We are the Kuehne family. We have been missionaries in Japan for the past 12 years. This year, we’ve moved from northern Japan (Fukushima) to Oita, down on the southern island of Kyushu. We’ve come alongside a YWAM team to launch a new Christian International School: Hinoki Academy. Hinoki Academy is a K-9 nature school. We spend two days a week in English, two in Japanese, and one day outside in nature. It’s a lovely, healthy place with passionate teachers and a small growing number of energetic kids!
Japanese public schools are healthy places for many children. But there can be struggles such as:
-Higher rates of mental illness and suicide than other developed nations
-Hikikomori, where some children or people choose to stop leaving their homes because of the pressures to succeed or fit in
-Bullying, where other students may turn against or exclude a child who doesn’t conform
Our students will spend time in nature, hear about God, read lots of good books, grow as artists, dig into mathematical problem solving, and learn science and history through living books and hands on activities. They will be stretched and challenged just the right amount to blossom and grow, and be taught gently and with sensitivity if they need to heal.
We want to be “good soil” for Japanese and international children (Matthew 13:8). This includes the students who are struggling and need a different system to thrive. It also includes students who are not struggling but whose families have a God-given longing for something different. Some will recognize that longing as a longing for the Kingdom of God and some will not have even heard of the Kingdom of God when they come to us. But we pray that all the children who come to our school will experience the King and learn that the longing for life that is inside them is truly a longing for Him.
Hinoki Academy is committed to keeping costs low enough to be accessible to a wide number of students. They will provide us with a living wage once we have at least 15 students. A portion of our salary is to be fundraised even after we have hit this benchmark. We are hoping and praying for a small group of supporters we can share our joys and struggles with.
Whether you can contribute financially or not, if our ministry is on your heart, we would love you on our prayer team! Our successes are also the successes of our supporters. We can’t do it alone.
Thank you for reading this and for standing with us!
The Kuehne Family