Joey, Ai and Meissa, Enzo, Issa and Nico

Joey has served as a missionary in Japan since 2005. Joey and Ai have been married since 2008. They have four beautiful children Georgia Meissa, Liam Enzo, River Issa and Nico Wonder.In the summer of 2013, they moved from Tokyo to Ishinomaki to continue church planting in the tsunami struck region.

Their passion is to disciple young leaders and plant churches that multiply in Japan.

contact

email: joey@sunriseinternational.org

blog: http://www.christdo.org/

Our Vision

We feel called to love and reach the younger generation in Japan. Take a train in Tokyo, walk around in the city for only a few minutes and you will see the emptiness in the eyes of most of the people you see. Most of the youth lack authentic relationships. We want to be a light to these people. We want to build genuine relationships and form authentic communities centered around Jesus Christ.

Raising up Japanese youth to be disciples of Jesus as well as leaders is my passion. My dream is to see the youth of Japan sent out as missionaries all over Japan and the world. Currently, we are planting communities of young believers in Ishinomaki. We work with a group of missionaries planting churches, discipling, volunteering and building relationships. Our church is called Be One.

Who is Joey?

I grew up as an MK (Missionary Kid or Messed-up Kid whichever fits better) in Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo. I never imagined that God would call me back to the place where I grew up. In fact, since the young age of five, I had decided that even if He did, I would not obey. Things began to change for and in me, however, as God continued to work in my life. God really launched His campaign to change me during my time at college and in graduate school. My professors and peers at Wheaton College (and later at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) challenged me to grow in my relationship with God. What really got to me was thinking about my life goal and purpose and serving people.

A little about Ai

I was born in good old Corvallis, Oregon while my dad was studying at Oregon State University. Soon after I was born we moved back to Japan. I spent my childhood in Nagasaki until I decided to take advantage of my dual citizenship and moved to Philomath, Oregon to learn English. After I graduated from high school, I was searching for the meaning of my life. Yes, I was thinking a lot at the age of 18. As I was attending Community College, my classmate invited me to an event for international student where I met a lot of Christian college students who were very nice and kind but not expecting anything back from me. I was very touched by the way they lived, having God as their first priority, and asking God for transformation. It was Romans 12:2 that made me decide to follow Christ…

because I wanted to change but I knew that I could not do it with my own strength. During the course of 7 years in Oregon, God transformed me little by little. The biggest change was that God gave me the heart for Japanese people. After I became Christian, somebody asked me if I wanted to go back to Japan to do ministry and my answer was fast and determined; NEVER! I had seen missionaries in Japan and they were miserable… However, after I moved to Eugene to go to University of Oregon, I made friends with many Japanese students. I grew to love them but at the same time, I felt the need for their salvation. That is when I started to have heart for Japan. Another great thing happened while I was in Eugene, I became really good friend with Anna, the youngest of the Millard clan. I decided to move back to Japan in 2007, and I met Joey there. We got married in the summer of 2008 and we are blessed to have a beautiful daughter, Georgia Meissa.

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