Background Profile
LinksWe (Warren and Jill Okerman) came to Japan to work as missionaries with Youth With A Mission (Y W A M - Japan) in 1983. Though much of our original vision for reaching Japan has remained, many new insights in how to strengthen the Christian church at the most basic and foundational level have been added over the nearly two decades of work in Japan.

I (Warren) was born in raised in Colorado. I graduated from Littleton High School in 1974, and continued to get a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University. During my college years the ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ and Navigators were instrumental in bringing an awareness of the truthfulness of the Bible and the reality of Jesus Christ as our Savior into my heart. However, it was not until I was working as a sales engineer in Phoenix, Arizona, in November of 1978, that the unconditional love of Christ and the living personal relationship with the almighty God became an experienced reality. I would definitely call it being born again. And from that date to this, every aspect of life has changed direction.

Jill (Olmsted) Okerman was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating from Los Alamitos High School, she went on to study art at California State University Long Beach. During that time she was born again at a concert given at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa. She worked for a short time doing illustration graphic layout work at Downey Christian Center where her Christian boss, Dr. Bill Kirkwood, showed by example what it's like to walk and talk at work with Jesus, every day as a way of life. It was common to stop and pray about what kind of artwork and drawings would be best for each page of the many children's workbooks they prepared for the school. Jill came to Phoenix in August of 1980 to be married to myself, (Warren), on the hot morning of August 9th in the chapel of the Valley Cathedral where I was helping as a lay leader in the College and Career group.

Both of us completed Discipleship Training School and a School of Evangelism with Youth With A Mission in Southern California before leaving the States, for Japan, as missionaries. We moved to Kobe, Japan, where we have lived and worked since the spring of 1983. All of our seven children are being homeschooled for the purpose of gaining a quality bilingual education, as well as strengthening Christian values and individual creativity in a culture that puts strong limitations on the development of both areas.