Over 34 million people, one quarter of the population of Japan, live in Regional Areas. These Areas are made up of a regional center and surrounding towns, villages and rural areas. The Tsugaru region in Aomori Prefecture (northern Honshu) has a population of about 500,000, but only around 400 attend church on a Sunday. There are many small towns without a local church and most people have little, if any, contact with believers.
Tsugaru Church is a two-congregation church in Aomori Prefecture based in Itayanagi town, with the second congregation in Kanagi town, around 45 minutes further north by car. Itayanagi Chapel has a café ministry and Christian bookstore. Kanagi Chapel is currently the only church reaching out to the towns and villages of the Tsugaru Peninsula.
Offering English classes to the local community is a way that the church can share God’s love for the people of the town. These classes provide a worthwhile and appreciated service, help overcome barriers to fostering worthwhile relationships with local people, and give opportunities to share God’s love in the Gospel of Jesus. Classes which are held in the church buildings provide a non-threatening way for local people to explore what goes on inside the church. Classes and activities held outside the church give opportunities to connect with people who may never set foot in a church.
It is a wonderful opportunity to serve a real need while gaining experience in cross-cultural ministry in Japan and/ or exploring the possibilities for further service.
You will be living in a quiet, rural area, away from big city life. Travel is generally by car, or by bicycle or on foot to places nearby.
* Prepare, run and teach English classes in one or both church buildings for various ages and levels, either independently or alongside other missionaries/church staff.
* Visit pre-schools/schools that the church has partnered with to run simple English sessions with a view to maintaining and growing a positive presence in the local community.
* Connect with class students/families where possible and use opportunities to share Jesus with them.
* Be willing - where possible/appropriate - to get involved with other church activities and ministries.
* Must be a committed Christian with a passion to share your faith with others.
* Must speak English fluently and have an interest in teaching English. English teaching qualification or experience teaching English would be helpful, but not essential.
* Japanese language ability is not essential, would be helpful. As an Associate you will be able to study Japanese at our language school in Sapporo for up to 6 months at the start of your time here.
* Willingness to be flexible and face the challenges of adjusting to/living in another country and culture.
* Must be able to live independently and enjoy life in a non-urban area. Being able to drive (International Driver Permit or Japanese license) would be very useful.
You will be living in simple but comfortable accommodation provided by the local church.
You may need to share accommodation with others at times (short-term teams or other missionaries)
*Australian citizens and/or residents only