closer to launching TMC’s Japanese language worship service.

TMC Chinese Department Launched!

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On Sun Sep 24 Kevin, TMC’s missionary staff member from the EFC Macau, launched TMC’s Chinese Department by hosting the first Mandarin language fellowship and Bible time. The Chinese Mandarin group will initially meet one Sunday afternoon each month. Kevin & Grace joined our TMC missionary staff in March of this year, with Kevin’s primary responsibility being the development of our Chinese Department.

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 Japanese Sunday School Launched!

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On Sun Sep 10 Ann launched TMC’s twice a month children’s Sunday school in Japanese. Although multiple languages are spoken at TMC, the children predominantly speak Japanese. Ann had three little ones on Sep 10 and two others were sick. She has hoped to start this for some time and loves the ministry opportunity it provides. And she really appreciates the help she is getting from one of the moms.

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.

TMC Summer Outreach English

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During the week of July 24–29 we held our annual outreach English classes at Tokyo Multicultural Church. This year the Forster family from Hillside EFC in Greenbank WA, one of our supporting churches, joined us. Prior to the classes we prayer-walked in our corner of central Tokyo and held orientation sessions. Read More…

JEMA Presidency Turnover

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Since 2008 Dale has served as the voluntary, part-time President of JAPAN EVANGELICAL MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION. At the annual meeting in February 2017 he turned over his JEMA leadership responsibilities to a capable missionary executive team, with Nathan Snow as the new President.

Our leadership team has enjoyed numerous lighter moments!
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Mid-Home Assignment Tokyo Visit

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For three weeks in February-March during our six-month home assignment we returned to Tokyo for the annual Japan Evangelical Missionary Association meetings, where Dale passed on the leadership baton (he has been President for 8 years and Vice-President for his final year), and Ann attended the JEMA Women in Ministry retreat.

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.

Children's Christmas at TMC


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By Sunday afternoon, TMC was a lively place!

For several hours 13 children and 17 moms & dads, along with half a dozen TMC helpers, celebrated Christmas. Of the 13 children, 9 came as a result of Ann and Alicia’s “moms and tots” outreach English classes, 1 was from our apartment complex, and 3 were children of TMCers.

The children’s Christmas party included games, singing, Bible story, and snacks. An impressive moment was when all the children waited to eat their home made cookies until they had said a simple prayer that Ann teaches during her children’s English classes.

Several adults heard the Bible-based Christmas story for the first time. Two moms asked Dale, “May I come to TMC on Sundays?”!

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Aligning with TMC’s multicultural focus, 4 of the children have at least one parent who is Chinese. And given the 6 Chinese speakers in our morning worship service, we are hoping to launch our Chinese (Mandarin) Department in some fashion in 2017.

2nd TMC Baby Dedication

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What a joy to hold our second baby dedication at TMC!

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.

American Thanksgiving at TMC

In our TMC multicultural setting, it is possible to have several options for a Thanksgiving date. But US Thanksgiving, which was Nov 24 this year, is closest to the Nov 23 Japanese national holiday.

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Read More…

TMC Halloween Alternative

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Halloween is becoming increasingly prominent at retail outlets in Tokyo. It is not exactly the kind of holiday we want to celebrate at church!

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!

TMC Vision Visits

Two churches have visited Tokyo Multicultural Church in the past few months, desiring to deepen their understanding of TMC and possibly partner with TMC in clothing the gospel with community (church planting).

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…

1st TMC Baby Dedication

Jon Returns To TMC

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Jon Prins has been making plans to return to Japan in order to join our TMC missionary staff for several years. He arrived in God's perfect timing on Apr 16! He and his wife planted several EFC churches in Japan before she passed away due to cancer. He serves with the EFCCM. Read More…

Alicia Joins Our TMC Team

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Alicia, an EFCCM one year intern from Ottawa Chinese Bible Church, arrived in Tokyo on Mar 11. She will be teaching evangelistic English classes five days a week at TMC and two other EFC churches in greater Tokyo.
Read More…

New Financial Project

In addition to our ongoing TMC Fund within our Ministry Enhancement Fund we are now seeking donations for the following one-time project: Read More…

TMC Christmas 2015

It was a good Christmas at Tokyo Multicultural Church!

