Tom Miyashiro is the founder of From Faith 2 Faith, which ministers on the mission field of New England on the East Coast of the United States. His ministry focuses on youth centered, community-based outreach, and partnership with the local church. Today, you will be inspired as you listen to the story of everything God has done through his ministry.
Learn More: https://www.f2fmi.org/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus Today. I have a very special guest with me, TTom Miyashiro.
Tom Miyashiro (00:11):
You got it
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:12):
From a great ministry on the East coast of the United States called Faith to Faith. That’s it. Thank you so much for joining me on the Evangelism Podcast. It’s a
Tom Miyashiro (00:21):
Lot of fun to be here in Africa.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:23):
Yeah, we are here together in Kenya, Africa, in the city of Murang’a. We have been here for several days already, and today is the, the third day of the festival. We had a little bit of rain yesterday and so we were a little disappointed with the size of the crowd. But today the sun is out, the sun is shining, and they’ve just started the festival. They just sent us a picture. It looks like there’s already a lot of people there and you’re giving, and as soon as we’re get done with this tonight, we’re gonna go over there and
Tom Miyashiro (00:57):
The gospel and you’re gonna, you’re gonna rip it up tonight, right? Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:59):
You’re the guy. Absolutely Awesome. Amen. Alright, so let’s let’s talk a little bit about Faith to Faith. Sure. Tell me about the ministry. Who are you, what do you guys do?
Tom Miyashiro (01:09):
Faith to Faith is 22 years old. I started it when I was 19 and we like to say we’re spreading the gospel through youth centered, community-based outreach and partnership with the church. So what does that mean? It means for a good chunk of the last 20 years, I didn’t travel that much. I worked in one community as a community evangelist, and I tried to work with the same group of pastors over and over and over again. So it’s only been recently that I’ve come further out from that space. So
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:46):
Which community have you focused on over these years?
Tom Miyashiro (01:50):
Well I’m from the New England States. Well, I’m from Connecticut, which is one of the six New England states. But in recent years there’s been some good data to suggest that New England is one of the least reached places in our country. And so as an evangelist it just makes sense to just dig my heels in and try and be part of the solution to the sliding decline in Christianity in the Northeast.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:18):
So you’re really on a mission field there. And what attitudes do you run into when you start talking about the gospel?
Tom Miyashiro (02:29):
Well, the Northeast is pretty liberal. I, I would say that Connecticut specifically is fiscally conservative and socially incredibly liberal. So so it is the people, you know, in some ways feel conservative and New Englanders tend to be closed. It’s not always been known as the friendliest of places. And we speak the language of sarcasm as our dialect.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:58):
No, <laugh> are you sure?
Tom Miyashiro (03:01):
So so it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, the average size church in New England is between 50 and 150 people. Now, there’s exceptions to the rules. Major cities like Boston and Greater New York, some, some parts of Connecticut are considered part of Greater New York, which we consider them the exception to the rule. But a lot of pastors in the Northeast are bi-vocational. They have to work two jobs, not unlike Old England. You know, there’s a lot of similarities in the way that you do ministry there. Very, it can be very challenging.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (03:36):
And so how have you as an evangelist come alongside some of the local pastors and local churches and help to strengthen then and then help them to reach out to their communities?
Tom Miyashiro (03:50):
Wellearly in faith to Faith, I was a missionary to England and I found that if there was any more, anywhere more difficult than living in New England, it would be that Old England. So I worked there and and did ministry there and did some education there and learned about how the UK has adjusted itself to not the Christian Church not really being valued or appreciated or relevant to culture. And actually one of the guys on this mission, Ben Jack, he’s part of that story and the organization he works for kind of saw the way the, the missions community was innovating to make Christianity relevant again to the next generation. And I thought, wow, if we could bring some of these ideas back to the United States, that would be really good for, for us. So I started importing as many of these ideas into the US as I could particularly to do with public schools ministry because in America we have the separation of church and state.
