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Mission Unusual Tokyo
July 30, 2020

 There’s nothing unusual about the Adventist Church being involved in mission. Mission has always been our focus. But there is something very unusual about a new mission movement taking off in Tokyo. 


The church in Japan has a burden for the millions of unreached people living in the capital city, so they invited the General Conference and the Northern Asia-Pacific Division to partner with them to create Mission Unusual—an ambitious church-planting and disciple-making movement. 

Key to the development of Mission Unusual are the Global Mission Centers, which focus on creating resources to share the gospel with unreached people groups. 

“Tokyo is the world’s largest city,” says Doug Venn, director of the Global Mission Urban Center. “The challenge is great before us, but guess what? Our God is greater! He has given us this mandate in Revelation 14:6 and other places in Scripture to go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. So, how are we doing? Well, we’re not home yet, and that’s where we as an Adventist family worldwide can focus on reaching the unreached people groups of this city.”

A team of church planting missionaries will soon arrive in Tokyo to learn the language and how best to share Jesus with the Japanese. In time, they’ll start new groups of believers who will, in turn, disciple others. Eventually, they’ll be supported by the ministry of Global Mission pioneers, Urban Centers of Influence, volunteers, and tentmakers in a concerted effort to reach the entire city for Jesus!

Helping to lead this team is Pastor Nozomu Obara, president of the East Japan Conference. For years, he’s had a passion for church planting, and he and his wife, Sachiko, are actively engaged in a disciple-making ministry for children. Pastor Obara will be transitioning from his position as president to become the associate director for Mission Unusual Tokyo. 

“Greater Tokyo Area is a big area with over 40 million people,” Pastor Obara said. “But in the heart of Tokyo City, there are about 10 million people—and only 10 Adventist churches with about 900 worship attendees every week. So, one Adventist needs to reach more than 10,000 people. Tokyo is a big challenge!”

To confront the challenge, Japanese pastors and missionaries will use a wholistic approach to mission. Mission Unusual will plant the seeds of mission over the next five years. But the mission won’t stop there—these efforts will continue to grow and impact people’s lives for years to come.

“Our focus is not just on events and programs,” Pastor Obara added. “Building relationships and getting involved with people is our focus, finding out people’s needs and meeting people’s needs—in other words, implementing Christ’s method here in Mission Unusual Tokyo.” 

We’ll keep you updated as God leads this movement and uses it for His glory. In the meantime, you, too, can support Mission Unusual Tokyo. Please pray for this program as it continues to unfold over the next five years to uplift Jesus in this city.

Millions of dollars are needed to reach Tokyo’s masses for Jesus, and every dollar counts. If God is moving your heart to support this unprecedented program, please give at Global-Mission.org/giving.

This article was first published in the June issue of Mission 360° Magazine from GC Adventist Mission.