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Heath and Joni Hubbard




Heath and Joni Hubbard are serving as church planters in the Tokyo area of Japan. In 2019, they along with their team members launched the bilingual Hope Alive Church in the city of Tokorozawa, which is a suburb of Tokyo. Heath serves in the role of pastor for this work, as well as the team leader. Together with their team, they have launched numerous initiatives to reach 99.7% of the Japanese population around them who are lost. These include various English speaking opportunities, meeting people at train stations, one on one and small group Bible studies for the lost and new believers, and internship programs for students to be able to experience missionary life and assist in outreach, among other things. Their purpose in all of the outreaches is to meet people and give them opportunities to hear and respond to the life-changing story of the Gospel.  Most of these people have never heard anything about the Bible in their entire lives. Hope Alive Church saw 6 people baptized in 2019 and many more who have indicated they want to start a relationship with Jesus!

These are some of the other projects associated with the Hope Alive ministry. Click below to give towards one of our IMpact Project.


Heath, raised in a minister’s home, was saved at the age of five. In the year 2000, he went to Brazil and, catching the vision for the Great Commission, saw the need to be personally involved in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Heath graduated from Welch College in 2006 with a degree in International Business.

Daughter of Danny and Bobbie Thomas, Joni accepted Christ as a five-year-old and, as the daughter of a full-time minister, grew up actively attending church. From an early age, Joni felt an interest in missions. She participated in two mission trips during her high school years. In 1997, she enrolled in Welch College and felt her calling to missions confirmed through her interaction with Missionaries-in -Residence, missions conferences, and a six-week trip to Côte d’Ivoire as part of the Go & Be team her senior year.

Heath served as a missionary in Kazakhstan for a year immediately following graduation from college in 2006. In 2008, he began working at Welch College as director of recruitment. He continued there until August 2010, when he and Joni began deputation ministry with IM.

Upon graduating college, Joni accepted the call to serve a two-year, short-term assignment in Japan. She taught English and worked with IM’s church plants in the Sapporo area. In July 2006, she began working as the student missions coordinator at IM, coordinating the work of E-TEAM and CMP full time until her first child was born in November 2010. She continued assisting until she and Heath left for Japan in 2013.

Heath and Joni were married in November 2007. Together, they served as college ministry leaders at The Donelson Fellowship from 2008-2010.

Heath and Joni Hubbard were approved as career missionaries in April 2010. They attended language school in the Sapporo area for the first two years of their term and worked in Miharashidai Chapel. The couple moved to Tokyo in 2015. They worked with the Kamifukuoka Church, begun by Ken and Judy Bailey, while the Baileys were on stateside assignment.

The Hubbards have two sons and a daughter: Eli, born November 24; Micah, born October 7; and Emma, born August 28.

The Hubbards are members of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee.

Updated 4/28/2020

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for us as we continue the work of the new church plant, Hope Alive Church, in the Tokyo area. Pray that we would see people come to Christ and lives changed and that Christ would be glorified in our work here.
  • Pray for the one-on-one Bible studies we are doing with some non-believers and one on one discipleship studies we are doing with new Christians.
  • Pray for the outreach ministries of Hope Alive Church to bring more people the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
  • Pray for a continued ability to speak Japanese
  • Pray for Eli, Micah, and Emma as they are in elementary school that they can learn and thrive in a different culture and that they can make good friends and understand Japanese. Pray also that we can be an effective witness to the other parents at their schools and for their growth as believers in Christ.
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