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"Facing Death with a Sick Heart" April 20th, 2003
I was born on August 11, 1966 in Shimonoseki.  Including my parents and my younger brother, my family has four members.  We were just like the typical family in the world.  However my family was not a close-knit one and during junior high, I began to resent my parents. I hated the circumstances that surrounded me.  It may be because I wanted to experience the world around me that I wanted to leave home as fast as I could.  I graduated from high school, entered nursing school, and at the age of 21, began working as a nurse.I married my husband when I was 23 and presently my family consists of one son and two daughters.  I did not want to have a family such as the one in which I was raised but desired a happy family.  However, before I knew it, my family life became a very unhappy one.  As I think back over it now, I feel that it was so foolish for me to try to recover on my own. It was at this time that my third child was born.  She was born in the midst of surprise and anxiety.  I was to receive a great shock after her birth.  My baby was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot.  I did not know who God was at this time, but I worried that this childs sickness was Gods punishment of me.  At this same time I was facing a huge trial at home and emotionally I was very unstable.  In March, when my baby turned four months old, something happened to change the entire course of my life.  The Broadduses moved next door to me. I know now that this happened so that God could save an ignorant, miserable person like me.  Because my children and myself were taking English conversation classes, I was full of interest in this blue-eyed foreigner, which moved next door to me. God truly did know me well and had a wonderful plan for my life.  I was invited to join the Broadduses at a barbeque at their home and during lunchtime, as we enjoyed tea together, I found out that Yoko and I had graduated from the same high school.  My heart was quickly opened.  Up until this time, I was an atheist.  The only concept of god that I had was that there were myriads of them.    I was a little cautious concerning the fact that they were missionaries, but that day I decided to become a host family for the English teachers coming to work at the church.  I felt that religion was for weak people or for people who had no other group that they could belong to.  I could not understand their religion and thought that it had nothing to do with me.  Even though I knew I was a sinner, I felt that I could just study English and not get very deep into the Broaddus religion.  I really enjoyed being a host family.  Through the influence of Jeremy and Joshua,  the ones who stayed in my home,  and through both of the Broadduses, my family was given many opportunities to visit Shimonoseki Christ Bible Church.   The church was full of good people and was a place which my heart could have peace. Yoko invited me to attend the parenting class she was attending at the church.  Before I went, I thought, This will just be teaching the American style of parenting and will be different from the Japanese way of doing things.  But as I started attending, I thought that it was wonderful.  The Bible must be a wonderful book, I felt.   The excitement I felt while attending these classes is still with me today and is spreading to those around me.  I was convinced that God was leading me to invite my friends to the class.  If they hear this talk, I feel as if their heart will be cleansed, I thought.  My friends are telling me that this teaching is something that they will always treasure.  I am so thankful that God allowed me to meet Marcia as I struggle to balance my job with my family.  Returning to the topic of my daughter, Nodoka, the day of my daughters surgery was fast approaching.  The Broadduses, who were always faithful in praying for my daughter, were in America.  I knew that if I was to lose my child, that I would become very unstable.  I went to church to receive some guidance as to what I could do.  As I walked into the auditorium, the song, Come unto me all you who are heavy-laden and I will give you rest was being sung.  Just listening to the song made tears flow down my cheeks.  If Nodoka was to die, I did not want to just have a meaningless ceremony.  I asked Marcia if this church could not pray for my daughter to rest in peace for eternity.  The words that Marcia shared with me still remain with me today.  She looked me straight in the eyes and said, If your baby dies, she will, without a doubt, go to heaven.  This is a promise from God.  I felt that God was talking to me through her, and I accepted these words without any doubt.  I rejoiced in the fact that I could give my worry over to the Lord.As you are aware, many people, including those in this church, prayed for Nodoka.  Thank you so much.  You bore with me the pain that I was experiencing in Nodokas surgery.  After the surgery many of you came to see us in the hospital.  Harada San and Nakayama San began sharing with me little by little about Jesus. Their sharing was not forced and I began to look forward to the times that they would come to talk with me.  As I look back on it now, I can see that the fact that Sato San, a member of this church, also has a child with a heart problem and the fact that Nodokas head surgeon attended a spaghetti party at the Hikoshima Bible Center, were not just coincidental.  God continued to show me many wonderful things.  On March, 27 as I was sitting on Nodokas bed in the hospital, I prayed with Harada San and Nakayama San.  I thanked God for dying on the cross for my sins and for rising again the third day.  I accepted Christ as my personal Savoir.  I am presently working hard as a nurse.  I strive to live a life in which I am not ashamed of being a Christian.  I still say and do things that offend people, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able to say, Im sorry.  Through English classes and Parenting classes, I intend to invite many of my friends so that they can come in contact with God.  More than anything, I desire for my entire family to become Christians and live lives which are pleasing to Him. Phil 2: 13,14 For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing. I would like to grasp these words to my heart as I close my testimony.

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