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Keiko's Story: Rest for a Weary Heart

Keiko's Story: Rest for a Weary Heart

Keiko* had been lonely and discontent as far back as she could remember. As a girl, Keiko lost her beloved grandfather. She remembers the strong grip of Buddhism pervading the somber ceremonies after his death. Although 62 percent of Japan’s people claim atheism or no personal religion1, strong cords of Buddhist and Shinto tradition are tightly woven into the fabric of Japanese culture. Keiko had learned a bit about Christianity through a children’s English class taught by a Christar worker, but she didn’t grasp the gospel.

When the death of her grandfather led Keiko to question life’s purpose, she read the Bible, but she didn’t understand it. And other religious writings told her to simply “try harder.”

Keiko knew that she had nearly died at birth. As a young woman, frustrated and despairing, she would come home after a bad day at school and say angrily to her mother, “Why didn’t you let me die?”

Seeing God’s Peace

God kept bringing Christar workers into Keiko’s life. Many years later, Jeff was conducting regular English conversation classes at Keiko’s workplace. He ended each class with a Bible discussion. Keiko attended English lessons, but didn’t view the Bible discussions as significant … yet.

When Keiko was transferred to another city, she became depressed, and proceeded to do something she never would have done before her English lessons: she decided to attend a church that Jeff had recommended.

Inside, she saw the words of Jesus posted at the front of the church and felt He was speaking directly to her downcast heart: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” She was amazed at the peace in the hearts of the believers she met.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

Freedom From Anger and Complaining

Out of politeness and respect for her newfound friends, Keiko agreed to attend a Bible study. God began showing her His plan in the book that was once an enigma to her.

One Sunday, Keiko heard the story of the shepherd searching for his lost lamb. She realized that she was lost–and that God was searching for her. “When I came to Him,” Keiko says, “He took away my angry, complaining spirit and gave me the rest He promised.”

Once an unhappy child with no hope, Keiko now knows she is called to serve God by reaching others with the hope of Christ. She has completed a two-year discipleship program, changed jobs and moved to another city in order to assist in a Christar church-planting effort.

Pray for Keiko as she shares the hope of Christ with the people of Japan. Praise God for the way He’s transformed her life and given her the peace that she longed for.

Participate by Praying:

  • Pray for Keiko and other Japanese believers working to share the gospel.
  • Ask God to continue to use educational outreaches to bring the hope of Christ to Japanese people of all ages!

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