*These are the testimonies of Japanese young people who attended the "SU East Asia 4th International Students' Camp" which was held at Sarawak in East Malaysia from Dec. 27 2004 to January 6 2005. Twenty Japanese attended. When we went to Sarawak, three were not baptized yet. After the camp, two have already been baptized with strong conviction. All were strengthened in faith through the camp.
Praise the Lord!!
Lord, I Will Serve You Forever and Ever
"Heavenly father, I'm thankful to You for giving me the wonderful days and chances to meet a lot of people during the SU camp. I'm sure that my faith was deepened throughout the camp. It helped me a lot with deciding on my plan for the future. I am enormously grateful for your help, Jesus!! I really appreciate you led me to the camp. I can assure in the knowledge that everything happening in my life is under your power. This is my desire, Lord, please send me to wherever you want me to preach the Gospel to a lot of people all over the world. I would like to preach your wonderful love, strength, and sacrifice of your life for our sins. I will never know how much it cost when I look back upon my sins. Who can be comparable to you? We cannot compare anything with you,because you are the Maker of the world and you have forgiven our sins and you are almighty. We cannot go anywhere without you because we humans are weak. There are a lot of people in the world who are haughty and also there are people who cannot realize their own weaknesses. Lord, please forgive them. Send me to them and let me heal them. I know your way is always the best, Lord. I know you have a purpose for which you gave me my life. Lord, you are my sources of strength, comfort and love. I pray that light of the Gospel will shine forever and Christ will be exhulted. I pray that I will be what you want me to be. I pray for these things in the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ. Amen."
Now I would like to talk about the SU camp where God led me. On the day of our departure I left Nagoya with other three members at 6 o'clock while it was still dark. We flew to Narita Airport to meet with the pastor and the other members. Since we were to leave Narita for Kuala Lumpur at 11 oﾕclock, we had plenty of time for service on the day, which was Sunday. After service, we checked in. Pastor Oyamada who was the leader of Scripture Union Japan led all the members from Japan. I really appreciated his great care that he took of the 19 members. Most of the members had never traveled by plane and they seemed to be nervous as well as excited. When we arrived KL Airport, everybody looked tired and some of the members even became sick. Then we prayed for them. At KL Airport we changed the plane for Kuching. When we arrived there, it was already midnight. The pastor in Kuching was waiting for us at the airport in the rain. We really appreciated his warmth and kindnesses in picking us up in such a hectic schedule. He provided us with rooms in church for us to stay in overnight. I would like to express my gratitude for their hospitality. However, we felt a little uneasy because it was difficult for us to adapt ourselves to the new circumstances right away. Next morning we had time for devotion and Pastor Oyamada read Joshua Chapter 1 Verse 5-7 to all the members from Japan,and he said to us, "Just believe in God. We know this SU camp will be quite beneficial and make us strong. So pray wherever you are and just believe God." I just followed his teaching. Unfortunately, one of the members from our church named Nozomi was out of shape. I couldnﾕt do anything but pray for her. I know God always listens to me when I pray. I prayed for my progress, too. After we ate breakfast, we got on a bus to go to the campground. In the bus,we met 20 people from Korea and we introduced each other. Although we couldnﾕt understand Korean, God brought Shota to this camp, who can speak Korean and served as an interpreter. I render thanks to God. At the beginning of this camp,I acted together in a small group of only Japanese members, but later I got to know a lot of other members from other countries. My closest friends that I made during this camp are Jason, Joshua Chu, Abner, Vyner and Ray. I still keep in touch with them. Here back in Japan now Iﾕm trying to preach the Gospel to my friends, which I learned during the teaching session at the camp. I also realized there that "God unites us as one." Though we have different languages, different cultures and different races, we have only one Lord! I really felt the strength of God.
