Trainers

Please check Speakers for Joshua Harris, Robert Greene, Akira Mori, Makoto Fukuda, Carlton Walker and Seita Sakaguchi.

Dawn Birkner

Prior to arriving in Japan in 2001, Dawn prepared to be both pastor and a scientist and worked as a scientist for 14 years.   In 2001 Dawn began leading church plants in rural Shikoku.  Since February 2012 she has pioneered and pastored Kita Sanriku Christ Church in rural Iwate’s disaster-impacted Iwaizumi, Omoto, Tanohata, and Noda and unimpacted Fudai and lead its volunteer center (the window for Christian tsunami/typhoon relief). Dawn also coordinates Rural Japan Church Planting Network (RJCPN), Adopt 800 Japan; Aomori/Akita/Iwate RJCPN gathering; Iwate Missionary Fellowship; and Iwate Coastal Prayer Meeting and leads Reaching Japan Together Association.

Martin Ghent

Martin Ghent of Canada and his American wife have 4 adopted children, now adults. They came to Japan with OMF in 1986; began a church plant in rural Itayanagi Aomori and associated Café Iris and Lighthouse Books in 1991; became responsible also for Kanagi Chapel in 1998. In 2000, the two churches merged and have a vision to reach the 350,000 people of the Tsugaru plain. In 2013, they transferred church responsibility to their son, and in 2015 began Hirosaki Hope Church.  From 2011 until 2014, Martin took many trips to the tsunami-impacted area to assist in relief work. Martin also now leads OMF’s Tohoku region.

David Cervenka

David has been doing evangelism and discipleship with Japanese for more than ten years and has been implementing and training in movement strategies for the last five.  David is married to his best friend and teammate, Danielle, and has three awesome kids: Mattie, Ben, and Abe.

David and Caleb both serve with Great Commission Japan.

Caleb Eby

Caleb has been implementing movement strategies in Japan for several years and is seeing generational fruit.  Caleb is married to Amy and have two boys: Enoch and Micah.

Caleb and David both serve with Great Commission Japan.

Yoshito Noguchi

Together with his wife, Ami, and their three children Yuka (9), Nana (7), and Atsuto (3), Yoshito is living and serving in Fuchu City, Tokyo where they are committed to see Great Commission disciples saturate all of Tokyo through proliferation of missional communities.  Before returning to Japan in 2002, Yoshito lived in Chicago, Illinois where he attended Trinity Seminary.  After graduating, he worked as a youth minister at Grace Mission Church in Osaka and was involved in church planting with Jr. and Sr. High students.  In 2011, Grace Mission Church sent him out as a pioneer church planter to begin planting a church in Fuchu City while working full time as a home care worker.  SOMA Fuchu is part of the SOMA Family of Churches Worldwide and the Acts 29 Network.

Gary Watanabe


Gary is a Mission to the World Missionary working for City to City Asia Pacific as a Church Planter Catalyst, Trainer and Coach. Currently he is also assisting in setting up the Joy of Japan Church Planting Training Center in Nagoya, Japan with Brett Rayl, director of Christ Bible Institute.

Dr. John Houlette 

john_eriko_houlette
Doctor of Ministry in congregation and family care from Bethel University.

John and his wife Eriko have served in Japan for 34 years with WorldVenture and Asian Access in church planting, field leadership and clergy care. He is currently the director of Three Stream Ministries. John is an ordained minister, a certified leadership coach, a disaster response chaplain trainer and a Prepare-Enrich marriage resource facilitator. He is fluent in both English and Japanese. Three Stream Ministries focuses on self-care, soul care and fruitfulness in ministry. John’s passion is to nurture ministry leaders to be whole, holy and missional. John and Eriko live in Sendai and have four adult children and two grandsons.

He specializes in marriage counseling, to nurture boundaries, family systems and life coaching.

