Missionary Mary Taylor was sent to Japan by Bethel Temple in 1950. She started a church in Hamura City. There she met a Korean Christian (named) Chin, who introduced her to Tamura-san, who was also living in the Mizuho area, close to Mary’s house. So, Mary began home meetings at Tamura-san’s house. At one of these meetings, Pastor Megumi Tanabe was saved upon hearing the scripture, “I am the light of the world.” She was 30 years old. Since then Pastor Tanabe preached the gospel with missionary Taylor. She was involved in Japan missions from 1950 to 1953.
Missionary Mary Taylor preached Jesus with unconditional love of God to the Japanese people who were living in the devastation after World War II. Despite living in poverty, she voluntarily continued street evangelism for the sake of the gospel. She was the instrument of God’s love, giving up her dream to become an actress, and giving herself fully to God as a missionary for Japan.
After her, missionaries Manfred and Hope Askew came to Japan from Bethel Temple. The foundation of the church was established by the couple and the buildings of the church and the kindergarten were completed in 1955. Christian education for young children was started in Mizuho are at that time.
The Askews utilized tents set up on unused land for their evangelical meetings. Many people attended these meetings. Many of these people were spiritually very hungry, and they would gather in the church without being called.
Mr. and Mrs. Askew’s oldest son Donald, who later died in a car accident, and Mitsuyasu Fujita, a future pastor (and currently pastor of Next Town Mission of Japan), were saved at these meetings. Their oldest daughter, Ruth Naomi Askew-Edwards, got married and is presently living in the US state of Texas.
Mizuho Nozomi Kindergarten, which was built on the church property, has seen more than 1,463 children pass through its doors since 1955. The name “Nozomi”, which means “Hope” in Japanese, was adopted from Hope M. Askew’s name. Tanabe-sensei is pictured here second from right.
Mizuho (Bethel) Christ Church celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010. The old buildings, including the kindergarten and the church, were torn down, and a new church incorporating a kindergarten was built.
Below is a picture of the original Mizuho (Bethel ) Christ Church building and congregation in the 1950s.
(Japanese) webpage address for Mizuho Nozomi Kindergarten: http://kibounoniwanozomi.blog19.fc2.com/
(Japanese) Facebook address for Mizuho Nozomi Kindergarten: https://www.facebook.com/pages/瑞穂のぞみ幼稚園/142610209139452
Source: Japan Bethel Mission History