Many young women in Japan do not have Christian friends outside of or even within their church to meet with or confide in. Oftentimes, they are left trying “to be a Christlike figure in the world” all alone. How do you live a Christ-centered life when the world around you (to which Christ is foreign) presses in and surrounds you?
“There are so many questions I have about God and the Bible, but I don’t know who to talk to.”
One morning after a Sunday service, a young woman shared this with me. We talked for a while and then decided to meet outside of church every other Saturday. Our first meeting was at a nearby McDonald’s, where we talked and talked for hours.
“I always thought God was waiting to see if I would commit any sins today, and then punish me. He was always a frightening figure.”
She was like a dry sponge soaking up water when we talked together about the loving nature of God.
“I didn’t know He cared so much. I didn’t think God actually loved me to that extent.”
Eventually, some other young ladies joined us for our meetings. We cooked meals together, went on a day trip to Yokohama, and spent hours talking about life and everything. We discussed silly things like, “How did Lazarus come out of the grave when he was wrapped tight like a mummy?” We also discussed more serious topics like marriage with a non-Christian; hatred and forgiveness; the natural desires of a human being (such as sexual desires) and how we abuse them; our spiritual plateaus; and the power of God that heals, cleans, and creates, which far exceeds our abilities to mess up our lives.
It was so hard to say my temporary “goodbye” to these ladies when I returned to the United States for homeland ministry assignment, but it was more than rewarding when they said that we became like sisters who share everything and look out for each other. I am looking forward to returning to Japan and being able to share life with them again.
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