Fabio and Elizabeth have been married since 2001 and currently have 6 children: Joshua, Dominique, Israel, Johann, Olivia and Annaliese. They have served in long term missions in Japan, USA and Brazil besides other short term missions to Argentina, Mexico and India.
They met in Japan and while there also served in a Peruvian church. In 2003 they left for the States where they started a Hispanic ministry at Living Word Church in Lansing, IL. In 2009 they left for Brazil where they did street evangelism for two years, and noticing the problems by talking to the people on the streets, they were led to start a family ministry in 2011. The Lord opened doors to minister in schools and churches of many denominations doing weekend seminars. They published two books and the ministry there still continues after leaving the country in 2017.
Since 2014, God began showing us that the time to go back to Japan had arrived. Aware of the challenges we would face, we committed to pray about this matter, dialogued about the situation with our children often and also took practical steps to: study the language, put sticky notes with Japanese words all around the house, start conversations with contacts we had in Japan, etc., while we continued to minister seminars and workshops for families in different places. We understood that "waiting on the Lord" did not mean to be "frozen" in place or unproductive.
Then in 2017 we saw all the "pieces of the puzzle" come together perfectly which made us understand that the time to make a decision had come. During this time of "wait", we also saw the ministry in Brazil growing even more which caused many doubts in our hearts... Still the confirmation about Japan was getting clearer and clearer so we made the decision to go. Since then, many doors have opened and the Lord has made provisions for each step of the way.
So today we are full of expectations as we see God's hand of favor surrounding us in Japan.
Watch the video below and pray for Japan:
We met in Japan in 1999, Fabio, a native of Brazil, and Elizabeth, a native of the United States. We were married in April of 2001. Very shortly afterward, the Peruvian pastors of the church we were a part of had to return to Peru and left the responsibility of the church in our hands. We served there for about a year and a half, during which our first son was born, and then we began to feel the Lord call us for a season in America.
We arrived in America in September of 2003 and found our “home church” at Living Word Church in Lansing, Illinois. A very short time later, we began a hispanic ministry through the church through ESL classes. About a year later, we felt that it would be more effective to simply preach the gospel to those who were truly hungry for the Gospel, so we changed our course a bit and began to have Spanish Bible studies in our homes during the week, while continuing to find ways to reach out into the Hispanic community in various ways, and Fabio began to provide translation on Sunday mornings so that the Hispanic visitors could listen in Spanish through an ear bud.
Praise the Lord, we saw several come to the Lord during this time, several were baptized, and many were discipled. We were able to see the group mature in the Lord and come to the place where they were truly standing firm. We praise the Lord for the opportunity to lead them to the Lord and see them grow up in Him.
About the time that our fourth child was born, the Lord began to move in our hearts, stirring us up with the word, “GO”. We didn’t know where to though, nor when, so we prayed. We prayed and sought counsel, and prayed some more and knocked on some doors, and kept praying. After about a year and a half, we were sure of what the Lord was leading us to. It is a long story, but we will skip to the end: the Lord was saying BRAZIL. He made it very clear the direction He had for us in the last few months before we left America, even finally confirming it in a very tangible way the same day we asked for a “fleece”.
I (Fabio) was at work (doing a siding job) and towards the end of the day, I was in prayer, asking for a clear “sign”. I was picking up scraps and nails from the ground, and as I glanced at the ground to my left, I saw a piece of brick that surprised me when I read in it: BRAZIL! It was as if those letters were screaming at me. That is when I finally surrendered fully and said: “OK. Let’s do it!”
So, in December of 2009 we landed, and that is where we have been, in Santa Catarina in the southern part of Brazil, for over seven years. We began serving primarily in street ministry, among prostitutes, druggies, homeless folks and in the public schools. That is where we realized that the ROOT of society’s problems is really the lack of family structure. As the Lord burned this passion in us more and more, our eyes were opened to see the great lack of vision in this area, even in the church. We began to shift our focus in 2011, and it has been our primary focus since 2012.
