Bethel 2019 Mission Trip To Japan
written by Cherissa Roebuck
A Bethel team of 8 traveled to Japan June 5-14 to serve Bethel missionaries Robert and Roberta Adair and their mission organization, Asian Access. The team had two primary goals for the trip: to plan and lead the children’s programming for the kids of Asia Access missionaries during their annual four-day training retreat in Karuizawa, and to visit the Adair’s home and a church plant in Shiogama and assist with their community English classes. The Bethel Team included Ricky, Jane, and Simeon Garner, Chris and Tracy Walker, Cherissa and Maggie Roebuck, and Jeff Bice.
The team began the trip with a canceled flight that resulted in an unexpected overnight layover in San Diego. Thankfully, Chris and Tracy Walker had been on a different flight that arrived in Japan on time, so they trekked on to Shiogama ahead of the rest of the team and led the first night of programming for the Asian Access missionary kids. The rest of the team joined them later that night, and we had a wonderful and full few days working together to lead the morning and evening children’s program for the MKs. There were about 15 kids, ages 1-12, and they were truly a delight! The Bethel team brought supplies, decorations, and curriculum to lead the kids through a study on Exodus and the life of Moses with the theme “My Life: His Story.” The four days in Karuizawa was filled with crafts, music, games, Bible lessons, snacks, and meals in the dining hall visiting with all the Asian Access missionaries. Our team loved getting to know the Asian Access MKs and watching Robert and Roberta in their leadership within their organization.
At the end of the retreat, the team packed up and traveled via high-speed bullet train to the Adair’s home and their church in Shiogama, near the city of Sendai. Shiogama Baptist Bible Church hosted us in the guest quarters next door to their church building, and Robert and Roberta introduced the team to their city and their ministry there. We learned that the work of the Gospel is slow in Japan, with many missionaries laboring for years to see a handful of their Japanese neighbors come to faith in Christ. The Adairs took us to visit several local Shinto shrines, their larger home church as well as their small church plant, and the Nazomi project, a ministry project led by fellow Asain Access missionaries that give employment to the local Japanese women after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the area. We all stopped to pray for the city and the people of Japan at several locations. To finish out the trip, the team served as the visiting English speakers at Robert Adair’s community English classes, one of the many strategies the Adairs use to build relationships in their neighborhood.
After 8 days in Japan, the 2019 Bethel Japan team returned to the U.S. with a new passion to pray for the people of Japan and all of the Asian Access missionaries and their families, to support the Adair’s in their work and ministry there, and to carry back to the rest of the Bethel body all that we learned and experienced in Japan. THANK YOU to all who gave and prayed to help send the team to serve in Japan in 2019.