In England, the church and state is one, so they can do a whole lot of stuff in schools. Now granted you can’t proselytize in same as America, but you could actually tell the whole Christian story in school. It’s not a problem. So you could do quite a lot there. When we come back into the US context, you know, we left England to have religious freedom and yet I can’t talk about Jesus in school. It doesn’t make much sense. But we had to find ways to creatively engineer schools programming so we could still be there and still have relationships with students whilst finding a way to get the gospel to them. So it took, instead of doing things in one swift movement, we had to create steps, next steps, lots of next steps to like, create pathways for young people to engage us in school and out of school. This is the bulk of my career doing that. So
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (05:53):
Yeah, now sometimes it’s not easy to stay faithful to the calling of an evangelist. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And yesterday you and I were talking about a very tragic situation mm-hmm. <Affirmative> in the early years of your ministry. Sure. Tell me about your wife going to heaven and what that was like going through that and, and how you dealt with that. Yeah. And, and then what God has brought you through and into now.
Tom Miyashiro (06:22):
Yeah. So Amy was from England and we got married young 2001. And I started the ministry very shortly after us coming together. And and I followed her back to England. So that’s kind of the early years when we moved back to the United States, it wasn’t very long after that that she was diagnosed with a pretty rare form of brain cancer and speeding through, ’cause she was sick for four years, speeding through kind of the early trauma of all of that. When we landed back home in Connecticut, the local church heard about our story and, and I got to see the best side of the church for in one in this case, and churches in the county that I lived like within a radius of our house. As they heard about the story, everybody just started stepping up and helping us. And I felt very indebted and very very thankful for all those leaders. And I didn’t cheat on her. I didn’t run out and divorce her. Like I stayed with her till the end. It wasn’t,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:34):
And it was very difficult because
Tom Miyashiro (07:35):
It was very difficult.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:37):
She’s laying there in your house.
Tom Miyashiro (07:39):
Yep. four years of brain cancer, which means 11 brain surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy experimental treatments, sometimes simultaneously. So I was a full-time carer as well as trying to do evangelism in the community. And the community didn’t really know how to help us specifically. So in some ways faith to faith kind of bolstered itself up because people could see they could support me in that and that was helping her. And so that’s kind of when Faith to Faith got rooted and probably would’ve taken me a lifetime to build those relationships in a different, like, just in a natural kind of way. It aged my relationships with church leaders in a, a really productive way. And so especially you know, in that last year of her life we were full on shut-ins and she was paralyzed on one side of her body and I had to pretty much do everything for her.
But in return, after she’d passed away, I really dug my heels in to my community and tried to pay back the debt of love by using my evangelistic skillset to, and applied it within a local church context within a community of churches, you know, not just, and not just the community of churches, the community at large. And what happens when an evangelist has a very short leash? Well, I was a police chaplain, which means I had full mil police dress, a key card to the station access to ride with any officer in the city. I had keys to the public school and a master password to the power school database and could recall any records on any student in the vicinity in the city. I had access to the mayor’s office, I had access to community foundation dollars, I had access to all the local banks that partnered with me.
And really, it’s an issue of just being known and knowing people. And I stuck around long enough and served long enough for all that stuff to really matter. So within the community we saw that wow, if evangelist doesn’t itinerate heavily and really finds a way to partner with the local church it brings a spice to a region that is just not, like, churches don’t typically have that spice. And when the church really partners together, and it’s not just a one time seasonal thing, but a repeat, a repeat event, you know, it’s like this is the way we all do church. It’s a really nice relationship. And you know, in these last five or six years, we started getting calls from other communities asking me if I could do it there as well. And I was like, no, because there’s one of me and I can only be a member of one community, but I’m willing to come and like, see what kind of pieces you have in the community and see if there’s anything transferrable for your area that you can do. And if you commit to doing it, then I’ll walk with you a little bit. But inevitably you fall in love with people. So I have like little homes I stay in, in different regions and I come in and I call churches together and we walk through a process and we talk and we pray. And it’s not the same in every community, but there’s the same components.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:06):
Talk to me about that process. What are some of the components of helping build community in mm-hmm. <Affirmative> a particular community? Yeah. Between the churches and then to get the church to have a heart for evangelism.
