Misaki Yoshimura, who is returning to Japan next week, and I did the Returnee’s Workbook.While living in California and mingling with Americans, she became a Christian and is a would-be super-duper returnee Christian. lol.
When we did the Returnee’s Workbook, there was a section where she had to write a “Testimony about my faith.” I asked her permission and published that testimony here.
Everybody in the Kansai region, please take good care of Misaki!
JCFN North America Staff, Yuko Ozeki
Testimony About My Faith
Before I became a Christian, I was stubborn, worried only about my grades, and was very selfish. Since I can always live alone, anybody I didn’t get along with I would cut out of my life. I never really even thought about forgiving others. I would judge that the people who had hurt me bore all the responsibility and I could never forgive them. I was short-tempered and would quickly get into arguments with people, resulting in people being afraid of me.
With a desire to learn English and get out of Japan, I came to America in 2015 against my parents’ wishes. Being 18, I was really looking forward to all the experiences that America had in store for me. School was going smoothly and I got good grades, but I became ill all of a sudden at the start of the second semester. I had a constant cough and found lumps around my neck. Normally, one would see these symptoms and immediately go to the hospital but since I was prioritizing school, I ignored them. The symptoms got really bad around the end of the semester and I finally decided to go to the hospital. I was taken from the school’s nurses’ office to the ER, where they did a test the same day and found that malignant lymphoma had spread through most of my body. I was simply too shocked to know what I’d do by myself. I didn’t even get along well with my room-mate at the time. I didn’t know what to do by myself. All I could think was things like “what’ll happen to my studies?” and “if I tell my parents, will they get angry or disappointed if I can’t quit school?” So I went to the intensive care unit that day. I cannot tell you how miserable I was during treatment. I lost a lot of weight and lost my hair.
Meanwhile, I made a friend at a yearly prom event put on by the hospital. This friend was volunteering as a hairdresser and loved Japanese movies, so we instantly hit it off and became friends. She invited me to her family’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone in this family was a devout Christian. I became good friends with this family, and as I began seeing them more often, they started treating me like family. The following year in February, I had to undergo transplant surgery and I was very afraid. But then one day, the day before the surgery, my friend’s grandparents came to visit me and shared Romans 8:28. (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose). Also, they told me that all who believe in Christianity follow this principle. At that moment, I thought “I want to become like them” and made the decision to become a Christian.
Afterwards, I started reading Our Daily Bread in the hospital, and until I was discharged, I learned about how amazing and important prayer is. After I was discharged from the hospital, I started attending a church and as I developed deep relationships with people, I noticed I had begun to change. This was because I learned how important human relationships are, and as is written in Proverbs 3:5 (Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding), I learned the importance of listening to Jesus and how to forgive others. Furthermore, I had firsthand felt everyday that the love from a Christian, like how God loved us sinners, is unconditional. I felt how wonderful it is to learn from such people who reflected God in their lives. Thus, I’ve been living such a fulfilled life.