My name is Ayako Doi. I am 17 years old and I live in Akada. I started learning ballet
at age three and have continued it to this day. When I was seven, my younger brother started attending Baiko kindergarten
and it was there that I first attended this church. In only after a few years however, I had stopped attending church
altogether. Since I wanted to study the Bible more, I decided to attend Baiko Junior High. I looked forward to
the chapel services each morning and to the weekly religion classes. I only attended church two times during those years,
however. I appreciated how the people of the church welcomed me so warmly on those two occasions.
In September of my first year of High School I decided to attend
a ballet school in Germany called Win. I had been looking forward to studying overseas but I was not prepared for the
difficulty of transitioning to a different language and culture. Because I was all alone, I became homesick. I
was expected to pursue my high school studies along with pursuing my visa. At that time I was at my limit studying the
German language and just trying to make basic conversation in the language. There were many days that I thought that
I would have to return to Japan without obtaining my visa. I had gone to Germany to study ballet but ended up worrying about
so many other things that my health began to fail and I was not able to concentrate on my ballet lessons. I had come
all the way to Vienna Ballet School and now was beginning to question whether I even wanted to pursue ballet or not.
I realized that if I stayed at Vienna I would end up giving up ballet all together so I decided to return to Japan.
When I returned, I was very depressed and unsure of what to
do from there. I prayed, “God if it is your will for me to be here in Japan, please let my studies in Germany
and all of the effort I have put into ballet here in Japan be recognized at the high school you want me to attend here.”
Four months after my return, I participated in a ballet competition
presented by a school in England which I had really wanted to attend. I was awarded a two week trip to ballet school
in England as a result! My answered prayer confirmed my belief in God. Because I was planning on going to England,
I decided to go to church to study English. Along with the English lessons, there was a time set aside to study the
Bible. I was able to ask my questions about God and to share my worries with the English teachers. Brian, Naoko,
and Lisa were able to answer my questions from the Bible and I began to feel at peace. In the world of ballet, one is
constantly pressured to do better than others, so I realized that I struggled a lot with the sin of envy and jealousy.
From now on I will confess these sins to God and try not to compare myself to others but instead to strive to present myself
in a different way than other ballet performers.
On July 9, 2007 I invited God to sit on the throne of my heart.
At church, Pastor Tony, Brian, and Naoko prayed with me to accept Christ as my Savior. Jesus is God. I believed
that He took my sin on the cross and died for me. He arose two days later. As I studied about heaven, I came to
realize that I would be able to live forever. This is a thought that had never even crossed my mind before! As
I contemplated this, my desire for my family and for those around me to be saved increased even more.
Lately as I ride airplanes, I think, “What will I do if
something happens to this plane?” But right on the heels of this thought is an assurance that I will go straight
to heaven, so I can relax in peace. I used to be very interested in fortune telling and the supernatural and would watch
many TV programs of this nature, but since becoming a Christian, I have stopped watching these types of programs. I
don’t have to worry about the future, but can just pray about it.
Many people prayed for me when I went to England and as
a result I was able to enjoy very successful daily lessons while there. I learned many things during that time.
At this ballet school , there was another Japanese girl attending who was a Christian. We went to church together on
Sundays and I was able to meet many more people in that way. I was so happy to make a new Christian friend and am thankful
to God for working this out in his plan for me. The two weeks in England was over before I knew it and I was able to
learn much from this experience. Many people helped me and prayed for me. I am thankful that God has guided me