Tom Miyashiro (11:22):
I like to talk about it is like the life cycle of evangelism. And, and it, and it is cyclical, just like breathing. And I think that a lot of times either evangelists or people who love evangelism or people who are put off by it catch the cycle and in, and it’s always in rhythm with itself, but where they are in their walk with the Lord may not be in sync with the rhythm of the community and they try and force it. So like, it’s almost like trying to take a double inhale or a double exhale. All, all you do is inhale, you’re gonna suffocate and all you do is exhale. You’re gonna suffocate. So either way it doesn’t work out for you if you only like one thing, but if you figure out the rhythm of the community and where they’re at in the life cycle of evangelism and you pay attention and then jump into where they are in their breathing pattern, you can move them towards mobilization for a season of harvest and then recovery and then repeat the process again and again and again, just like the seasons.
So usually there’s a a period of time where a community is pre mobilization, where like things are disconnected and maybe that’s a result of job changes, like pastors retiring or getting a new job and leaving the area. Or even in government and things like that. Like just being attention to like, it seems to happen more than once. It’s not just one guy doing it. It seems like there’s several key people all transitioning at the same time. That seems like a bad period of time to try and like push people into some kind of evangelistic effort. Like there’s a lot of transitions. You sort of have to reestablish baseline of relationships, call people together, be generous to them, and buy a lot of food and just create an environment where people can just be friends. Yeah. We miss that step sometimes in evangelism and just want to get to the good stuff.
And that can be a long season. Berkshire County, which is Western Mass, I’ve been stewarding a pastor’s network there for I think about seven years. And I have a unique role in that community because I actually am the facilitator, like the founder of the network as the evangelist, which I’m always ready to go, but they’re not ready to go and being patient and allowing them to raise their own temperature for evangelism, it’s a very slow and painful and disciplined process. Seven years and we still haven’t gone for it yet, what’s going on? But but sprinkling in activities that move them closer together, like National Day of Prayer, something on the calendar already that I can give them to give them a little boost. Like, see you can do something together. Okay then now let’s debrief that. Take a break, have some food, relax, no pressure, and then try again.
You know? So but it takes patience. And some communities are further along, like they already have a pastor’s network. They’ve been praying together for a while and you walk into a moving situation where like they’re gonna do something, anything. And you just happen to be the excuse that walked into the room that’s gonna make it relevant for go time. Those are fun places to walk into. Most evangelists roam the earth looking for communities in that phase. And and that’s a lot of fun ’cause you can just roll in with your textbook playbook and give them things to do and they will rock. And then you can take pictures and say, look what we did for the Lord. And then the final phase is sort of like this recovery phase, which sometimes evangelists to leave town too early and they don’t stick around to celebrate and help reset the program.
