Joy Tani is a third generation Japanese-American who has a burning desire to see the people of Japan come to know Christ. When Joy first went to Japan, she went without any specific direction, special ministry gifts, or language skills. However, God opened a door right in her neighborhood starting with a young mother and her five-year-old daughter, Yumi. In her small apartment, Joy started an English class for children. By word of mouth, the English class began to grow, and God opened doors once again. Through the support of a local church who caught on to the vision, Joy began holding classes with the neighborhood children and their mothers at the church.
In 1996, she started a ministry called J.O.Y. (Jesus.Others.You) Club. The mission of J.O.Y. Club is to help the local Japanese church meet others in their community. By using English classes that are held at the local church as the draw, J.O.Y. Club provides a non-threatening way for individuals to step into a church setting on a regular basis. Many of her students and their families are stepping into the local Japanese church for the very first time. This is especially exciting when you consider that Japanese Christians represent only 1% of the population. The average congregation is only 12 members strong. By developing strong, caring relationships, J.O.Y. Club teachers love these people into the kingdom while sharing the life changing Word of God. Though Joy is a missionary in Japan, she is considered part of the ZOE family.