From Homeside Ministry to Diaspora Returnee Ministry with East Asians in Japan

Transitions: Zechariah and Elizabeth*

From 2003-2016, Zechariah and Elizabeth* served with OMF in East Asia as a project coordinator and an English teacher at a university. They were also involved in discipleship and evangelism.

They went on to serve in Australia, mobilizing for mission and mentoring young people exploring cross-cultural service. During this season, they helped transition their children, Jesse and Isabel, who had spent several years in boarding school in India, into university life.

In 2022, Zechariah and Elizabeth came across a remarkable discovery: Japan is one of the most sought-after education destinations in the world for East Asian students!

They also knew that only 0.3% of Japanese people identify themselves as evangelical Christian and so they wondered, “Is anyone sharing Jesus with international Asian students in Japan?

Upon approaching OMF leadership, Zechariah and Elizabeth found that leaders had been fervently praying for a dedicated team to initiate this outreach for some time. There is an immense need for outreach among the international student community in Japan.

They received encouragement from their family, friends, and OMF to pursue the clear sense of calling from the Lord to embark on a new mission journey. They are stepping out in faith to share the gospel with East Asian students and equip them to be steadfast disciples who will share their hope and faith in Jesus in their home countries.

Pray for Zechariah and Elizabeth, and for East Asian students in Japan

  • Pray for God’s enabling grace as Zechariah and Elizabeth embark on full-time language learning in their first year in Japan in 2024. Pray for good language helpers and effective learning methods, and for the strength to persevere during challenging times.
  • Pray for international students in Japan to seek the Lord.
  • Pray for Zechariah and Elizabeth to have the wisdom and strength to connect with East Asian students. Pray that their passion for Jesus will deepen and that they will keep the Lord and His Word central.
  • Pray for Zechariah and Elizabeth’s adult children as they navigate a new season. Pray that they will discern God’s individual plans for them and follow His direction wholeheartedly.

*Names changed for security purposes

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