Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
Get The Mundays To Japan
$300 raised
2% of $20k goal
2 contributors
0 days left
Ended Mar 13, 2014
We have our Japan visas! Yay! We have a wide-open door to work with believers in Kanazawa or Ome! We have been “living light” ever since arriving in the US in '09, ready to move back to Japan when the door opened. We both know Japanese and ...

We have our Japan visas! Yay! We have a wide-open door to work with believers in Kanazawa or Ome! Yay!

We are ready to go and our visas expire on May 4th.... There's just ONE piece we do NOT yet have – $15,000 to $20,000 to fly there, move our stuff, make start-up payments on a rental property, and furnish it.

We have been “living light” ever since arriving in the US in '09, ready to move back to Japan when the door opened. We both know Japanese and have years (Stephen 12, Abigail 8) of experience living and working in a number of places around Japan. We will have month-to-month income, thanks to Stephen's business venture with a Christian Japanese partner in Osaka, Japan.

The Story So Far ...

(Actually, the story of our involvement in Japan goes back to the very early 90s, so we are skipping a lot of that here. If you want to know more about all those details, contact us here --

In early February we received the good news that our visas had come through. (Technically, we have received what is called a “Certificate of Eligibility” which is what we use to get the visas stamped in our passports.)

I had, optimistically, applied for 5-year visas for us on the basis that this is the longest term currently available, but we only ended up with 1-year ones. However, they are renewable, so I would apply for the longer term when I renew. We are looking at a 5 to 10 year commitment over there.

So What's The Plan Now?

Well, first of all, the visas are valid from three months after that Certificate of Eligibility is issued. What that means is that we have to get the visas in our passports and physically enter Japan by May 4th, 2014.

The clock is ticking!

Now, our original plan had been to go to live in Yokohama but, for various reasons, this plan has now changed. We have two possible open doors in Japan.


The first place we think God could be opening the door for us is called Kanazawa, on the Japan Sea coast just North of the Osaka area where we were living when we left Japan in 2009.

This is where Stephen lived in the mid-90s for three years. He worked in a high school, studied Japanese, did an extended homestay with a Christian Japanese family … and connected with a church called Kanazawa Grace Chapel.

We have remained in contact with the pastor, Tsujimoto sensei, over the years, and visited with the church and other friends there when we lived in other parts of Japan. Since explaining our situation, we have been given a very strong, positive encouragement to come and join with him and the other believers there.

Although we will not have an “official” role in the church, I can see there being many opportunities for the relationship outreach that we have done in the past. Abigail is extremely hospitable and makes connections with people wherever she goes, so I'm sure there will be many opportunities to have tea, cakes, dinner and all kinds of things with new friends. (That's one thing about being a gaijin (foreigner) in Japan, you can be very friendly and it doesn't scare people off!)

Stephen is thinking about making connections again at the school he used to work at, both with his former colleagues, and also with the students. He wonders whether there may be an opportunity to get involved in some kind of after school English club as a volunteer, perhaps. Another idea that has been running around in his head is some sort of after school drop-in English homework clinic at the church. The way he would envisage this working is that, rather than having formal lessons (and having to bear the label sensei – teacher), he would have “clinic hours” certain times of the week where kids coming back from school could drop in and ask questions about their English homework or English they had studied in class that they didn't understand. Obviously, he will have his business to work on, but there is definitely room for flexibility.


The other option would be in Ome to the west of Tokyo. This is where CRASH Japan ( is located. CRASH stands for “Christian Relief Assistance Support Hope” and Stephen first had contact with them when he wanted to do something as a volunteer to help with the aftermath of the earthquake / tsunami / nuclear disaster in the northeast of Japan in 2011. Although Stephen was not able to physically go due to his work requiring electrical power and an internet connection, he was able to help remotely by translating documents from Japanese to English during the night Japan time.

Stephen has been talking to Jonathan Wilson of CRASH Japan about what he could do to help with their on-going work to help people affected by disasters and their preparation for future disasters.

Whichever place we end up going in Japan, we are thinking that this stint will be for the long-term, probably for 5 to 10 years. Of course, only God knows the details of his plans, but this is what we are preparing ourselves for.

What Can You Do?

There are so many things that are already in place, including valid visas and wide-open doors, but there is one big barrier to us proceeding, and that is money – $15,000 to $20,000. Without this money, we cannot make the next steps that we need to make over the next 4 to 6 weeks.

As a family, we do not have the money to make this move. The company that is sponsoring our visas is entering its fourth year but, having been battling everything from the knock-on effects of the 2011 earthquake to an exceptionally overvalued Yen, it is not in the position to put in finances either.

This is what we would need the money for:

Flights = around $6,000

Start-up costs for a rental property = around $5000 *

Furnishing costs for rental property = several thousand dollars

Moving some of our stuff to Japan = hundreds to several thousand dollars

(* In Japan, you have to hand over a lot of money up front when you rent a property. Some will return when you leave, but others – like reikin = thank you money – will not. This often amounts to a number of months of rent equivalent before you even pay your first month's rent.)

Although it sounds like a lot of money, compared with what a traditional missionary family usually has to raise every year (about 100,000 USD), it's really not a huge amount. In addition, we can hit the ground running, since we already have the language and culture skills as well as connections and relationships. And this is a one-off start-up cost, not an on-going year-on-year expense.

Would you consider helping us meet some of this cost? Without this money, we cannot buy flights, arrange moving our stuff, or make any arrangements for Japan.

We need this money in the next four to six weeks. Later than this and it will start to become difficult to put together all the things we need to arrange for our move. After all, if money arrives on May 3rd, it will be too late for us to get our flights and arrive in time.

The visas expire on May 4th, 2014. The clock is ticking! Will you help make sure we can take this opportunity and not see these visas and this wide-open door of opportunity wasted? Canceling these visas could well prove prejudicial to future applications if we decided to try again. We really do not want this to happen.

Please pray for us as we prepare, and please consider giving here at Fundrazr, or contact us at if Fundrazr does not work for you.

DO GIVE ... if this is what God is leading you to do.

DO NOT GIVE ... if you do not think he is leading you to do this.

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