It′s not really about us

God was at work in Japan far before the first missionaries set foot on the soil. We simply join the stream of God's work down through the centuries. We recognize that God's call upon our lives to serve Him here is simply another way he is moving people and events together for his grand purposes in this country. Here's how it happened in our case:
Both Kevin and Kaori grew up in Christian homes and attended Baptist churches from a young age. However, Kevin’s home was in the suburbs of Chicago, while Kaori’s was in the mountains of Yamagata, Japan.

In 1988, during a missions conference at Moody Bible Institute where he was doing his undergraduate studies, Kevin committed his life to serve the Lord in overseas missions work if God should so call. As he prayed through this commitment in the months to come, he felt the Lord leading him to take the next step. Kevin went for two summers with Asian Access to Japan while a student at Moody. He worked at Zao Baptist Church and assisted the church's English outreach ministries. God broke his heart for the deep spiritual needs of the Japanese people, and at the same time brought someone very special into his life on staff at the church where he served.

Kaori happened to be on staff at Zao Baptist: a church started by WorldVenture missionaries decades earlier. She had attended Tokyo Christian College and majored in Music and Theology, graduating with a bachelors degree in 1990. After completing her education, Kaori felt called to return to her home church in Yamagata and help lead the growing needs of its ministries and outreach programs. One such outreach was the summer evangelism program of which Kevin was a part.

The couple met in 1990, got engaged a year later, and married in Lansing, Illinois in 1993. They have one son, Justen. Though it's said that east is east and west is west, Kevin and Kaori have discovered that in Christ there is perfect unity, especially when two are united in service for Him.

Why I believe in missions...

In many ways I'm a product of mission work in Japan. My family and I became Christians because a missionary (Joseph & Margaret Meeko, WorldVenture) came from the States to my hometown.
I'm a product of mission work. I'm here today
because someone came.
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The gospel message was shared with us and we accepted Christ (1960's). My parents became the core of the early church in Yamagata called Zao Baptist
Church. Now, I am completing the circle by working with my husband, Kevin, to start a church and reach my own people for Christ. My name, Kaori, means "fragrance" in Japanese. I pray that I can be the "fragrance of Christ" to my country.

It's unbelievable the way that God weaves things together in his plan for us. Who would've thought one person's impact would continue through me? It is a great joy to serve Him here in Kawasaki!

Keep the suitcases handy...

When God tells you to pack up and go somewhere you had better listen! After marriage I knew that Kaori and I could have a more comfortable life in the States. But I also knew in my heart that
I knew we might have a more comfortable life in the States, but...
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we would not be fulfilling the larger purpose that God had for us. After all, He hasn't called us to a life of comfort, but to a life of privileged service! I knew the
life of a career missionary would not be an easy one. But I also knew there were many people in Japan needing the difference I might bring to them by responding to God's call in trust and obedience.

Thankfully that call upon our lives always results in greater fulfillment and joy. Heaven will be a place of ultimate joy, but until then, I know that God has led Kaori and I to populate eternity with as many Japanese believers as He empowers us to reach for Him here.

The "Missionary Kid" Diaries...

It's not always easy being an MK (missionary kid). I came to Japan when I was still just two years old. Everything changed around me. Of course, I didn't sense at the time that much was different in my life from the kids around me. I was in preschool!
I think God can use my life everything in my life as an MK...
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Gradually I started to sense that things for me were a little different than most everyone I knew. My family are Christians. That's pretty rare in Japan.
But we're also missionaries. What's more, my dad is an American foreigner, while my mom is Japanese. We move about between countries. We used a mix of cultures and languages. I go to a different school than most kids. And so on...

All these differences pile up to make me feel a little strange at times. But I know differences can be used by God, too. I love Japan. I have many friends and experiences here. I think God can use everything in my life as an MK to some great purpose. Please pray for me!

Yep, we're real people (or pets), too…

The most important thing to know about us is that we are just ordinary people, called by an extraordinary God. We're not superhero Christians. We have many of the same struggles, frustrations, and worries as you.
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Kevin's Blooper Roundup

"A little language can go a wrong way." Being a foreigner and still "slightly" disadvantaged in the language creates some rather embarrassing moments. You have to learn to laugh at yourself, put up with your limitations, and keep trying. Click the arrows to see a few goofs we've made.

