Born in Kyoto, Japan but brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, Stephen moved with his family back to Japan when he was eleven. Returning to Japan and enrolling in Japanese elementary school without any Japanese ability was not easy.
When the tsunami hit on March 11, Stephen was in the process of looking for jobs after having graduated Osaka University of Foreign Languages. God opened up the way for him to come up to Tohoku in May 2011. Working with Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit disaster relief organization, for a year and a half, Stephen helped coordinate the mudding and renovating of over 190 houses, and worked with thousands of volunteers and staff who each had a fierce passion to serve God and to reach out to people hurting no matter what the cost.
Through these experiences, Stephen has witnessed and experienced God’s love in action and so have the people of Ishinomaki. He joined Ishinomaki Christian Center as field director in December 2012. His role as field director includes overseeing the new Ishinomaki Christian Center construction, facilitating the growth of a newly birthed Christian network, and supporting the ICC team in projects such as volunteer coordination. He hopes to see the continuation of God’s work here within and through ICC.
Ryo first joined ICC as percussionist/Guitarist/Pianist and Liberty Music Program Artistic Director. Ryo involved in overseeing lessons for students, and produces music events in which students perform with professional musicians. Ryo graduated from Boston’s Berkley School of Music with a degree in jazz composition, and has since been performing in cafes, restaurants, jazz clubs, live houses, churches, and wedding ceremonies. Before working with Ishinomaki Christian Center, January 2012, he came to the Tohoku disaster area working for the non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse as a Japanese/English translator.
Working in team is something that has a possibility to achieve something that is bigger then yourself.
When Jesus finished preaching he said to Peter “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish. ”(Luke 5:4). Now if we want to go deeper we need a team. You can only go so far and only catch so many fish by yourself. Everyone is exceptionally unique yet each one is called to be one body. We invite you to pray, be connected, get involved wherever you are.
Born and raised in Japan, Mami began participating in the restoration efforts in Ishinomaki and Minamisanriku as a volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse in March 2012, and as a staff member two months later after hearing of a need for volunteers and of how God was working in the disaster affected areas.
Wanting to continue participating in the restoration of Ishinomaki, Mami joined the activities of the Liberty Music Project in January of 2013.
Mami is continuing to work with the desire that the children and youth of Ishinomaki who carry the future of their city, can move forward with hope, and can discover how precious their lives are, through the messages in Gospel music.
Her primary work involves connecting with schools and developing relationships with children.
My favorite verse right now
“You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11Fun Facts
・Walking at beach and green fields
Born in Hong Kong and raised up in Sydney Australia, Ann spends half of her life travelling and working in different countries. Her story with Ishinomaki dated back to 2011 when she served as a volunteer and staff of Samaritan Purse Japan to assist in the relief work of the earthquake and Tsunami in Tohoku area. She served in the field of volunteer coordination, mudding-out houses, as well as a ministry liaison team leader supporting church and ministry in Ishinomaki, Kesenuuma, Sendai and Minami Sanriku region, she moved back to Ishinomaki in 2018 when she married to Stephen. Prior to joining ICC, Ann worked in an international disaster relief organisation as program mangers and DART (Disaster Assistant Response Team) for 7 years in Japan, Uganda, South Sudan, Greece, and Porto Rico.
After spending several years at the frontline of disaster zones, meeting numerous numbers of disaster victims, she truly believes that “Each one of them is Jesus in disguise” – from Mother Teresa, that Christians are called to “…..help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus….it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35