About Jim and Masako

We have been happily married for 32 years and this is our 25th year in the mission field. We have four wonderful children (Joey, Noah, Davy and Anna), who grew up in Japan. They attended both Japanese and English speaking schools off and on until they entered university in the U.S. In 2007, Davy married Yumiko. In 2008, Joey married Ai. We have been blessed with two grandchildren (Simeon Toratarou and Georgia Meissa). I keep telling my daughters-in-law “we want at least 20 grandkids!”

The beginning

God called me to be a missionary to Japan when I was 18 years old. From that time forward I pursued that calling to the present day. I first began studying Japanese and Asian Studies at the University of Oregon where I met Masako who was in a graduate program studying library science. I first went to Japan in 1977 as an exchange student. We were later married in Japan in 1978.
We served in Japan as short-term missionaries from 1978-2000. Although there were many difficult experiences, this time proved to be an important part of my growth and development. It wet my appetite to learn and grow in my understanding of Japan, Japanese language, Japanese culture and of how be fruitful in ministry there.

Getting to Japan

After returning to the United States I eventually began studies at the School of World Mission in Fuller Seminary (now called the School of Intercultural Studies). This was a fantastic experience and gave me an essential foundation in world mission theology and history, leadership, church multiplication and anthropology.
After graduating from Fuller in 1984 we established Sunrise International Ministries. We returned to Japan in 1985 and began church planting in the suburbs of Yokohama.

Mongolia

In 1995 I went to Mongolia on a fact-finding expedition. Mongolia was a part of the Soviet Union from 1920 to 1990. During that period all religion was banned. In 1990 when the country opened up there were only 5 or 6 believers in Mongolia. On this trip God gave us the vision for developing a program to encourage and equip leaders in Asia, especially in developing countries like Mongolia, which lack resources.
I began traveling back and forth to Mongolia three times a year to work with leaders there. We eventually started a program there that meets for this training three times each year over a period of three years. We select 12-15 key leaders to be a part of this training who will be able to train and impact others. Gifted teachers from around the world come to teach in these intensive weeklong sessions.

Stories of God’s faithfulness

Mongolia

We are now in Class V in Mongolia and have trained at least 60 key leaders in the country. Today there are more than 150,000 Mongolian believers! The goal of the Church in Mongolia is to reach 10% of the population by the year 2020! They will likely far surpass this goal.
I am involved in similar training in 7 Asian countries outside of Japan (which cannot be identified in this communication). It is amazing and exciting what God is doing in Asia. We are privileged to serve God in Asia and to be a part of his work!