FAQs

Q: Will your church be on the military base?

A: Military churches are independent local Baptist churches established on the countries economy and are not regulated as military chapels and can function as indigenous churches.

Q:  Are you in the military?

A: We do not serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Both Jesse and Lynne were military dependents for a large part of their life. Jesse’s father, Rusty Pilalas, served in the USAF for 22 years. Lynne’s father, Ed Navato, served his country faithfully for 20 years in the USMC. Both Rusty and Ed are now missionaries to the military.

Q: Will you have to learn Japanese?

A: It is not necessary to learn Japanese to reach the U.S. military. However, we will learn Japanese as well as we can while effectively reaching the military. Our priority is to reach the U.S. military, but we will have opportunities to witness to Japanese individuals and want to know enough of the Japanese language to do so.

Q: Will you live on a military base?

A: Because we are not in the military, we do not qualify for base housing.

Q: Where exactly will you be serving?

A: Faith Baptist Church, Misawa Air Base, Northern Japan.

Q: What is the population at Misawa Air Base?

A: The population on base is about 12,000. That population fluctuates and thousands rotate through every year.

Q: What is the population off-base in Misawa, Japan?

A: The civilian population of nationals is about 42,000.

Q: What is the main religion where you will be serving?

A: The religious beliefs of the U.S. military are as varied as the religions you would find in the United States, with the exception of religions that do not believe in defending our country. As for the Japanese nationals, Buddhism, Shintoism, and ancestry worship are commonly practiced.

Q: How open is the Japanese government to military missionaries?

A: It is easy for BIMI missionaries to obtain “religious” visas that are good for 1-3 years. The visas are also easy to renew. Pray the Lord protects the open door the Pilalas’ have been blessed with.

Q: How is military missions different from “traditional” missions?

A:  “Traditional” missionaries stay in one location until a national pastor can be trained to take over the work; the missionary then moves to a different location to begin another work. Military missionaries routinely stay at one church in one location while service members rotate through the nearby base every 1-3 years.

Q: What is the biggest challenge of military missions?

A: Because of the nature of the military personnel are relocated on a regular basis. The mobile life of the military means we have a limited window of time to reach each individual that is stationed for only a few years at the base.

Q: What are some of the blessings of military missions?

A: Military men and women have chosen a proffesion of service. The heart has been prepared to give whole heartedly to a cause, because of this military members won to the Lord are open and submissive to the Lord’s will. Hundreds of people in full-time Christian service are former military personnel and were saved through military missions.

Q: Can you go door-knocking on-base?

A: Door-knocking is not permitted on the base, but we can witness door to door at the off-base housing neighborhoods. We can also obtain passes to visit people on the base if they gave us their address. There are other ways to witness to the military members such as approaching them as we see them off-base.


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