We had heard about the house fire through the local news, but it was a shock for us when we heard that Ken,* a church member in his mid-40s, had passed away in it.
Like too many men in our region, Ken had struggled with alcoholism for some time. More recently he had come to recognise his problem and had been seeking professional help. But like many in his situation it was proving to be a difficult battle. Family issues that stemmed from his addiction had fuelled his ongoing struggle. And now his untimely death was the sad ending to his tragic story
But around a year and a half before, Ken had arrived at our small church on a Sunday morning. He had already been learning about Jesus from a Japanese pastor’s online videos. Each video ended with an encouragement to find a church and visit, so that is what he did.
He began to attend regularly and found acceptance, friendship, and fellowship. He studied the Bible with our pastor and came to trust in Jesus as his Saviour. As he faced his addiction and struggled forwards, our church had the privilege of walking with him. When he faltered, his new family were there to help catch him, pray for him, and encourage him in Christ.
We had longed to see Ken’s life fully turned around and transformed, but his new Lord deemed to call him home before that happened. However, the sad and tragic end to his earthly life is no longer the end of the story. Ken has been delivered from his suffering and now enjoys the hope Jesus had promised him. The relief he had longed for in this life is now his for eternity.
Please pray for men who are struggling, find it difficult to ask for help, and end up hiding their challenges away. Pray for the church to be an open and honest place for men to share their struggles and find help and support.
By an OMF missionary
*Name changed for privacy
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray for men who are struggling, that they will ask for help.
- Pray that the church would be an open place for men to find support.
- Pray for families who are struggling with the effects of addiction, for healing, not just of the addiction, but of relationships.