Don Thomson, Operation Blessing Japan’s national director, first joined the organization in March 2011 in the aftermath of the historic 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck northeast Japan, triggering a devastating tsunami. Together with OB teams, Don spearheaded Operation Blessing’s emergency relief efforts to survivors of the tsunami that devastated 300 miles of coastline and took over 18,000 lives. This effort led to multiple projects on the Tohoku coast, including providing boats and equipment to devastated fishing families, an eye clinic program, and additional programs to support evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the tsunami.
OB Japan was incorporated as a Japanese non-profit organization in 2013 and maintains an office in Sendai. Together with local staff, church partners, and government agencies, OB Japan continues ongoing community recovery support to families in Fukushima, outreach in the Sendai area, and other communities in psychosocial care, programs for the needy, and response to new disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and floods that occur across Japan.
Don grew up in Japan as the son of missionaries from the UK and Australia. He earned two master’s degrees from Regent University in management and cinema/television, and also a bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University in telecommunications. He has a working background in ministry and business in Japan and is fluent in both Japanese and English.
Don’s wife also grew up in Japan in the home of missionary parents from New Zealand. They have three grown children who also reside in Japan.