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Mission Unusual Tokyo: Implement Christ’s Method
September 08, 2020

 The population of the Greater Tokyo Area is over 40 million, but in central Tokyo City, there are about 10 million people—and only 10 Adventist Japanese churches and international churches with about 900 worshipers every Sabbath. So one Adventist needs to reach more than 10,000 lost people. The Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) is called “the most challenging field,” and Tokyo is a huge challenge!


To tackle the challenge, we, a team of the Mission Unusual project, will use a wholistic approach to mission. Mission Unusual will plant churches for the next five years, but the mission will continue here to expand and influence people’s lives until Jesus’ coming.


Our focus is not merely on worship services and ministry activities. Building relationships and getting involved with people is our focus, finding out people’s needs and meeting people’s needs—that is to say, practicing Christ’s method here in Mission Unusual Tokyo.

Mission Unusual was approved by the General Conference Mission Board on October 5, 2018, to increase the number of cross-cultural missionaries it sends into the 10/40 Window for the special task of establishing new work among unreached people groups. Mission Unusual is focused to reach major cities in the 10/40 Window. As a test case, the first city chosen for this approach has been Tokyo. Mission Unusual Tokyo was also approved by the Japan Union Conference Board on July 16, 2019. “As we seek to carry out the great commission, we should think about pioneer church planting. Let every church create another church. A new church does not mean a new church building, but a new worshipping congregation. It can be a house church.  It’s all for winning one more soul!” said Elder Masumi Shimada, president of the Japan Union Conference. “On behalf of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, I would like to extend our great thanks that the General Conference chose this great city of Tokyo,” said NSD president Kim SiYoung.


Due to COVID-19, the project seems to be going at a slow pace because missionaries and their families haven’t yet arrived on the field. However, our team of Japanese pastors have already set out at the heart of Tokyo City. One of the sites being used as a house of worship every week with the wholistic approach is an Adventist’s private residence. Aya mingles with her neighbors within a town in the City of Tokyo, seek their needs. “There are many broken families around me,” says Aya, who is a wife of a kind husband and three lovely boys. She has closely connected with single mothers and their children who are unchurched or de-churched.  “To me, they are my sisters and my kids,” Aya adds.

Every month, Aya and our team have visited people in poverty who sleep every single night beside a wide river in Tokyo City, the Sumida River. A homeless man shared, “Hey, I feel your kindness. You guys make me a smile.” We were so glad. 

“Mom, I want to come here again and give away rice balls. Please take me again!” Aya’s child asks her in the car on the way home. 

Until foreign missionaries arrive, we have been preparing a contextualized supporting system to make Christ’s disciples cycle for planting missional groups and churches. We will keep you updated as Jesus leads this plan and uses it for His glory. In the meanwhile, brothers and sisters in Jesus, you can support Mission Unusual Tokyo, too. Please pray for God’s guidance on the program so that it grows exponentially the next five years to glorify the name of Jesus.

News article by Nozomu Obara, Associate Program Director of Mission Unusual Tokyo