Radical Humility – It was a spiritually refreshing WIT experience, touching the cross of Jesus, the wonder of faith, dying and coming back to life. Last year, amidst the unfamiliarity of life and studies in English, in the unfamiliar environment of the United States, along with the historical and theological struggles of North Carolina’s South, it was days of hardships where tears were shed repeatedly. Tired and desiring to live quietly in the shadows for a lifetime, I didn’t feel the inclination to attend something like the WIT leader training. However, feeling a thirst for the Word, I participated with the mindset that it was a precious summer vacation, to quench this thirst. Touching Jesus, who embraced us humans in the midst of animosity, even though I struggled greatly, I was illuminated. It was revealed that in this past year, within difficult relationships, by harboring animosity and judging others within my heart, I had been protecting my insecure parts, yet I was enveloped. In the place I am now, I can once again hope to live according to the Lord, to represent God’s glory, and to be a blessing to others. I am grateful for the precious prayers and support through offerings.
It’s really hot, isn’t it! Atlanta is hot too.
This summer, I’ve been sweating a lot.
The cause is moving.
In Japan, when looking for a rental property, you should consider the “area,” “rent,” and “layout,” and then the real estate staff will take you here and there by car, and you can have fun thinking about this and that.
In the case of America, it seems that searching for rental properties online is common.
In our case, for the past year since moving to the U.S. last year, we have been living with two American men. One of them is going to move out, and all the rent and living expenses have been split evenly, so losing one person is a big change. Living together always requires filling the gap left by the reduced number of people and is influenced by the situation. Furthermore, our oldest daughter is already in high school. I thought it might be time for her to stop living with the opposite sex.
So, that’s why we decided to move!
From there, it’s… I never thought it would be so difficult…
In Georgia, you are required to provide proof that your “monthly income is more than three months’ worth of rent.” Real estate has skyrocketed since COVID, and the hurdles are high (ｰｰ;) Furthermore, “safety” and “school district” are clearly reflected in the rent.
House hunting is extremely challenging.
Since I couldn’t find anything, online searches ended up extending to remote suburban areas with almost no people. But you know, when you’re pushed to the edge, that’s how it goes.
In such an area, I found a house that stuck in my mind. I checked the local area, and it seemed safe (because it’s rural), so I started entering information into the application form right away!
The screen displayed “You are the first applicant!!” I did it! All that was left was to submit the application online, and…
…the property suddenly disappeared?!
When I inquired, they said someone else had signed the contract just before me. I had been searching for five months, and it was the only place I wanted to be.
Oh no… it was a dark day. I finally found one after five months.
The next day, I suddenly received a call from a pastor in Atlanta, and he said, “A property from someone I know is about to become available.” It was an area that I had been unable to find for so long.
Without even seeing the property, I said, “Please, that’s where I want to go.”
If I had signed the contract for the previous property, this story wouldn’t exist. It was the best place I’ve ever been to.
When I lost it once, it was pitch dark. I wish I had known this outcome in advance, but God suddenly opens up unexpected places at unexpected times. We often forget, but God truly opens up a path in seemingly impossible places, doesn’t He!
Hello. I praise His holy name.
I am Tomoko Nagata, living in Seattle for almost a quarter of a century.
In March 2022, I participated in Zoom C-WIT for the first time. At that time, I was caught up in work and studies, and even the foundation of life, which is devotion, tended to be postponed within myself due to “lack of time.” I prioritized tasks with deadlines and work over devotion. In February 2022, after successfully finishing school, I was relieved, but I was experiencing days when my heart didn’t turn towards devotion. It was during such a time that I participated in the first C-WIT, where we are invited to be still before God. While I thought C-WIT might be a study group about leadership for adult Christians, I joined with interest because I had been getting more involved in leadership roles at work, and I wanted to know how to exhibit leadership as a Christian and if there was insight from the Bible. However, what I had imagined was completely different. The first session involved learning about being still before God and Contemplative Prayer. Calling out to God while feeling His presence along with my breath was refreshing, and I continue to walk, especially during times of worry in my current life, while consciously breathing and receiving God’s peace.
In the spring of this year, we shared about having God in our daily routines, and in the summer, we shared about the evidence of God’s guidance in times of trials at C-WIT meetings. After the sessions, we formed small groups and when we discussed what each of us had heard from God, although our individual situations were entirely different, it became clear that God was surely responding to each one of us in unexpected ways.
From those who participated in C-WIT during these three sessions, enduring physically or mentally challenging circumstances, I received the sharing of God’s daily journey. This deeply ingrained in me that God is with each one of us at all times.
As of 2023, I am still caught up in work. Moreover, a family member in Japan has developed health concerns, so my days involve messaging and talking online while looking at screens. Though my family has not yet made a confession of faith, they have gradually begun to listen to God’s words since this situation arose. We pray together, frequently asking for protection in our daily lives. When we first prayed together, it required courage from me. Now, I can pray easily. In my daily life, Jesus is surely with me, guiding me through the Holy Spirit. Just as Yuko Ozeki shared in the second C-WIT, that God’s presence is there while doing daily routines, I also feel a calmness and a sense of God’s presence even when cleaning the toilet. I quietly desire to know more about God, and I want to engage in devotion, reading the Bible and praying, to understand how Jesus guides me. Some days, I sleep until the last moment and devotion is often pushed aside by my to-do list. In my daily life, there are times of anxiety and worry, times when my heart feels overwhelmed. Especially concerning my family in Japan, due to the distance, there’s not much I can do immediately, so I often have to entrust them to God. However, God consistently provides ways to overcome challenges in ways that surpass my expectations.
Through C-WIT, I have learned and continue to learn:
“That the holy God is with us in our daily lives, whether in quiet and calm times or in the stormiest days. To be still before God, to listen to His voice. This relationship is possible because Jesus died the cross, forgiving my sins.”
Working in healthcare fields, I witness situations where individuals who were living normally just yesterday suddenly pass away or their health drastically changes, altering their lives entirely. That’s why being able to welcome the holy God into my life’s daily miracles and blessings and spending time with Him is a reason for gratitude.