Renee served on staff at The Church On The Way for 16 years prior to being sent to the mission field in Japan. She then served for 10 years at the Hirosaki Zion Foursquare Church in Aomori Prefecture, situated on the very northern tip of the main island of Honshu.
When a Japanese national pastor was provided for the church in Hirosaki in 2013, she was reassigned to Sapporo, on the northernmost island of Hokkaido. While serving at a Foursquare church in Sapporo, she especially enjoyed working with youth and young adults, sharing with them that they were created for a purpose. Each year, over 30,000 people commit suicide in Japan. She wants to help change that statistic.
While serving in Sapporo, she continued doing Heart-Care recovery workshops with the victims of the March 2011 tsunami, traveling 15 hours by car and ferry each way. In 2018, she moved to the tsunami devastation area and opened the Watermelon Cafe.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Renee has been serving in Japan since 2003, and began doing relief work and Heart-Care ministry in the tsunami devastation area after the March 11, 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake. In 2018, she opened Cafe Suika (Watermelon Cafe) in the town of Taro (Iwate Prefecture), to offer a gathering place for people displaced by the destructive tsunami. People of all ages come to the cafe for American-style sweets and coffee, and to see all the brightly colored watermelon decorations. She shares the Gospel through the image of a watermelon: the black seeds represent sin; the red fruit represents the blood of Jesus; the white inner rind represents a clean heart after receiving Jesus' forgiveness; and the green rind represents growing in Christ. Her desire is to share God’s love with all those who visit the Watermelon Cafe.