Missions Moment – Japan

Posted in: Missions

John and Eriko Houlette, Three Streams Ministries

  • I spent five days in Kyushu debriefing the Kyushu Christ Disaster Response Center (Kyukisai) staff June 26-30. (bottom two photos). I am mentoring Pastor Eiichi Morofuji, a key Kyukisai leader who is interested in church planting.
  • My father Richard Houlette, had double pneumonia in May. He is still weak, but alert. He turns 94 today. I will see him this Thursday!
  • Eriko’s mom who has been living with us since last December, moved into an assisted living facility last week and is doing well.
  • We held our first church planting team meeting at Hokushin Calvary Church, Fukushima City, on July 2nd. The team will meet monthly. (upper right photo).
  • I taught two seminars on mentoring and emotional care at the annual Salvation Army Staff Training Conference on July 4th in Tokyo.  A total of 43 people attended.  (upper left photo).
  • Eriko enjoyed the Prepare-Enrich Facilitators Training Course in Tokyo on July 3rd and 4th, and hopes to use it as a ministry tool in the future.
  • We leave soon for the US for a nine-week Home Assignment. I depart on Wednesday, July 12th, and Eriko will join me on July 24th. Eriko returns to Japan on August 24th.  We will visit SoCal (7/15-23),  Boston (7/27-31), Charlotte (7/31-8/4), NorCal (8/5-9/6; 9/12-20) Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC (9/7-11).  Email us if you would like to get together.  Please pray for safe, comfortable travels.


On the Right Side of a Crisis

I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.  Psalm 16:8 ESV

     I am directionally challenged.  If I tell my wife ‘turn right,’ I really mean left.  I am not the most reliable navigator. At times we can be ‘directionally challenged,’ in our walk of faith.  When we put the Lord before us, he is our compass siting at our right hand, and we will not be shaken, even in times of crisis, as He is our Shepherd.  How does this work out in ministry in Japan?

Two years ago, I began partnering with pastor Masanori Kuba of Hokushin Calvary Church to assist him in his vision to plant a church in the town of Ryozen.  In March of 2016, he experienced burnout, and my role changed to preacher, counselor and elder board coach.  It appeared that his dream was shattered.  In September I began teaching a seminary extension class at the church on Soul Care, Spiritual Formation and Leadership.  On the the last Sunday to register for the class, Mr. and Mrs. Nowada showed up at church. They were tent making church planters looking for a partnering church.  They were impressed with the church’s commitment to training. Now ten months later, Pastor Kuba has returned to the ministry, preaching once a month. On July 2nd, we held our first church planting team meeting. It is no longer just the vision of the pastor, but a gifted team who can share their gifts in this strategic outreach.

A few days after completing my debriefing time with the Kyushu Christ Disaster Relief Center (Kyukisai), torrential rain storms began to beat down on Fukuoka Prefecture and the surrounding areas, causing rivers to overflow, and roads and houses to be washed away.  As of last night, 18 have died and 20 are still missing.  During my time in Mashiki, Kyushu, I debriefed 12 Kyukisai relief staff members and three pastors. These same staff members are working hard to provide relief and emotional care to those impacted by this rain disaster. Mine is often a low-key, behind-the-scenes ministry, but one that attempts to nurture resiliency. More rain is on the way and this is typhoon season.  Please pray for the ongoing relief efforts.



  1. For final preparations for our Home Assignment and safety in travel.
  2. For refreshing times with family and supporters.
  3. For good life and ministry rhythms for Pastor Kuba at Hokushin Calvary Church.
  4. For direction for the new church plant.
  5. For the health of Eriko’s mom and my father.