Of the approximately 2000 missionaries in Japan, Kyushu has around 200 missionaries working among 13 million people, and Miyazaki prefecture is unreached even within Kyushu, with less than 10 missionaries and only a handful of healthy churches. In obedience to the mission and vision God has given our team, we left Fukuoka City in 2020 and moved to Miyazaki to begin planting churches among the unreached of the unreached.
Where are we?
Miyazaki Prefecture is home to 1.07 million, and our team is in its largest city, Miyazaki City, which has a population of about 400,000. Miyazaki City is a beautiful coastal locale in the Southeastern corner of Kyushu, known for its fresh produce, blue skies, and perfect waves for surfing.
House church in Manabino
Through Discovery Bible Studies, a couple neighbors accepted Christ as Savior and began to gather at the Tom house for Sunday worship. Several more people have joined since then, and the Toms are now discipling each person so that they know how to lead gatherings of their own, share the gospel in their own circles, and use their unique skills and gifts to love one another so that they can bear fruit and multiply.
Church planting in Kibana
The Ebners have been warmly welcomed into a neighborhood that is minutes away from the beach. With a heart for the surfing community—most of whom would never consider going to a traditional church on Sunday morning—The Ebners are planning creative ways to love their neighbors, share the gospel, lead Bible studies, and plant multiplying churches.
Many people in Miyazaki are a part of sports activities and we have found them to be great ways to connect with people on a regular basis. The Toms go to the gym, the pool, and walk their neighborhood park to meet people. The Ebners now own surfboards. And Sean is coaching American football at the local university, has joined volleyball, basketball, running, and tennis groups to meet a variety of people.
We abide in God
Examples of how we live this out: We meditate on and obey (shema) God’s Word and bring everything to him in prayer. We rely on him for all of our needs to accomplish the mission he has given us. We prioritize God’s Word above any other authority, God’s Kingdom above any other culture, and God’s plans above the wisdom of man.
We make opportunities for evangelism
We make opportunities for evangelism through building relationships in our community. Examples of how we live this out: We invest in personal relationships, taking the gospel to where we live, work, and play. We encourage those we disciple to make disciples in their own circles. We endeavor to understand the needs specific to our community and work toward meeting them. We live with transparency, readily inviting others into our lives and homes to show what a life with Christ is like.
We equip ourselves and others with simple discipleship methods
We equip ourselves and others with simple, reproducible, and contextualized discipleship methods. adapt simple CPM/DMM methods and principles to our context. We try to avoid ministries that cannot be reproduced by the people around us. We seek ministries that people can easily join in, enjoy, and add as a part of their daily lives. We move quickly into coaching roles, walking alongside Japanese believers as they live out their faith. We aim for JLPT N2 Japanese proficiency and study Japanese culture. We organize short term mission trips and plan Edge and Venture programs.
Brian & Nozomi Tom
I’m from foggy San Francisco. I took my first trip to Japan through Edge in 2007, came back in 2010 through Venture to Fukuoka, and joined Long Term starting in 2011. I partnered with Fukuoka Bible Church from 2013 to 2020.
Nozomi is from Miyazaki. She moved to Fukuoka to work at a Christian junior high school called Seinan. Brian and Nozomi met at Fukuoka Bible Church, got to know each other on the worship team, and got married in 2013. Shiemi was born in 2015, Miori in 2017, and Kanae in 2022.
Nick & Jess Ebner
I grew up in Austin, Texas, where we live by the mottos “Everything’s bigger in Texas” and “Keep Austin Weird”! I studied Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University and worked in the oil industry for a few years before feeling that God was calling me to Japan. I joined the Pioneers Japan Launch team in 2017, and after graduating at the end of 2019 I joined the Fukuoka team. I want to tell every person I can about the good news of the Gospel, to care for those who are neglected or rejected, and to see every believer become more like Jesus every day.
I’m from a small town in Southern New Jersey where we love the simple things in life: cheesesteaks and rooting for the Eagles. Although I started in the scientific research field, God brought me to Japan for the first time in 2013, and again a year later to Yamaguchi. God was calling me out of science and into His fields of harvest here in Japan. I enjoy connecting with people through the joys that God gives us in our daily lives, such as hobbies, sports, and food. I’m praying that the forgiveness, joy, and grace that only God offers become what the believers in this country are known for; and that those very same qualities become a transformative blessing for this nation.
Get in touch if you’re curious about any of these programs or have questions for our team. We’d love to hear from you.