I was stunned when Sayaka*, who had come to our church BBQ, said she wanted to do a Bible study with me. I was a new missionary and could barely keep up with the Japanese conversations I’d been hearing.
My husband looked after our two small children as I left in search for Sayaka’s house that night. I had mentally geared myself up for the questions she could possibly ask, but her very first question threw me off. It seemed altogether too personal for her to have asked me and I was quite sure I must have understood her wrongly. Unable to respond, I decided to open to 1 Corinthians and told her to read the passage. After reading the verses, Sayaka said, “I guess the Bible has something to say about everything! Before I do another study with you, I need to read the whole Bible.”
I confess I left that meeting quite discouraged. I suspected I had mortally offended Sayaka and that her response to the Bible passage was her way of putting me down gently so she wouldn’t have to meet with me again. But Sayaka was serious and started reading from Genesis, going through 10 chapters every night. Somewhere in the book of Jeremiah, she believed! Five years later, Sayaka told me that she had decided on the day of the BBQ to become a Christian because she had seen the way my husband and I treated each other.
As I reflect back on these clumsy early days when my husband and I could barely keep up with the Japanese conversations, and we struggled between diapers changes and keeping our kids from hurting themselves, God spoke through us in our weaknesses. And because of his great goodness, he transformed Sayaka’s life.
By Ruth Mae.
* Name has been changed.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that Japanese will respond to God’s call on their lives.
- Pray that missionaries would not be discouraged by their weaknesses, but trust God to do his work in people’s hearts.
- Pray that Japanese will read what God says in the Bible.