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Why are we serving with Asian Access?
We are serving with A2 because this mission shares our vision to multiply and mobilize the Church in Japan to be a major contributor to the fulfillment of Christ's Great Commission in Asia.
Michael and Mary Jo met in Arcadia, California shortly after both had just returned from short term mission trips in Asian. They were married in Evansville, Indiana where Mary Jo is originally from. Stacia was born in Arcadia and Brandon in Evansville—further deepening family roots in those two widely separated cities. The Wilson family first arrived in Japan on June 8, 1994 when Brandon was just 5 months old.
Michael and Mary Jo are the A2 Okinawa Area Leaders responsible for coordinating church multiplication efforts in the region.
Mary Jo has been with A2 since 1979 and Mike joined the mission in 1988.
Words of wisdom:
Talk with your pastor about why you think God might be calling you to cross-cultural missions. Ask, "What type of ministry involvement would best prepare me for the type of cross-cultural ministry I am considering?" Ask for advice about short term cross-cultural mission opportunities that will allow you to "taste and see" in the ministry arena you are considering.
Funny missionary story:
There are almost too many stories, but one stands out. When our family had just arrived in Japan in 1994 and we were still unpacking boxes, we went for a walk in the evening looking for a place to have supper. Brandon was a very fat five-month-old baby and Stacia was a cute little soon-to-be pre-schooler of three. Mary Jo already spoke a fair amount of Japanese from her work in Japan as a single. Mike had just learned a few words and was holding Brandon in his arms. Almost as soon as we left the house we were moving into, three unknown Japanese ladies walked up to Mike and one grabbed Brandon's chubby little leg saying, "Oishiso." Mike didn’t know much Japanese at the time, but he did know that that word means, "Looks delicious!" It was a Japanese idiom that not even Mary Jo had heard until then and we were all quite shocked. Of course, the lady only meant that she thought that Brandon was cute enough to "eat up."
Meaningful aspects of ministry:
During our nearly seven years serving in the Tokyo area, we developed a ministry called, Couple Time. God used it to restore a couple of marriages and save one of the initial participants. All six couples who attended said it had renewed their marriages which was very gratifying.
For the last three years, we have served in Okinawa, and after trying many evangelistic methods to gather a new church, God blessed an outreach we did called, "The ALPHA Course." It started out slow with never more than three newcomers attending the initial course. However, it was fun and the newcomers started inviting their friends culminating in an ALPHA party that jammed our little apartment with 26 new folks who did not yet know Jesus! At the end of the third course, many had professed faith in Christ and six received baptism.
How God has blessed our life and ministry
God has blessed our involvement in the development of four new churches some of which are currently developing the next generation of new churches through reproduction. Stacia, our daughter, has caught the fire to start a youth ministry to reach out to unchurched youth here in Okinawa, Japan. A number of our disciples have gone on to reproduce themselves by leading others to Christ. We are "blown away" by the extreme generosity of our financial support team.
Some hopes for the future...
Our dream is to develop reproducing churches here in Okinawa that will result in a grassroots church multiplication movement that will not only blanket Okinawa with new churches, but will also result in a wave of church multiplication the spreads northward from Kyushu to the northernmost tip of Hokkaido.
What would we like our "ultimate contributions" to be:
- Two children who grow to love God and make Him known wherever they go
- A proven method of discipleship that results in the subsequent development of many reproducing Christians in Japan
- The development of new churches that not only reach many Japanese with the Good News of Christ, the Hope of the World, but that also send out cross-cultural missionaries to take that Hope to many other nations in Asia and the world
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