Back in 2009, we met Mr. Tsuchiya, an elderly gentleman who was actively involved in the community. Mr. Tsuchiya was interested in English, and some months later, he and several other seniors started attending Agape Church’s monthly English Cafe. Mr. Tsuchiya found Murray’s talks about the Bible to be very intriguing and wanted to learn more, so he requested a Bible. It was Mr. Tsuchiya’s very first time to open a Bible and to read it for himself. Then he asked Murray if he could meet with him for Bible study. Mr. Tsuchiya was so hungry to learn more of God’s word that once a week wasn’t enough; he wanted to meet twice a week and probably would have been happy for more.
Mr. Tsuchiya lived about a 10-minute walk from our house, and despite numerous health issues and pain in his back and legs, he often wanted to walk rather than receive a ride. As our relationship strengthened, however, he was more receptive to receiving rides. He started attending Sunday worship faithfully as well. The work of the Holy Spirit drawing him toward God was very evident, because after a few months of study, it became clear that he accepted the words of the Bible as truth. In January 2011, he made it clear that he was trusting in Jesus for his salvation and asked to be baptized. Interestingly, his request included his desire to be baptized somewhere near Mount Fuji. Well, that request was impossible to fulfill, but, on June 19, 2011, we did our best and prepared a photo of Mt. Fuji that we displayed on the wall behind him during his baptismal service. Mr. Tsuchiya shared his testimony before his baptism.
Finding the Lord as his constant companion brought so much joy and peace into his life. Five short months later, on November 11, 2011, Mr. Tsuchiya passed away. He now enjoys worshipping his new Savior and Lord, face-to-face. It is rare that a Japanese person moves from no knowledge of Christianity or the Bible to complete belief in less than two years and yet, in Mr. Tsuchiya’s case, the soil of his heart was prepared and the seed was able to fall on fertile ground, take root, and grow up into a strong faith. We praise God that He led us into a relationship with Mr. Tsuchiya, and each day we pray that God will lead us to others whose hearts are soft and ready to receive words of truth. Pray for the many Japanese for whom it will take much longer for the seeds to grow and take root, but are in the process of learning more and seeking to know God. Pray that we will be faithful in teaching the word of God, in season and out.
- By Murray and Kathy Trim
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