Tom & Amanda Sugimura
Tom has taught with OIC in Thailand and helps to coordinate training in East Asia.
I have been a Christian since the tender age of four when my mother introduced me to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I grew up in the church, then was called to ministry out of a career in civil engineering. As a pastor, I was theoretically committed to biblical counseling, but did not begin practicing these principles until we planted New Life Church in 2011. New Life was a revitalization work which began on the campus of a recently-closed sister church. Some of those members were still grieving the loss of the former congregation and traditions of the past. Others from the community came with their own needs for care and counsel.
As their pastor, I often found myself overwhelmed and inadequate to help, so I began my journey to grow as a biblical counselor. I started talking to other pastors, reading countless books, and attending every class or conference available. I eventually earned a doctorate for the purpose of training the local church in biblical counseling. These studies have slowly transformed my approach to pastoral ministry and preaching, marriage and parenting.
God has blessed me to serve on missions and train ministry leaders throughout the world. Then in OIC, I found a like-minded organization equipping biblical counselors in places which have limited access to the gospel and ministry training. Our vision is for national leaders to eventually train the local church in biblical counseling. We are making disciples who make disciples (2 Tim 2:2).
Our Family & Ministry
My wife, Amanda, and I, married in 2004 and are raising four wonderful children in sunny southern California. I have the privilege of pastoring New Life Church in Woodland Hills with our mission statement: We are Jesus to others to bring others to Jesus. Through Christ-like words and actions, we bring others into relationship with Jesus through evangelism and discipleship. Biblical counseling supports this goal by lovingly speaking the truth of God’s Word with those who are either enslaved to sin or wounded by suffering (Eph 4:15). Biblical counseling makes disciples through bold declarations of the gospel, compassionate teaching of biblical truth, and practical application of God’s Word (Matt 28:18-20). For this reason, our church seeks to equip believers to counsel biblically for the good of the community and the glory of God.