Beginnings in Okinawa, Japan and Pangasinan, Philippines
Paradise Global Mission began as Paradise Crusades in November 1999 under the leadership of Rev. Danny Yamashiro, Rep. Dennis Arakaki, and Rev. Reef Maku’e with 21 short-term missionaries from churches in California, Texas, and Hawaii – including recording artist Junko and hula dancer Ululani Maku’e. Partnerships were formed with Rev. Cullen Ohashi, Headmaster of Okinawa Christian Schools International and Dr. Shinichi Tagami a member of the Okinawa Pastors Network. The first event was called Paradise Crusades Okinawa ’99. Eight evangelistic events were held in six days. Danny Yamashiro preached the Gospel and over 730 people attended the events with 74 people making public decisions for Christ.
In the summer of 2000 Paradise Crusades Philippines ’00 was launched with eleven team members from churches in California, Texas, and Hawaii. Dentist Dr. Roger Joe, apologist Rev. Patrick Zukeran, and musical artist Kathi Paulo-Hirai were among the leaders. Orphanage ministries, dental clinics, and pastoral conferences were conducted in Manila and the province of Pangasinan. Outreaches led to the climax of multiple evangelistic crusades where once again Danny Yamashiro preached and 258 public decisions for Christ were counted.
In seven ensuing years partnering with Rev. Rolando and Kathryn Santiago of Christ Our Life Ministries in Dagupan 11 teams were sent to the Philippines. One of the highlights of ministry included launching Global Pastors Institute, a ministry of Paradise Global Mission to train rural church planters and provide resources through a three-year pilot project. Seasoned pastors traveled from California such as Rev. Ted Esaki, Rev. Mark Shiraki in addition to Rev. Dr. Rick Bartosik, Rev. Jon Rawlings, Rev. Eric Ebisu, Rev. Dr. Sam Webb, Rev. Owen Tanoue, Rev. Dr. George Nagato, and Todd Dixon from Hawaii.
Far and Wide
By February 2001, the Lord opened doors for Paradise Global Mission Kenya ’01 in Kisumu and Nakuru, Kenya. Under the leadership of Rev. Owen Tanoue, in partnership with Kenyan church leaders such as Rev. Ishmael Wagongo a team of 18 people from Hawaii and Colorado was sent (including 4 nurses and a social worker). They partnered with Dr. Owuor a Kisumu physician and conducted medical clinics assisted by nurses Yasuko Shiraishi and Faleasiu Hvidding. Pastoral conferences were held with keynote speakers including Rev. Dr. George Nagato, Rev. Owen Tanoue, and Rev. David Yamashiro. Orphanage ministries presented daily activities and Paradise Global Mission’s first sports ministry, a basketball clinic was held under the leadership of Kevin Boaz from Hoops of Hope. Danny Yamashiro preached and by the Holy Spirit’s power over 1,000 was estimated making public decisions of faith in Jesus through multiple events. One church was planted, St. Luke’s Ministry.
Opportunities for future partnership and outreach came when Christopher Sue and Danny Yamashiro traveled to Delhi and Hyderabad, India. In Delhi, they met with church planter Rev. Prahdeep Moses and various Christian leaders. They visited dalits (lowest members of the Indian caste system). After traveling south to Hyderabad they met with pastors and leaders led by Rev. Dr. Francis Sunderaraj, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia. Plans began for Paradise Global Mission India ’02. Chis Sue gave a worship seminar for band members and a business seminar for graduate students earning their MBA degrees. Danny Yamashiro spoke to teachers and preached to the congregation at historic Centenary English Methodist Church in Hyderabad.
A few months later, following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Danny Yamashiro traveled to Thailand to meet with the Rev. Dr. Sam Webb, president of Grace Bible Ministries International who was also an apostolic overseer of Morning Star International (now Every Nation). In Khon Kaen, Thailand Yamashiro preached in crusades. Plans were also discussed for Paradise Global Mission Thailand ‘02 with Pastor Bill and Julie Hughes church planters with Globe Missionary Fellowship’s River of Life Church Planting. Later in Chieng Mai, Yamashiro taught evangelism at New Life Bible Institute and consulted with missionaries Kaui and Jeanne Tai.
