Phil & Debbie Melton
We celebrated 34 years as missionaries to Japan (With EBM originally, since 1984) in July. Although I have lived in Japan since 1965, it was in 1987 that Debbie and I left for the field for the first time as a family. Being the son of a missionary and growing up in Japan, I already knew the Japanese language and so we were able to immediately delve into a ministry of church planting.
We have been actively involved in church planting through camps, community English classes, adoption ministries, sports tournaments, civic speaking engagements, and college and high school instruction opportunities, international ministries, Christian school education, and construction. We sponsor Bible University classes, providing discipleship opportunities for new believers and growing Christians alike. We have had numerous opportunities to travel overseas to speak and teach. We have also established and continue to build Camp Raphayada, a 120 person Christian campground.
Debbie serves as hospitality director, music coordinator, facilitator for the Latreia Intl. Christian Academy, and chief cook at Camp Raphayada. We have six grown children. Stephanie (in Japan, the mother of our six granddaughters and one grandson, married to Kyohei who is also serving with us as pastor in Seki), Danielle (married, one son, one daughter, living in the states), Sharon (married and teaching in Japan), Nathan (a recent pastoral studies graduate of BJU, married in summer, 2104, two children, and planning to return to Japan as a missionary), and remaining children Natalie (married and living in Japan) and Andrew (who, after joining the Marines and working as a sheriff deputy and studying in South Carolina, now lives in Japan working at Costco).
The goal of our immediate ministry is to finish construction at Camp Raphayada and right now to finish construction for our international church ministry and new church plant in Sakahogi.