Chris and I had the pleasure of meeting the Farmers when they visited our small group a few weeks ago (if you remember Presley, she and Hiroko are friends!). Chad, Hiroko, and their sweet daughter, Amilia, were so kind, and their passion for Japan is infectious.
Hiroko explained to us that she is originally from Japan and moved to the States for college, but also just to get out on her own. She ended up attending a baptist college and started to learn more and more about what being a Christian looks like. During her time there, she met Chad - who, after several years of rebellious soul-searching, had recently renewed his life for Christ - and the rest is history. For the past few years, Chad has been working for The Village Church, and he and Hiroko have been hearing whispers of God calling them to Japan... which slowly turned into a voice they could no longer ignore. So in just a few short weeks, their sweet family of three will be moving to Japan and beginning a new life serving the people there.
Chad runs a personal blog where he shares information about what life in Japan looks like (I'd encourage you to go read it!). In Chad's letter to me, he shared that "since the time that the book of Acts was written, Japan has never seen more than a 1.5% Christian population. The lack of gospel influence for thousands of years has resulted in a nation that suffers the effects of sin – namely, broken families, teenage prostitution (which is widely accepted), and a suicide rate that has exceeded 30,000 people annually for the last 12 years." Wow.
Chad and Hiroko are leaving the states to serve at CBI Japan (Christ Bible Institute), which is an organization that seeks to equip, engage, and expand the Lord's church. Chad will be overseeing their operations, organizational structure, and personnel management/development – which is what he has had the pleasure of doing for The Village Church for some time now. It really is incredible to see how God has equipped the Farmers for this mission: from Hiroko being from Japan originally and knowing intimately the needs there, to Chad's personal story of redemption, to the need for an administrative leader being present at CBI, to their listening over the past few years of God gently calling them to go.
If you feel called to support Chad, Hiroko, and little Amilia financially, you can do so here. All prayers on their behalf are certainly much appreciated! A great way you can serve them is by committing to praying for them regularly. However you keep a calendar, whether it's on your phone or in a planner, write down a day once a month to pray for them. You can sign up to receive updates from the Farmer family so you can know what specifically their needs are month to month.
You can also visit the That's Pretty Ace shop and make a purchase - a portion of the proceeds will be going to Chad and Hiroko, and I'm so honored to be able to serve them in that way - but I would highly recommend you go straight to their site and make a donation there. Japan is one of the five most expensive nations to live in, so their need for financial support is quite clear.
This little family has touched my heart, and it's humbling to see God call people out to go and do. He has lit a fire inside the hearts of Chad and Hiroko, and has certainly prepared them for their journey so far... and I know He will continue to do so as they find their strength and wisdom in Him. Please pray for the people of Japan, and pray for change to come. Thank you so much for reading and supporting this sweet family!
Images via Chad Farmer