Over the years, we’ve seen people from all walks of life come to know Jesus through our ministry here in Japan. Some of the stories of how people have come to know Jesus have been incredible. Let me share with you the accounts of two women who have been rescued and redeemed by Jesus. Both have an eternal future that is secure because of who they now are in Christ. Both have begun their walk as followers of Jesus, but the path that has led to their salvation, and the path that they will be on as followers of Jesus are quite different. (Real names have been changed to protect privacy.)
A Tale of Two Salvations
Eiko had come into contact with Kenji, a young man in her workplace. They both were interested in each other, and as they got to know each other, she quickly discovered that Kenji was a Christian, and that his faith in Jesus meant much more to him than how so many around her viewed religion. One day, Kenji invited her to meet his parents who were also Christians, and to visit the church they attended (Akigawa Baptist Church) to see more of what Christians believed. That first Sunday of 2022 was the day I got to meet Eiko for the first time. From that day, the one Sunday a month that she was off work, they would come to church together and then spend the day with Kenji’s parents where they would spend hours answering her questions about who Jesus is and what it meant to follow Him. She learned how God answers the prayers of those who follow Him and asked if we would be willing to pray for her father who was facing cancer surgery. The day of the surgery, the doctors were astonished to find the biggest tumor had completely disappeared leaving just a few small tumors to clean up! Last week I received a text from Kenji’s father letting me that Eiko had chosen to trust Jesus as her Savior, and that both Eiko and Kenji wanted to spend a few hours once a month with me to help them to grow in their faith. Praise God!
Yoko’s story started 8 years earlier. A lady she knew had invited her to bring her young daughter to a children’s Christmas event at Akigawa Baptist Church. For both her and her daughter, this was their first time hearing the story of Jesus. And it deeply touched her to hear of how God sent His son Jesus to save her. For Yoko though, coming to church on Sundays wasn’t an option. She had married into a strict Buddhist farming family where anything other than Buddhism was prohibited. While church was prohibited, she was still free to come to the outreach events of the church and so she would continue to come to the events to learn more about Jesus year after year. At each event, Yoko would tell me that she was listening to the church’s sermon podcast every week, but still not ready to trust Jesus yet because of her family situation. When covid started a few years ago, we had to suspend the outreach events. We weren’t able to see her except for the rare occasion when we happened to run into her around town. A few weeks ago, Bethany received a text from another missionary lady in the area. Yoko had been able to go to a ladies’ Bible study that the missionary lady was having in her home, and in one of those Bible studies, Yoko was finally able to put her trust in Jesus! Yoko specifically asked the other missionary lady to let us know that she had trusted Jesus! Wow! Her journey, due to her family situation, will likely be much more difficult. And yet her eternity is secure in Christ as she learns to walk by faith in Him!
Both of these ladies are precious treasures in the sight of our Father! Both have come to know Him, in part because you have chosen to forego temporary earthly treasures in order to lay up heavenly treasures that will last forever! The salvation of these two are part of those treasures that you have a part in, and I have no doubt that there are many others whose stories we have yet to hear until we see them face to face one day!
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