RCJ group outreach to South Africa – August 2013

Reformed Church in Japan group visit (outreach) to South Africa,  17 – 26 August 2013

Message from the leader, Rev. Takayuki Ashida

We have three main purposes to visit SA this time.  The first main purpose is to maintain and develop the Christian fellowship and relationship between you, the Dutch Reformed Church Family in SA and us, the Reformed Church in Japan.  The second main purpose is to serve together in the diaconal ministries in SA.  We would like to look for more relevant and effective ways to serve together for the people who need our help by our diaconal ministries in this country.  We would like to show the love of our Lord in our diaconal ministries.  The third main purpose is to develop and encourage the faith of our young people from Japan through the ministries for the kids at the Botshabelo AIDS orphanage, through the fellowship with many Christians in SA, and through a lot of cross cultural experiences in SA.  I have been praying that our Lord may bless these three purposes more than I have been expecting. Finally I would like to express our sincere thanksgiving and gratitude to you, Mission Japan. Thank you for accepting us. Thank you for your deliberate and thoughtful planning, arrangement, and love.  Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

REV. TAKAYUKI ASHIDA – This mission trip’s team leader and pastor of Shin Urayasu Tokyo Bay Reformed Church, and the secretary of the International Ecumenism and Mission Cooperation Committee in the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ). He is married to Junko, and has a daughter (age 25) and two sons (age 23 and 22), one (called Toru) who is also part of this mission trip. This is his second visit to SA.  Last time he went there with his daughter, Kana, but this time he is visiting with six young people and four other colleagues from the RCJ (all introduced here below). He really thanks God for this opportunity.

MS. HANA AIBA (age 20) – University student (studying audio technology, especially acoustic mixing), a member of RCJ Shin-Urayasu Congregation (Tokyo Bay), and she act as worship leader at the church. She is especially looking forward to the fellowship with the children and university students in SA.

MR. TORU ASHIDA (age 22) – Taking off college, a member of RCJ Shin-Urayasu Congregation (Tokyo). He has stayed and studied in the USA for a couple of year previously, now trying to enter a Japanese college, and would really appreciate prayer support in this. His hobbies include surfing, snowboarding, playing guitar, drums and photography. He is excited to see the children at the orphanage.

MS. SAYO NAKATA (age 30) – Young adult, a member of RCJ Okayama-West Congregation. She was born as the second child (of four) in a Christian home (her father is the pastor of their congregation). She currently works at an elementary school as a cook, providing lunch for the students. She would very much appreciate it if you would pray for the group for their preparation and their physical and spiritual health.

MS. HARUKA SEKIYA (age 20) – Second year university student at an International Christian University, a member of RCJ Shin-Urayasu Congregation. She and her mother are the baptized Christians (2008), and her younger brother is also attending church, but her father is not a Christian yet, even though he respects their church lives. Haruka also serves as a worship leader at their congregation. One of her many hobbies includes Japanese traditional dance, and she would be happy, if there is an opportunity,  to introduce that, in Japanese traditional wear (Yukata), in SA. She is looking forward to have conversations with young Christians in SA.

MRS. KYOKU KIMURA – A member of the Diaconal Action Committee in the RCJ, a member and a deacon of RCJ Kamifukuoka Congregation (close to Tokyo), and a lay evangelist. Since the big earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the east coast of Japan on March 11th in 2011, she has come to realize the significance of Christian fellowship through words and deeds of loving support. The following is her favorite words: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

REV. HIROFUMI KUBO – The chairperson of the Mission Cooperation Committee in Shikoku Presbytery, the pastor of RCJ Kochi Congregation, and also a member of the International Ecumenism and Mission Cooperation Committee in the RCJ. Touched by the story of Zacchaeus as a child, and baptized as a high school student. His special skills include Traditional Japanese Art Calligraphy, and one of his hobbies is historical studies. Read Rev. Kubo’s letter to Mission Japan by visiting http://www.missiejapan.co.za/algemeen/rcj-shikoku-presbyterys-letter-to-missio-japan-15-july-2013/

Ken Lee

REV. KEN LEE – Missionary to Japan sent by the Christian Reformed World Mission in 1999, a specialist in young adult ministry and discipleship training. He is a Korean/American working in Japan; born in Korea and went to America when he was twelve. He and his wife Jeannie are grateful to be celebrating their 30th anniversary in November of this year.  They have three beautiful daughters; Christine, Nina, and Mona, all living in southern California in America. He has a great expectation to see how God will bless His children through this type of mission projects in the years to come.

