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"No Preparation Needed" June 26, 2005

 This past April I returned from a one year stay in Canada.  For me it was a year of great change.  I want to share a little bit of what took place in my life up until this point.

I was born in Japan and was given the name Ayako Kimura by my parents.  I have an older brother and a younger sister.  I love anything that has to do with exercise.  For the time I was in elementary school I have been a part of a sports club.  I also love being out in nature.  From childhood, I loved to go to the park and ocean.  I loved playing outdoors and would play with the boys outside until I was exhausted.  I probably learned from these guy playmates to enjoy life with all of the zest I could muster.

Because my great grandmother was a Christian, I was taken to church.  But I questioned whether she was a real Christian or not because she never prayed before the meals.  I felt that she was just going through the motions of being a Christian and if that was the case, I didn’t need Christianity, I thought.  I stopped going to church in Junior High.  I stopped praying, I stopped reading my Bible and gradually drifted away from God.

It was not easy living a life apart from God.  I became unstable but I thought that I was being decisive.  I was really full of myself!  During Geography class at school, I became impressed with how large the world was.  I wanted to travel.  My interest began to grow and grow.  I wanted to leave Japan.  I realized at that time that I was experiencing adolescent stress.  I was overwhelmed with my need for money, information, things, and time.  I knew something was lacking in my life but I didn’t try to think too deeply about it.  But I was earnestly searching.

I lived a very simple life in Canada.  There, everyone is surrounded by nature and make do with what is around them.  They are really laid back!   The dogs even seemed happy.  From my heart, I loved the nature all around me!   I had been asleep in the conveniences all around me with which I was raised in Japan.  At first I was intimidated by the lack of modern conveniences, but the fact was that it really suited me!  When I got rid of my excesses, I was able to see things that I was not able to see before.  I loved living there!  I was surprised at how my five senses had become so keen.

One day, my roommate, Gloria invited me to go to a nearby church.  It was there that I was to renew my acquaintance with God.   It was God who desired an eternal relationship with me which had true worth.    The people I met there had peace in their hearts and supported each other.  I wanted to know what  it was that caused them to be like this.  I started integrating church into my daily life.  I wasn’t ready to give myself completely over to the Lord, yet though.  Because I was surrounded by so many Christian friends, my heart gradually began to turn toward God.  I was being prepared to accept Christ with my heart, not only my mind.  

One evening while I was eating dinner with Gloria, a question flew out of my mouth.  I asked what the Holy Spirit was.   She told me the Holy Spirit was asking to enter my heart right now.  “Now,” I wondered. “ I didn’t need to make any preparation?”  She continued by telling me that if I believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior that He would give me the free gift of eternal life.  It was then that I confessed, in the company of my friend, that Christ was my Savior, that He died on the cross for my sins and rose again the third day.

I am looking forward to how God will use me from this point on.  I am confident that He will be with me even in the most difficult of circumstances.  I will follow the one who shines light in the midst of darkness.  John 5: 30  “By myself I can do nothing;…for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

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