Hi! We are Hirotake and Mayumi Watanabe. We served as missionaries in Madison, WI from 2014-2018 and moved back to Tokyo, Japan early 2018 to start a new ministry here.
After the massive earthquake devastated Tokyo and northern Japan in 2011, 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 have been sending teams to Japan for quite a while. We have partnered 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.
Now the vision of the community center is unfolding right here in Tokyo. We created community through hospitality and also pioneered a worship and prayer ministry in our city.
God is calling us to be a bridge between the local church and various mission groups including YWAM.
Collaboration in unity is very key for Christianity in Japan as many churches are small and need each other to build God’s Kingdom and be strong.
Please pray for our ministry in Japan:
- Monthly financial support
- Team for Japan. We need more people to come alongside us to build this community center ministry.
- Location: We are currently renting an apartment that we use as a community center in Tokyo but we want to buy a house in a beautiful location to help provide the rest people are longing for
- Japan is less then 1% Christian population so please pray for ministries to collaborate in unity
Because the local church is very small it’s difficult to get financial support from Japan. This means that we also hold jobs and do ministry. Please pray for additional financial support for us so we can fully do what God has called us to do.