They were all around me with immense needs, seemingly within my grasp—but not. They leaped into eternity without knowing I was there. I was only one of a handful of Christian workers trying to reach the millions in Japan
with the message of eternal life in Christ.
I was overwhelmed with my weakness as a single American woman in this centuries old society, but I found physical and spiritual strength from the encouragement of sympathetic Japanese who treated me with respect and kindness.
Culture shock came in large waves—strange foods, odd smells, uncomfortable living conditions, and people so diverse from my background. One by one these combers flooded past, but God helped me live one day at a time. Language study absorbed hours as I adjusted to Japan in the mountains. Later, I moved to Osaka and then other large cities for a church-planting ministry, including university students and a Bible camp outreach.
Difficult decisions faced me when my parents both became ill and passed away while I remained on the field.
My frustrations often mounted and I sometimes grew weary in reaching my world of wall-to-wall people. But, one by one, miracles of changed lives -- reachedthrough tract distribution, Bible classes, and camps—brought meaning to my life.
My goal? To walk with God. And I learned more, in depth, about this walk while in my prison of pain in a hospital in Kobe as the end of my service in Japan neared.
I am a sample of Americans who have changed vocations at the beginning of middle age. I went overseas and, instead of drowning, lived and came home triumphant.
The enriching experiences of living in another culture were enhanced by my knowledge of Christ and His Word and by the stability of a Christian home I knew on an Indiana farm—the scaffolding I needed for this ministry.