“But I thought it was selfish to become a Christian just so that I could be forgiven of my sin. . . . Joy and Steve told me then that this was false and that God loves us regardless of our sins and accepts us—and I could not stop crying. The three of us prayed together.” –Yuka
After a year of meeting with and praying for Yuka, God saved her in a matter of days.
I first met Yuka last summer at one of the Thursday night parties we hosted at our house. She was a recently graduated high school senior studying English in Seattle before starting her freshman year in Nagoya, Japan. She began attending our Bible studies (we use the English and Japanese versions of the Jesus Storybook Bible
) and became one of our core attendees throughout the year.
Although Yuka had verbalized an interest in Jesus and Christianity, she had not been able to move forward and ask Jesus to save her. The week before she left for Japan, I was especially burdened by her need and what I wrongly saw as my inability to save her. I prayed privately and in small groups asking God to save her before she left Seattle.
On Thursday, March 15, God answered those prayers. Some recent events had led Yuka to be burdened by the weight of her sin. She wept as she told my fiancée, Joy, and me how she was afraid that her sin made her unfit to become a Christian. As I told her again that Jesus came to save sinners, not perfect people, she continued to weep. I asked her if she wanted to accept Jesus’ offer to save her and follow him. Without any hesitation this time she nodded and said, “Yes.”
On Saturday, we held a special baptism service for her, which you can see in the video above, and hear her tell her story in her native tongue.
Yuka returned to Japan on Sunday, March 18.
Additionally, we were also able to connect Yuka to a great church in Nagoya. Within a few hours of her conversion, we heard back from my friend Michael, who leads a church in Nagoya. A few days ago, one week after leaving Seattle, Yuka attended their church and loved it!
We are so thankful for what God has done in Yuka’s life and the connections he prepared in advance for her to have a church family waiting for her in Japan.
Please continue to pray with us for the students in our midst who don’t know Jesus yet.