“Try to work with people who are better at their job than you are.” That’s what I’ve always heard. We were blessed to meet Rachel and have her join our team, but I didn’t think there was any way to do it again. “We live in Japan,” I told myself. “We’ll just have to take what we can get.”
Boy was I wrong! Meet the newest addition to the GYFM Asia Pacific Team: the Radke family!
We went through our missions training with the Radke family (Sean & Lisa with kids: Kai, Ian, and Naomi) and really liked them (Sean pulled his kids around NYC on a skateboard for heaven’s sake), but they were headed to Tokyo to help plant churches, and we were going to Nagoya to minister to young people. I never imagined we’d one day be teammates! I didn’t even realize that Sean had a heart for the next gen or an extensive student ministry background until recently, when he began to feel a call back into student ministry.
A few months ago Sean shared this with me: “I was sitting in one of the adult meetings at the last area retreat and I saw the GYFM people out the window, hanging out with the students. Some people would stay as far away from teenagers as possible, but I found myself thinking that I would much rather be out there with them right now.” That realization soon became part of God’s call to GYFM Asia Pacific!
Not only are the Radkes awesome and experienced (you can read more about them here), they’re also strategic partners. Sean and Lisa have been in Japan for a few years, so they’ve already done the hard work of building a support team, completing Japanese language school, getting settled in their neighborhood, and building relationships with young people. They live in Tokyo (2 hours away by train) where lots of our MKs are, their kids attend an international Christian school with lots of TCKs, and they have easy access to a major airport so that they can fly out and visit mission families in other countries across Asia. Most of all, though, Sean and Lisa love the gospel. As Sean recently noted, “we put a big emphasis on language fluency here in Japan, and we should! But I sometimes wish we were just as concerned with gospel fluency.” In that moment I knew, we need these guys on our team. Even if they never do anything else, they’ll point us to Jesus.
So please pray for us as we head to Tokyo today for our first ever GYFM Asia Pacific team meeting! Pray for the Radkes as they transition from their old team to our new team. Speaking of teammates, please also continue to pray for Rachel as she finishes raising support. It’d be great if you could support her if you have extra money lying around. Or, if you’d like to financially support the ministry of this newly formed GYFM Asia Pacific Team, you can click here to get started. Most of all, praise God with us for building this team! As the Asia team grows, we also have new recruits headed to Colombia to join our Latin America team, and some folks in the pipeline for our Europe team as well! For your glory, Jesus!