My Voice: Love Fills the Small Things

Date Posted: 
Monday, May 2, 2016

By Kanoko Yamazaki

“Whatever you do, do not become a Christian!” This is what my mother told me before I came to the States from Japan to attend Hope College. I knew that there were many people at Hope who were serious about their faith, but I did not think I had to be a Christian. So I replied, “There is no way I will become a Christian!”

I am now a senior at Hope and I just became a Christian through the RCA Japanese ministry.

In Japan, I believed that I would be a good person as long as I led a moralistic lifestyle as the teachings of Buddha taught me. My mother’s family members were strong Buddhists. So it was unthinkable to be converted to Christianity unless a huge miracle occurred! I just wanted to learn about Christianity as an important part of American culture.       

I started my life at Hope College in January of 2013 and slowly got involved in the Japanese community. I felt distant because I was not a Christian. But I did not want to be a Christian just to be accepted into the community.

During my second semester at Hope, I was invited to a gathering. I did not know why, but tears streaked down my face while the students were praising God. From that point on, I started coming to Japanese services and FIGs [Friends in God] Bible Study, led by Andy Nakajima from the RCA, regularly. However, there was a part of me that could not completely accept God because I was constantly comparing Christianity with Buddhism. 

It was about that time that I found friends who accepted me and didn’t make me feel like a foreigner. I began to wonder where such kindness was coming from. In conversations with my friends and in the FIGs, I heard a lot about “love.”

Then it hit me. In my upbringing, there was no mention of love, so when Christians talked about love, something changed inside me. I was expecting a miracle to believe in God, but his love fills the small things in our daily lives. The love I was receiving from people was actually coming from God! I began to notice the love of Jesus through friends and my community. I felt so much joy, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  

Let us expect God will do even greater work this coming year!

Kanoko Yamazaki is from Tokyo, Japan, and is a senior at Hope College. “My Voice” shares the views and experiences of RCA women and men between the ages of 18 and 29.

 

[Photo courtesy Kanoko Yamazaki]

 

RCA Today

To manage your print subscription to RCA Today magazine, please email updates@rca.org. This includes address changes, new subscriptions, subscription cancellations, and changes from print to electronic subscriptions and vice versa. Subscriptions to RCA Today are free.

View the complete issue

Download the RCA Today app for your tablet or smartphone!

Browse the complete magazine in your browser with this interactive edition.