One of the best ways to be a witness and a Godly testimony is to interact with the community on a regular basis. To that end, the Mansells have engaged in a variety of hobbies. God has used each of them to lead the Mansells to a unique cross-section of Teshio’s population. Through these hobbies many of the people of Teshio and the surrounding areas have heard the Mansells’ personal testimony of the gospel. It also allows the Japanese to see that an American missionary is just another human being and thus they tend to be more open to conversations with the Mansells.
It is a unique form of golf loved by thousands in Japan. It is very inexpensive and is a sport that the entire family–both young and old can enjoy. Ken Mansell has been able to be a testimony to many families in the area this way and has had the opportunity to minister the gospel to many men as they play the courses.
Music is not only a wonderful way to glorify God, but has also been a way for Vicki Mansell to meet many of the ladies in Teshio. She enjoys playing the Taishogoto (a four-stringed instrument that uses both keys and the plucking of strings) with a local club as well as sing in the town’s chorus group.
The ladies of Teshio are just like ladies all around the world in their enjoyment of cooking! Vicki has been able to have regular cooking classes in the past but now just periodically during which ladies not only learn American recipes and can be engaged in further conversation. Vicki has also had Japanese ladies teach her Japanese cooking through the years. With her desire to be able to cook as much like the Japanese women do, as well as her love of cooking, this has been a great outreach and help through the years.
Ken is involved in teaching in four different schools in the Teshio school district from 1st grade through high school. We also teach grade school students and adults private/group classes right in the church building. Most Japanese are not interested in Christianity but they do need to learn English so desire extra help. They will come to classes here. This opens the door to future Bible studies as well. We also desire to be helpful to the community and this is accomplished by team teaching English in the schools.