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4000-275-Chang, Gary and Jennifer

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Serving alongside other missionaries to make disciples of Jesus and planting churches. We desire to impact the Japanese community with the love of Christ, through building spiritual community, and experience true joy as God’s people. We seek to serve young adults and young couples, helping them to learn more about Christ through relationship building and Bible study. Jennifer seeks to serve the children through crafts and creative Bible stories, we hope to plant the seed of Gospel in their hearts while they are young.

Pray that the Lord will continue to draw the hearts of the Japanese to Him, especially those who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Pray that the Lord will prepare our family, spiritually, linguistically, emotionally, financially.

Pray that the Lord will open doors and lead us to the right ministry and city, as we continue to explore ways to serve Him in Japan.

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About us:
Growing up in Taiwan, Japanese culture has always been a primary influence in society. Taiwan was occupied by Japan for 50 years, leading to a bittersweet relationship between the countries. The older generation lived through this difficult period of time, with many of them, including Jennifer’s grandparents and my uncle, being educated by the Japanese. Japan put a lot of work into building Taiwan’s infrastructure, yet many of the natural resources were taken away by them. Gary, my grandfather died because of the harsh labor enforced by the Japanese. My Dad never saw his father. It was a difficult time for my father’s family.

Why are we considering serving in Japan?
To many Taiwanese, Japan is like a lost brother, a mentality that continues into our generation. I have always had a strong interest in the Japanese culture. During my high-school years and into college, I took Japanese language classes. The thought of serving in Japan had never occurred to me and the only reason I did was because I liked the culture and language.
While in seminary at Talbot in 2009, I took a class on Introduction to World Missions. As part of the class, three colleagues and I picked Japan as our topic for a project and prayed for it during the semester. It was through this project and our prayers that God began to burden my heart for Japan.

Japan is considered a model society in no need of any outside help to many countries. I also had false perceptions about Japan before this project. However, the project pushed me to look from the spiritual side, and I began to learn that the Japanese are one of the most unreached people groups in the world. Many hidden social problems were covered up by their mannerisms.

The Japanese culture values knowledge and it drives them to develop and accomplish much. Yet they do not know the Creator of Knowledge, our God of the universe, and often attribute their success to false gods and idols. Many times people will look at their prosperity and immediately jump to the conclusion that they don’t need the Gospel, because they are doing so well. However, God cares about their heavenly lives just as much as their earthly ones and has called missionaries to share God’s eternal gift to the Japanese. The thousands of gods that Japan worships cannot help bring true peace to the people of this lost nation.

Many Asian countries have experienced some level of spiritual revival in the past 100-200 years. China, South Korea, and Taiwan are just a few, however, Japan has not shared in this revival. Five years ago, an event changed the landscape of Japan in a physical, mental, and spiritual way. The 9.0 earthquake that hit the country on March 11, 2011 caused multiple disasters throughout the country. Tsunamis and radioactive eruptions left thousands dead, while countless others lost everything. Most of those who died never knew the name of Jesus Christ.

This disaster was the turning point for our family. After we saw what happened, we felt the call to serve in Japan and began a vision trip in December of 2011. During the trip, we met a missionary who had been serving in Japan for 50 years who told us one of the key reasons that the Japanese are not open to the Gospel is they have never heard it. Japan is desperately in need of more missionaries and a strong Christian presence, especially in times like this.

Upon returning, we began to ask the Lord if He would like us to go. After several years of searching and preparation, we are able to thank the Lord that He has opened this door and is preparing us to serve Him in Japan. We read some reports over the past year and it seems after the earthquake, the Japanese people are more open to hearing the Gospel. We pray that the Lord will open doors in Japan and save those who want to belong to Him. We desire to be God’s vessels, serving and caring for the Japanese. Our hope is to see them enjoy Christ as we do, in this life and in the life to come.

Japan, Asia