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"A Father's Last Blessing to His Family"

Testimony of Yukiko Takeda

As you all know, it was through my husband’s funeral being held here that I first became connected with this church.  After being diagnosed with cancer, my husband had several surgeries, but each time he was released form the hospital with the hopes of full recovery.  We were reassured of the fact that medical science was progressing and we could be confident in good treatment.  I was able to watch him as he repeatedly regained his health after surgery and returned to work.  Neither my husband nor I thought that death was close at hand when we received the news last May that his cancer had spread and that they could n longer operate.  My husband could not, no matter how hard he tried, believe what the doctor had told him.  He stayed busy each day researching various hospitals with progressive cancer treatments and researching various medicines that were thought to help cancer victims.  He also researched hospitals that might accept him as a patient.  I felt sorry for my husband as we discovered the high cost of these treatments and our inability to pay for them.  Gradually there arose conflict between the doctor and myself because I desired continued medical treatment for my husband.  About that time, some of my friends introduced me to another doctor who just happened to have the same name as our present doctor.  In this way I was able to get my husbands primary care doctor changed.  My husband was nervous about changing hospitals, but I felt is would do him good emotionally to have a change.


After reviewing new test results, the new doctor also said that my husband’s condition was serious and that there could be no further effective treatment.  But because this doctor spent time with us answering our questions to our satisfaction, we were able to come to terms with the diagnosis.  I felt peace in my heart after this. 


We were blessed with some nice nurses at the new hospital and also since the bed next to my husbands was open, we enjoyed a private room in which we could be together as a family.


Things were not altogether great, though, as I watched my husband's body weaken day by day.  We were given a choice as to whether a family member would attend to him each day or to place him in a room in which a nurse could keep her eye on him at all times.  To me this was the same a being told that he did not have much time left to live.  It became difficult for me to even look into my husband’s  the face.  About this time, Mrs. Ishii asked me, “What do you think about Pastor Tony coming to visit your husband?”  I felt that it would be difficult for my husband to carry on a conversation even though he was lonely, but I decided to ask him if he wanted Pastor Tony to come.  Surprisingly, My husband said, “Yes, have him come.” So Pastor Tony came to visit my husband in the hospital.  He came to visit many times subsequently.  One day my oldest son was with his father for a day since it was a day off from school.  He heard my husband make a profession of faith.  In a way, my husband was a very hard man, although he was very kind to us in the hospital, so I thought that maybe he was just repeating some words.  I had an uneasy feeling about this.


Just then, when I was by my husband’s bedside, Pastor Tony came in.  My husband was all smiles as he talked to him.  To tell the truth, I was surprised!  When I saw his face, I knew that something was different about him.  I got up my courage and asked him, “If something happens to you, I am thinking about having your funeral at the church….”.  He responded calmly, “OK. It’s all right to have my funeral at the church.”


One day later, my husband was given permission to leave the hospital for a night.  Pastor Tony came to visit our home.  My husband said, “If it is ok, just once, I would like to visit the church.”  The pastor responded, “Let us know when you are coming and we will be waiting.”  My husband was never able to visit the church because he became ill again soon afterwards. He was also never able to return home again after that.  The day before my husband died, Pastor Tony made a special trip to the hospital and said,” Tomorrow I have to go see my daughter in the Philippines.”  My husband was feeling so poorly at that time that he could hardly respond.  Pastor Tony was so warm in the way he dealt with us!  The morning of my husband’s death, I told his oldest sister on the phone that I was planning on having the funeral at the church.  She didn’t agree to this immediately, but said that she wanted to meet with me. I thought, “Just as I had feared, she is not going to readily agree to this. It is going to be hard to get her to go along with it.”  As I continued on with my work at home, I got a phone call from the hospital saying that my husband had made a turn for the worse and for me to quickly come to the hospital.  I hurried to the hospital, but my husband had died just one minute before I arrived.  My sister-in-law comforted me by saying that she understood my desire for my husband’s funeral and that she would talk to the rest of the family for me.  She even told me to thank Pastor Tony for agreeing to do the funeral.


 Pastor Tony has continued to be helpful to me even after the funeral.  There were many things I didn’t know or understand about Christianity, but when he asked me, “Do you believe in Christ?” I didn’t feel threatened all.  I just didn’t know if it was ok to believe in Christ when I didn’t understand.  I wasn’t sure how I should respond to his question.  However, I was able to watch the Jesus video with my family with an open mind.  I realized that the important thing was to believe in Jesus and then work on learning more about him.  On November 4th, 2006, I believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior and made a profession of faith.  He took my sin upon Himself and was put upon the cross.  He rose again three days later.  I believe in Christ.  I am thankful for God who looked upon my family with favor.  In the midst of circumstances in which we had no control, I believe that God led my entire family to come to know Him and be baptized.  I am thankful for the opportunity I have today to share my testimony.


My favorite verse is from I John 4:7.  “Dear Friend, let us love one another, for love comes from god.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” I am thankful for the privilege of believing in Jesus and walking with Him.  Thank you.


Testimony of Oldest Son  

My name is Naoya Takeda.  In math, my name can be represented by the number 708.  This is not a significant thing.  I am just an average first year high school student.  My dad chose my name from several that my mom gave him to choose from.  Being the oldest son, my dad was very happy when I was born.  When my mom was in the hospital, with the exception of one day, dad came to see me every day. For some strange reason, he would wrap a towel around my head.  He became well known in the hospital for his infectious, joyful smile.  There are five in our family: my mother, father, two brothers and myself.


