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Short-term missionaries visit Japan

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Contributed photo Silver Hills Community Church short-term missionary team members, from left, Andy Getas, Kathryn Etcheverria, Erin Etcheverria, Mandy Fleming, Becca Fleming, (back row) Chris Moore and Dave Moore, recently returned from a trip to Tokyo, Japan.
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Silver Hills Community Church has supported music missionaries Ken and Bola Taylor for the past 13 years.

The Taylors are jazz musicians from the Philippines who came to faith in Jesus Christ, with God calling them into mission to reach Japan for Christ. They began the Hallelujah Gospel Choirs in Tokyo.

Seven short-term missionaries from Silver Hills Community Church recently left Carson City for Tokyo. During their stay, the Silver Hills team preached and sang in two churches, performing four concerts in shopping malls and in front of performance halls.

There are more than 25 choirs in the Tokyo area with more than 300 members of not-yet-Christians. Twice a year, these choirs come together for a mass musical performance. On June 21, the Hallelujah Gospel Family of Choirs gave a performance in Tokyo.

The Silver Hills team joined the Gospel Family of Choirs for that performance. During their two weeks in Japan, they participated in gospel worships throughout the city lead by Gospel Singer Ray Sidney from Long Beach, Calif.. Each choir is community-based and supported by a local church.

In charge of the Continental Worship Band, member Andy Getas – a drummer since the age of 9 – led the short-term missionary group.

Getas participated in a similar mission to Mexico with the church.

“I enjoyed it, by all means,” Getas said. “The first thing they (Japanese couple) offered was a Japanese bath. It was very nice.

“You wash off first then get in the tub with jasmine.”

Of the couple, the wife, Masumi, spoke English well and has been to the United States several times. Her husband spoke no English.

“It was a long Sunday, but in the bath you relaxed for 30-40 minutes. She cooked and served the meal right there at the table.”

Getas said the missionaries share in each other’s cultures when these trips are made.

“The church has been to North Africa, too,” he said. “Pastor Ben’s (Fleming) heart is to be in the missions field and minister the word of God.”

The team included Kathryn Etcheverria, Erin Etcheverria, Dave Moore, Chris Moore, Becca Fleming, Mandy Fleming and team leader Getas.

God is using Black gospel music to reach the Japanese for Christ. Each choir member signs up to participate in the choir and Ken Taylor uses the opportunity to explain to them the meaning of what they are singing.

“I am literally preaching to the choir,” Taylor said.

During their mission, the older members of the Silver Hills team participated in a retirement workshop in churches where they each spoke and encouraged the Japanese to be used by God in their older years and become servants to find meaning in life through serving. Each person was able to stay in the home of a choir member for one night. On the last Sunday, they spoke and ministered a church lead by Pastor Kawasaki who later took them to an ancient Samurai School and to the top of a government building where they prayed over the city.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.