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Photo of the Boyle family.

Read letters from Tim and Juji Boyle

January 2010

Tim and Juji Boyle

Tim and Juji ended mission service with the PC(USA) in 2010.

Tim and Juji Boyle were first appointed to serve in Japan in 1982 by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a joint appointment with the United Methodist Church. Since October, 2007, they have been in the Osaka-Kobe area, where Tim is assigned to the Buraku Liberation Center in Osaka and Juji to the Shin’ai Home in Kobe.

The ministry of the Buraku Liberation Center involves human rights and discrimination issues, focusing on a kind of caste-like discrimination within Japanese society that has marginalized and victimized a group of people based entirely on their lineage from those who were considered outcasts in feudal Japan. Tim’s ministry is to communicate the plight of these people to the international community and facilitate cooperation with ministries in other countries dealing with similar issues.

First on the agenda was the revival of the newsletter, Crowned With Thorns, which hasn’t been published since the death of the previous missionary in 1999. Tim hopes to build a Web site in English for the BLC in the near future. 

On first arriving in Japan in 1982, Tim served as the pastor of a small rural church on the northern island of Hokkaido. In 1986, the Boyles moved to their next assignment in Tsukuba Science City, just north of Tokyo.

They worked in Tsukuba for 21 years through the Tsukuba Christian Center, a community center run by the United Church of Christ in Japan with which both PC(USA) and the UMC (and several others) cooperate.

Writing and publishing has been a big part of Tim’s work over the years. In 1994, Tim wrote a book in Japanese “on the origins of many Chinese characters and how their makeup fits in so beautifully with basic biblical truths” that was in bookstores all over Japan. The English version was released in 2001 under the title, Bible Stories Hidden In Chinese Characters. The Japanese version was republished in an updated version last year and is selling well.

Another important part of Tim’s work has been to bring together the worlds of Christian faith and modern science. Tim works closely with a ministry in the United States founded by the Christian astronomer, Dr. Hugh Ross, which tries to advance the gospel by presenting the overwhelming evidence of divine design in the universe. Ross’s ministry, which is called “Reasons To Believe,” is headquartered in Pasadena, California. It is dedicated to answering the doubts of skeptics while strengthening the faith of believers through the world of science. Tim is heading up an effort to put these materials in Japanese and reach those with a scientific background through this particular tool. The Reason to Believe Web site includes a chapter page on Japan, and the Japanese website of the organization includes an English site with numerous articles. While his writings will now focus on human rights issues, he will continue “science apologetics” as time allows.

Another project Tim has helped get off the ground is the Japanese branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization dedicated to giving children with life-threatening diseases and their families a ray of hope and happiness by granting them a wish. Tim serves on the board of directors and handles communications with the international organization.

Tim also serves as the official representative for the “Southern Presbyterian Mission in Japan,” the legal entity under which the Yodogawa Christian Hospital in Osaka operates. He thus serves on the board of directors of this important ministry as well.

The Boyles feel called to work with Japanese Christians to help them share their witness Christ with their own people. They do this in a variety of ways, including giving sermons and occasional seminars in local churches. As Juji has had to spend so much time in the hospital with her own health problems, she has also developed an important hospital ministry, often counseling other patients and giving them the kind of understanding and support that only a fellow patient can. Her new work at the Shin’ai Home in Kobe will focus on counseling patients and their families, and she expects to develop similar ministries in other hospital settings as well.

Tim earned a B.S. in physics from Arizona State University in Tempe and an M.Div. and D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. From 1976 to 1978, he was the part-time Japanese language pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Altadena, California, and from 1978 to 1982 he was bilingual pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Santa Maria, California. He is a member of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Juji is a native of Sapporo, Japan. After completing dental assistant training, she worked as a dental assistant in Sapporo and later from 1976 to 1978 was a sales manager in Los Angeles, California. She is a member of the United Church of Christ in Japan.

Tim and Juji are the parents of two adult daughters, Lisa Megumi and Jennifer Mari. Lisa now lives in Minneapolis, where she is working as an acupuncturist. Jennifer works in Tokyo at an English school to save up money to attend graduate school in art.

Juji - July 5
Tim - August 5
Lisa - November 30
Jennifer - October 28