Christ in community

Tags: Asia, Japan, Story

By Jon and Elaine Winter in Japan

It was good that we had brought the Kleenex box into the room because it turned out that God was about to show up. At our house church, we've been going over the “Sunday School” stories that tell us the basics of our God.

This particular Saturday it was the story of Isaac and Abraham, headed off to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. There was a lot of discussion about why God would ever ask Abraham for something so uncharacteristically brutal. As we discussed the story, I heard the kids getting restless in the other room, so I tried to wrap up quickly.

“Let’s answer the last question together,” I said.“Sometimes God asks us to do something that seems like the outcome will be very painful or difficult. Describe a time like that in your life. What happened in the end?” 

There was silence for a long time. Finally my friend John talked about a situation he and his family were in the middle of, still waiting to see the outcome. Relieved that someone had shared, I began to close the discussion. 

Before I could end it, one of the women in the group spoke up. She had signed divorce papers given to her by her husband just a few weeks before. We had prayed together about that. While her husband was on the way to the city office to make it official, he suddenly turned around and went back home. After years of refusal, he started to attend marriage counseling with her. Tears began to flow.

Then another young woman baptized a couple of weeks ago shared about the incredible grief of losing her first husband to an accident. Through tears she told us that it had seemed too much to bear, but that God had brought her another husband, and she had been able to finally have a child too!

Our heart cry from the beginning has been that people would discover Christ in community. We are watching people change because of just that. People discovering God through the support and teaching of the body of Jesus Christ, his Church.