Shigeru Suzuki, the pastor of Sendai Seisho Baptist Church, said his congregation was filled with “the wonder and love of God” all three nights of the Celebration.
“I was quite tearful,” said Rev. Suzuki. “Most moving was seeing people stream to the front. I joined others clapping hands to celebrate the new births that many experienced.”
After attending the Christian Life and Witness Course in the weeks leading up to the Celebration, Suzuki gained new courage in sharing his faith. “I used to feel some fear when inviting certain people to the events. But the Holy Spirit prompted me to make a further, bold step.”
One of the elderly men that Suzuki met after the earthquake actually cancelled his appointment with a doctor and came to the Celebration with Suzuki on Saturday.
A young woman that his wife, Atsuko, invited to the event received Jesus with tears, and a 19-year-old who previously suffered from severe depression also invited Christ into her heart. “Her countenance reveals to me that she is now changed!” Suzuki added.
Rev. Hiroshi Ito, pastor of Izumi Fukuin Chapel, reported that 10 people who came on a bus of 30 made decisions to accept Christ at the invitation. Each person had been impacted by the tsunami and earthquake of last March 11.
“Now we see something wonderful that came from tragedy,” said Ito. “Many of these people had been desperate for hope. Through the past year, they gradually opened their hearts after interacting with Christian volunteers.”
Ito is grateful for the buses that the Celebration sent to his area. “These people would not have heard the Gospel if the busses had not been sent.”
We will continue to post reports and stories throughout the week.
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