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We are so thankful to have witnessed the baptism of a man who has become so dear to those in our Christian community here in Ishinomaki. Takahashi-san has been homeless for several years and met Jesus after coming into contact with Christians after the tsunami. He currently lives in a camper owned by one of the missionary agencies here and we are hopeful he will eventually be able to find steady employment so he can once again become independent. Interestingly, a huge movie buff, Mr. T. says that his heart was first stirred towards belief in the true and living God through watching “The Sound of Music.”

Mr. T. studied the Bible with Eric & Andy for a while before deciding to be baptized

It was raining but he didn’t seem to mind!
About to be baptized before a crowd of cheering believers

Baptized into God’s family!

Yay! He did it!
Sharing his testimony after the baptism

He emphasized that he knew he was a deeply sinful person but added that “God kidnapped me!” What a cool way of expressing God’s grace in his life.

Surrounding by brothers and sisters lifting him up in prayer

Guys’ shot

We are very hopeful that as more and more Japanese folks here make decisions to be baptized the whole idea of becoming a Christian will become less and less of an oddity and more of a “normal” part of the fabric of society here in Ishinomaki (and beyond). We absolutely love seeing the ripple effect that changed lives have on our community here! There are quite a number of people who are almost Christians and are thinking about being baptized. It is such an honor to see the Holy Spirit at work in a land which historically has been considered quite resistant to the gospel.

Speaking of resistance, here’s an interesting 10-minute video I found featuring our missionary friend, Richard Nakamura, entitled “Why is Japan So Resistant to the Gospel?” Check it out!

“This video was created by two SEND missionaries in Japan. There are many factors that contribute to Japan’s resistance to the gospel; undoubtedly there is a spiritual component, which Richard Nakamura discusses during a visit to Asakusa temple.