Akarin’s monthly report-August

I’m “Akarin” enjoying the summer of my junior year of college.

Recently, I’ve been healed and encouraged in body & soul by attending my denomination’s online camp, counselor-to-counselor camp, and JCFN’s GiFT event.

Many thoughts came to me, especially at the first “in person” GiFT event in a long time, as we worshipped, prayed, heard a message, and met in small groups, and I couldn’t help but cry during the singing of Daisuke Yokoyama’s (DK) song “As Jesus Loved”. I was filled with a wonderful emotion and gratefulness of being loved by God, and His awesomeness.


My blog theme this month is: “I became a Christian.”

I’d like to tell you how I met God and was led to baptism.

I was born and raised in a Christian home by missionary parents. It was a normal for me to attend Sunday worship service as well as prayer meeting on weekdays. I envied my friends who went out on Sundays and wondered why I couldn’t go anywhere on that day. As a small child, I had mixed emotions, but these feelings faded away because attending worship service was a part of my routine.

Then a turning point came when I visited Japan in the summer of 2010. Once every four years, my family would return to Japan for a summer vacation to report on their missionary activities. This time, there was meeting for adults, and I attended the Church School camp for the first time. In the message at camp, I learned and understood that I had sin in my heart and that Jesus bore all those sins and died on the cross, and I prayed a prayer of repentance with the pastor and was led to faith. When I returned to Taiwan, I was baptized on Pentecost Sunday of the following year. The scripture given to me at that time was,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

The days after I became a Christian didn’t change much from the past, and I changed from being called “Akari-chan “to “Miss Akari “at church, and I didn’t see any change in my mindset. As the days went on for a long time, I began to doubt God’s existence and could only experience His presence in my faith through prayer.

It wasn’t all fun & games, and I was increasingly running into every wall that a Christian encounters, and in next month’s issue, I will talk about “Christian Starting Over.”

WIT Testimony vol. 2

Sho Ishizaka (in Texas) 

The biggest challenge and decision came the day after WIT ended. On the ride home to the airport, a girl who had also attended WIT was riding with me, and I was hearing a lot about the East Coast ministry of Ippuku from her. She told me about a non-Christian girl who had participated in Ippuku’s bible study, and how they had time to read the Bible and pray together every morning on the phone, and how the girl had come to faith and was now back in Japan evangelizing non-Christian families with zeal. She told me that the girl was her first spiritual child. The saved girl had been in the U.S. for only one year. And no one in her family is a Christian.

I have no experience in leading my own friends to faith in that way, nor have I ever called or texted him daily to listen to his story or invite him to read the Bible. I was ashamed that none of them had ever “led and shepherded sheep” before, and at the same time, I realized that I had been unable to take such an action out of “fear”. For the past year or so, I have had a desire to do student evangelism ministry targeting Japanese students in Dallas, but I kept thinking, “It’s Corona pandemic…” and “I might go back to Japan next year. I might go back to Japan next year…” I felt very ashamed of myself for not doing anything in the end. I had been trapped by fear, making excuses and running away. I have failed to do the very thing I want to do with my life. I was reminded of such a self and led to repentance.

It is not man that saves, but Jesus Christ.  If God says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” I knew that God could save my dear friends, relatives, and Japanese students I was about to meet. I was encouraged by the testimonies of my fellow WIT participants just before I left Los Angeles.

This summer, I will start a student ministry for Japanese students in Dallas. We are starting from scratch, gathering information and making connections with the students. In the process, we believe the Lord will give us seeds, water, and fruit. We would appreciate your prayers, as well as your support in providing information and other resources for students, including non-Christians!

Testimony from WIT22

“Blessings as WIT22 Staff”

Esther Kamura

It was a blessing to be on the WIT22 staff!

One of the reasons I was blessed was that I had so much time to prepare! (Yes, a plus. This is…)
This was a very valuable experience for me, simply because I don’t think it is very often that I have the opportunity to go into such depth on a single topic. We had been preparing since last October, and at the beginning the theme presented to us was just one word, “Fear,” so my first thought was, “That is too broad! I don’t get it!” (I’m sorry, Kou-kun. He was our director.)

We were forced to think and pray about this theme. But strangely enough, the Lord is truly a God who answers when I pray and ask, as His Word says, and He spoke to me in various ways. He spoke to me at every meeting and every time the framework of the program was created. Even in the midst of my everyday life, I was touched by God’s presence through the preparation for this WIT, and it was very fulfilling. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the words God spoke to me were truth, hope, and the power to live my daily life.

I also really enjoyed praying, praising, and listening to the testimonies of the participants during the WIT program. I was especially thankful and thrilled that we were able to pray for each other passionately and fervently even in small groups.

I was so thankful and impressed that we were able to dig deeper into this theme of “Fear!” I am grateful that together with staff, we were able to keep our eyes on the Lord as we listend to Him. Praise the Lord!

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