Summer is in full swing, church camps are just around the corner, many activities and outreaches are being held to introduce people to Jesus. While those things are going on, let me take some time to share how our brothers and sisters in Christ are reaching their friends and loved ones to their Savior.
Bringing Friends to Christ
In our last letter, I got to share with you the story of Kiyoko Shimizu, who was baptized during our cookout event. She’s been consistently sharing Jesus with those around her. A little over a month ago, she met a co-worker, Mrs. Suzuki who was having difficulty with communication in the work place. (Mrs. Suzuki is Chinese, married to a Japanese man.) Kiyoko befriended her and invited her to come to church with her sometime. A week later, Mrs. Suzuki took her up on the offer and came to church. There she met Ping, one of our faithful members who is also Chinese, and they hit it off as well. Over the last several weeks, Mrs. Suzuki has been faithfully coming, even on days when Kiyoko can’t because of work. She has been intently listening to the Bible being taught, and developing closer relationships with those in our church family. Praise God for Kiyoko’s faithfulness in sharing the Gospel! Please pray for Mrs. Suzuki as she learns more about our Savior.
Bringing Family to Christ
Let me share another story about a family, which, coincidentally, is also named Suzuki. Yes, it’s a common name here. 🙂 Mrs. Sachiyo Suzuki has been a Christian for many years, and had been attending a church that unfortunately had to close its doors. She started searching for another church to attend, and her husband Ikuya offered to help, although he was not a Christian and had been to church once or twice in his life. In their search, he came upon the website of our church, and he suggested that they attend a service, offering to go with her to check the church out. So the first Sunday of October last year, they came to visit Akigawa Baptist Church. Since that time, Mrs. Suzuki has faithfully attended church. But surprisingly, her husband also started coming; quite frequently! Occasionally he would raise his hand, expressing interest in salvation, but while the interest was there, he wasn’t ready to take that step of faith yet. A few weeks after our church cookout in May, he raised his hand at the end of a Sunday service expressing interest in salvation. As we were preparing to eat lunch (our church family eats lunch together after the service), I sat with him, and asked him what his thoughts were about salvation. He said, “I’ve been seriously thinking I want to trust Jesus for the past two or three weeks.” I asked him, “Well, do you think you’re ready?” He replied, “Yes! I am!” and so while those around us were preparing to break bread with each other, Mr. Suzuki bowed his head and received the Bread of Life!
One day, you will get to meet Ikuya Suzuki. As you give and sacrifice so that missionaries like myself can go, remember why we do this thing called missions. It’s for something that lasts far beyond our sacrifice, far beyond our life on earth. It’s so that people around us can ultimately glorify our Father in Heaven, in receiving the salvation He so graciously offers. One day, you will get to sing the praises of our Savior together with Kiyoko Shimizu, and Ikuya and Sachiyo Suzuki. And it will be glorious!
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
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