Romans Chapter 8 Verse 28 says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." I realized that my former experiences in Indonesia were the preparation for this camp. At the end of the camp, I learned about the present situation of Sarawak's Christianity. There are abswout 400 believers in each church but most of the churches have no pastors. Luke Chapter 10 Verse 2 says "harvest is plentiful but the worker are few." In Sarawak there are many Christian people but very few shepherds. I had a feeling then that Jesus was calling on me. I felt that God wants me to help them.
This is the best camp I have ever had and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was such a wonderful experience to actually see "God has united us as one beyond the language barrier." After the camp, Nozomi and Hikari accepted Jesus. They were added to His family. Let's continue to pray for them. I want to express special gratitude to Pastor Koh Gim Lam, the staff who supported the SU camp, my host family, as well as my parents, and above all else, to You, Jesus! My Redeemer lives forever.
This following verse shows my present feeling;
" I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land." ( Psalm Chapter 143 verse 5 and 6.)
I was born in a Christian family, so I have been attending the service since I was born. So it was natural to believe in God for me, but I wanted to know him more certainty.
This Scripture Union Camp gave me the certainty. I had a very good time with new friends from other countries. And I had new great expriences like, catchng the chicken, talkng in English, being bitten by so big ants, having a good time with people like you in this village････and so on.
And on the scecond day of this camp, I noticed how great cost Jesus' death paid in order to save me.
And at Youth Rally, the ivent for young people, I was able to decide to follow Jesus. Though I'm not a valuable person, I'll go where Jesus wants me to go. Just because I became aware that Jesus is my Lord,King and Savior,and just because I was created by God.
I'm so happy to meet you in Christ,though Japan is far from here.
Finally, I want to read the Word of God.
James 4:8 "Come near to God and he will come near to you"
Romans15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as we trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit".
Thank you very much.
The Camp in which I could meet God, whom I love so much, and my friends
I was changed a lot by God in this camp. I don't know how to thank Him enough for guiding me.
Before participating, I felt uneasy about my poor English. It was a big trial for me. However God always helped me. I want to share His blessing for me with you.
We held a service at the airport, before leaving Japan. Pastor Oyamada gave each of us an encouraging massage from the Bible. He quoted a famous verse from Joshua chapter I verse 9. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." This verse has been supporting me all through the camp. I have heard this verse many times before, but it hasn't worked so lively in me before. The same experience happened to me many times during this camp. I thank God, because He made me change to listen to His words and accept them. I could make so many good memories that I could write a quite long novel. There were two special events I want to share with you.
First, I felt sick and faint during a congregation from a sudden temperature change, unfamiliar way of life and mental strain. I couldn't walk and almost lost consciousness. The only thing I could do was to say "・ｆeel sick." The participants who came from many nations came to me one by one and prayed for me. I heard that when many Japanese members were praying for me, many others came and joined the prayer. Later, I was carried to my room with many people's help. I got better, and I could speak, because God responded to the many campers prayers. Even so I still felt sick, faint and dizzy. ・felt self-abhorrence. One brother in God sympathized with my situation and said, "I haven't felt anything even if I saw other people suffering. But I made friends with you. When I saw you breaking down and suffering, I felt the same suffering with you for the first time. That brought me to pray to God to help you. If there was nothing wrong with you, I would't have been changed like this and Shion hasn't gained strength. So you don't have to apologize about this at all. "
When I heard this , I felt like crying. I was really encouraged, and haven't thought that there was a person who took my sickness as seriously as this, however I myself was sorry to trouble many people . There are also many other people who encouraged me and talked kindly.
Through my sickness, God gave me a lot of blessings and strength. Also I got warmth and tenderness from many people. I really thank God about this.
Pastor Oyamada told me about Mr. Zeriman, a SU-staff in Sarawak. Mr. Zeriman used to think through his father's story that Japanese were invaders and persecuted his grandparents. But when he saw Japanese praising God with singing and dancing , he was moved and cried without reason. When he prayed for me, he could pray from the bottom of his heart with tears. Mr. Oyamada also said that I went through hardships, but God used me . Other members could experience that if they pray from the bottom of their hearts, God surely responds to that. It was very good experience, he said.
