Reaching Every Niche and Cranny of the World
October 2023
Below you will find a story from Shira Walker, a new missionary that's currently raising support to go to Japan. Shira uses her "geekiness" to connect with others and share the love of Jesus. She has found her niche calling to send a message to those who enjoy what she enjoys.

By Shira Walker, a SEND missionary to Japan | Asia

I recently went up to Los Angeles County to serve at the Jesus Otaku Booth at AnimeExpo. AnimeExpo is one of the largest anime conventions in North America. This year there were about 160,000 attendees over the four-day event.

You may have noticed a strange word in the name of our booth, “Otaku”. Otaku is a Japanese word for someone who has a deep interest or obsession with something - like a very intense hobby. In Japan, they use the term otaku for lots of different hobbies, for example, someone who really likes trains might be a “train otaku”. Outside of Japan, people who are otaku are fans of anime and Japanese culture. Many people in the otaku community tend to be more introverted, struggling...

with identity issues or mental health. Anime has a strong draw for people who are outcasts. Jesus always showed his love and took time to reach out to the outcasts. I hope that we can follow his example and share his love with those who might otherwise feel rejected and lost.

It was my second year helping at the Jesus Otaku booth where we had free activities, live art drawing inspired by the psalms and giveaway materials. We were so encouraged by the many people who came to our booth. We gave out all of our art books and even had some people asking for prayer. We had an amazing team and I love serving in this ministry because, as someone who was introduced to Japanese culture through anime, I love being able to use my geekiness to serve God and reach out to this community that so desperately needs Jesus’ love, hope and truth. 

Maybe this missionary's story has encouraged you to take your next step on your missions journey. Whether it's giving, going, or sending, we’d love to talk with you about it and help you send the message of Jesus to the world!


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