“8 Teams 8 Nations in `08”
Paradise Global Mission India ’03, led by Lance Hoopai connected our team with Dr. Sujai and Dr. Lavanya Suneetha of Nireekshana and pastors conferences conducted under the auspices of Rev. Edgar Sathuluri of NATIVE (Nationals Training Institute for Village Evangelism) with the teaching ministry of Dr. John Balmer of Training Pastors International from North Carolina and Danny Yamashiro. This mission included driving to the outskirts of rural Hyderabad to a home of leprosy patients.
During this time Paradise Global Mission sent more than 170 short-term missionaries (including those gone on multiple missions) and began sending teams to various locations simultaneously. Danny Yamashiro presented the vision “8 Teams in 8 Nations in 08.” Providing support for expansion Angie Cambra and Arni Gruzinsky assisted Lori Salvador in administration.
Between 2003–2008 Rev. Owen Tanoue led a team to Laos as an extension of existing work in Thailand among the Isaan. Bernie Hvidding led Paradise Global Mission Uganda teams in Gulu by partnering with Rev. Dr. Pete Anderson of Trinity Church Central Oahu. Rev. Arlen Nagata met Todd Dixon and Danny Yamashiro in Yokohama for a meeting with Rev. Scott Douma and Rev. Norman Nakanishi, senior pastors of Yokohama Grace Bible Church and Grace Bible Pearlside, respectively – both leaders in the Every Nation family of churches.
Rev. Nagata led multiple teams to Japan, particularly in Shizuoka. Joseph Gruzinsky joined Kobayashi Sensei of Grace Bible Church Honolulu on an exploratory mission to Sakhalin, Russia. Dr. Jeffrey Miyazawa and Danny Yamashiro traveled to Fortaleza, Brazil meeting with Allan Moreira and Steve Burkhalter, Andrew and Claudia Fanstone of JOCUM (Youth With A Mission), Brazil. Kepano Lee and Danny Yamashiro visited East Asia, the start of multiple missions that included ministry from Rev. Glenn Yamaguchi, Rev. Dr. George Nagato, Rev. Stan Miyamoto and team members who ministered to those with special needs.
Expansion & Development (2009-2017)
Dr. Jeffrey Miyazawa led Paradise Global Mission Dominican Republic ’10 with Dr. Kerry Ishihara while partnering with physician Dr. Steve and Julie Dorsey of Del Corazon de Jesucristo in El Catey. A baseball outreach including teens from Hawaii was conducted with daily baseball games played on a field built by Major League Baseball. Daryl and Sheri Kobata expanded the work in Shizuoka with Pastor Dennis Sager of Every Nation Shizuoka – building capacity for family missions. Bernie and Siu Hvidding conducted exploratory work in Samoa.
Teams have been sent to the following nations with the number of teams sent in parenthesis: East Asia (13), Philippines (11), Brazil (9), Thailand (9), Japan (8), Uganda (4), Dominican Republic (4), Kenya (3), India (2), Taiwan (1)*, South Korea (1)**, Russia (1), Laos (1), Samoa (1).
* Danny traveled to Taipei, Taiwan before visiting Okinawa the first time. He further extended the ministry from Okinawa to speak to college students at a camp in the mountains of Taegu, South Korea upon the invitation of Rev. James Suk Su Kim in of Light World Missions in 1999.
Media Expansion: Plans to Engage Missionaries
In 2008, while Paradise Global Mission teams were being sent to fulfill “8 Teams in 8 Nations in `08” Danny Yamashiro began a media program – a radio show called Evangelism Hotline – a live call in format (once a week) with co-hosts Pastor Billy Lyle and Pastor Alfredo Canencia. The show was renamed The Good Life Hawaii and reformatted to feature life-stories of guests. Listeners engaged and began using the program as a tool for sharing compelling stories that present the good news of Christ’s love and hope with family and friends. Our team of co-hosts grew with U.S. Army Master Sergeant Carlos Cambre, corporate leadership trainer Leslie Sylva, businessman Martin Arinaga, and educator Suzanne Maurer.