Thank everybody, thank people, and maybe even reward them and offer them rest. ’cause Like a lot of times even in the church world, even in church volunteerism, it’s like, well, Sundays are coming, so take Monday off, do something. ’cause We gotta do this all over again. And I think that’s why people burn out. They don’t have ample time to recover before you ask the next big ask. So I think being with the community through that celebration and recovery period makes them more willing to say yes as the cycle moves towards mobilization for the next season of harvest.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:53):
Yeah. Now recently you have started doing some things in Poland and now Ukraine. Yeah. Talk to me about that. ’cause That’s very different than, than Oh yeah, Eastern United States. You’re going into Eastern Europe now, you know
Tom Miyashiro (16:08):
We’ve been there actually for a long time, but the result of it is actually still community based. Our young people started growing up. Some of them came to work for the ministry, some of them graduated and went off to Bible college. Some of them started ministries of their own and some of them sort of graduated the faith to faith world and jumped into bigger ministries. And one young man who you’ve met on this trip as well, grew up in the ministry. I mean, he, I’ve known him as far back as maybe 15 years old. And when he got to age 18, he asked to meet me at a Starbucks and I assist one guy, no staff yet. And he comes in with a briefcase, puts it on the table, there’s nothing in it except one piece of paper. And he slides it across the table and says I think there’s many ways I can help you build your ministry <laugh>.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:06):
And I’m like,
Tom Miyashiro (17:07):
Oh, really? Young man, <laugh>. And he walks me through his strategic plan for how he thinks he can help me build faith to faith. I said, sounds great, let’s do it. And he was my first employee. Wow. but as God stirred his heart and his passion he’d done a church mission trip to Poland and he felt led to go and he asked for some time, then he asked for more time, then he asked for like a year. And I’m like, okay, this is ridiculous. I can’t have an employee gone for a year, but for some reason I’d let it go. And he went and and then it just like turned into this vibrant community-based thing over there. And it wasn’t me doing it, it was him and he built his own network and us working together. Like he figured out it’s not like he figured out his own way completely. Like he did it the faith to faith way, but he did it through his own personality and his own. And he’s not an evangelist. That’s what’s interesting about him. He’s more of a missions director, but he still like, rallied the community, did evangelism. And I was like, well that’s, well, I guess that’s what multiplication looks like. And he’s been doing that for 12 years now, so Wow. Amazing. Amazing to watch him develop. And now here, even on this trip, we have seven
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:24):
So what’s his name? It’s Kyle.
Tom Miyashiro (18:26):
Kyle Uba. Yeah. And he’s on this trip, but seven other young leaders on this trip accompany me here in Kenya. And the concept is that we do it all over again, again and we expose these young bucks to the world of evangelism, get them hungry, and then find a way to release them into the stratosphere.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:48):
Tom Miyashiro (18:48):
Awesome. So it’s a fun time and you get, you’ve gotten to be part of this. You got to speak into the life of David and Alan and Nick Hurst and, and others that have come on the street.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:58):
Yeah. You brought some real quality young guys that I really see God’s hand on them. I really love talking about evangelism coaching. And you’ve been doing that recently, especially with the ministry of Nick Hall. Yep. pulse, they had a Pulse 100, which was a hundred young people that they gathered together who have a heart for evangelism. That’s right. And Tim ett from Multnomah University who I took an evangelism class with, he was helping to to shape these young evangelists. And then you were one of the coaches for the Pulse 100. Yep. And, and so talk to me about that and what your heart is for coaching young evangelists and helping them to, to launch out into the ministry. Yeah.
Tom Miyashiro (19:47):
Closely related to what we’re doing here in Ken Kenya, but post 100 is two years old, and actually it’s a hundred kids a year. So we just finished our second year, our second cohort we’re calling it. And when they were starting it up, there was several, several evangelists that Nick pulled closer who worked with youth. We all pushed together to stock that first class and nobody really knew where we were going or how we were gonna do it. But we got that first group together and Dr. Tim was called in to write the curriculum for the masterclass that we would teach the kids. And Dr. Tim was all of our coach coaches Right. Within this Palau Global network world for so many years. Yeah. So when Jose Ziss got pulled in and I got pulled in Tim Enni, who used to be the Africa director Yeah.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:39):
Tom Miyashiro (20:40):
Brother Tim Pullman, Reed Saunders gets pulled in. Wow. And, and you got
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:44):
Everyone but me, Brad
Tom Miyashiro (20:45):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:46):
But I was talking to Nick in Amsterdam Yeah. And we were talking about some possibilities.
Tom Miyashiro (20:51):
Yeah, definitely. We’d love to have you. So I mean, the, the thing is there isn’t isn’t that many of us in the world doing it full time Yeah. To, to lean on. So I think as we grow and as we get better at doing what we’re doing and as we get better as coaches, like the opportunities for evangelists to partner in and pour into the next generation is definitely there. But one of the cool things about Pulse 100 is you sort of, you have to go through this application process. You have to make a video preaching the gospel, and then you send it in. And if you make it in, you’re invited to this showcase. And when you show up, you’re given a time to show up. And Dr. Rob net and I, and about seven or eight other coaches are broken up into three rooms with no windows, very small room.
