Kenji (Paul) Uchiyama
SENIOR LEADER, ELDER & FOUNDER
Paul came to faith in Yeshua as a wandering, single, Japanese man traveling the US in the early 1970s. Upon returning to Japan and meeting his wife Fumie (Sara), he immigrated to the US with his family in pursuit of a seminary degree as he desired to serve the L-RD in ministry.
Settling in northern Virginia, the family was taken in and spiritually nurtured by a local Messianic Jewish congregation (Ohev Yisrael) where Paul served as a deacon for many years. Under the spiritual covering of the congregation, Paul ministered to Japanese ex-pats in the region, preaching the good news of Yeshua from a Torah-based approach. His life in Virginia coincided with a secular career as a logistics and transportation executive at the Japanese Embassy in Washington D.C. for 17 years.
Paul was a pioneer for Messianic Jewish faith and teaching in Japan. During the 1990s he organized and brought over Messianic Jewish leaders to introduce Messianic Jewish theology to Christians in Japan.
After the 9-11 terror attacks, Paul sensed a burden to more fully impart to Japan all that he had received from two decades of “dwelling in the midst of” and learning from the Messianic Jewish movement and its leaders.
In 2003 Paul and Sara were formally “sent out” by the leadership of Shalom Boca, a Messianic Jewish synagogue in Boca Raton Florida, to return to Japan and establish Tree of Life Japan.
Paul holds a Master in Divinity from Evangel Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Theology from Tokyo Theological Seminary.
Isaku (Isaac) Uchiyama
CO-LEADER & ELDER
Isaac was born in Japan but spiritually and culturally raised in a Messianic Jewish community in the US his entire childhood. Isaac came to know Yeshua when he was 18 through the Lord’s dramatic intervention. However it was the life-long witness, love and care of his family and their local Messianic Jewish community that served as the solid foundation for his growth as a disciple of Yeshua.
With his wife Melissa, a Jewish follower of Yeshua, he returned to Japan in 2008. Together they are raising their three children as Jewish, Japanese & American in a Messianic Jewish spiritual environment and home.
Isaac serves as Chairman of the Board for Chosen People Ministries Japan (website coming soon) and is also concurrently serving the Toward Jerusalem Council II movement as the Global Coordinator for 2023 High Convocation in Jerusalem and as a Japan/Asia Coordinator for TJCII.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Israel College of the Bible. His secular career (LinkedIn profile) is in the legal sector as a Business Development & Operations professional for international law firms based in Japan.
David was born in Latvia, in a family of Jewish believers in Jesus. As a teenager, he moved with his family to Israel, quickly learned Hebrew and finished high school. After, he enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and served as guard on Israel’s borders.
David committed his life to the Lord at the age of 17 during the service at messianic congregation in Jerusalem, the verse from John 3 16 Suddenly become a live and he felt the love of God and devoted his life to Him.
David and his wife Victoria have always had a heart to share the gospel and make disciples by opening their home for fellowship, evangelism, and studying the Bible. They started opening their home in 2008, because they understood that Israelis need a warm and welcoming place to get to know the Lord before they will be comfortable joining a congregation. There is nothing like a home cooked meal and an honest conversation about the Lord! This emphasis on hospitality and spiritually centered conversations is how their family works as a team to minister among Israelis.
Currently David is volunteering as the associate pastor at Tiferet Yeshua, a large Hebrew speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. In January of 2019, David became a full-time staff member with Chosen People Ministries. Through his work at the “Mercaz”, David and Victoria continue their ministry of hospitality and spiritually centered conversations by working hard to create a friendly, pleasant atmosphere with live music events, seminars, Shabbat dinners and many other events.
David and Victoria have two kids, their son Orel (“Light of God”, 11 yrs) and their daughter, Emmanuel (“God is with us”, 3 yrs). As a family they also have a vision for reaching Asia.
On 2011, David received burden for Japan, after the tsunami he began to pray for the Japanese people, and the desire to be part of God’s will to Japan was growing.
As a family they have travelled many times to Japan making evangelical seminars for non-believer Japanese, give words of encouragement about what God does in Israel, and teach believers in Japan how to share the Gospel with Israelis . In a few years they hope to open a guest house in Japan for Israeli backpackers who visit Japan by the thousands every year. In this guest house, they will continue this effective ministry of providing a hot meal, along with a warm and welcoming environment that is spiritually centered on the Messiah of the Jewish people.
`Rabbi Ira Brawer is the Senior Rabbi, Elder and Founder of Shalom Boca, a Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Boca Raton Florida.
Rabbi Ira and his wife Gloria have played an instrumental role in the discipleship of both Isaac and Melissa from when they were still singles.
It was under Rabbi Ira’s leadership and covering that Paul & Sara were sent out from the US and to Japan to establish Tree of Life Japan.
Rabbi Ira & Gloria are also dedicated to helping people heal emotionally, mentally and spiritually through their work as Restoring the Foundations ministers.