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FAR EAST
By David Harris
God’s Grace in Asia is evident throughout the
60 years of BIMI ministry and history. The
work of God is exciting as we look back and as
we consider the future. With every soul saved
and with every church planted, the cause of
Christ advances. As missionaries heed God’s
call, amazing stories reveal that God is at work
around the world.

God’s Grace in Japan
BIMI is blessed with missionaries past and
present who have spent a lifetime preaching
the Word in Japan. The names of some of these
are Sisk, Frazier, Simeonsson, White, Craig,
Carter, Gardner, Ward, and many more. All of
these spent many years on the field—some as
many as 30 or 40 years and counting.

Those who know what God did in the early days
of ministry in Japan stand in awe each time we
hear a retelling of it. From those early converts,
many ministries continue as new missionaries
arrive on the field and as indigenized churches
are blessed with further growth. Men such as
Pastor Sogoro Ogawa and Pastor Hiroyuki
Omote continue to preach and to see people
saved and called into the ministry because of
their faithfulness.

Pastor Ogawa, before salvation, attended the
opening service of the Senri Newtown Baptist
Church where Don Sisk preached through an
interpreter. He was an English major in college
who attended the first service solely to hear a
native English speaker and having no spiritual
interest. That night God reached into his heart
and showed him his need of salvation. A year
and a half later, he began pastoring what is now
one of the largest independent Baptist churches
in Japan—one that continues to send laborers
into the harvest.

18 Pastor Omote was reached by
the ministry of Ron White. After
his salvation, his parents kicked
him out of their home. Faithful
prayer saw them come to Christ
32 years later. God blessed
Pastor Omote with an amazing opportunity
to reach the leader of a Kingdom Hall. After
dealing with this man for some time, about
30 in that congregation trusted Christ and a
nationwide outreach formed, seeing hundreds
of Jehovah’s Witnesses come to Christ.

One of the first young men reached married
Pastor Omote’s daughter and later became a
church planter in northern Japan. Pastor Kosaki
had been preparing to be a missionary with
the Jehovah’s Witnesses and was knocking on
doors 40 hours each week before his salvation.

After he was saved, he would ask churches this
question: “Now that I know Christians have
the truth, why don’t we do more to tell others?”
Pastor Ogawa and Pastor Omote were some
of the first students in what became the
Kansai Independent Baptist Bible School that
continues to train laborers for the harvest. Since
graduating in the 70s, several of these men are
still pastoring their respective churches and
have been preaching for over 50 years! An
amazing blessing is to see their children follow
in ministry, ready to step into leadership roles
in the future.

In recent years, God has blessed BIMI’s work
in Japan with a new group of young families.

They are learning the language and planning
to start new churches. Our prayer is for more
laborers for this needy field, which is one of the
largest unreached people groups in the world.




God’s Grace in the Philippines
It is no exaggeration to say that thousands have come
to Christ through the ministries of missionaries in the
Philippines. The stories of God’s grace in the ministries
of the Martins, the Rices, the Sissons, the Browns, and
many others would take volumes. There is no way to
know the number of souls saved or the lives transformed.

One missionary family started four churches during their
years of ministry. In time, those four have turned into 100
churches as national believers continue to serve the Lord!
BIMI missionaries do not report the results of previous
church plants, making it impossible for us to know this
side of heaven the impact that hundreds of other churches
are having on the harvest around the world. National
believers in the Philippines have become a missionary
force themselves and continue to take the Gospel to the
regions beyond.

Recently, at the invitation of Rick Martin, I was blessed
to visit the Iloilo Baptist Church (IBC) for their annual
Pastor’s Conference. Hundreds of pastors attended. Many
were trained at IBC. Brother Martin was challenging them
to continue reaching the lost and starting more Bible
institutes and colleges in their churches in order to see
more men trained for the ministry.

Brother Martin spoke about the island where he serves,
the island of Panay. He mentioned of learning in his early
days on the field of the 4,000 barangays or burios (terms
used to describe the villages, districts, or wards throughout
the Philippines) that make up this island. He spoke of the
burden God gave him to see a church started in every
one of those areas. Even after spending 40
years on the field, he said, “With the help of
many pastors, we have been able to see 2,000
churches started on Panay!” Just so you know,
there was not an ounce of boasting intended
• The Lord has blessed Asia and the North
nor a hint of pride in accomplishment. He
Pacific with 12 new missionary families.

went on to challenge those men to have a
vision for the future. “With God’s help,” he
• Thousands of souls have come to know
admonished, “we need to start 1,000 churches
Christ as Savior—135,000 recorded salvation
in the next 10 years!”
decisions! In the past 10 years…
In the years I have served as the Far East
Director (since 2012), I often receive a
quarterly list of names from Brother Martin.

The purpose of this list is for his church to
keep track of the men who receive a guitar
from Iloilo Baptist Church. These guitars are
given to men who have finished their training
Continued on page 34
• Over one hundred churches annually have
been started.

• Many more churches have been indigenized
—winning souls, sending out laborers, and
starting churches!
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