Sanford and Emiko Taborn
About Sanford and Emiko Taborn's ministry
Sanford and Emiko Taborn have been reappointed as mission specialists in Japan by request of the United Church of Christ in Japan. Sanford teaches English at Kinjo Gakuin University and Emiko provides ministry from the home. Sanford has served in Japan as an educator since 1973.
Japan is the world’s third largest producer of goods and services in the world and the fourth largest importer and exporter. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japanese workers enjoy a high standard of living. More than 127 million people live in Japan, making it the 10th most populous country in the world. Most people in Japan consider themselves adherents of Shintoism, Buddhism or both. Fewer than 1 percent are Christian.
About Sanford and Emiko Taborn
Sanford is a native of Roanoke, Virginia, and attended Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, his mother’s church, in his early years. However, through the strong influence of his beloved grandfather, a Baptist minister, he became a member of High Street Baptist Church. He received his B.A. degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and his M.A. degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He was a reporter for the Times-World Corporation in Roanoke before moving to Japan.
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Emiko is a native of Okinawa, Japan. She says, “I come from a family that worships ancestors’ spirits, but most of the religious events were more like customs to me. From 1979 to 1989 I worked at Okinawa Christian School, a nondenominational Christian school, and I was the only non-Christian employee when I was hired. I sometimes felt like being an oddball at work, and I’ve felt uncomfortable when someone tried to force Christianity on me. Fortunately, I had a colleague who let me ask her questions about Christianity freely and answered me patiently.” Emiko professed her faith and was baptized in 1984. She received an associate degree in English from Okinawa Christian Junior College and studied at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama.
Sanford: May 21
Emiko: November 12