There’s young people come in one after another, like cattle, they have to preach to us and we grade their preaching. Wow. And it’s a very terrifying experience for them. And then we go through all the different young people and we pick the top three and they get to showcase for the whole program and preach to the whole room with the credit and the celebrity guest judging panel, just like American Idol. And Alan Stokes was the one that I picked and he preached to the, to the celebrity panel and to the whole room. Wow. Last year’s cohort. So that’s how closely connected all these things are. Nick Hurst was also in the Pulse 100, but, but anyways, what’s really exciting about it is I almost feel like Nick, you know, the world of evangelism is kind of resetting. Billy Graham’s passed away. Luis Pals passed away and others, and, and you know, so that commanding general who calls everyone together is sort of a little bit absent in the world of evangelism. So Nick pieced together some of those middle-aged guys who were coming up together. The younger guys who are now middle-aged guys got our coach back involved and he’s just taken this big sifter and we’re mining for gold. We don’t know what we’re gonna find. And on that finding incredible talent. And now we find it, we’re like, okay, now how do we disciple them and move them towards falling in love with evangelism like you and I have, and make that the goal of their life.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:05):
I mean, I think this program is so valuable what Pulse 100 is doing, because I think you can accelerate a ministry by at least a decade by getting them around other evangelists who be, because someone who has a calling, they could figure out how to do it all on their own. But, you know, they’d make so many mistakes, it’d be such a challenge. Yeah. But, but just being around other evangelists and someone who’s gone a little bit further, we can accelerate their ministries by at least 10 years, maybe 20 years, where they can launch out and do something big for God and they don’t have to wait and they don’t have to make the mistakes the last generation made. That’s
Tom Miyashiro (23:46):
Right. So this final piece of it, which brings it full circle right back here to Africa, is my new role in global network of evangelists, which is to be a catalyst for emerging evangelists, which is sort of a broad title, but it gives me the flexibility to come in and out of Palau, in and outta your ministry, in and out of Nick Hall’s ministry and like really identify and affirm and equip and train and, you know, as they kind of move into this world, that’s the mission of g and e actually. So, but once they’ve been identified to try and begin to assimilate them into our global network and give them opportunities that are far beyond their time, like preaching here at the festival and I in moringa and and exposing them to career evangelists. Guys like you pairing them up early so that we can accelerate. And
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:40):
Yeah, yesterday on the podcast I interviewed Nick Hurst. Yeah, that’s right. Who he was one of the pulps 100. He’s here in Africa. He had his first right opportunity to preach in Africa the other night’s. Right. That’s right. And did such a phenomenal job. Mm-Hmm. Did a great job. And he has such a heart for evangelism. God’s gonna use him in such a great way.
Tom Miyashiro (25:01):
It is. And it’s so cool to you know, I know that the plow team did so much to help me when I was starting. And so I feel like Desmond Henry, the director of g and e, has given me an opportunity to sort of give that experience back to the next guys. And it’s just a joy to be able to do that because I know how valuable all the guys who were ahead of me were when I was getting started. Yeah. You know,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:30):
Well, as one of the cabinet members for the global network of evangelists, I say thank you. Awesome. And I’m super excited to see what God will develop in the next few years. Amazing. I’m excited just to be a part of it. Yeah, definitely. So sometimes people who are listening, they wanna get involved with the ministry that we’re interviewing and so if someone has a heart for ministry in the northeast Yeah. Maybe they wanna support your ministry and maybe they wanna be a part of what you’re doing. Sure. What’s your website? Sure. How can they find out more about you?
Tom Miyashiro (26:04):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (26:17):
Well Brother Tom, thank you so much for being on the Evangelism podcast. Awesome. I really appreciate it. Yeah,
Tom Miyashiro (26:23):