or nearly 50 years, Terumi has been Kaoru’s best friend. They met in academy and have remained close ever since. Terumi is a volunteer who has served with her husband on Mission Unusual—Tokyo! projects for about a year.1

Kaoru had always hoped that Saori, her eldest daughter, would accept Jesus and be baptized, but the young woman showed no interest.

Kaoru was hospitalized in 2021 with a potentially crippling brain disease.

At that time, the doctor told me she had a chance to live,” Kaoru’s husband said. “However, the chances of her regaining consciousness were very small. It was difficult for me to accept this reality.”

Terumi was shocked by the news. She quickly arranged for her academy friends to lift Kaoru in prayer. “With the power of prayer and God’s grace, the prayer was answered,” Terumi said. “Kaoru woke up from her state of unconsciousness!”

When Saori saw how Terumi and her friends had come together to pray for her mother and that her mother was healed, she felt more aware of God’s existence. She looked for her Bible and started to read it.

As she read, Saori remembered that her mother’s great hope was to see her get baptized. She started looking for an Adventist church nearby, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, most congregations were closed.

Fortunately, Saori found an Adventist church that was still open. “I contacted the pastor and told him that I wanted to be baptized on my birthday,” Saori said.

Excited about the change in Saori’s life, Terumi connected her with the church planting team of Mission Unusual—Tokyo! Since then, Saori has created strong ties with the team’s volunteer workers.

Terumi, right, and Kaoru
Saori with her parents
Saori being baptized by Pastor Obara, associate program director of Mission Unusual—Tokyo!

Saori joined their small group online meeting every Friday night. “We grow spiritually with each other by sharing and praying together every single week,” a volunteer named Chizu said. It’s so encouraging to see some good things happening to Saori.”

Chizu became a mentor to Saori and gave her personal, wholistic support. A small discipleship team formed as she, Saori, and a volunteer named Ivy participated in NEWSTART, a health program based on eight key lifestyle principles.

“We spent time together experiencing all eight parts of it,” Ivy said, “walking . . . eating healthy, drinking enough water, and worshiping God together in my apartment.”

Saori said, “The way of life of the Adventists around me boosted my confidence toward baptism. I saw genuine love, care, and support from this group. I am happy I can meet with these people. God is real!”

Love can break through the hardest things. This includes peoples’ hearts and steel and concrete cities, such as Tokyo, Japan.

Please pray for Saori, the first person baptized from the Mission Unusual—Tokyo! initiative. And please pray for the missionaries, the Global Mission pioneers, and the volunteers. We believe God has big plans for Tokyo!

Please pray!

Yure Gramacho, program director for Mission Unusual—Tokyo! requests that you pray that:

the new disciples in Tokyo will experience a deepening of their faith and a growing relationship with God

a nurturing Christian community will form around the new disciples

a strong discipleship framework to support and guide the new believers will be established and that they receive guidance from experienced individuals who can help them navigate their faith journey effectively

a new urban center of influence, scheduled to start its activities soon, becomes a place of belonging for the local community and fosters a sense of connection and mutual love among the residents of the area

the newly trained, equipped, and deployed local church planters effectively bless their neighborhood, make disciples within their communities, and initiate home worship gatherings

the mission work in Tokyo will continue making a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals and the broader community. We ask God for guidance and opportunities to share the message of His love, reaching hearts and transforming lives

If God is moving on your heart to support this unprecedented program, please give at Global-Mission.org/giving.


Watch “Answered Prayers in Tokyo” at m360.tv/s2324.

Joshua Sagala is the Media Ministry video production specialist at the Southern Asia-Pacific Division.