Meet the Snows, IM Missionaries to Japan
After serving in Hokkaido for 30 years, from this summer we will transition to ministry in Okinawa, the southernmost region of Japan. These new ministries will change our everyday activities some, but still serve the overall goal of IM – to see souls won for Christ, and to facilitate the multiplication of Japanese churches in Japan.
Linda is a licensed (U.S.) elementary teacher. Besides being wife and mother of their three boys at home, her primary role will be teaching at OCSI (Okinawa Christian School International). Of the Pre-K through 12th grade student body of 500-600 students, approximately 80% of the students at OCSI are non-Christian.
Nathan serves as President of JEMA. Until now, he has been pastoring and ministering in church-planting roles, as well as fulfilling the responsibilities of JEMA and JEA. JEMA’s mission statement says: JEMA exists to network and equip its members to make disciples for Christ. Over the last several years, the growth of JEMA and its recent launch of new equipping ministries have increased the responsibilities of serving the greater missionary community.
In so doing, the end results are better equipped, encouraged, spiritually and emotionally healthy church-planters spread throughout each region to establish vibrant church-planting churches in Japan.
While in Okinawa, the Japan FWB National Association has asked Nathan to survey the possibilities of future FWB work in Okinawa, as this is a new area for FWB. For the time being Nathan will continue the pulpit ministry of the Abashiri FWB Church remotely (via the internet).
The Snows, along with their three teenage boys still at home – Noah, Josiah, and Isaac – maintain their desire and goal to reach the Japanese for Christ. From having ministered in the remote areas of Japan for close to ten years, they find Japanese friendships natural and rewarding to invest in. Over the years, one of the main ministries of their family has been hospitality, and building those personal trust relationships.
Fun Facts about the Snow family: Isaac enjoys Track and Field, mostly running and jumping events. Josiah has become an avid and talented skateboarder, and Noah competes regularly in Track and Field throwing events: shot put discus and hammer throw. Linda enjoys reading, purses, and is an amazing cook – it’s a good thing because eating is one of our teenage boys’ and their friends’ favorite hobbies. Nathan enjoys riding motorcycles with friends and family, camping, coffee, tools, and keeping all things running smoothly.
Japan remains the second largest unreached people group in the world. It is steeped in centuries of Buddhist, Shinto, Animism, and Spiritism, and seems incorporated into every aspect of the culture. Our challenge and goals are to introduce Christ into people’s hearts and allow the work of Christ to create a new culture. A new culture that is birthed from within, that has its foundations on the truth of the Scripture, is fueled by the life-changing power of the Gospel, and honors and preserves the dignity and uniqueness of the culture of Japan. To facilitate Christian Community that is culturally relevant, God-honoring, and that empowers Christ-followers in a very Japanese context. To see changed lives change communities.
The prefecture of Okinawa is known to be the poorest of Japan’s 47 prefectures, and ranks #40 out of 47 in lowest church-to-population ratio.
24 Unreached People Groups in Japan
How they are ministering to people in Japan
Nathan serves as the President of JEMA (Japan Evangelical Missionary Association – jema.org), an organization of over 1,100 Protestant Missionaries ministering in Japan, with the majority of these involved in church planting related ministries.
2Gatherings in our home
We regularly hold Informal and impromptu gatherings at our home. This is a very effective way to build trusting relationships necessary that lead to Gospel conversations and later, discipleship.
Linda teaches at Okinawa Christian School International. With a K3 through 12th grade student body of almost 600, 80% of the students are non-Christian. OCSI’s serves to reach and disciple these young people as they provide an excellent learning environment.
Get Involved in the Snow’s ministry
There are a number of ongoing opportunities to be involved in our ministry. If you would like a name of a person or family to “adopt” as an ongoing prayer project, please let us know.
We would love for you to help make a difference here! You can contact us for these names or real-time prayer requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow Linda Snow’s Facebook account if you are a Facebook user. She regularly posts updates there as well.
How you can pray for the Snows
- There seem to be many Japanese people who are genuinely seeking. So many desire real hope, a peaceful heart, and a purpose for their lives. Japan annually has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Pray for these that begin seeking to not be dissuaded, but to have the courage to embrace the grace of the gospel with an eager and active faith.
- Pray for open doors in the new areas of Okinawa we are transitioning into.
- Please do pray for our financial needs. We are always appreciative of those God leads to financially partner with us in.
- Pray for wisdom to know God’s timing and leading in the areas of student ministry, and oversight of the ministries of JEMA.
- Pray for our children. As parents, we realize how cultures influence young hearts and minds in particular. We desire to see each of our children growing in the Lord. Thank you for praying for our family.
You can partner with Nathan and Linda to reach people in Japan with the Gospel.