David & Manuela Pawson

How long have you served with OMF?

We have been working with OMF in Japan since 2020 and have returned to the UK after finishing our first term of service. 

What is your current ministry?

After studying Japanese for two years, we moved to Hanamaki, north-east Japan, for a two-year training placement at a church plant. We were involved in helping with the regular Sunday worship, various outreach events and connecting with the local community. As this was part of our initial training as OMF workers, we were encouraged to be involved with as many different things as possible.

Highlight of your term?

Seeing how God can work in different ways was amazing. Sharing the good news of Jesus can be a challenge in Japan and people can be hesitant or wary about Christianity. However, we have seen God working in people’s lives and have slowly become more open to Jesus. Seeing people enter a church building for the first time, or reading the Bible for the first time in their lives was a real joy. Even though these moments can easily pass us by, we learnt to treasure them when they happened.

What’s the most unusual thing you have seen?

Bears have been an unusual hazard for us in Japan. When we were in language school, a bear was sighted near our apartment (we lived in the middle of a city) so the police advised us to stay indoors until they had captured it. Then after we moved to Hanamaki, there would be regular ‘bear alerts’ of sightings in and around the town. 

What have you learnt from East Asians this term?

We really learnt the value of giving and receiving gifts. As we lived in a rural area most of the people we knew were either farmers or grew their own vegetables so we would get a steady supply of produce throughout the year. Thankfully we had a small garden of our own so we had something to offer in return.

What can we pray for your future and where you serve?

Please pray for our next placement. It hasn’t yet been decided where we will be working after our home assignment, although it is likely we will return to the same region of Japan but work with a different church. Please also pray for God to continuing working in the hearts of the Japanese people that they would be ready to hear the good news of Jesus.

Chris & Kesia with Caleb, Jonathan, Carys and Megumi Pain

How long have you served with OMF?

We have served with OMF in Japan since 2007. Chris is currently Field Director and Kesia serves alongside him on the field leadership team as well as supporting families. It is such a privilege to be supported by many of you who pray with us for God’s work in Japan.

Highlight of your term?

  • Completing our church planting strategy review. It was a significant project and we have been excited that the research that underpinned it has been well received and stirred conversations and interest with our partners (see the report at
  • Lots of new workers.
  • Our girls getting baptised.
  • Seeing our friend Y grow in her faith. Some of you have prayed for her for almost 17 years! She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour but hadn’t been baptised or connected to a church. Recently she talked about the daily devotions she reads and how they have helped her. She has started attending a church and wants to get more deeply connected.

What are you most looking forward to about being back in the UK?

We thank God for this opportunity to be back in the UK and to see family, friends, prayer partners and our churches. We look forward to catching up with our son Caleb especially.

What can we pray for your future and where you serve?

Please pray that we will walk closely with Jesus each day, and humbly serve OMF Japan in our leadership roles. OMF Japan is seeking a year of fruitfulness in 2024 –pray for fruit for each of us in our walk with Jesus and for fruit from the gospel seeds sown over generations in Japan.

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