Why did you relocate to the US?
There are several reasons for this transition:
- We had to leave Japan at some time and John had to get away from Japan to allow other leaders to fill the leadership void. Being in Japan made that difficult.
- A lot of what we were doing was mentoring and most was already online even before Covid. This means where we are located is not as important.
- As most of the Asia Impact Team is based in the US, we can connect with them easily.
- Elaine wanted to retire from the mission and that likely meant no longer living in Japan, due to the expense. Elaine is continuing all her teaching and mentoring ministry online without pay and expects to be in Japan annually to meet people.
- The timing was good for Elaine to retire, make a change of roles, and a new position for John.
John, why did you not retire like Elaine?
Well many key people asked me not to retire. They all knew I needed a new pace and role and it made sense to me. So I am not retiring. I want to be involved in something significant at this stage in my life and many opportunities were wide open. Elaine wants to be involved as well but not formally employed to do so.
What financial support level will you need for this new position?
As you can imagine there are many differences in a support package for Japan and the US. For example, I will not have Overseas Living Allowance (often over $1,000 per month), retirement contribution, or health insurance through the mission. I am pacing down to ¾ pace so my salary will be less and without some previous benefits. I do have some expenses in the US and especially funds to raise for my travel to Japan and Asia 2-4 times per year.
What are your support needs for this new phase?
****** DETAILS OF SUPPORT ***** Coming when completed by our Home Office.
Are you currently fully supported?
We have been 100% supported since about 2017.
Will you need financial support?
As my support need will be less probably 55-60% of before due to many factors, I don’t anticipate raising more support. We hope most of our churches would continue to support us but some due to financial reasons and others regarding their missions policy will choose to discontinue support to us. We hope if they are still interested in impacting Japan that we can recommend support of any of the Japanese Initiative team. Other churches may want to just prune back support to us a little for other mission uses. So hopefully when every church makes their determination, I continue to need to be fully supported for the near future.
What is your new role?
Instead of being in direct leadership and management of ministries I will be more of a trainer, teacher, mentor, coach, consultant in my role with people, many who I am already working with. I will be coming alongside many leaders to equip them develop personally and in ministry. With the Asia Impact Team, we will seek out national leaders of movements. Also I will continue connecting and networking with key leaders in Japan and throughout Asia. I will be traveling to Japan and Asia to continue teaching seminars and developing leaders.
What is the Converge Asia Impact Team?
Our team, currently 6 people, will locate, select, and come alongside key national leaders throughout Asia to develop and resource them in starting and accelerating church multiplication movements among Least Reached People Groups (including UUPG and UPG). I was doing this in Japan and will continue to do so, but now my scope includes all of Asia.
How long will you be in this new assignment?
Much depends on the type of role I have on the team and what is required to develop projects together. No firm date was set but I have been using 5 years as a first mile marker. As we get close to 5 years I will consider how much longer and at what pace I should continue in consultation with my team and others.