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Our Ministry in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Isn’t it amazing that we are a “chosen people...His very own possession?” (1 Peter 2:9)

This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9
Our ministry is in the city of Sapporo (Karen moved to Sapporo in October 2008). Sapporo is the main city in Hokkaido, Japan, and has a population of 1.94 million people.
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Map of Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectures.
Size: 83,353 square km.

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View of Sapporo from a ski-jumper

View over Sapporo from the ski jump.

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View of Sapporo from the JR Tower

View of Sapporo from the JR Tower (the men’s bathroom!)

Basic Principles:


  • We want to depend on God for effective ministry.
  • We are “God’s fellow workers!”
  • We believe that God wants us to continue to minister in Japan, and specifically, in Sapporo.
  • We would like to primarily be involved with people.
  • Dale desires to be a “wounded healer” (the 2 Corinthians 1:4 principle), and has an ongoing interest in caring for people.
  • Karen desires to use her organisational, faith, teaching, helps and hospitality gifts.
  • We can only minister because people (you!) are praying with and for us.
An explanation of Ephesians 2:10
God is a very capable craftsman. God's workmanship is of the highest quality. We are God's workmanship. We are the art of a competent Creator.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:10)

Notice in this text that our creation 'in Christ Jesus' means that we are competent as well. We are like our Creator in that we have been created 'to do good works'. God who is capable of good works made us to be capable of doing good works as well.

This is quite a contrast to 'you can't do anything right'. People learn to doubt their competence. This doubt leads many people to work harder and harder to demonstrate their abilities. However, no matter how hard we try, we can't try hard enough. We learn that our problem is not that we are human and occasionally make mistakes but that we are incompetent people. We learn that we are flawed in a most basic way. No matter how compulsively we try, we can't ever get it right.

This text is an affirmation of our competence, of our importance in God's plans. God affirms us by saying "there are good things for you to do, and I believe you can do them". Notice that the text does not say that we need to do good works to earn God's love or to win God's approval or that we have to do the work perfectly or compulsively. What is does say is that God sees each of us as capable of good works. God invites us to participate in the creative, redemptive work that God is doing in the world. God sees us as capable.

“You are competent, God.
Your works are good works.
It amazes me that you see me as competent.
Thank you for believing in me.
Help me to trust your words of affirmation.
Help me to find joy in doing good.
Amen”

(Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan, taken from their book “Rooted in God’s love.”)
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“My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness”… For when I am weak, than I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12 9-10

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Ephesians 2:10

Our desire is:

To walk with the Living God,
glorifying Him each day as we reveal
His love and grace.

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