By Megumi Nakahashi, staff member on our ministry support team in Japan
Four people recently were baptized in the ocean near Kessenuma, Japan. They were washed into new life in Jesus Christ in the same waters that had destroyed so many lives last year when the tsunami hit the coast. This beautiful event was a testimony to how God can redeem any painful experience.
These four individuals accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior because they had been greatly affected by the work of Samaritan Purse.
Pastor Minegishi, our ministry partner at Kesennuma First Baptist Church, followed up on each person who made a decision and took them through Bible lessons and baptism classes.
The first couple baptized was Araki and Sayuri Hideo. They first heard about Samaritan’s Purse when their daughter volunteered at our base in Sumita. After listening to his daughter’s experiences cleaning out tsunami-damaged homes, Araki also wanted to get involved and became one of our staff carpenters.
When we hired Araki, he had been struggling with alcoholism. One of the SP staff members began to do prayer walks around his house every morning for two weeks to help him break this stronghold in his life. God heard those prayers, and as Araki witnessed the lifestyles of the Christians around him, he completely changed. “People at Samaritan’s Purse don’t condemn others,” he said.
After Araki became a believer, his wife, Sayuri, also accepted Christ because she saw how her husband’s life had dramatically changed.
The third person who was baptized was Takahiro Ishida. He attended the Tohoku Celebration of Hope in March, an evangelistic festival hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. He was so touched by Franklin Graham’s message that he accepted Christ and started attending Minegishi’s church in Kesennuma.
The other new believer was Rina Kato. She is the niece of a church member and had heard the Gospel before through her aunt but did not believe. Yet, when she attended the worship time on a Friday night at our base in Kesennuma, she couldn’t help but cry as she listened to the songs.
She was so overwhelmed and touched by the love of God that night that she became a believer. Afterward, she began serving with us as a volunteer to help rebuild homes that were damaged in the tsunami.
These are only a few of the people who are being transformed by the work God is doing through Samaritan’s Purse in Japan. Please pray for these new Christians as they begin their journeys in a new life in Jesus Christ.