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Member Finances

This page details fundraising goals we feel are good for our team members to aim for, details the YWAM Sendai Team Member Contribution, and gives some tips on budgeting.

Financial Support Levels

In YWAM, nobody gets paid by YWAM! Finances do not come through YWAM Sendai before going to the missionary. Each member has full responsibility for raising their own financial support and to steward that money well. Of course, we do not truth in people alone for our support. We value total reliance on God and to have faith that God is who He says He is - Provider. We believe that God will fully provide for those He calls to the mission field.

As a mission field, Japan is a particularly expensive place. Though we fully believe that God provides for us, and know that there are those that live day to day without knowing where their next donation will come from, we have seen people like this struggle here in Japan. This is disheartening. It is especially difficult when people start to get into debt because it is so expensive to live here! We don't believe its ever God's plan for people to struggle continuously and to get into debt.

We have prayerfully decided to set financial support levels that our team members are to aim for when fundraising to join our team. We believe reaching these levels of support will allow our community to focus on Jesus and the Japanese people, rather than being distracted by a lack of finances. And as our team members rent property individually from local landlords, we want to ensure that we are a blessing to the local Japanese that don't yet know Jesus, rather than being a burden.

To keep things simple, we have two levels: Minimum Support Level (MSL) and Recommended Support Level (RSL).

The MSL is what we feel to be the very minimum amount of monthly income to have in order to live in Japan. We will not start a new team member's visa process until they have reached this level.

The RSL is what we feel to be a moderately comfortable amount of monthly income to have. This allows for more generosity as well as to be able to save for an emergency fund.

We have set different amounts depending on one's circumstances. Here are the current monthly support levels:

Category MSL RSL
Individual ¥110,000 ¥150,000
Couple ¥190,000 ¥250,000
Small Family ¥260,000 ¥350,000

If you are considering joining us shorter term (1 to 2 years), we can consider savings as part of your support by dividing your savings by the number of months you'd like to serve here. Savings should also include moving-in and setup costs (see below). But please do not do this without prayer, as it is much better to raise the full amount in monthly support before your arrival.

Moving-in and Setup Costs

Along with monthly financial support, you will also need an amount of money on top of that when starting life in Japan. Here is an example of some initial costs:

  • Flight to Japan
  • Initial fees for moving into an apartment (this can cost anywhere from an extra 2 to 4 months worth of rent!)
  • Furnature & appliances (and any devices such as a Japan-compatible mobile phone if you don't already have one)

These costs will vary depending on the cost of your rent and how much they require as a deposit.

As a guide, we recommend that you have between one and two month's worth of the RSL amount in the bank when you arrive in Japan:

Category Amount
Individual ¥150,000-¥300,000
Couple ¥250,000-¥500,000
Family ¥350,000-¥700,000

Team Member Contribution

As each team member is financially supported in order to live in Japan, team members' needs are met. Though this is the case, YWAM Sendai has expenses as a community that are not met because YWAM Sendai does not have its own regular income. In order to meet these needs, we ask that each team member donate a monthly Team Member Contribution. As a guideline, we suggest that this be around 5% of monthly income.

You can work out 5% of something by doing [income] x 0.05. For example:

Category Income 5% Member Contribution
Individual ¥150,000 ¥7,500
Couple ¥250,000 ¥12,500
Family ¥350,000 ¥17,500

We understand the actual amount will fluctuate month-to-month depending on one's financial support: some months will be higher or lower than others. We ask that this will be done prayerfully with a heart of thanks for what God has provided for us as individuals. And we encourage generosity! We do not see this as an "administration fee" or "staff fee" like a mission organisation would have (remember: we are a movement), but as a way we can together give to further God's kingdom in Sendai through our own community.

The following are ways in which this money is used:

  • YWAM Japan National Office monthly fee
  • Fund to purchase and maintain a building (for office, meetings, cafe, school lectures, public worship etc.)
  • Emergency fund (disaster relief etc.)
  • Ministry events
  • Admin costs (printing, website, office supplies etc.)
  • Purchasing shared assets (computer, projector, instruments, vehicle etc.)
  • Community meeting supplies (coffee, snacks etc.)
  • Fund to purchase and maintain a vehicle
  • Hospitality (hosting guests, volunteers & teams)
  • Donate to local churches and ministries

Please feel free to ask specific questions regarding this Team Member Contribution. We want to be as transparent as possible in regards to community finances!

How to make contribution

The preferred method of making your member contribution is a bank transfer from your JP Bank account to YWAM Sendai's JP Bank account. This can be easily done either online via JP Direct (ゆうちょダイレクト) or via the ATM.

The YWAM Sendai JP Bank account number is: 10140-65305041

Online (Japanese only):

You can find directions on how to make a transfer here.

ATM:

  • At the ATM, insert your cashcard or bank book, then press the English button
  • Next, press Remittance and enter your PIN number
  • Input the first 5 numbers of the account number: 10140
  • Next, input the next 8 numbers: 65305041
  • Input the amount you wish to send
  • Confirm
  • You will be given an option to save this account. Please do this, as it will make this process quick and easy from now on.
  • From now on, after pressing Remittance, you can choose the saved account, then input the amount.

You can also give cash to the Finance role (currently Gary). This person can also assist you in making the bank transfers, so please don't hesitate to ask!

Financial Records & Budgeting

Not everyone knows how to, or has experience with, budgeting. Not only do we want to be good stewards of the money God is entrusting us with, but it is also practically helpful to budget and keep track of our finances.

We encourage all of our team members to set monthly budgets and to record income and expenses.

Coming soon: links to budget template docs

Taxes & State Pension

It is important that all of our team members ask their local tax office for information on how to file taxes. It may be the case that you will be considered self employed and a proportion of your income would be taxable. Please do this before arrival.

It may also be worth looking into whether you would like to pay into a state pension in your home country. You will be enrolled into the state pension in Japan as is required for all residents. As it tends to be fairly pricey, you will likely have the option of opting out of making contributions due to your low income. We do recommend you pay into a state pension in either your home country or Japan and that you budget accordingly.

Working in Japan

As you will likely be on a Religious Workers Visa, there are rules about making money in Japan.

You are permitted to earn money if the purpose is related to religious activities. For example, if a church pays you to teach English or make a website for them.

If you wanted to earn supplimentary income while in Japan by other means unrelated to your missionary work, you must apply for a specific work permit. Though this would only be for work that does not take away your time or focus from your missionary activities.

That's the legal side! Regardless, we expect that all of our team members will be fully supported financially to be in Japan. If you would like to apply for a work permit while in Japan, please discuss this with Gary & Naoko.