Home Away From Home

Your third night in Japan and you’re sent to a strangers house to sleep there for two nights. Some of them knew little to no English and some knew a lot. There’s nervousness on both sides. However, the last morning it’s a bitter sweet goodbye.

Benjamin, Amanda, Yoriko, Kerith and Emma

Group two, (Kerith, Benjamin, Emma, Amanda and Sheryl) had two weeks full of many home stays. Many of the home stays were in Christian homes, others were not. Home stays are a lot of what are ministry is here in Japan. We spend the day at the church helping with kids camps or helping with English classes. Once we head back to our “homes” and our job still isn’t done. We spend time talking to the families about our day and sharing God’s love with them.

The class that the parents attended

One of the families I stayed with, the daughter (Yoriko) was Christian but her parents were not. I spent a lot of the time praying for her. The parents were very nice people, but I could feel them missing something. Both of them were students in one of the english classes. It just so happened that they class they were attending was the one where I was sharing my testimony. I felt a little nervous, not knowing how the next few nights were gonna be. I was scared it was going to change something.

Doris, Amanda and Yoriko

The next morning things were a little different. We all sat down for breakfast, usually we just dug right in. But that morning I was asked to pray for the meal. I felt so blessed and thankful. I felt God working in their hearts. That is when I started to realize how important the home stays are. God is working through us to the people in Japan in so many different ways.

Written By Emma Willms


21 hours

It’s 3 am and your alarm goes off. First you’re grumpy because it’s 3 am but then you remember you’re going to Japan! All 7 team members climb into a 15 passenger van. Starting off with an hour drive to the airport. Everyone dozes off but you’re the only one still awake. Once you arrive you begin to realize what is about to happen. Unpacking all of your bags, you make your way to the long line to baggage check. It’s now 5:30 am. In one hour it will be time to board. By the time you make it through the security and finally make it to your gate you have 20 minutes to spare. Breakfast! Fast forward two plane rides later and it’s now 3 pm in Japan the next day.

Sakai Chuo area

Jet leg was getting the best of me, seeing as it was the middle of the night back in Winnipeg. All I wanted to do was eat and go straight to bed. Once we met the missionaries associated with MB mission we were told that there will be a welcome dinner with some of the families from the Sakai Chuo church. Thinking it was only gonna be a few people and just a little bit of introductions here and there. I was completely wrong! So many people, who were so excited to meet us all! It was a great night filled with laughter as we learned new sayings in Japanese and as we tried to use chopsticks. New friends were made for sure!

Group 2: Benjamin, Emma, Kerith and Amanda

The next few days were filled with team time and orientation. We went on a few walks to see parts of the city we were staying in. We got to learn so much about each other and who our team members actually are. Two days into our week our group of seven was split into two teams. The last morning was a group breakfast, and a little bit of heart break. We had just started to get used to seeing each other every day. Because our team is a larger number we were split up into two so that we can minister to more churches through out the country. The goodbye was sad but we were all ready to start!

One of the Amagasaki english classes

Week one of being in Japan was amazing, we got to spend a lot of time helping out in some of the english classes at the Amagasaki Church. The people we met were so excited about talking to us and listened to everything we had to say. We could really feel how God was using us to become a part of their community.

Written By Emma Willms

A family built in one week

Emma Willms:

All I knew entering this week was that orientation was just for preparing for Japan. I had no idea how I was going to feel and what emotions I would experience. Every session and activity had so much for me to take out of it. The amount of things God was sharing with the group of people here was beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. God was working in everyone’s hearts and had so much love to give. Even though my team and I just met at the beginning of the week we have been able to share so much with each other. We’ve been able to grow together and prepare each other and our hearts for the trip. I am so thankful for my teammates and everyone here at MB Mission. 

Amanda Walde:

I came into orientation with very little idea of what this week would hold. In my preparation for Action, I mainly considered my time in Japan and tried to imagine what the team would be doing and how we would get along with those we encountered. Orientation has proved to be an immensely valuable part of the Action trip. I feel as though I have grown far closer to my teammates than I would have expected in a weeks time and have felt God speaking to me through worship sessions and conversations with others. I am so excited to see how God will continue to bless me, the team, and the people we will meet in Japan!

Scott Stanfel:

What is there to say about orientation? Tears were shed and walls were broken down. This past week I have been blown away by the vulnerability and openness of my team, characteristics that are key in building a strong team. I have felt very cared for, and encouraged by not only my fellow team members, but also everyone on the MB Mission staff. So many different conversations have gone on this week, all of them contributing to the readiness for Japan I am feeling. God is working throughout our team, and will continue to work in us for the next 4 weeks in Japan.

Kerith Tung:

This past week has really been a good time, it’s been really nice to meet a really solid community and the Japan team. The food has been really really good, and it has been impactful to listen to the stories of different people from all over the place. As we head to Japan it will be really exciting to bond further with the team, eat some really great food, and gain experience with ministry in a completely different culture!

Kohplorsay Desjardins:

This week has been amazing in orientation. We learned a lot and I felt the love of God. I’m sure we have built a bond between our team and it is getting stronger and stronger. Even more, our staff have such loving and caring spirit which the world needs. I now feel orientation is one of the most important part of the action. All I can say now is that I can’t wait for our mission. I just pray god will see us through every single steps that we will take from today. I can’t wait to see his greatness in Japan.

Benjamin Letkeman:
After living in Gretna while ACTION teams come and go I felt god pushing me to experience missions! Orientation has been everything I have expected and more! This time before our assignment has been incredibly life giving. Returning to God through worship everyday is something that makes each day refreshing! I couldn’t have asked for a better team, and can’t wait to see how we grow together in faith and friendship. I am so prepared, ready, scared, and excited.

Adam Strong:
Orientation went by in a whirlwind. There were many worship sessions, and teachings to process. Overall I thought I would struggle through the week being tired or fatigued, but I was wrong. There was a God given strength that was with both me and my team. As a team we grew in unity over the time in gretna, and I am grateful for the friends we have become. I was disappointed that there were so few teams at orientation this year, but I was overwhelmed by the strength of the community that grew and flourished there. I feel blessed and supported as we depart for Japan.