REV. HIROTSUGU MOCHIDA – The chairperson of the Diaconal Action Committee in the RCJ, and pastor of RCJ Misato Congregation. He has a wife and two children, and has been involved in support work in the disaster areas since March 2011. He would like to learn more about the ministries for HIV orphans in SA, and would like to discuss the possibility of this diaconal supporting ministry in cooperation with the Dutch Reformed family of churches, by developing mutual Christian fellowship.

MR. YUTARO YAMAUCHI (age 20) – University student, a member of RCJ Shin-Urayasu Congregation (Tokyo). He serves as leader of a worship team there. He was raised in the United States, where he was baptized at 4, along with his parents. When they returned to Japan later he experienced how difficult it is to live in Japan as a Christian. But he likes being with children, and is excited to serve the children in SA.

MS. YURI NASU (age 19) – Nursing school student, a member of RCJ Okayama-Nishi (West) Congregation. Her hobbies are playing the piano and tennis. She is very excited about participating in the mission trip, and is looking forward to the reunion with Rev. Tobie and Mrs. Annalie De Wet, who also occasionaly served in their congregation. She was baptized very recently (August 4, 2013), and will appreciate ongoing prayers for her growth as a Christian.

 The group’s time in South Africa will include visits to:


  1. Pretoria – visit to the Reformed Church in Africa’s Charisma congregation
  2. Botshabelo – spending time in the local community and helping with renovations of Repholositswe Orphanage.
  3. Menuha (outside Bloemfontein) – meetings with Mission Japan Committee members, Moderature of Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) and students from University of the Free State (UFS), for a cultural exchange.
  4. Bloemfontein – visiting the UFS, Oliewen-house (art museum); “Women’s memorial”; sharing a Bible study with students from UFS in combination with an African drumming session: theme – “Different but in tune” (including Traditional South African “potjiekos”); attending Church Services in Bloemfontein.
  5. Hoopstad – meeting local supporters of Mission Japan (MJ) from the DRC etc.


In this time they will be accompanied by the chairperson Rev. Victor Pillay, and the secretary Dr. Gideon Van der Watt of Mission Japan, as well as former missionaries, Rev. Tobie and Mrs. Annalie de Wet.








Comments (2)

VrydagNuus 9 Augustus 2013 | NGK WelgemoedAugust 8th, 2013 at 11:04 AM

[…] Mag dit – soos altyd – wéér so wees dat die Japannese nie sal kan ophou gesels oor die warm harte en die oop hande waarmee hulle orals deur hulle Suid-Afrikaanse broers en susters ontvang is nie. Hoekom kom die groep al die pad uit die Verre Ooste? Wat is die doel van die besoek? En uit wie bestaan die groep? Besoek hierdie skakel vir die volle storie (o.a. vertel deur groepleier, Ds Takayuki Ashida) en om foto’s van die groeplede te sien: http://www.missiejapan.co.za/bedieningsfokus/rcj-group-outreach-to-south-africa-august-2013/ […]

VrydagNuus 8 November 2013 | NGK WelgemoedNovember 7th, 2013 at 8:58 AM

[…] nou kan ons ook aanhou bid en verder betrokke raak”. Só vertel die jongmense wat op die onlangse RCJ uitreikgroep diep aangegryp is deur hulle belewenisse in Suid-Afrika, en veral deur hulle betrokkenheid by die […]

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