My sickness gave many participants trouble. I was a burden to others. I couln't participate in all the programs. I repented a lot. But I could forget about it by the warm-hearted prayers and words from many people, and a lot of blessing from God .
I realized how important a prayer is, how great God's power is and how happy there
is someone who supports and prays for me. I really appreciate God.
Secondly, I want to share about the Youth Rally and Mission trip. We had an opportunity to talk about God to many people by a testimony and singing during the Mission trip. We all the Japanese members prepared for it by praying to God. Through this trip we were successful in conveying the greatness of God by praising him.
One messenger gave us a message with jokes, entitled "To you who are going to the Mission trip". I was moved by this message. "When you go to a village, don't take an extra things. If you need something there, our Lord and your friends will help you. The only thing you have to do is to pray to God , for the Lord will surely provide it for you. Therefore I tell you , whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.(Mark 11:24)"
1. Go to the family you are guided
Live together with the people in the village to look at their problems and lives. There is love in their lives. Know that love. Stay with that love and act with villagers. Talk with the people positively and preach the gospel.
2. Talk a peace
Bless the family member. Wherever you go, open your mouth to pray to God in His blessing.
3. Heal them by your prayer.
ﾓGive strength not only to their bodies but the weak in mind. The important thing is to pray to God from the bottom of your heart, and a desire to help each of them.
Bless, help them and talk about God. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to
you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20). An evil spirit is working in the village. Pray seriously for that. The first step for the mission is to talk children about Gospel. First of all, make friends with children and tell them a story about God. Finally, you gathered here to serve God. If there is a some one who really wants serve for God, Mission trip must be your first step. Do not be terrified, for the Lord will be with you. Keep your wish in mind. You are picked out for that purpose.ﾓ
This message strongly impressed me. I desired to serve God from the bottom of my heart and to talk about God to all people in the world. This message gave me an encouragement, a strength and also an opportunity to change me.
Then I started for Mission Trip. Our group went to an Iban tribe who were living in a tenement house. I was so strained at first. But the villagers welcomed us. The first people whom I got along with was children. We couldn't make ourselves understood, but we managed to communicate with gesture. They were always smiling and sweet. To my surprise, they had TV and radio, but no water supply. We were told to take a bath in the river. We walked on a wild road about 20 minutes to a bathing place; it was actually a sewer. It was so dirty that I was disgusted by the thought that I put my hand in it. After all, I didn't even touch the river and went home again. That experience was really a culture shock for me. Also I was gradually annoying and ashamed of myself, because I regarded the river which the village used as dirty or incredible. I have never thought such a big difference of way of life. I recognized how extravagant we are.
It seemed that the villagers enjoyed their live in such a small village. The children welcomed us with innocent smile. We were the first foreigners to see for them. They were singing a praise song with dance, which they were taught at Sunday school out of gratitude. I will never forget about it.
There was an event changing me on the second day of Mission trip. It happened at an evening congregation. We sang gospel songs like the day before, listened to a testimony, played a skit and finally had a calling time. Many villagers went front and prayed one by one. We were very pleased about this. After the congregation, an old lady told us about her story. She has heard about God for many years. However she never opened her heart. But she could do so after our singing, skit , testimony and message. When I heard that, I nearly wept for joy. We were sent to her in the plan of God and she could open her heart to God. I wish to become a missionary to go many villages in the world from the experience of this camp.
I was given another part of Bible in the village. That was Proverbs chapter 30 verse 8-9; Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say,
`Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my
God. There was something I could learn from this part. The village we visited was poor from the our point of view. But it had more precious things than money. It was poor financially but rich mentally. God nurtured these villagers not only financially but mentally. No poor in the village. I thank God for letting me recognize it!! I wish to become a missionary to go many villages in the world from the experience of this camp. I am very grateful, because I haven't thought like this before. I thank God for guiding me to this camp, US for making a plan for this, my parents for letting me join this with their prayer. I am very pleased to see many Brothers and Sisters in God.
I love them a lot. Praise the Lord!!!