In 2016, Peter and Mary retired from Japan work and returned to Peter’s home church in Minnesota. Since returning from Japan, they have taken over the Emmaus and Navigator Set Free Prison Ministry for Minnesota, along with children’s work at the Rice Lake Bible Chapel, and occasional preaching jobs.
Peter and his first wife, Lois, first went to Japan in 1968, commended by the assemblies of Minneapolis and Winnipeg, Canada. From 1968 to 1970, they studied the Japanese language in a missionary language school, and got acquainted with the Japanese assemblies at the same time. In 1970, they moved to the Tokyo area (Ikuta), and started the Ikuta Christ Assembly in 1972, in close cooperation with the existing assemblies and missionaries. Peter and Lois had 3 boys, two of them born in Japan. Among other activities, they worked with International Teams (Literature Crusades), Operation Mobilization. They worked with other missionaries to start a Teaching (not evangelistic) Bible Camp that went on for 30 years. Peter worked as a chaplain to prisoners at a Japanese prison for American military servicemen offenders, and eventually took over the Emmaus Bible Correspondence ministry from Pat Presson.
In 1989, Lois died from cancer in Japan, and in 1989, Peter was introduced to Mary in Japan by other missionaries, and they were married in 1990. After 4 years of continued work at the Ikuta Assembly in the Tokyo area, and with all the boys graduated from Christian Academy in Japan and gone to college in the USA, Peter and Mary moved to rural Nagano Province in the central mountains. There they worked to start a new assembly, but in a rural setting (much slower and more difficult!) in 1995. That assembly goes on today under the eldership of our son Bob and another Japanese brother, with around 15 to 20 members. They have had three people baptized this year! The name of the assembly is the Iiyama Christ Assembly. Mary was deeply involved in children’s evangelistic outreach, along with efforts to reach women, and in addition to lots of door-to-door work, I worked with Men’s Breakfasts (men only!!) at our local hotel, along with English contacts at the high school 3 minutes walk from our house. But the critical thing, in both big-town Tokyo and small-town Iiyama, is the personal contact and befriending and discipling work. Peter was also deeply involved with carrying on the Emmaus work, especially translation of courses into Japanese, with the wonderful cooperation of 4 Japanese brothers.
- “Lord, please use us as long as YOU will! Please bless Your work for Your Name in Japan and elsewhere!”