Our missionaries are normal people from all walks of life who have dedicated their lives to serving and following Jesus wherever He calls them. Want to meet them? Check out our Missionary Directory.
Kelly and Kim Smith
Our heart is to fulfill the great commission of making disciples through; creatively sharing the story of the gospel, seeing those who accept Christ identify with Him through baptism, and then teaching them all that He has commanded. So that they too can go out and make disciples themselves. With this goal in mind Kelly has taken the roll of Director of Ministries. This exciting and stretching roll will involve creating new ministry opportunities that will target reaching, training and sending out the next generation of Japanese Christians. Ministries such as; Working with Church planters, English for Life (8 month English learning discipleship School), and music and drama ministries. To accomplish this task we all need to work together as the body of Christ. Together we can see the church in Japan grow, and reach a new generation with the hope of the gospel.
Allow me to share my journey and how the Lord moved in my heart to serve Him overseas. After High School I was able to study the word of God for two years at the Word of Life Bible Institute, then I toured with a ministry called the Impact team for an entire year. After That I completed my Biblical studies degree at Liberty University. These were all great experiences in my life, and upon completion I thought I could do just about anything I wanted. I had ideas about being a pastor, educator, Audio/Video Technician or musician. But what I didn't count on is what happened next. A "blank check" changed the entire course of my life! I was sitting at a mission's conference just like the ones I had sat through many times before. I sat and enjoyed hearing what God was doing all around the world, but I knew I had my own plans and missionary was not on the list. Then one of the speakers started talking about how our life is like a check, we often fill it out with our own plans, our own desires and then we hand it to God to sign it in His Approval. His challenge was that the "check" of our lives should be left blank. All accept our signature. Showing that we approve and surrender to God, allowing Him to fill it our as He wills. I knew I was trying to write my own story, and had not truly surrendered all to Him. So there I was challenged to let God write my story. I remember asking God to search my heart, give me clarity and help me to surrender my life to Him. As the next few days unfolded God was working. Its difficult to explain but that weekend I continued to think about Japan over and over again. None of the missionaries were from Japan but for some reason that area was on my mind. I started to research Japan and its religions and its massive need for the gospel. I discovered that among first world countries Japan is one of the least reached with less than 1% Bible believing Christians. With these facts now in my mind, the Lord started moving my heart with compassion, He had opened my eyes to see the people of Japan the way He sees them. That the fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few. So In obedience to what God was doing I decided to take a trip and see what Asia was like. So my very first trip I spent five weeks in Asia two and half in Japan and two and a half in South Korea. Then I went on two more short term trips that were 3 months a piece. Each of these trips God was at work confirming His calling on my life. Now looking back at this journey I can now say that God works out all the details, He speak to all of your fears and will change your desires to His if you let Him. He certainly did that for me! and my wife!
I grew up in a Christian home. My parents were missionaries with Word of Life in Michigan. So I grew up going to church and doing a quiet time. I saw ministry firsthand as my parents faithfully served Him. I grew up hearing the Gospel and accepted Christ at a young age. However as I grew up I began to take my salvation for granted and I started to drift away from God, I began making some bad decisions, but God was still at work in me. Though this was a dark time in my life it helped me realize how much I needed Christ, how much I needed forgiveness, how much I needed repentance and just how sinful I was. I began to see God's heart in a way that I hadn't before, and I walked away changed. After that time, I decided to go to the Word of Life Bible Institute so I could really learn about God and what His Word says. It was a great year of learning, growing in my faith, and walking closer to God.
That year at the Bible Institute is also when I met Kelly, he clearly had a passionate heart for ministry! God had brought me to a place where I had a willing heart to follow Him, and I wanted to be with someone who had that same heart to follow after God. I knew of Kelly's passion for Japan and thought sure I would follow him to Japan. So after a year courtship Kelly and I got married! We talked and prayed a lot about Japan but there was a difference between my willing heart and having a passionate calling like Kelly did. Through much prayer and interaction with the Japan staff and students, God changed my heart, He gave me a passion to go and be a light in a place of such great darkness. Japan is a place where many people have never even heard the name of Jesus before. I now have a great desire and passion to come along side young Japanese women and mothers, and see them come to know Christ as their one true savior and then be discipled. I very much desire to have our children grow up seeing ministry happen just as I did. Seeing Christ work in the lives of people every day! He has now given US a heart for the nations so hand in hand as a family we can follow His calling!
Rom 10:14-15 "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,[h] Who bring glad tidings of good things!”