Our Prayer, God’s Work: An Opportunity to Share Christ in Japan
August 2023

By Amanda Rhyne, a member of SEND Japan | Asia 

For over a year, our friends have been praying for me to meet with a Japanese woman, Keiko*, who lived in America as an exchange student during her youth. From the moment we arrived in Japan, we've had gifts for her from friends in America sitting in our closet as we waited for an encounter that would spark something deeper than a one-time meeting. 

However, each planned meeting fell through due to unforeseen and unfortunate events. At first, Keiko had to move her mother into a care facility due to her declining health and then lost her mother on the day we were going to meet. Another time, she and her daughter caught COVID. 

It can be tempting to let opportunities go when they don't come easily. There is a temptation to give up and allow a door to close because pressing on would take us out of our comfort zones. However, I continued to pray that the Lord would show me how to move forward. The Lord prompted me to try again, and we planned a day to meet. We prayed the Lord would allow seeds to be sowed and watered.

Woman standing in crowd under umbrellas

As Keiko showed me around her neighborhood, she pointed out a Christian church. I asked if she had ever tried going there. Keiko smiled and told me no because she is Buddhist. 

Keiko proceeded to open up about her experience with attending church in America, but she was very timid to share details about what she saw and heard there. The conversation then turned to why we had come to Japan. I took the opportunity to share my heart for the gospel, today's youth, and how God has led me to disciple students in Japan. 

Keiko was shocked that I had given up my career to come to Japan. She asked, "Wasn't that really hard? You let go of so much! Your family is all in America, too!" I told her honestly, "It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but God has shown me over and over again that it was the right thing to do. It was what he wanted me to do."  

Keiko was quiet for a while after that. She was surprised to hear that someone would leave the comfort of her own country to come and talk about Jesus in her country. After the meeting, she expressed how happy she was to meet me and shared a desire to meet my husband. She mentioned meeting again during her summer vacation.  

We pray that Keiko's heart would become softened to hearing more about God—the God who answers our prayers as he did when we were tempted to give up, the God we love so much that we lay everything down to share about him with people like Keiko who don’t know Him yet.

*Names changed for privacy.

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