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.