My husband I have been taking some Columbia College (Missouri) students to church on Sundays, and among them is Tenshi from Japan.
While dropping her off one snowy Sunday afternoon from church and lunch, she asked me what my job was. I explained to her that I work for a Christian campus ministry organization and I am starting a new ministry on her campus.
Her eyes widened. "Do you teach Bible?" she suddenly asked.
"Uh, I guess." I responded. Not sure where this was going, I added, "I share and discuss the Bible with people..."
"CAN YOU TEACH ME!?" she said with much excitement in her voice. "I want to learn! I have never seen a church in my hometown in Japan, but I started going to church in the U.S. and I like it. I want to learn!"
So a weekly GIG (Group Investigating God) was arranged. Our first GIG was a three-hour spiritual conversation on Valentine's Day. It was a Q&A of all the compiled questions from her church experiences. When she began to ask about sin, I used the opportunity to systematically explain the gospel. I pulled out my phone and used the wonderful stylus we got from InterVarsity's National Evangelism Department and started using the Big Story app to tell her THE Story. (Tip: I found practicing using the app before actually using it is a good idea.)
"This was SO clear!" Tenshi exclaimed. "I finally understand those words I heard in church. I like this so much. I feel so full in my heart now. I don't have English words to explain! Please keep teaching me more. I want to make a decision and when I make a decision you can teach me everything so I can bring them back to Japan!"
Boba tea + one very curious heart + the Big Story app = perfect Valentine's Day.
Two weeks later...
After a Sunday school-like introduction of Bible history from creation through Joshua, I shared the parable of the Prodigal Son with Tenshi and ended with the Bridge Diagram. We then went back to the Big Story app and revistited the four worlds in it. That's when Tenshi looked at the app and the Bridge Diagram and said, "Charis, I am ready. I want to say yes and follow Jesus."
Oh, what a joyful moment when we prayed for her decision and when she prayed for the very first time in her life (in Japanese!).
Will you join me in giving thanks to our Lord for all he has done and for this very new decision? Will you also pray as Tenshi, in her own words, "gets ready to go back to Japan and keep following Jesus when there is no church and no Christians (known to Tenshi)"?