My name is Roberta Peabody. I am from Baldwinville, Massachusetts and I have been blessed to serve since 1991 with The Evangelical Alliance Mission, in Tokyo Japan. I first visited Japan as a short-term global worker after college for a summer, with no intention of ever being a long-term global worker. (!) God has bigger plans! For a lot of years I worked in a supportive role at Japan’s largest Christian Publisher, but knew I was not using all the “people” gifts the Lord had blessed me with, so in 2010 I left that! In the process I was able to finish my Master’s degree here in Japan, and focus study and preparation on learning more about Japanese Returnee Christians. “Returnee” Christians are Japanese individuals, many of whom have come to faith in Christ outside their home country, and return to what they think of as “home” and don’t quite seem to fit in. Sometimes society is where the adjustment is, for others they have never experienced the Japanese church.
I returned from home assignment in April of 2011, 40 days after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and my first year and half back was largely involved in working at a Christian disaster relief agency headquarters in Tokyo, and fitting in Returnee Ministry as I could on the weekend. I am all over Tokyo, although my housing is in Western Tokyo. I work alongside some vibrant Japanese Christian who work regular jobs, but as returnees themselves have a great passion for connecting returnees with each other through establishing small group Bible studies, and also to churches, by holding gatherings in area churches. We have gatherings in the Tokyo are and the Yokohama area.
I also teach a bit of English to returnee friends—three students being returnee children. I think one of the highlights is the bimonthly English Bible Chat Room, which brings out 6 returnee housewives who all lived in the same area of Ohio for the husband’s job transfer for up to five years. Our newest member is a Christian, yet it is difficult for her to go out on Sunday for church, so she joins our group, and a mom’s group Bible study downtown. This group started a year ago as my friend Ami, asked if I would help her realize her dream of an English Bible class like the one where she became a Christian in Ohio. How could I say no to such a request!!??
- Please pray for creative ideas to make contacts, and meet with people—I may have to move closer into the city to be more accessible to contacts.
- Pray for the Returnee gatherings, that this generation of young people would be sold out for Jesus.
- Pray for a couple that is coming from my home church for a business trip in June, that they would see the ministry in Japan, and be able to stir up my sending church to renew the passion that they once had for supporting global workers.
- Pray for contacts with international students