Amy Newsome 


She is currently serving as a counseling intern with Mission to the World. She is completing her Master’s of Arts in Counseling at Colorado Christian University, and will be seeking to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Tennessee. Along with her degree program, she has received a certificate from CCEF in biblical counseling. She has served as a missionary in Nagoya, Japan, for 26 years, and has been involved in many aspects of church planting. Her passion for applying the Gospel to real hurts and struggles has led her to the field of counseling. She is currently developing a private practice for Japanese, missionaries, and other expats. Amy and her husband Wayne have five children, most of whom are now young adults living in the US. Her areas of interest are crisis and trauma, depression and anxiety, shame, spiritual issues, attachment, life transitions and cultural adjustment. Amy is available for counseling in both English and Japanese.

Jay Greer

Jay has served in Japan for nearly ten years. He was an associate pastor at Mustard Seed Christian Church in Nagoya when it was launched and he has been the lead pastor of MSCC Osaka since its launch six years ago. He also serves in leadership with Mustard Seed Network and CPI Japan. Jay is passionate about proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, planting biblical churches, and developing leaders. Jay and his wife Caitlin have been married for nearly 12 years and have four children who were all born in Japan, one of which was also adopted in Japan.

Seth Philip

Pastor of Mustard Seed Christian Church, Kyoto.
Seth and his wife have been serving in Japan since 2010 at Mustard Seed Christian Church, first in Nagoya, then Osaka, and now we are planting in Kyoto. I have three children and am from Kansas, USA.

 

Brent Rayl

Director of Christ Bible Institute in Nagoya. Currently he is setting up the Joy of Japan Church Planting Training Center in Nagoya together with Gary Watanabe.

 

Dan Iverson

God led the Iversons to Reformed Seminary in 1981, where He impressed on them the Bible’s heartbeat theme of “all nations.” The Tokyo/Chiba Team formed during seminary. The four couples initially committed to 12 years in Japan, where most people still have never heard the gospel. The vision was to plant churches where there were none, and to do so in partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Japan.The Tokyo/Chiba Presbytery was established in 1999 with 13 churches. Now the vision is to have a church-planting movement throughout Japan. Dan serves as church planter/pastor, Tokyo team leader, and MTW Japan director. The Iversons have nine children and 25 grandchildren.

 Gypsi Town

Gypsi and her husband Jesse are committed to encouraging and equipping the church and individuals to apply the incredible news of the gospel to every area of life. They speak at conferences, lead gospel renewal retreats and provide small-group and one-on-one mentoring. Their two kids, Journey and Oliver, provide them with lots of opportunities to apply the gospel in their own lives.

Kevin West

Kevin is from Arizona, his wife, Nozomi, is from Saitama, Japan, and God has blessed them with two cute kids. Kevin is currently the church planter of Mustard Seed Christian Church – Kobe. He graduated with his MDiv from Christ Bible Seminary (Nagoya, Japan) where he attended together with his lovely wife, Nozomi. He is part of the Redeemer City to City church planting network, and served at several churches in Japan before starting Mustard Seed Christian Church in Kobe.

 

Tetsuya Dedachi

 

Yoshiya Hari


Yoshiya Hari is Pastor of Keisen Christ Church Saikyo Nozomi Chapel and the National Director of Asian Access Japan

Seima Aoyagi

With the help of the Grace Church Planting Network and MTW (Mission to the World), Grace Harbor Church in Toyosu (Tokyo) was formed under the leadership of Seima Aoyagi in 2015.  He is currently serving here as the senior pastor and is married to Naoko, his wife of 20 years, and they have four children ages 7 to 18.  Seima received his M.Div. from Covenant Seminary in 2008 and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in America in 2010 while serving as an intern pastor at a PCA church in San Diego for two and a half years.

 

John Mehn

John and his wife Elaine has had extensive spiritual renewal training and mentoring with GCA and Serge. He regularly coaches and mentors leaders in personal and corporate spiritual renewal. John has been training with CPI spiritual renewal and has worked on Walking in the Gospel and the Grace Week Intensives. He is the director of Church Planting Institute. John has a doctorate in ministry in missiology from Trinity International University. He has two children and two grandchildren all living in Northern Illinois USA.

Comments are closed