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Every 5 seconds a child dies of hunger.

Bread for the World

134 million children between the ages of 7 to 18 have never been to school.

Care International

1 out of every 4 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.

The Water Project

Our Vision

Whenever you have helped the least of these my brothers, you have helped me."

-- Matthew 25:40

Our Mission to Serve

Christian service is the foundation upon which JELA was established in 1909. At that time, Lutheran missionaries had come to Japan to fulfill a deeply felt commitment to reach out and help people in need, through the building of schools, orphanages and homes for the elderly. These early missionaries were ambassadors who served as teachers, counselors, caregivers and mentors.

This service continues today, but with a different focus. Now that the Japanese Lutheran church is developed, Japanese themselves are engaged in global mission service. Each year JELA sponsors a team of youth who travel to the United States to help repair the homes of the elderly poor. Another service initiative is the sending of young adults to help make artificial limbs at a rural village east of Mumbai, India. Recently, another group of young Japanese Christians journeyed to Cambodia to assist in the construction of a 5-classroom primary school. Still others have served as volunteer teachers at educational projects in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Finally, committed Japanese Christians have played key roles in volunteering when natural disasters hit the Asia Pacific region. This included volunteers to help in Thailand after the devastating tsunami struck of 2006.

Of course, service to help within Japan continues as well, as volunteers are engage in specialized service. In 2006, the JELA Foundation launched the start of a harp ministry training program known as Lyra Precaria, in which participants are taught to minister at the bedside of the terminally ill through voice and harp. Another domestic project involves the care of refugees who have come to Japan to seek a new life free from persecution based on race, religion or political affiliation.

JELA’s service to society can be described as growing and ever-changing as we seek to respond to the needs of people in Japan, the United States, Cambodia, Brazil and India. The continued support of donors throughout the world enable JELA to fulfill this call to Christian service.