“His heart was prepared before we ever met him,” recalls Christar worker Thomas.* Kenta first showed up at a church in Japan just weeks before his high school graduation. Unknown to Thomas and his wife, Lindsay, God had been using Kenta’s grandmother’s failing health to prompt this young man to search for the truth.
Kenta’s concern had led him to start researching Christianity and to ask his assistant language teacher, an American, if she could help him learn more. The teacher had little knowledge on the subject; but she knew of others who could teach him what Christians believe. She connected Kenta with Christar workers Ben and Angela, Thomas and Lindsay’s teammates, who introduced him to Thomas.
The first time Thomas met with Kenta, they just chatted; but Thomas invited him to come back to the church to explore the Bible. Kenta returned, and to Thomas and Lindsay’s great amazement, he placed his faith in Christ on that second visit.
But God’s plan didn’t only prepare Kenta to embrace the gospel; the Lord was also working to use challenges in Kenta’s life to give him a desire to serve. Kenta faithfully followed his Savior through numerous ups and downs; and through battles with depression and bipolar disorder, God cultivated within him a heart for those who are suffering. As a college student, he helped to start a Christian disaster relief organization. Now, Kenta is planning to attend seminary with the goal of becoming a pastor or Bible teacher.
God has also blessed Kenta with a godly fiancee who’s already graduated from seminary and is working in youth ministry. In a nation where fewer than one in a hundred people know Jesus in a personal way, these two followers of Christ have incredible potential to help the Church in Japan thrive and grow.
“We praise God for this young couple who has a heart to serve the Lord,” says Thomas. “Please pray with us that they would be blessed in their studies, relationship, work and ministry.”
While sharing the gospel in least-reached communities is often a long process requiring both patience and faith that God is work despite a lack of visible fruit, sometimes He blesses workers with people like Kenta, whose hearts have already been prepared to accept the good news. Their stories remind us that we depend on the Holy Spirit to open hearts and minds as we share the message of Christ in places where few have been introduced to Him.
How can I get involved?
- Praise God for preparing the hearts of people like Kenta to accept the gospel.
- Ask the Lord to work through Kenta and his wife to strengthen the Church in Japan.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to bring least-reached people who are open to the gospel into the lives of Christar workers.