God Living in Me (Central Conference Testimony)

I would like to thank all the people involved with the JCFN and the conference director, Mrs. Yu Okaya, for asking me to share my testimony for the Central Conference 2022 – Reconnect – afterwards! I am grateful for this precious opportunity, and I will give my testimony while praying that all the glory will go to God alone.

Finally, this is my first in-person JCFN conference, and I have been preparing for it as a committee member with my beloved brothers and sisters, and I will be allowed to serve as a small group director. I was really looking forward to the opportunity to finally meet those brothers and sisters face-to-face, whom I had only met on Zoom, and to hear Pastor Seki’s message in the audience. When I found out that I was Corona positive and that I would not be able to attend the event at the same venue as everyone else, I was just so bitter, sad, and frustrated that I cried so hard I didn’t know how much tears could come out. I even felt anger toward God in my heart. It was not the way I had expected, but I was able to participate through the live streaming, and the kind God, who is the One of love, was with me throughout the three days and spoke to me a lot. I am now convinced that each and every Bible verse that Pastor Seki spoke on the theme of “Reconnect” was necessary for me to hear in that place because I was in that situation at that time. I was filled with an inexpressible peace, especially as I slowly chewed over again the story of the prodigal son, a story I had read and heard so many times before. When I pictured in my mind’s eye the scene of the son who had gone away, lost everything, and returned home at his wits’ end, and the father who had waited for his beloved son all these years, it made me think again of the overwhelming love of our Heavenly Father, how immeasurable His love is. At the same time, he said to his angry brother, “Child, you are always with me. All that is mine is yours.” Again I was filled with an inexpressible peace, as if God was gently saying to me, “I have always been with you, and I am with you now. I realized how many good things God had already given me that I did not deserve.

God poured out more blessings than I could have ever expected at CC22, which I attended in a very special way. I had been dead in darkness, separated from my Creator, not knowing the truth, but He appeared to me as light and brought me back to life as a new person, the same God whose love is exactly the same as when we first met, and who loves me completely, no matter what my circumstances. That He searches my thoughts and knows my feelings and sees me. And that He is holding my hand. The more I think back on my experience at CC22, the more I feel grateful to my living Heavenly Father, my Lord and my God, who is truly good in every situation. I want to give thanks to God who is still living in me today, who strengthens my faith in ways that I cannot imagine, sometimes in unexpected ways, and who allows me to encounter God’s love more and more and reconnect with that love.

Natsumi Iwamoto

Akarin’s Monthly report- July

Hello everyone, it’s nice to meet you.

My name is Akari Hirase, a third-year student at Tokyo Christian University, and I’ll serve as an intern at JCFN until next May. My nickname is “Akarin.”

Since this month’s issue is my first, I’d like to briefly introduce myself.

My parents were missionaries to Taiwan, I was born and raised in Taiwan and lived there until I was 20 years old.

My family is my mom & dad, four younger brothers, and my dog, a pug named Kotaro (♂).

I attended a local missionary kindergarten, elementary and junior high school at a Japanese school, and high school in the tourism department at a local business high school. Due to differences in entrance and graduation times, I returned to Japan in the spring of 2020 to enter university (Tokyo Christian University; also known as TCU).

I live in Chiba Prefecture, where I’ve been attending in person classes and living in the dorm for the past two years since my enrollment. I feel fulfilled each day.

The pics are some of my favorite places at school!

Akarin’s ○○!

No.1: Languages I can speak

Although Japanese is my native language, Taiwanese Chinese has been indispensable in my daily life, English because of my love of Western movies and music, and Korean because I want to understand Korean dramas without subtitles! I’m struggling, but I enjoy my studies.

When you hear the words “Taiwanese-Chinese,” at first thought you may think that all Chinese languages are the same. No, they aren’t. The Chinese language commonly known in Japan is Mandarin Chinese, which is pronounced with a rolled tongue. However, the Chinese used in Taiwan is different in that each word is pronounced firmly, giving the impression of being crisp and clear.


No.2: Interests

I especially like baseball, and recently I finally got to watch my favorite team play a game, and I’m hooked on watching games as a big fan!

I also like music and often listen to up-tempo songs such as dance & vocal groups and band music.

I often watch Japanese dramas, and the ones I always watch are suspense, mystery, and medical dramas. I also watch a lot of Korean dramas that are love stories, which makes my heart go not the normal “thump, thump”, but “pitter patter”.


No. 3: Eating and drinking

With the recent heatwave and my throughout my youth, my body has started to crave “light and refreshing” food, and I like it so much that I eat “chilled Chinese Noodles “for nearly every meal this summer. Any recommendations for toppings, dressings, and places to get some of this delicious food? For drinks, I like “oolong tea” which is a gentle tea to aid digestion. Eating lots of fried food, which was fine until recently, has would sit heavy in my stomach without oolong tea. (Probably I eat too much fried food (;^_^A))


I hope you have gotten to know me at little better.

I’ll post monthly, so please check in next month~!


And please keep in touch with “Akarin.”

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