Yesterday, my blog discussed how our words and actions move everyone we meet either one step closer to heaven, or one step closer to hell. Today, I’d like to share with you what happens when we follow Jesus’ command to “love one another.”
Last Thanksgiving as part of a new International Student Ministry at my church, I hosted a group at my house for Thanksgiving dinner comprised of six international students, one student’s mother and six people from local Episcopal churches.
Two of our guests were Naoki Tsurumi, a student at Tennessee State University, and his mother, visiting from Japan.
I’ve previously blogged about the Thanksgiving dinner and what a great time we had. When tragedy struck Japan with the March 2011 Earthquake, we quickly reached out to tell Naoki we were praying for him and his family. They were all safe and accounted for and were starting the process of rebuilding their country.
Naoki finished his studies at Tennessee State University last week and has now returned to Japan. Here is the story that he left us with:
During a weekly coffee time for international students, each student was asked to share about his home country or someone in their life that had made a significant impact. Naoki said, “When I first came to the US, I was very focused on getting my education to return to Japan to continue my studies, get a great job and be a very successful business man. I was focused primarily on money and had little concern about family. But after spending time with Rob (a member of interFACE ministries at Belmont Church) and his family, I understand what love is and I am convinced that this way of life is superior to my own focus.”
Two Sundays before graduation, Naoki went forward with Rob at Rob’s church to see what communion was all about. It is there that Naoki gave his life to Jesus and took communion for the first time.
It is a collective effort of many Christians on many occasions demonstrating Christ’s love that attracts others to want to live our life too. I hope that the Christian fellowship and love we demonstrated on Thanksgiving contributed to Naoki’s decision to recognize Christ as his savior.
We were blessed meeting Naoki and his mother at Thanksgiving. Now we will pray for Naoki in Japan as our brother in Christ.
Will everyone you meet today see the peace and joy in your heart, and want to learn more about becoming a Christian? If not, why not?