I first met Keiji* several years ago, just a few months before he publicly confessed his faith and was baptised. He had been attending the church where I was helping as a short-term worker. He was friendly and full of zeal for God.
He had first visited a church several years before I met him and at that time had found himself pouring out his problems to the missionary who worked there. This tough construction worker was wiping tears from his eyes as he shared his burden, amazed that someone would listen to him.
The missionaries introduced him to a church-plant nearer to his home village. The next few years were not plain sailing. However, through studying God’s Word with the missionaries, and through the patience, love, and care of God’s children in a rural corner of Tohoku, Keiji came to love and trust the Lord.
The problems Keiji shared when he first visited a church hadn’t changed, in fact over the next few years he gained a whole set of new ones. As the eldest son, Keiji’s family wouldn’t accept his faith and disowned him. He also found himself without work and had to move to the city to find work to keep paying his debts.
But he no longer despairs. Indeed he is filled with hope and joy — nothing excites him more than to testify of what the Lord has done for him. He has found a treasure worth much more than anything he could lose.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.
Written by John.