pictured:A Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony
Interview:Aimee Cowan Read:5-10mins
pictured:A Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony
Incredibly, I had no injuries and was so thankful to God for keeping me safe and I automatically repented for worshipping Buddha. I had been chanting every day at 6am and following the Buddhist practices, but I had been questioning why our family hadn’t been experiencing any blessings, despite our faithfulness. It was only during the earthquake that I turned to God instead, and He answered me and showed His mighty power!
My parents had been planning for me to marry a wealthy man in an arranged marriage, but I asked God to provide me the right man for a pure marriage instead of one based on money. God gave me such a peace after the earthquake, even though I had to move eight times during evacuation. I had a dream, where Jesus came to me and had a conversation with me by a stream where He gave me His peace. Ever since then, it’s as if Jesus has rebuilt me both in the physical sense with my house and belongings and in a spiritual sense with my faith.
We were only together for three months before we got married, because not long after Nick proposed, my father became very ill with cancer. The doctors told us that my dad only had a month to live, so we got married three days after he asked me when he had come over on a trip from the USA to see my dad. There were only two churches open after the earthquake, so we went on the Friday to check, and they said they had a vacancy on the Monday to marry - which we took! Nick was a student, and we had no money, but I’m so thankful we got married when we did because exactly one month later, my father passed away.
We then stayed in Japan for the mourning period and lived with Nick’s parents. We had wanted to live in America, but God had other plans. Nick applied to study medicine and there were options to go to Canada, US or Australia. We were accepted to Australia and moved to Sydney! We lived there for three and a half years while he finished his degree and that’s when I really became a Christian.
When Grace was two, my friends invited me to a Playgroup at Macquarie Baptist Church. It was just before Easter, and while I was playing in the sandpit at Playgroup with Grace, I asked the lady next to me to explain the concept of Easter. It turns out she was a pastor at the church and has since become my best friend! She invited me to come to Christianity Explained the following week. Nick was not keen for me to go, until he realised it might be good for me to practice English!
I ended up going and she gave me a Japanese Bibles to read and began to explain the differences between Japanese views on God and what Christians believed. When she explained the concept of the trinity to me, it made so much sense and I knew I believed it to be true. I instantly received the Holy Spirit and God touched me.
The very next day, I had a bus accident with Grace and was badly injured. For two weeks I could not walk as a result and then Nick lost his degree. I was reading the Bible that she had given me and when I picked it up, read about how Jesus could heal, that He is truth, and without Him, we cannot see God. I knew that I had been searching for the truth for many years, and my tears started to come as I knew I needed to forgive the bus driver for the pain he had caused me.
When I’m conducting a tea ceremony now, I make sure decorations like the Japanese calligraphy on the walls are prophetically declaring God’s truths. I learnt that some 500 years ago, there were actually Christian Grand Masters who were persecuted for bringing Christian elements into the tearoom. God encouraged me to keep going and not be afraid, because He would be with me. I just ask the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom and discernment into who is in the room at the time. It’s such a small space to be in, that you can literally feel a person breathing. Many people have commented that when they’re in there with me, they can feel God’s presence and something different about the space. They ask to drink my tea, which considering I'm not as high up in the ranking as a Grand Master, is a miracle!
Thankfully, my brother became a Christian about 17 years ago when he came to stay with us in Australia. He had just been through a divorce and was staying with us while Philip was young. We were hosting a Japanese Christian Fellowship (JCF) meeting in our house, and he started asking what it was all about. He was so moved by the group that he accepted Jesus into his life during his stay. I had also been trying to witness to my mum for several years with no success. But when she saw the amazing change in my brother, she said, “Holy moly!” and she became a Christian too!
Jesus is the best brother I could ever have, and He is my salvation. He is with me every day, renewing my mind and soul and I’m so thankful to Him. My pray is that my children would feel the same way.