Ralph and Janet Burchell were accepted as missionaries under BIMI to Japan in 1973. Janet had served as a teacher/missionary for five years in Japan prior to that under a small board which had dissolved. After completing 9 months of deputation, Ralph and Janet arrived in Kobe where they completed two years of language study while working in the Kakogawa Baptist Church which was pastored by a national pastor. From there they went on to work in several other ministries, including teaching missionary children for 9 years, until they began the Gakuentoshi Baptist Church in 1990. They had served in Japan for over 30 years until some health issued brought them back to the United States in 2009.
The Lord has led them to continue their work with Japanese in the Greenwood, South Carolina area where Fuji Film has their largest North American plant and they are ministering to the Japanese in that area. Ralph went home to be with the Lord on April 27, 2013.
Janet has continued working with the Japanese ladies who have accompanied their husbands to Greenwood as well as help them get in contact with local Baptist churches upon their return to Japan. She would appreciate your continued prayers and support in this needy area.
We have been so thankful for the Lord's leading us to Greenwood, SC where there is a Fuji Film plant that employs about 30 Japanese men. Of these men, until recently most of them were accompanied with their families. When we came to Greenwood, we met a Japanese lady who was a Christian but had never attended church in Greenwood, mainly because she did not know where to go and had never been invited to go with anyone. We invited her to go with us and from that first Sunday that she attended with us she was very faithful to come each Sunday.
We were also attending a Thursday evening English conversation class for Japanese men that a lady in our church was holding. One of the men told us that his wife was interested in studying English conversation and asked if I would teach such a class. Mrs. Muramatsu, the lady who was coming to church with us, encouraged me to start the class although I wasn't too excited about doing it, mainly because the ladies requesting it did not want to study anything about the Bible. After praying about it, I told them that I would teach English if I could also teach a short Bible lesson. They grudgingly agreed.
Ralph continued teaching the Thursday evening English conversation class for men when the lady who started it turned it over to us and he turned it into an English Bible study class. The men continued to attend until this past January when they stopped coming because of work-related problems.
The ladies' English Bible class has continued each Tuesday afternoon. Once a month, the last Tuesday of the month, I hold a cooking class at my house during which time I teach them an American dish and we have a free time of talking in English and Japanese.
During the other monthly meetings we are studying the lives of the Patriarchs, Pilgrim's Progress, and some English grammar.
I also teach at our Christian Day School at East Side Baptist Church. We have a Japanese student who began attending our school last year. Her father is the Vice President and treasurer of Fuji Film and she is a Senior this year. Her name is Shiho Yokota. I teach her English each day. I also am the school Librarian and substitute teach whenever there is a need.
At East Side Baptist Church I teach each Wednesday evening in our children's department in the Master's Club and on Sunday I serve in the nursery and sing in the choir.
On Tuesday evening and Saturday morning I go soul winning and do house to house visitation.
As long as my health holds up I count it a wonderful privilege to be able to serve the Lord in these areas under BIMI through the ARM ministry. I would appreciate the prayers of everyone.
Contact Janet Burchell
Phone: (864) 980-5419
Far East Director
David & Jenny Harris
Read more about the Harris family.
He can be contacted through the BIMI office (423) 344-5050 ex. 2402.