In 1980 Phil and Sharyn Waters were appointed by WorldVenture as church planters to Japan. They returned to the United States in 1989, and since health problems prevented them from returning, the Waters were appointed by Missions Door to pioneer a ministry to Japanese in Los Angeles. In 2006 Phil and Sharyn were called to Oceanside, California where they have a Japanese-speaking church. Today the Waters' love for the Japanese people and their culture is undiminished. Phil says, "Many Japanese and Okinawan women marry U.S. military men who are stationed there and come to Camp Pendleton or retire nearby. There are also many Japanese businessmen and students here in the U.S. for three to five years. "We want to establish contacts with as many of the Japanese people in the greater San Diego area as we can. We desire to see these contacts trust Jesus Christ and join small home groups to study God's Word and enjoy regular fellowship. Our goal is to send them back to Japan as believers prepared to plug into churches there."
Phil was saved at the age of 12 and dedicated his life to serve anywhere the Lord called him. While attending Trinity College Phil served for a summer in Japan.
After graduating from Trinity, Phil returned to Japan to serve for another year. While there, he met Sharyn, a fellow WorldVenture short-term worker. They were married in 1978 and have two daughters: Amy and Amanda.
B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College
M.Div. from Denver Seminary, Denver, CO
Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
California, United States