Hikaru Miyazaki (WIT19 MWP)
I normally go to Gospel Siloam Church in Pasadena, California. Through participating in WIT recently, I met many new people from different states and regions, made many connections and experienced many new things.
A few things about my background. Since I was young, my mother would take me to the local Catholic Church. I was baptized sometime during 5th grade. My high school was a Christian school and my dorm in Tokyo was a Catholic girls’ dorm where the sisters lived together with us. However, despite being closer to God in such an environment, not once did I ever think to read the Bible or pray of my own volition. At this time, I didn’t understand God’s love at all.
When I came to America, my host family was Catholic and they occasionally took me to church, but going to church felt like nothing more than an obligation and I gradually stopped going.
Around this time for the first year or so, I couldn’t get used to my surrounding environment and I came to fear associating with people. I didn’t really want to associate with anyone outside of school and I would run from everything else. At that time, I really wanted some place to run away to.
Some time later, I began going to church again through a ministry called “Friday.” At first, because I wanted to avoid people and I was surprised by the difference in worship atmosphere from Catholic churches, I didn’t attend very regularly. But because the people at that church were always really kind to me, I started to attend more regularly.
Though it took a lot of time, I gradually came to know more and more about God’s love and the meaning of the cross, and in May of last year, I was baptized for the second time in my life at Siloam Church.
Since the theme of WIT was “True Worshipper,” I started wondering what that “true” meant, and whether or not I had leadership skills. Then I was told about worship ministry and was asked if I’d like to lead worship. While I was very happy that God was using me, this was my first time leading anything and I was super nervous and scared because I had no confidence being in front of people. So I started having stomachaches the closer it got to WIT (lol I prayed for the worship lead and team, and many others prayed too.).
I was so nervous leading worship and there were times I just wanted to give up and go home, (lol) but the whole team and Yuri, who lead together with me, encouraged me a lot. The kids in my small group and together in the same room also prayed a lot for me. I once again felt that God really does hear prayers. At the same time, I also realized how difficult it is to give God all of your heart and to praise Him sincerely with all your heart.
I was very inspired by all the testimonies I heard during WIT. There were people from Christian backgrounds as well as those who believed inGod coming from various backgrounds. It was very interesting hearing about all their worries and troubles after coming to God, and I felt just how amazing God’s plans are. I was shown how God always prepares the best path for each and every one of us and we can trust and follow Him. And I now really look forward to seeing how God will lead and use me and the people around me.
And I was very grateful for all the WIT staff who spent a lot of time and energy planning and preparing things like presentations.
In the month right after WIT, even right after it ended, there were moments my sin was revealed to me and I had to face my sin and filthiness. I really hated seeing my own filthiness, saw no value in myself, and I really wondered how God could send Jesus to for someone like me.
But then I was reminded of the extent of God’s love and grace, that God’s love for me is infinitely more than enough.
Though I really can’t do much, I want to become a vessel that serves God more, I want God to use me. Even though I can get very weary of daily life, I want to remain in God’s love, trust in His grace and the plan He prepared for me, and live a life of faith.