A Window into the Life of Grace
June 2022

By a member of SEND’s Japan | Asia team

Grace* is a Japanese woman I have been interacting with through various outreach programs offered at our church, and she is very curious about Christianity. 
A few weeks after giving her a Japanese Bible, Grace and I had the opportunity to connect more at an English club she attends. We spent the whole meeting talking about the Bible and her impressions of it. She shared with me that whenever she is struggling with a situation in her life, she would read something out of her Japanese Bible and feel “so much peace” in her heart! She went on to tell me that she wishes she could become a Christian. Wanting to be a good listener, I asked her if she wanted to share more. 
Grace explained to me that while she loves reading her Bible and wants to become a Christian, she can’t pursue her desire because she has to keep the peace in her extended family. She shared that when a woman gets married in Japan, she should take the religious beliefs of her husband and his family of origin. While Grace’s husband does not oppose her desire to become a Christian, they both agreed that their extended family would likely be upset if they knew she was reading the Bible and wanted to become a Christian. 

I was amazed at Grace's transparency and honesty that evening. I am honored that she chose to share her true self with me. As far as I know, no one has shared a full gospel presentation with her, yet her experience meeting many Christian witnesses and reading the Bible on her own have led her to want a life with Jesus for herself. God is actively at work in her heart, drawing her to Himself! 
We believe this experience highlights that it is ultimately God who calls people to faith in Jesus. Grace has not been brought to this point by the words of any single person but by the Scriptures, the Spirit of Truth, and the witness of a community of believers. It also demonstrates how social challenges to believing in God differ culture to culture. Japanese culture is more collectivistic and the decisions of individuals are more heavily influenced by the desires of the whole. We believe this reality makes sharing the gospel with families and communities much more effective than focusing on individuals. We hope and pray that God would draw Grace and her entire family, immediate and extended, to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. 

*Name changed for confidentiality

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