Established in Japan 1988
Contact me:
Joey Chen
Wood and bamboo house right inside the impregnable jungle in Thaialnd.  A lot of killer mosquitoes, hornets and poisonous snakes.
In January 1988, Tae and I got married and we left YWAM (Youth With A Mission) to form Grace Ministries to reach out to the Japanese people.  Soon we learned that Japan is a spiritually hard ground to break and is best left to the Japanese themselves.  However, an opportunity came in 1995 when we built Grace Garden Chapel in Koriyama, Fukushima.  My wife sold some of her properties and donated US$350,000 towards the building funds. My younger brother Daniel who was the lead engineer together with 5 US carpenters and my wife and I physically and tirelessly built the church from scratch; in the cold bitter winter of early 1995 for six punishing months and of  all the places in the world: Koriyama, Fukushima. Japan.

In March 2011, an earthquake measuring 9.1 magnitude hit Japan killing 17000 Japanese. The church was only 60 kilometer away from nuclear power reactors that were badly damaged by the earthquake.  Grace Garden Chapel is still standing today with some minor cracks here a there. Pastor Sanga and his wife Toyomi and the team there are doing a great job holding  the church together.  Despite the nuclear radiation threats and more earthquakes and frequent aftershocks, they are still standing their ground.  I asked pastor Toyomi soon after the devastating earthquake, ”don’t you want to leave Koriyama with your family to Hiroshima for a while until the situation stabiles?”  ”No, we stay put.”  ”Okay, I respect your decision.” 

GRACE GARDEN CHAPEL is our home church and my wife Tae and I stand our ground as well.  After all, we built the church. There is no ’where else can we go’. There are a lot of places on earth we can run to but what’s the point? I am a die hard typical Singaporean.  But Japanese are much more die hard than me.  More about that some other time.  I live in Japan for donkey years. I have a lot of stories to tell.

Begining 2000, we started focusing our ministry towards South East Asia where there are million of underprivileged people. First, we reach out to the poor refugees in the Thai Burma borders in Thailand.  As of April 2012, we have built two homes right inside the refugees’ camp.  From  our own financial resources; our own piggy bank my wife and I personally went to global house superstore in Kanchanaburi  and bought  the building materials and we designed and built the homes our selves.  My wife and I are well versed in US and Japanese 2 x 4 construction technique. There were no problem and if there is, I would fix it immediately. Friends ask me, ”how do you reach out to them.” I said, ”go live with them. Sleep where they sleep. Eat what they eat. And wash ourselves in the river or lake.” ”are you not afraid of crocodile.” ”I like to swim in the night, crocodile or no crocodile.” ”what about malaria.” ”use newspaper or the zapper made in china for 90 baht; that will do the job.” ”no post office?” ”only a small hospital used to do malaria research but now is taking care of injured refugees from Burma.”  What about elephants and tigers?  They are friendly animals.  We are happy to reach out to the refugees and now with Burma opening up, there will be plenty of  opportunities for Christian ministries in the longer term.  We will move into Burma cautiously taking one step at a time bearing in mind that Burma is still fundamentally a Buddhist nation and the diversity of ethnic minorities is a constant source of  headache  for the central government and any wrong gesture could be potentially dangerous, like the recent Rohingyas and Arakanese conflicts in north west Burma.  Having said that, I have very close friends from both sides.  See video, ”darkie.” in YouTube. Someone asked me why I teach Japanese karate to the children they saw in Youtube.  Why not? To protect themselves against bullies and Burmese soldiers from kidnapping them and use them against their will; and also rape them whether boy or girl and then killing them right after. Chuck Norris is a friend of mine. He is a devout Christian. And he is seven times world karate champion and he teaches karate for a living.  He has fought in the film ”Way Of The Dragon” with another friend of mine: Bruce Lee.  Go, ask Chuck Norris.  I’m sure he has better answer than me. My Youtube channel is "ajangjoeyii" or in Youtube or Google type "New Karate Kids From Burma" or "Escape From Burma".  Enjoy!   

Tae Minagawa

My wife with our lovely daughter Aimee.  Tae is a very good cook, especially Italian and Singapore food.  All our children love her cookings.
Joey Chen

I am a film cameraman and photographer by training.  I am also a karate exponent for more than 50 years. Now I am passing my skills to our children in Thailand.  I give them the fishing rots and they do the fishing themselves.  I love to write short stories.

Our children waved goodbye as we were leaving for Japan.