I grew up in Oregon. In my college days there in Oregon, I participated in student ministries that focused on international students. Then, at the invitation of a Japanese pastor, I took a year off from college to go to Japan (Ehime) to help a church with their English program (one of their methods of reaching their community with the gospel). Two years later I took yet another year off to go back and help with the English program. After graduating from college, I found myself back in Japan again, working in a commercial English school and helping out at church. I hadn’t thought I’d be in Japan long term, but the Lord had other plans, and I ended up living in Japan for more than twenty years. Now I’m back in the U.S. (Washington), and I’ve been helping my brother fix up houses to sell.
While in Japan, I was blessed to see and experience a lot of the country. I lived in seven different prefectures (mostly Kanto area). For most of my years in-country, I was active in international, bi-lingual churches. I was able to pick up the language, to a degree (I’m ashamed to say I should have better Japanese skills), as well as some degree of cultural understanding. But I know that there’s still a lot that I don’t know, and I want to be as well-prepared as possible to reach out to Japanese people (whether here in the States, or back in Japan) with the good news of Christ’s forgiveness and love. I’m looking forward to gaining new insights from RJC Academy and from my fellow participants.