Babienco Missions

Stories and Updates from Michael and Caitlyn's mission service to Japan
-November 2022-

Our First Mission Coworker

Caitlyn and I (Michael) have always wanted student and short-term missionaries to serve with us after we launched to Japan. We both really enjoyed working for a year in southeast Asia, and we know the impact a single year of missions can have on a project and the missionary who goes to serve. But we never expected God to send someone to serve with us before we even launched!

Under normal circumstances, the launch of a new career missionary unit with Adventist Frontier Missions (AFM) looks something like this: The missionary unit does all their prep work for launch and then attends AFM’s three-month career missionary training in Berrien Springs, MI. During this time, they learn a little bit about how it can look to have a student or short-term missionary at a project. After the first service cycle in the field, usually around three years, career missionaries can apply for one or more short-term missionary positions. The three years give the career missionaries the time and space to learn the language and decide how a short-term worker could benefit the project, where they could live, and other important details.

God clearly had another plan in mind. Before we had even agreed to go serve in Japan, a short-term worker application for service in Japan had arrived at the AFM office from Hiroko Komaki. Hiroko is a Japanese immigrant to the United States who strongly desires to see her people reached for Christ. Because Hiroko already speaks Japanese, knows her way around the country, and has a depth of experience we can use in Japan, AFM has made an exception to the typical short-term worker timeline, and Hiroko will be serving with us soon after we arrive.
From left to right: Michael, Brittany (AFM 2022 summer assistant), Caitlyn, and Hiroko
Hiroko moved to the United States when she was eighteen years old. She spent her career in California working as an adoption social worker. Working for the SDA church is not a new task for her—she has served as a personal ministries leader, prayer ministry leader, primary Sabbath School teacher, teacher for the adult Sabbath School, and various other church positions.

She has also been very involved in helping to minister to the Japanese people. Several years ago, upon discovering that the Amazing Facts Bible studies were not yet completed in Japanese, she took it upon herself to translate all of them. The fact that she didn’t know how to type in Japanese was no deterrent. She accomplished this monumental translation task—and learned to type in Japanese—in only four months!

When Hiroko came to the short-term missionary training this past summer, we quickly learned of her bubbly, sparkly personality, her joy in everyday life, and her love for Jesus and sharing the gospel with others. She is highly dedicated to whatever task she undertakes and is happy to contribute to group discussions—sharing and learning with others—and help teach.

Hiroko will be an invaluable partner as we move to Japan. She will be arriving to work with us soon after we land in Japan, and she will be serving with us for at least one year, if not longer. Because she already knows her way around, she will be able to help us get situated more quickly. Since she already speaks Japanese, she can help us navigate, learn the language, and get settled. God has been so good to us; we were not even thinking about fellow missionaries going with us yet, and God provided one without us even asking! We are so excited to have her as part of our team.
Hiroko, Michael, and Caitlyn at AFM's summer training graduation
Upcoming Speaking Appointments
  • We will speak during vespers at South Bay SDA Church, Chattanooga, TN, on November 19 at 5:00 p.m.
Would you like us to come and speak at your church, vespers, or small group and share about missions, tell mission stories, and talk about the needs of the unreached? Please let us know. We are willing and able to travel!
Praises & Prayer Requests
  • We are incredibly grateful for Hiroko, her prayers, and the support she has given Caitlyn and me as we prepare to go and serve.
  • Caitlyn and I will be busy traveling to Maryland, Tennessee and Ohio this November. Please pray for our safe travel. We also hope to visit somewhere else in the next few months, but more on that later.
  • We are still praying to attend training next year and launch to Japan next fall (2023).
We would love to hear back from you. Always feel free to reach out, ask questions or just let us know how you are doing. You can also give us a call or text at ***.***.****. We would be happy to pray for any requests you might have.

Thanks so much for your support!
Michael & Caitlyn Babienco
Volunteer Missionary Candidates
Adventist Frontier Missions