Our Missionaries

Our Missionaries

The Gelsthorpe Family


We are Mark, Sarah, Grace (12), Isaac (10) and Caleb (7) Gelsthorpe.

We are originally from the UK but moved to Japan in 2014 to train and work as church-planters with OMF (https://omf.org/asia/japan/). We spent two years in Sapporo learning Japanese full time and now live and work in Hanamaki, a small city in Tohoku, northern Japan.

Working with OMF in northern Japan

Despite strong growth in the church in neighbouring Korea and China, Japan remains resistant to the gospel. In our city of 100,000 people we estimate only 100-200 are Christians. But living in Japan as a foreigner presents great opportunities for the gospel. Many Japanese people are very interested in learning about our culture and learning English and as we tell them about these things we often have a natural opportunity to tell them about Jesus.

Please pray for us

1. That God will guide us to those who He wants to save in Hanamaki.
2. That those who hear the gospel each week at church events will listen and ask God for forgiveness.
3. That we will have joy in our ministry that points to the Lord.

We work at Hanamaki Grace Church (https://hanamaki-megumi.org/) under the guidance of two more experienced missionary couples. We help to run English classes for kids and adults with a gospel message at the end. Mark preaches and teaches at bible studies.


An important part of our ministry is trying to meet as many people as possible so we are playing football, teaching at an orphanage and meeting local mums in the hope of building relationships that God can use to draw people to himself.

Gelsthorpe Family