Michiyo Ishida is reaching out to university students in Tokyo, Japan. She wants to create international communities where Japanese students and foreign students can gather together, get a taste of Kingdom culture, and find identity in Christ.
Michiyo grew up in Bangkok and Jakarta, and was saved as an international student at college. She spent 15 years of her life outside of Japan and attended U.S. schools for 8 years (B.A., Journalism - Broadcasting at California State University, M.A. Pastoral Studies - Women’s ministry at Multnomah Biblical Seminary). She also worked as an interpreter/translator.
In 2015, she joined EFCA | ReachGlobal’s Tokyo City Team, which is planting small churches in Tokyo. Its church planting model is nontraditional and aims to create reproducible small churches with the hope that average lay believers will be able to run them themselves. It employs a Discovery Bible Study in which group members examine scripture together and discover spiritual truths by continuously returning to the Biblical text. The team has planted churches in the Waseda area and Hibarigaoka.
With the Tokyo city team members, she focuses on Waseda students, and serves as a volunteer staff of “Waseda Hoshien dream cafe” every other Friday. Waseda Hoshien is a Christian based facility, and 150 international students and 15 Japanese students live in the dorm. “Dream cafe” provides free coffee, tea and snacks, and creates a platform for the students to build community. She meets students there, has one-on-one Bible studies, and invites some to her small church.
Waseda University currently has the most international students of any university in Japan. Since 2014, the Japanese government (MEXT) has been carrying out the “Top Global University Project" to provide prioritized support to universities that are leading the internationalization of Japan’s education. Under the Project, they selected 37 “Top Global Universities,” and Waseda university is one of them.
Michiyo’s hope is to create a kingdom community within this unique international environment, which can lead to more small churches in the area. Students can hear the gospel, be saved and discipled, and can impact their workplace. In addition, when foreign students go home, they can bring back the gospel with them and be ambassadors for Christ. This is world missions from Japan!