Japanese Returnee Ministry

God has given the American church a tremendous opportunity to impact least-reached peoples right here in the U.S. Every year, international students, professionals, and visitors from all over the globe come to the U.S. to work or study temporarily in virtually every city in America. Many of these Internationals are more open to the gospel here in the U.S. than in their own culture. Some become believers before returning home, where they become gospel seed to share their faith in Jesus with their own people.

A large number of these returnees come from Japan each year. Because they are more open to the gospel in America than in Japan, hundreds return home as new believers each year. Cecil and Debbie O'Dell (Japanese Returnee Ministry Team Leaders) ministered in Japan for 17+ years and have been working with Japanese returnees in Long Beach, California, since 2001.


  1. Pray for the current Japanese Returnee Ministry Team: Nao & Chiko Makino, Ken & Sanoka Kuroda, Junko Saito, Matt Higby, and Cecil and Debbie O'Dell.
  2. Pray for contact-making efforts with the Japanese students at the California State University Long Beach.
  3. Pray for Encompass missionary appointees to the Long Beach and Tokyo team as they raise support: Matt & Jen Daniels, Julio, Joanne, Julian & Juni Marin


  • Each year more than five million visitors come from Japan, one of the world's largest least-reached people groups.
  • California State University Long Beach has over 6,000 international students, with many coming from Japan.
  • Greater Los Angeles has a Japanese population of approx. 37,000 (US Census 2000).
  • Each year about 1,600 Japanese people return to Japan as new believers.