About Me

Jonathan - Tachi falls

Hey! I’m Jonathan and I am deeply passionate about Jesus, the gospel, and bringing that gospel (the good news!) to the world, or in my case Japan! By God’s grace I’ve had a growing relationship with Jesus for almost 20 years now and that relationship with Him has led me down so many amazing journeys, including my heart and love for Japan.

I fell in love with Japan and started seeing the need for Christ in the country around 10 years ago. I remember back in Middle School hearing a missionary talk about Japan and how less than 2% of the country is Christian. For some reason (God!) that number stuck with me through the time I made my first trip there in 2018. I have gone to Japan as an intern, university student, and short-term missionary on three separate occasions. Each time I’ve gone my heart for the people has expanded, I’ve been able to learn the language, learn about the culture, and see and be involved in what God is doing in this beautiful country!

I believe the Lord has been preparing me these last 10 years for ministry in Japan, and that is why I am so thrilled to be jumping into full-time ministry in Japan with Youth With A Mission (aka YWAM)! I’m so excited for what God is doing in Japan and how he is allowing me to be a part of that. I kindly ask that you too would be a part of the ministry in Japan by remembering Japan and myself in your daily prayers. Furthermore, I humbly ask that you would prayerfully consider being a financial partner for me as I begin this new chapter. Or, if you personally know someone else who is a missionary in Japan, please consider supporting them so that God’s kingdom might be expanded by any means!

Thank you and God bless!

My Role With YWAM in Japan

I am so excited to be joining YWAM as full-time staff from this Spring! Having been a part of their community during the DTS (Discipleship Training School), I saw the love, commitment, and passion YWAM has for bringing the Gospel to the Japanese people. YWAM does this in so many ways in Japan such as through YWAM schools that train Japanese believers, community outreach, service projects, and more.

My first 6 months with YWAM (May thru October) I will be staffing the Spring/Summer DTS in Takatsuki, the same base I did my DTS! During this time, my primary duties are to disciple and love the students, provide translation for the Japanese students, help in the day-to-day running of the base, do one-on-ones with the Japanese students, and engage in outreach in the surrounding community and church. I am excited to be able to give back and help other students experience what will likely be a life-changing experience, just like it was for me! As a DTS staff member, I may also be going on the two-month outreach the team will be doing in August/September!

After the DTS wraps up in October, I will then be a part of the pioneering team that will be starting a new YWAM base in Sakai, the southern part of Osaka! A of now, YWAM only has one base (Takatsuki) in all of Osaka, a city of well over 20 million people. The vision for the new base in Sakai it multifaceted. First, and underlying everything, is to advance the gospel in what is now a relatively untouched part of Osaka. Next, the base will be a springboard for the many short-term teams that are coming into Japan. YWAM (and other organizations for that matter) are beginning to send more and more short-term teams to Japan, all of whom need a place to stay and local missionaries to help them. So, at Sakai our goal will be to facilitate these teams so that they can go out and share the gospel during their four, eight, or twelve-week stays.

My experiences in Japan

As a SEND International Intern

My first experience in Japan was in the winter of 2018 as a "Discipleship-House" intern with Send International. I spent two-and-a-half months learning how to live in Japan, learning how to disciple others into a relationship with Christ, and listening to God and His calling for my life. Through this experience, I felt like God confirmed the suspicion I already had that I was supposed to do missions in Japan in some capacity.

(PC: John Edwards, missionary with SEND)

As a University Student

After I did two years of undergrad in the states, I transferred to Tokyo International University (TIU) in 2020 to get a degree in Business Economics and to study Japanese. Due to Covid, I ended up doing my whole third year online from my bedroom in Ohio, often logging into classes as late as 4am EST. However, once Covid settled down and Japan re-opened, I was able to finish out my fourth year in person in Tokyo.

During this time, I made amazing connections with Japanese and international students alike, got a foundational knowledge of the Japanese language, served at a local church, and helped at various English events/schools.

As DTS Student/Missionary

After graduating from TIU early 2023 and having struck out in the job-hunting world in Japan, I prayed and asked God what I was supposed to do. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to do a DTS in Takatsuki, Japan. So, I packed my bags and set out for Japan for a third time. The DTS was a life-changing experience where the Lord began healing different parts of my heart, showing me how to work with other believers in missions, revealing who He is and who I am as His son, and so much more.

Also through this experience, I became a part of the YWAM community, developing deep relationships with others who have the same heart for Japan as I do. This led me to being invited to help with the Spring 2024 DTS at Takatsuki.

Why Japan?

Less than 2% Christian

Japan, a country of 100 Million+ people that, despite being religiously "free" has one of the lowest rates of Christianity, with some estimates even saying lower than 1%. While the country of Japan is welcoming to outside religions, the hearts of the Japanese people have not yet come to know the love Jesus has for them

Ripe for the Gospel

While Christianity has not yet taken a foothold in Japan, it is ready for a revival. Because Japan allows people (like myself) to come in on missionary visas, the doors have never been more open for the Gospel. People around the world are feeling called to Japan to be a part of what God is doing!

Spiritually and Emotionally Hurting

Japan is often viewed as a land of prosperity and technology and while this holds some truth, the reality is that Japan is a spiritually poor country. Japan is full of people who are lonely, without hope, overworked, anxious, and unsure what their purpose in life is. While Japan doesn't have many physical needs, the emotional and spiritual needs couldn't be greater.

About YWAM and DTS

While for me and those who have done a DTS, YWAM is synonymous with lives being changed for Christ, some of you may not have heard about YWAM or know much about what they do. That’s why I wanted to share a bit about their organization, who they are, and what they stand for!

Started in the 1960s by Lauren Cunningham, YWAM, which stands for “Youth with a Mission” was founded on the idea of seeing “waves” of young people go over all the world carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Though it has been over 60 years since YWAM’s founding, their goal of equipping and sending youth for Christ remains the same (I am a product of that)! YWAM does this in so many ways, but one of their foundational pieces to accomplishing this is via the DTS (Discipleship Training School).

At a DTS, students learn what it means to live a life as a true disciple of Christ, each week studying a new topic like the Bible, evangelism, the father heart of God, prayer, and so much more. The DTS explores matters of the heart and seeks to help students come face-to-face with the lies of the enemy they have been believing about themselves, God, or even the church. By dealing with these things, students have an opportunity to allow God to heal them internally and thus make them more ready for service for the kingdom. For me, I went into the DTS thinking I would just learn a few good-to-know things about Jesus and the gospel, but I came out being challenged at a heart level and becoming more surrendered to God’s will in my life. I also become more aware of the spiritual battle that is being waged around and inside us and how to wage battle through the Spirit  as a warrior of God.