2020 – Seeing Love in Change

– Seeing Love in Change –


63rd Annual Women’s Conference
February 7-9, 2020
Asian Rural Institute

Register Here

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
– I Corinthians 13:13

Join us for the 63rd Women’s Conference at the Asian Rural Institute! This year we will be hearing from Andrea Lundquist Johnson who will share from I Corinthians 13 on the theme of Seeing Love in Change. 

Please note that this conference is not able to sponsor visas and is for women currently residing in Japan.

For the past 62 years during the winter season, a community of women of various nationalities living in Japan take a timeout from busy schedules to gather for fellowship, reflection, laughter, joy, friendship, rest, and Sunday worship.

As with last year, will be gathering once again at the Asian Rural Institute, an organic farm and remarkable place of community and learning, from February 7-9. The campus of Asian Rural Institute provides a beautiful and simple natural setting for the weekend exploration of I Corinthians 13. 

ARI’s beautiful campus

Whether housed in one of the ARI Dorms or the nearby Nogi Onsen Hotel, conference attendees will experience the warmth of fellowship and time for quiet outdoor reflection.  (There will be pickups provided back and forth from the hotel to the ARI campus at designated times.)

To learn more about ARI and Nogi Onsen Hotelplease click here (includes pictures of the facilities and accommodations).

Introducing the 2020 Conference Facilitators:


Andrea Lundquist Johnson

Andrea was raised in the Seattle area and during college sensed a call to share God’s love beyond the US. After completing two master degrees in Chicago, she and her husband were sent as pastoral missionaries to Japan where they served from 1989-2016 with the Covenant Church primarily in Gunma where they cooperated with local pastors in strengthening existing churches and starting new ones.

In addition to pastoral ministry within the church, Andrea engaged in community outreach through teaching English to neighbors and offering a safe connection and play space for moms and kids. She also taught in the International Communication Department at Gunma Prefectural University and volunteered with a Japanese autism research group. 

During the Johnsons’ time in Japan, they were blessed with four children, three adopted and one birthed. In 2004 their older daughter died suddenly at the age of 8. The pain of this tragedy eventuated in significant soul searching and recalibration of ministry and faith. 

From 2011-13 Andrea trained as a spiritual director. She enjoys group and individual spiritual direction, and leading seminars on contemplative spiritual practices. In an effort to make a significant contribution to the Japanese church, in 2017 she completed a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Spiritual Formation publishing a dissertation Praying About Forgiveness in Japanese, English, and Beyond Words: Bilingualism as an Underexplored Resource for Christian Spiritual Formation.

Due to family needs, since 2016 Andrea and her family have been living in Washington State where she serves as a spiritual counselor for Hospice of the Northwest.


Ikuko Handa Williams will be planning Sunday morning worship for Women’s Conference. Born in Japan, Ikuko spent her teenage years in Southern California, and graduated from International Christian University (ICU) in 1982. After finishing an MA course in communications at Western Michigan University as an International Rotary Scholar, Ikuko married Mark from UK in 1984, and lived in Berkeley, CA where Mark did his PhD. They moved to UK in 1989, when Mark took up a teaching post at Leeds University in northern England. While raising three children, Ikuko enjoyed teaching in Sunday School and running a monthly Bible story time for toddlers and young mothers in the community through a local church, alongside her part-time teaching job in Japanese language and translation studies. Though from Presbyterian church originally both in Japan and US, Ikuko’s vocation for ministry was affirmed in the Church of England context. After studying and receiving the theological training, Ikuko was ordained priest in 2008. Ikuko has served as a hospital chaplain since the end of 2009, first as a part time and then as a full time Chaplain at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. During her years of serving as a healthcare chaplain in a hospital context, Ikuko has grown in her passion to share the perspective of affirming the spiritual value that exists in every dimension of person-to-person care. Ikuko has just left the post at the end of 2018 to move to Tokyo in order to join Mark who had started working for ICU as the Vice President, and is delighted to be asked to take part in the 2020 Women’s Conference.

Logistical Information for the conference:



Two Parts — Payment & Registration Form


Use a Postal Money Order (furikae) to remit your money. Pick one up at any post office and send it to the following account:

Acct #: 00240-3-29031
Acct Name: Women’s Conference

Please remember to allow 7 days for the money to reach our treasurer and be recorded. Be sure to write your name and address in Roman letters. Sometimes we have trouble attributing payment. This happens when the registration form name is different from the name on the furikae form. If this situation applies to you, please e-mail info@woconjapan.org to inform us the name on your form and the date of remittance.


Please fill out the registration form here.

We expect almost everyone to use the online form, but if you need to register by post, please email info@woconjapan.org, and we can send you a registration form

If you require partial financial assistance, you must apply before filling out the form. See the Financial Aid section below. The Women’s Conference is not run for profit, so please do not apply for financial aid unless you cannot attend otherwise.

If you are having trouble registering online, please email info@woconjapan.org


To receive a full refund (less postage), please write to info@woconjapan.org before January 15. After that date, we will charge a cancellation penalty fee of 25%.

ARI Dorm Rates: These per-person rates include accommodation, five meals, conference program, one onsen admission, pickup (at designated times) and drop-off to Nasushiobara station by ARI microbuses.

About half the accommodation at ARI is in 2 occupancy (twin) Western style rooms. In addition, there are Western and Japanese-style rooms that accommodate 3-4 people each.  Each floor has shared bathrooms and showers/bath. Ground floor rooms are available for those with mobility issues.

Per-person rates at ARI

*FIRST TIME at the Women’s Conference
*EARLY BIRD (payment postmarked by 31 December)
*REGULAR (payment postmarked from January 1, through to the conference)
¥40,000 for two
Bring your daughter at reduced rate (Age 14+) !

Nogi Onsen Hotel rates (16 places only): These per-person rates include accommodation in 2 occupancy (twin) Western style. In addition there will be central heating, a hot buffet breakfast for 2 days (in addition to ARI’s lunch and dinners),private bathrooms, and access to a beautiful onsen.

Free access to ARI provided via microbus or carpool and transport to and from station as needed. There are only 16 places and priority will be given to those with mobility issues.

EARLY BIRD (payment postmarked by December 31)
REGULAR (payment postmarked from January 1 through to the conference)
¥33,000. (subject to availability)


From time to time, we have enough donations from individuals and organisations to help women who will be otherwise unable to attend the conference. Please note that the availability is limited, and even when awarded, the recipient will still be responsible for a portion of the registration fee. Priority will be given to those who are attending for the first time. Please see the registration page for details.

For any questions, please contact Women’s Conference (info@woconjapan.org) for more information.


If you have a ride to offer, please let us know at info@woconjapan.org and we will add your car to the list.

Join our Facebook community! WoCon FB Group 

For more information, please contact the 2020 Conference Coordinator Nobuko Sato at nsato0126@gmail.com or info@woconjapan.org  

2 thoughts on “2020 – Seeing Love in Change

  1. Hello! My friend has given me your brochure recently and I am very much interested in attending the conference. Could I book a single room at the Nogi Onsen Hotel?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s