Anonymous, Japan, Age: 82
In Japan, Jesus is called Iesu Kristo. I didn’t like his name even though I didn’t know anything about him. I didn’t like it because I thought it was a different, foreign religion. My grandma, who helped care for me when I was young, was Buddhist and Tenrikyo (a Japanese religion). Grandma asked people to make a shrine in her house, and every morning and every night she prayed to Tenrikyo. However, I did not believe in Tenrikyo even though a lot of Japanese people worship Tenrikyo. She also had a beautiful shrine for Buddha to, but I didn’t like Buddha either because there was something spooky about it to me.
I was not very religious growing up. However, my mother was teaching me that god is in heaven, god is always watching over me, and if I do bad things, he will punish me, but if I do good things, then it will bring me good luck. That’s all I knew about “god” when I was in Japan.
Then I married an American military man and came to America. My daughter became a Christian, and she talked to me about Jesus. She told me when you do bad things, you say I’m sorry, then God will forgive you, and God is a forgiving God who died for our sins. But I hated to listen about Jesus because I didn’t believe in him.
I was never that religious, but sometimes when Billy Graham came on the TV I would watch. I always saw people went to the front and accepted Jesus. I was impressed with the courage the people had who went to the front to receive Jesus. Sometimes when I was listening, I would cry because I saw Jesus is such a good and forgiving God.
I wanted to be a Christian, but I was afraid of Jesus because I thought I had too much sin for him to forgive me. I also did not understand that Jesus died even for Japanese people, not just for American people.
I fought a lot with my husband, and he said he didn’t want me to be his wife anymore. I would cook for him, but he would refuse to eat. He would not sleep with me anymore. He completely left me alone and got other girlfriends. Then I moved to another state but people were unfriendly with me there, and I did not even have one friend. I wanted someone to talk to because I was so lonesome. I wanted someone to help me, but I didn’t know who to turn to.
So then my daughter wrote me a letter how Jesus died for everyone’s sin and how he will forgive all my sin. Jesus is the only way to heaven, and he is the only who will help me. Then she wrote a little prayer I could pray to receive Jesus, so I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Savior and my God. That was in 1971. I was 43 years old.
I had Omamori. They were little Japanese amulets to give me good luck and protection from evil spirits. I kept them in my purse. When I accepted Jesus, I knew I could not serve 2 gods, so I took them out of my billfold and went to the barbecue grill. I said to them, “I can’t serve 2 gods. There is only one God. I accepted Jesus as my God now, so I do not need or want you Omamori anymore.” Then I lit the barbecue grill and burnt them in the fire.
My life completely changed since that time. Before, I was depressed, but then I became really happy because I had Jesus. No more did I sit around, but I began painting the house and doing the yardwork and got a job because I was so happy. Jesus helped me with all my needs even though my husband went his own way. Jesus was always there for me. I learned whenever Satan attacked me, I would pray to Jesus and he would help me.
Many years later, when my husband was dying, I went to see him. He was in the hospital, struggling so hard to breathe and could not talk. I was told my husband wants me to forgive him. He did so many, many bad things to me. He had many girlfriends, and it hurt my feelings. However, when he was dying and struggling to breathe, I told him I forgave him of all the bad things he did to me, and I asked his forgiveness for the bad things I did to him. Then right away his breathing became very peaceful. About 30 minutes afterwards, he died.
My relationship with Jesus is really good now. He has always been there for me. I read the Bible and Jesus teaches me. I pray morning and night, and when anything happens I always say thank you.