Hirotake and Mayumi Watanabe

Hi! We are Hirotake and Mayumi Watanabe. We’re from Tokyo, Japan.

After the massive earthquake devastated Tokyo and northern Japan, we used our art café in Tokyo to reach out to people who were hurting. But we wanted to do even more to help our people. In Japan, less than 1% of the population knows God. “Going to church” is not part of Japanese culture–many are afraid to go to a church. We would love to grow the Church, the body of Christ, in Japan. Part of our vision is to create an International Bed & Breakfast and host events at a community center. People who would not go to “church” would come to a community center and gladly learn about Jesus and biblical principles. They would come to a Bed & Breakfast where they could rest and have good, meaningful conversations.

Our friends at YWAM Madison had been sending teams to Japan for quite a while, and we had been working with their teams since 2009. In 2011, they invited us to attend the Bible School for the Nations and to spend some time in Madison to receive more training. We also wanted to meet others who have a heart to reach Japan and build a team to return to Japan with us. We want to be a bridge between the USA and Japan.

Madison has held a special place in my heart because that is where I (Hiro) became a Christian in 1996. While we’re in Madison, we are focused on reaching international students at the University of Wisconsin. We are also plugged in to our local church and neighborhood, serving wherever is needed. We know there are lonely people in Madison and others who need help in different ways and those are the people we want to help.

Please pray for us while we are in Madison and building our team to return to Japan.

  • * monthly financial support
  • * greater impact on the UW campus
  • * more people would be inspired to go to Japan to work with us

To view some of my recent paintings, scroll through the photos at the top of this page, or visit my website at http://www.love-hiro.com.