Konnichiwa, ya’ll. We’re the Saunders (Jeff, Katie, Emerie) and hail from Memphis, TN. We now live in Tokyo, Japan and serve with Mission to the World on a Church-planting team in the city’s center. Our desire is to work to the end of seeing rich renewal movements take shape here in the largest and one of the most unreached cities in the world.

A little about us… we both came to faith very early in life and had seeds of God’s call to the mission field planted throughout our early high school years. We met lifeguarding at a local YMCA and got married 3 years later (with a comfortable 104° temp outside). After a year in Knoxville as Katie finished school (Go Vols!) we moved to St. Louis where Jeff began the Master of Divinity program at Covenant Theological Seminary (Go…?).

About a year into the seminary process that call to serve abroad began to take shape and became more specific. Through conversations, meetings, and lots of sushi, God stirred up a desire in both of us to labor in a context very very different than our own. It was a crazy journey, but we are so thankful for the confidence and passion that has grown in us “to preach Christ where He has not been named” (Romans 15:20-21).

Things we already love about Tokyo (more to be added soon!):

The Beauty: There is an aesthetic emphasis that is impossible to miss. Every restaurant and shop are organized “just so” with close attention to detail and design. The Japanese keep their streets immaculately clean and have some of the most gorgeous parks you have ever seen.

The People: The Japanese people care deeply about their communal relationships. It’s in their bones to have close relationships and take care of each other. Even the subway is a picture of that, as strangers help each other fit into crowded cars or obediently follow directions to “stand” and “walk” on opposite sides.

The Tokyo Culture: As ones attracted to large cities, we absolutely adore the simple enormity of Tokyo. The endless exploration opportunities excite us daily. The food culture here is known all over the world as one of the best, and there are museums, bookstores, and galleries galore. Not to mention the tiny back alleys with 5-seat restaurants and tiny shops.