Last year on September 21st, my father passed away.  He was 58.  The day he died, I was in school as usual.  I heard from my homeroom teacher that my dad had died and he took me to the hospital.  Dad looked as if he was sleeping and it was hard for me to believe that he was dead.  Mom told me to go ahead and cry if I was sad.  We three children cried our hearts out as we sat there and rubbed his feet.  I knew that his death was eminent, but it was still sad for me.  When the undertaker came to take dad away, my mom wailed with sadness.  I was shocked, as I had never seen my mother like this before.  I realized then that I needed to be supportive of my mother.


My father' body stayed in the church for three days after his death. During this time I was able to share a lot of memories of dad with my mom. It was a sad occasion, but several days before he died, my dad accepted Christ as his Savior, so that was comforting.  Dad’s funeral was at the church and many of you church members helped out.  Thank you very much.


          At the wake, the day before the funeral, some teachers from school and my friends as well as some of dad’s baseball buddies came to say good-bye to dad.  Many said that my dad was a kind person and that made me very happy.


Later, after my father’s funeral was over, my mom borrowed the Jesus video and a video on the Old Testament from the church and our family became engrossed in watching these.  To tell the truth, the first time I saw these videos, I thought that the stories were very unusual.  After watching them over and over however, I was able to believe in God without any hesitation.


On November 28, 2006, I was able to believe in the same Jesus Christ that my dad did and to make a profession of faith.  Jesus was put upon the cross for my sins and three days later He rose again.  He was nailed to the cross, enduring the pain of the nails hammered into his hands while saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”  He forgave the sins of the Roman officers who nailed him there and the people who did not understand their own sin.  I think that Jesus was so wonderful to be able to do this. A favorite Bible verse of mine is Isaiah 40:11.  “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”  


Finally, I am thankful that my dad was able to meet Pastor Tony and to believe in Jesus Christ.  My dad is now in heaven! Thank you.


Testimony of Mizuki Takeda

On February 25, 2007, I believed in God and made a profession of faith.  Jesus was put upon the cross for my sins and rose again the third day.  I believe in this truth.  While looking at a video that we borrowed from the church, I felt so sorry for Jesus.  He never did anything bad, but he suffered for my sin.


In spite of this, I tend to nonchalantly lie, and pick fights.  I have committed many sins.  Before I studied about Christianity, I didn’t know that these things were sinful.  As I think about on it now, I realize that it is not nice to do mean things to others.


My father died of cancer last September. His funeral was held at the church.  My friend, Ishiii Kun, had invited me to the Christmas party at this church several times in the past.  Now, I come to church because I want to.  I attend because the dad I loved so much believed in God and is now in heaven. 

In the past, when my dad had some free time, he would play catch with me or take me to the park.  One day, dad took us to Yachou Park.  Mom packed a lunch and we all went together.  It was a hot day so mom froze a lot of ice in some bowls and brought it along.  As the water melted, it became ice-cold water.  As my brothers and I would come down from the slide, we would run over to dad and he would pour some of the cold water onto our heads.


I noticed as I watched the Jesus video that Jesus was baptized.  When I saw this, it reminded me of when my dad had poured water on our heads.  My dad was sick, so pastor Tony could not baptize him. But I am confident that dad believed in God and is now in heaven.  When I was baptized, I took a picture of my dad holding me on his shoulders.  I heard from my mother that the ocean in which we were baptized was one at which, on my birthday, we would take a picnic lunch and go to play.  I am so happy that I was able to be baptized in an ocean in which I have good memories of time with my father.

From this point on I don’t want to forget the teachings of God and I want to be faithful in attending church.

            My favorite bible verse is I John 4:19. “We love because he first loved us.” Thank you for this opportunity to speak today. 


Testimony of Kenji Takeda

On February 25, 2007, along with my brother Mizuki, I made a profession of faith.  After watching the Jesus video, I believed that Jesus is God and that he died for my sins on the cross.  On the third day he rose again.  He appeared before many people and said, “Look at me,” and stretched out his hand and showed them that he was alive.  At that time Jesus was shining very brightly.  I think this happened because he is God.


Last September my father died of cancer.  When he was alive, my father played with us a lot.  My favorite memory is when he took us to Itoozu forest.  There I saw a giraffe that was resting in the shade because it was hot.  I also saw a bird with a big mouth.  My dad lifted me up onto his shoulders so that I could see them better.  My dad promised us that he would take us again to Itoozu forest, but he was not able to do so.  I was sad that my dad died. 

My mom borrowed a video on the Old Testament and every day I studied about God as I watched the video.  There were many scary parts in the video and my heart pounded.  I also studied about God in Sunday school. 


“Here is a letter from daddy,” my mom said as she handed me a note.  August 29, 2006  “I am sorry for taking your mom away from you so early this morning.  It looks like the condition of my stomach is not very well.  I will send mom home soon.  I am sure that you were sad at home all alone.  I am sorry.”


At the hospital, I crawled in between my mom and dad and fell asleep two times.  I was happy to be able to sleep next to my dad.

From this point on I want to walk with Jesus.

A favorite verse of mine is  Galatians 3:26.  “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  From this point on I would like to walk with Jesus.