Out of Order

Out of Order

Soy Coffee

Soy Coffee

Duty-free Seaweed

Duty-free Seaweed

OUT OF ORDER — In Japan, millions of outdoor vending machines sell everything from cold and hot drinks to rice, ramen, candy and medicine. The operation for drink machines is simple: drop in … [Read More]

Duty-free Seaweed

Duty-free Seaweed

Get Lost!

Get Lost!

Soy Coffee

Soy Coffee

DUTY-FREE SEAWEED — A few weeks ago Kaori and I decided to get Japanese lunch sets for dinner. I chose the fried pork set. Kaori chose the seaweed set. When I arrived at the shop, I realized … [Read More]

Soy Coffee

Soy Coffee

Gluing Ferrets

Gluing Ferrets

Get Lost!

Get Lost!

SOY COFFEE — "Waiter, this coffee tastes like soy sauce!" The Japanese say that "hunger is the best sauce." That may be true, but a recent "cultural blooper" taught me that sauce is NOT meant … [Read More]

Get Lost!

Get Lost!

Settling Disputes

Settling Disputes

Gluing Ferrets

Gluing Ferrets

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BOSS GET LOST — It's not just the spaghetti bowl of a train grid that connects everything with everything in Tokyo. Nor is it the cavernous stations with dozens of exits and … [Read More]

Gluing Ferrets

Gluing Ferrets

Fumagated Foreigner

Fumagated Foreigner

Settling Disputes

Settling Disputes

WE DON'T SELL GLUED FERRETS! — I was looking in the local hardware store for material to construct an outdoor sign for the church. This is not a typical American hardware store. In addition to power … [Read More]

Settling Disputes

Settling Disputes

Out of Order

Out of Order

Fumagated Foreigner

Fumagated Foreigner

SETTLE DISPUTES WITH WHAT? —At Denen Grace Chapel we're using a chronological Bible text to set the Sunday School material and message themes. However, I made a critical error in my typing … [Read More]

Fumagated Foreigner

Fumagated Foreigner

Duty-free Seaweed

Duty-free Seaweed

Out of Order

Out of Order

FUMAGATED FOREIGNER — I found this can of car deodorizer a while ago. It’s been in our van since we bought it 8 years ago. It was taking up space so I decided to just use it. I read the directions … [Read More]

Thanks for your great support of us!

We know that this work is only possible because of a great
God, and a great team of people behind us. Thanks to you and your support of our family, we are here reaching Japanese for Christ. We are grateful to you for "your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:5). Thank you for your love and care for our family!
BIRTHDAYS:
Kevin (1/18), Kaori (5/31)
Justen (7/30/96)

KEVIN'S EDUCATION:
B.A., Bible/Communication
Moody Bible Institute
Chicago, Illinois
M.A. Intercultural Studies
M.A. Christian Studies
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Deerfield, Illinois

LANGUAGE STUDY:
International Christian University
Tokyo, Japan 1999~2001

KAORI'S EDUCATION:
B.Th., Bible/Church Music
Tokyo Christian College, Japan

YEARS IN JAPAN:
Feb 1999 ~ present

SENDING CHURCH:
First Baptist Church (CBA)
Lansing, Illinois
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The Family Photo

Need a photo of us for your church? You can download this one here.

Check out the "Helps for Churches" at the bottom right of the Media page for other publicity material.

Where's Laverman?

Where in the world are we? With a little help from Google Maps you can take a close-up look!

Time Out, Time Away

Every once in awhile we need a break from ministry to refresh and renew. Here's an assortment of "time out and away" photos.
Boys, be ambitious for Christ!
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Our Japan Address

4-14-24-1 Futago, Takatsu; Kawasaki,
Kanagawa JAPAN 213-0002
Tel 044-833-8791
  Email us

Our Connections

We serve with WorldVenture, an evangelical faith mission. Our sending/home church is First Baptist Church of Lansing, Illinois.
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