∙ Appointed to ministry in Japan, 1992. ∙ Departed for field 1994.
After completing language studies, Rob and Kathryn served with Fellowship International from 1996-2015 in the Ibaraki countryside, north of Tokyo where Christians make up only 0.2% of the population — close to the lowest on the planet. They loved and served the Japanese people and planted Hitachi Hope Church — a congregation of about 25 (1995–2005). It is an average-sized Japanese church and, like many churches, has no pastor and has struggled to grow since reaching 25 members.
In 2005 the Flemings started Oasis, a neighbourhood-based outreach program they hosted in their home. The focus was on young people and then to their families. For over 10 years they shared the Gospel with many and saw several come to faith in Christ, with some of those leading family members to Jesus as well.
In 2015, Rob and Kathryn moved to Tokyo. Because 15% of Japanese churches do not have a pastor, Rob preached and taught in several churches and was involved in a seminary in northern Japan training Christian workers. Rob also worked to encourage another young Korean missionary in outreach to Japanese. Kathryn reached out to many ladies with the Good News through building relationships. It is slow work that consumes much of her time, but has proven over 25 years to be very effective Kingdom work, with several giving their heart to Jesus. Kathryn also had an encouraging and mentoring role with several younger missionary women in Tokyo.
Following a year home assignment (May 2019-2020), the Flemings returned to Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan. Rob is using his gift of preaching in six area churches, encouraging the congregations as well as the leaders. Kathryn is involved in outreach through “Discovery Bible Studies” with ladies in the community. Both Rob and Kathryn are part of the local community and desire to start conversations with people that will encourage them to consider the love of God. Member care and mentoring new missionaries is another area in which they are involved. Rob and Kathryn have three adult children, two near Toronto, and one in the Philippines.