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Ann’s “Little Lambs” party for her moms and tots English class brought out 8 tots and 11 parents on December 19. Read More…

Back At TMC After Home Assignment!

It was good to visit some of our supporting churches during our Oct-Nov home assignment. But it also feels great to be back at TMC!

We have enjoyed reconnecting with our TMCers…
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and getting ready for TMC Christmas events.
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Summer 2015 English (2)

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Our Jul 28 - Aug 1 summer 2015 outreach English conversation classes at TMC were a success! With 4 children and 17 adults registered our numbers were far higher than last summer. Read More…

Summer 2015 English (1)

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TMC is once again reaching out to our corner of Sumida-ku in Tokyo through evangelistic English conversation classes that include Bible teaching. Read More…

Visit From EFCC leaders

EFC of Canada leaders Bill Taylor (EFCC Executive Director) and Melvin Sayer (EFCC Mission Asia Director) visited TMC on June 7. Read More…

TMC’s 2nd Birthday

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Tokyo Multicultural Church had its 2nd birthday on April 5, 2015! Read More…

TMC Sign And Logo

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HOW WE GOT OUR TMC LOGO AND SIGN

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…

TMC Little Lambs English Circle

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Ann is leading the launch of our TMC moms and tots weekly classes that she has named “Little Lambs English Circle."

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…

Second Christmas at TMC (2014)

TMC Kids Christmas Events 2014

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We joined with Sumida Bible Church for children’s Christmas outreach events on two Saturdays in December, building upon our local ministry partnership with that church. Read More…

TMC Japanese Department Launched

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On September 7 we launched our Japanese Department at Tokyo Multicultural Church by dividing into English and Japanese language groups for the sermon or Bible study time during the middle of the service. The joint part of the service includes singing in English and Japanese as well as children’s Bible stories mostly in English. This is our first step toward a Japanese language worship service, hopefully in the next few years.

Duane Dietze leads our new Japanese Department. Read More…

TMC First Summer English Classes

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Chie from Cayucos Community Church (California) and Nanette from First EFC of Maine taught classes at Tokyo Multicultural Church and Sumida Bible Church, July 28 – August 1. Between the two churches we had 16 students, with only one out of the total of five classes at TMC. We are thankful for our relationship with Sumida Bible Church and were happy to share our teachers with them.

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.

TMC’s 1st Birthday

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TMC AT ONE YEAR: April 6, 2014, was the first anniversary of Tokyo Multicultural Church. Our 1st birthday present was a rental facility. The Lord's timing was perfect! We had been searching and praying for a rental for months, and experienced numerous rental application rejections because we are a church. But the Lord orchestrated events so that we could hold our first worship service in our new rental facility on our first anniversary.

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.

First Christmas at TMC (2013)

TMC Facility Search

By early October, we thought we had found a perfect place for TMC to rent. It was spacious, bright, and within a 7 minute walk of our target train station (Kinshicho).

But… Read More…

First TMC Retreat

OceanSide6August 23-25, 2013 Retreat

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!

TMC At Four Months

We are thankful for a good beginning for Tokyo Multicultural Church. This church planting project is shaping up to be the most enjoyable of our missionary career.

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FACILITY

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.

PEOPLE

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.

First Sundays At TMC

Our first three Sundays at TMC provide a glimpse of what we mean by "Christ centered, Bible based, disciple making church for all nations." Read More…

TMC Send Off From MCC, 2013

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COMMISSIONED

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.

CORE GROUP

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.

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INITIAL FACILITY

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)!

Ann and Dale's Transition To Tokyo, Jan 2013

In late January we moved from Sendai back to Tokyo in order to launch TOKYO MULTICULTURAL CHURCH, the church planting vision we have nurtured for four years.

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…