We have done family seminars, talks in various places, small groups, counseling one-on-one, as well as producing material on the subject. Through the published material, the leaders we have trained, and making our courses available online, we plan for this ministry to continue in our absence.
Short clip about our beginnings in Brazil:
Short mission trip we organized in Brazil to receive a team from Chicago:
Family Ministry in Brazil:
From the time we left Japan in 2003, we have felt in our hearts that one day we would return. We had no idea of the journey the Lord had prepared for us in the meantime, but we did feel sure that both in the United States and in Brazil, we were there only for a season and that one day the Lord would take us back to Japan.
About the time of the birth of our sixth child, Annaliese (October 2014), the Lord began to move in our hearts that the time was drawing near. And so we came into yet another season of much searching, praying, knocking on doors, seeking counsel, praying some more, to be very sure of God’s leading. It is not easy to move eight people across continents! Again. But in His faithfulness, God has once again made it abundantly clear, and we are now on our way.
As I write this (August 2017), we are in the States for about three months, having left our home in Brazil, and then we will be on to Japan. In the beginning, we will be received by a church in Machida, in the Tokyo area, where our first focus will be for Fabio to study Japanese and for our family to get acclimated to life in a new country.
After this initial period, our goal is a town near Nagasaki, called “Nagayo-cho”, in southern Japan that has a population of 43,000 and not one church. Not ONE! Well, once we arrive, there will be one with eight members.
Pastor Ueda talks about the needs of Japan:
In the USA
Living Word Church (Lansing, IL) – Pastor David Prince – http://www.livingwordchurch.cc/
Cross Point Church (Crown Point, IN) – Pastor David Hamstra – https://www.crosspoint.family/
Mercy Hill Church (Dyer, IN) – Pastor John Hamstra – http://mercyhill.cc/
Hope Church (Griffith, IN) – Pastor Todd Cosenza – http://hopechurchlife.org/
Liberty Church – Pastor Ben Rous – https://libertycc.net/
Messianic House of Prayer (University Park, IL) – Pastor David Weinberger – http://www.amhehome.org/
Calvary Baptist Church (Matteson, IL) – Pastor Steve Hugo – http://calvarychurchmatteson.org/
Harvest Foundation – Founder Bob Moffit / Pastor Cleiton de Oliveira – http://www.harvestfoundation.org/
JEMS (Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society) – Japan Director Roy Toma – http://www.jems.org/
In the UK
New Life Church (Cambridge) – Pastor Ian Rawley – https://www.newlifechurchcambridge.org/
Primeira Igreja Batista (Balneário Camboriú, SC) – Pastor Silas Leepkaln / Pastor Fabio Lammeck – http://www.pibbalneariocamboriu.com.br/
Igreja Cristã da Família (Santos, SP) – Pastor Evandro / Sandra Paranhos – https://pt-br.facebook.com/igrejacristadafamiliaemsantos/
MEUC – http://www.meuc.org.br/
Primeira Igreja Batista – Vila Real – Pastor Rogério Ferrari – https://www.facebook.com/Primeira-Igreja-Baptista-de-Vila-Real-489167011464210/
기쁨교회 Joy Church (Seoul, Korea) – Pastor Chang Kyu Lee – http://kippeumchurch.org/
Machida Jun Fukuin Kyoukai (Machida, Tokyo) – Pastor Yuji Ogawa – Link to info details
Minami-satsuma Kirisuto Fukuin Kyoukai (Minami-satsuma, Kagoshima) – Pastor Masami Ueda
Moriyama Kirisuto Fukuin Kyoukai (Moriyama, Shiga) – Pastor Yuya Ueda – email@example.com
Hirakawa Christ Gospel Church (Hirakawa, Aomori) – Penny Nakanishi – http://www.riversofpeace.com/hcgc/
Family Ministry (since 2011)
Persevering In Being Made Like Christ (audio only)