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"Twice through the Bible and Lots of Love"
Many years ago when I still worked in Nagoya, Brian and Yoko visited my parent’s home in Shimonoseki and left a pamphlet.   After I returned to live here, I recalled the information on this pamphlet and decided to attend the English classes taught here.  It has now been two years since I have been coming to this church.  At that time, Debbie was the English teacher.  I studied the 13 steps at this time also.  When Debbie returned to America, Lena came to Japan to take her place as the English teacher.
 I was studying the Bible a little at that time, mostly at the end of the English classes, but I decided to study it more seriously this spring.    I had experienced many difficulties in my life such as a divorce and a miscarriage.  These stressful experiences had made me very depressed but I was pretending that everything was all right on the outside.  It was at this time that Yoko and Lena reviewed the 13 steps Bible study with me.
Once again I was being given the opportunity to study the Bible.  Lena also gave me a Bible so I decided that I would try to learn even more about God by reading His Word.  I could understand what was being taught to me with my mind, but not with my heart.  This continued for a while.  One day Yoko and Lena shared with me a verse from Matthew 7: 7.  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  I decided that I would begin seeking.  Yoko also advised me to seek with the innocent heart of a child.  Her words encouraged me to begin searching with a lightness in spirit.  I began to approach the bible in anew light.  The night before I made my profession of faith, I was reading the Bible randomly when for the first time I felt my heart in turmoil.  The next day, in June, 2005, I made my profession of faith.
For the first time I was able to accept what God had done for me with my heart, not just trying to understand it with my mind.  Jesus had died on the cross for me.  He had to go to this extent to save the despicable sinners that we are.  He preformed the miracle of raising himself from the grave three days later.  I am so excited that I have been able to be born anew.  On one hand, I am sorry that Jesus had to go to this extent to purify me, but I am also thankful that He did.  It is hard to express in words what I felt as Lena and I cried together that day.
I am still a baby Christian, but it is my desire to live in a way that will be even more pleasing to the Lord.  Eph 6: 14-18 contains the description of the Christian armor:  The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness,  the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.  I want to hold fast to each of these things and make use of them in my daily life.  I want to turn my face toward Jesus and live for Him.
 I am thankful for all of the people who were influential in leading me to Christ.  If it wasn’t for that pamphlet I received years ago, I would have never known about this church.  Thank all of you for the effort you made in distributing these pamphlets.
A favorite passage of scripture of mine is I Corinthians 13:14.  “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”  I want to apply these words to my Christian walk.
There are so many things that I don’t know about.  I will probably stumble many times.  But as I receive God’s blessings, I desire to walk according to his plan.  Please help me in this endeavor.