In the second year station management asked us to air our program daily. By the third year, The Good Life Hawaii became the number one most listened to local Christian talk show on 99.5 KGU FM The Word. In the fourth year plans were made to create a new program, A Slice of The Good Life (short version) to syndicate nationally and internationally. By 2012, preparations were set to air A Slice of The Good Life in Los Angeles on 99.5 KKLA FM growing to nearly 100 radio outlets in 32 states plus in Kent, England, Malabalay, Philippines, and Ontario, Canada.
In 2013, infrastructure emerged to include programs from the mission field and promote mission opportunities in all 50 states of the U.S. and overseas in English speaking nations. Our media division, Danny Yamashiro Ministries became a full member of the National Religious Broadcasters with the recommendation of Joni Eareckson Tada of Joni and Friends International Disabilities Center. At this runway of development the Lord made a move beyond the scope of our plans.
Danny Yamashiro received an opportunity to study at Harvard University the summer of 2014. Providing a rare moment toward expanding evangelistic leverage by raising and enlarging the platform of JCCY, Inc., the umbrella of Paradise Global Mission and Danny Yamashiro Ministries, a major transition peered on the horizon. By 2015, as a graduate student at Harvard – Danny, Jamie, and sons Hugh, and Luke relocated to Boston, Massachusetts – to the town of Brookline (Allie their daughter was completing her undergraduate degree in New York City).
The move from Hawaii required growth in the JCCY organizational infrastructure. A new base was built in Boston including capacity to produce radio shows while maintaining operations in Honolulu. Salem Media of Boston – part of the same network as Salem Media of Hawaii invited Danny to produce shows in North Quincy. Jamie set up an office for JCCY in their apartment in Brookline. During the first year on the East Coast a commitment of monthly financial support was received from New York – a sign of God’s sustaining grace.
In 2016 while Danny was working toward completion of his degree, he wrote a 138 page JCCY ministry plan titled “A New Era in Evangelism: 2016 – 2021.” Detailing the reemergence of a new Paradise Global Mission included online mission systems to provide team members training from anywhere in the world and interact with fellow team members through bonding experiences before landing in country. His plan also included language training potentially utilizing a program created by linguistics major Benjamin Steeper at Cornell University.
Danny graduated from Harvard with his master’s degree in 2017. His research involved religious influences in crisis presidential decision-making – showcased at Harvard’s annual thesis symposium. Danny also won the Commencement Speaker Prize and delivered the address at the Harvard Extension School’s degree awarding ceremony. His speech title: “Falling 400 Feet.”
A New Beginning
A grant to build out the online application, reference, ministry training, fundraising, and language-learning program was received and in 2017. In December, Danny Yamashiro and dentist Dr. Kerry Ishihara met in Miami from Boston and Honolulu, respectively, and flew 7 hours to Sao Paolo, Brazil. Upon arrival they flew another 4 hours to Fortaleza and were met by Pastor Dora and Sheldon Chee of Calvario Assembleia de Deos (Calvary Assembly of God). Pastor Dora, Sheldon, their family and team of Brazilian leaders planted 7 indigenous churches in 5 years. They introduced Danny and Dr. Ishihara to the interior of northeast Brazil driving another 4 hours to churches in Morrinhos then to Itarema, Acarau, and Belacruz in four days of speaking, house visitation, prayer ministries, and planning for dental and optometry clinics.
Prayer is the key to sustainability, direction, discernment, wisdom and timing. Plans are being made, prayerfully, to send Paradise Global Mission teams to Brazil, Japan, Thailand, India, Russia, Palestine, East Asia, and more.