Japan is a beautiful country. It's a country that can allow anyone with a sense of adventure to climb a mountain and relax on a beach on the same day. It's a country where traditions mingle with modern fads. It's a country full of wonderful people who enjoy speaking with Americans and often aid those who are staring blankly at a map trying to figure out where "here" is and yes, that is known from experience. Despite being a wonderful country, that is not enough to justify moving to Japan.
We believe that God is the Creator and King of everything. The Bible tells us that everyone must choose to follow Him or be against Him. One day, every knee will bow before the Messiah and every tongue will proclaim that He is Lord, but right now He gives everyone the opportunity to choose Him. Many people in Japan have never heard the full story of who the God of the Bible is. If they have not heard, how can they make a choice? We want to share with them the story of the Bible so they can choose whether they will bow now and accept the gift of the Messiah, or if they will continue in their own beliefs.
Despite our plans to help American churches, God gave us multiple opportunities to spend time in Japan. He showed us the weak state of Christianity in Japan. As a whole, only 2% of Japan's population consider themselves "Christians." (link: cia world book?) Churches are difficult to find, even in urban areas. Out of the churches that exist, the difficulty continues when seeking to find churches who preach the Gospel.
We have had the privilege of attending services, meeting pastors, and talking with the people of solid churches. God used those opportunities to show us that He wants us to live in Japan, share the Gospel with Japanese people, and help encourage the Japanese Christians. When we shared these plans with our American church, they became excited and wanted to support the ministry. Now we move forward on the path God has shown us, completely trusting Him to continue directing us in the future.