God’s Grace To Turn the Worst Into the Best
How are you all doing in the Lord?
In January of this year, our landlord suddenly asked us to move out of the house we had lived in for over 11 years, and where we held church each Sabbath. We were given three months to move out. The reasons he gave was that he is getting old, it is difficult for him to manage the house, and he needs to sell the house quickly to pay for his retirement. So while we were back home with my wife’s family in Korea for New Year’s, the house was being sold to someone else.
To be honest, I was very depressed because I could not accept that our landlord had treated us so absurdly. I was advised by a friend who is familiar with the law that I could sue him in court, but we decided to leave everything to God who had helped and supported us for many years since we moved here, and to start looking for our next house and church.
However, from the beginning, most of the vacant houses were too old and we had a really difficult time finding a house that we could live in. This was unusual for us. The search delayed the planting of strawberry seedlings and work on the fruit farm that we had done in previous years with the students at the free school in January. For a while I could not understand why God allowed this kind of trial to come to us. However, through the words of the Bible and prayer, I have learned that God walks with us through such difficult circumstances and always meets our needs and supports us.
Miraculously, we finally found one house that we could live in if we repaired the water system of the house, and God provided us with the necessary funds to do the work ourselves. From then on, we were busy every day with restoration work which included hauling off the old things that had been left behind by the previous occupant. When we got stuck in the restoration of the bathroom and kitchen, the Lord sent local volunteers with skills and experience at the right time. Within three months, we were again worshiping on the Sabbath in our new home, just as we had always done. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.
The old leaky bathtub and dirty wall were torn down and we put new tiles to complete the clean bathroom.
However, our relief at the end of the move was short-lived. On April 5, our third daughter, Erin, suddenly developed a high fever and severe convulsions in the middle of the night, and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. When she convulsed violently at home for several minutes, we were horrified and could only pray desperately that the convulsions would stop. When the ambulance arrived at our house, the convulsions finally stopped and she was admitted to the hospital, where she remained with a high fever for several days. The pediatrician did blood and urine tests, but could not find out the cause of the fever. However, God answered the prayers of many of my fellow believers, and after a few days, my daughter’s high fever returned to normal and her body recovered. She was able to leave the hospital a week later, feeling fine as usual.
A few days after my daughter was discharged from the hospital, I received a call from a friend who lives nearby. He has a lot of work experience and is always kind enough to teach me how to work our farm and how to fix up our house. However, he is not a Christian, but a traditional Japanese Buddhist, and he also believes in superstitions, fortune telling, and Feng Shui. I have been asking God for a long time to give me the opportunity to tell him about the true God.
When he found out that my daughter was in the hospital, he told me that the reason for her high fever and convulsions was because the house we had moved into had been infested with evil spirits. He also told me that the location of the bathroom in my house, which is located in the northeast, has long been said in Japan to be a place where demons come and go. He recommended that I place salt there to ward off evil spirits, and that I should call a monk to drive them out.
I kindly corrected him and told him clearly that the devil can enter from anywhere, regardless of direction, that salt cannot repel him, and that only the true God can overcome the devil. I also explained to him that the devil used to be an angel, and that by his own choice he had fallen away from God and become a deceiver. He just listened to me quietly, as if he was surprised to hear all this for the first time.
I have wanted to tell him this so many times before and was so grateful that I was able to do so. Many people in Japan are not receptive or willing to listen when we start talking about Christianity.
A few days later, a Buddhist grandmother who lived nearby visited my house. Her husband had suddenly lost consciousness a few days earlier and was in the hospital, and she was exhausted from going to the hospital every day to nurse him. She was also a farm worker, and since she could not do anything while her husband was in the hospital, she came to ask me to take care of the farm for her.
When my daughter was in the hospital, I was also a daily hospital visitor, and I knew how hard it was, and I could guess that it would be even harder for her, especially in her old age. So I asked her if she would pray with me to the Almighty God in Heaven, in whom I believe. She immediately pleaded with me with tears in her eyes to pray for her husband, and we both got down on our knees to pray. I told her that God, the Heavenly Father whom we believe in, is the one who will surely answer our prayers in Jesus’ name.
She asked me earnestly, one question after another, with a heart as pure as a little child’s, asking me to write down on a piece of paper how she should pray, at what time and place she should pray, and whether she could put her hands together when she prayed, etc. I answered each of her questions carefully and told her that my family would pray for her and her husband every day after that. Please pray for her and her husband.
I knew that through the move we were forced to make, which was not part of our plan, and through my daughter’s hospitalization, which I did not want, I was given the opportunity to share what we believe with our friends in Tsushima, who did not know the true God. It was a hard and painful experience, but ultimately it gave me the opportunity I had been hoping for, to share the gospel.
I have experienced over and over again that Christian evangelism is really difficult in Tsushima where most of the people are Buddhists. However, I have also experienced that God is at work in such situations, giving us strength and courage to share the gospel and to guide us. We have learned that sometimes difficult situations arise, which we do not choose, but in the end God uses them for our benefit.
There are still many people around me who do not know the gospel. Please pray that their hearts will be open and that I will be able to share the gospel powerfully with them. Please continue to pray and support us for this evangelistic work in Tsushima.
I pray that the Lord’s blessing will be abundant on all those who read this report.
How To Help
Between now and then, financial support to help meet the expenses for Nature School program (lighting, heating and gas expenses, and school supplies for students) as well as living and other project expenses are needed totaling about $800 monthly. Any donation would be greatly appreciated and very helpful.
If you would like to assist, you can give directly to Kimiyoshi via PayPal which enables donations to be received more expeditiously.
Or if you prefer, you can donate via Gospel Ministries International which will provide you with a tax deductible receipt. You will find the contact information and links for these two options below.
To give directly to Kimiyoshi for the Tsushima Mission Project via PayPal please click here.
Make checks payable to:
Gospel Ministries International
Send checks to:
GMI (Gospel Ministries International)
P O Box 506, Collegedale, TN 37315-0506
(Be sure to specify donation is for “Japan Christian Service Int’l” (JCSI)
You can donate online through paypal: https://gospelministry.org/donations/
And select “Japan Christian Service Int’l (JCSI) Project”
Phone: 423-473-1841 Ask for Margarita Fortunato
Thank you for your prayers and support!