Friday, December 12, 2014

A letter from a Japanese sister to my beloved Korean brothers and sisters in Christ,

Recently, I've noticed that there rose a kind of neo-nationalism among some young people in Japan. And I thought, “Now is the time that I, as a Japanese sister who was saved in Korea, must testify His salvation work and express my deep gratitude to Korean Christians.”

Earthly nations and its politics change, but our Kingdom never change. Because the King of this Kingdom is “the same yesterday, today and forever”(Heb 13:8). 

I am so grateful that we have this solid, eternal foundation in Christ. And I am so glad that our brotherhood and sisterhood shall never change no matter what.

Here is my letter to you; 

Hello, thank you so much for visiting my blog. Today, out of my gratitude, I’d like to share with you how I came to believe Jesus Christ in Korea.

The story began back in 1992 (or 93) when the book There is no Japan (=일본은 없다) was published in Korea and I heard that it became national best seller. 

At that time, I was a junior high school student and I had little knowledge about Korea and our tragic modern history. Through my Korean pen-pal, though, I was already familiar with Korean pop cultures and I liked them.

The release of this book gave me fear that our national relationship might become cold and hostile. This sense of sadness had stayed in me for many days until finally I decided to do something. 

Then I wrote a letter to Korean embassy, expressing my wish that we love each other. It must be a very childish letter but without my knowledge, this letter was introduced in one Korean newspaper. And do you know what happened? Many loving letters started to come to my junior high school from various parts of Korea.

I cherished each one of your letters. Many, both young and old, showed their tender affection to me. Since that time, Koreans have become my beloved and special people and you became more special later in my life, which I am going to explain to you now. 

When I was first year of high school, I went to Taejon city to see my Korean pen-pal and I stayed with her family for several days. They loved me so much and I felt at home. 

Then one day, her family took me to the Independence Hall (museum). 

There I was just stunned. I was shocked to know that terrible violence and slaughter had occurred during the Japanese occupation period. I said to myself, “How come I did not know that?” I was 15 years old at that time. 

After coming back to Japan, I decided to study Korea-Japan modern history by myself. Since there was no Korean language school in my city at that time, I learned your language through radio program. And this pursuit even changed my life course, I mean, I decided to study East Asian history in university. 

My college days were thus spent vigorously in this way. I became one of the active members of the Korea-Japan student conference and I continued to dig in historical issues. 

But somewhere on the way, something started to be changed (or wither) in me. 

Although my wish for reconciliation has not been changed ever since my junior high school days, I also discovered, to my utter dismay, that this world is full of injustice and, after all, nation-states are not charity organizations but they are mainly governed by power and self-interest. 

I was also wondering which position I should take as a Japanese; left-wing or right-wing? I went back and forth, talking with various people and read many books but still I could not find the answer. 

I felt I did not belong anywhere. I felt I was carrying a terribly heavy burden which contained self-reproach and a sense of guilty. Many times I asked myself why I was born as a Japanese. For me, being a Japanese was a heavy burden and I felt I was not forgiven and I shall never be.

Though I was still active in my student conference, deep inside me, I felt myself totally powerless in front of injustice and a circle of hatred. Grass-roots activities, for me, seemed to be like hulls, being blown off so easily by political agendas in each side. 

After the conference, one night, we (both Korean and Japanese students) drank alcohol together. Everybody looked happy, except me. I was depressed and lonely. I could neither smile nor talk. 

“Do we need alcohol in order to bond our friendship? Is this the path of reconciliation that I should continue to pursue? Why humans are so separate to each other? I have been trying my best to make friends with my neighbors all these years, but I feel so empty and hopeless. It seems like there is a high wall between humans which no alcohol nor good-willed activities can cross in an ultimate sense.”

I had thought I would find solution in this way, but I could not. It was at that time that I came to Seoul as an exchange student and through marvelous ways, I encountered a godly Korean sister. 

God had already gave her a passion for Japanese souls and she had mastered Japanese perfectly. Every morning before dawn, she was on her knees and was praying. There was a special tenderness in her which made me feel safe and accepted. Whenever I was with her, I felt peace which I had never felt before. 

I then found that I had always been seeking something non-temporal, or I should say,Someone. I had always been craving for love, unity and acceptance. And I had been desperate to be forgiven.

When I started to read the Bible with her, I finally found the root problem; sin

It was this sin which made me separate from people, and most of all, from God. It was this sin which makes nations apart and fight each other. 

And I learned that Jesus Christ came to this earth in order to solve this root issue. I was drawn to Jesus and His Love. I heard that my sins and burdens were forgiven by Him on the cross. It was indeed Good News for me. 

I realized that all kinds of reconciliations are possible when there are true God's children who have the Spirit of Jesus Christ, because He is the Prince of Peace.

I heartily accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and my Lord and I was baptized in one church in Seoul. 

Dear Korean brothers and sisters, thank you for reading my testimony. I have been loved by you so much. I was born in Japan, but spiritually I was born in Korea, so I have two mother countries and two people whom I love dearly. 

By His grace, now I am joyfully serving Him as a missionary. And I say that I am your “fruit” and I owe to you greatly.

May our Lord Jesus bless you abundantly! Let us all see each other in His Kingdom. Amen. 

(↓제가 좋아하는 찬양입니다.)


마라나타 주 예수여 어서 오시옵소서
땅의 모든 끝 모든 족속 주를 찬송하게 하소서

마라나타 주 예수여 어서 오시옵소서
모든 열방이 주께 돌아와 춤추며 경배하게 하소서

우리주님 다시 오실 길을 만들자
십자가를 들고 땅끝까지 우린 가리라

우리주님 하늘영광 온땅 덮을때
우린 땅끝에서 주를 맞으리

마라나타 마라나타 아멘 주예수여 오시옵소서! x2
아멘 주예수여 오시옵소서! X2

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