"Has God Forgotten Japan?"

by Evangelist Koji Honda

CHAPTER THREE--"Conversion and Restitution"

Later I went to Tokyo where I became a helper in a hardware store. I went to the Tokyo Ginza Methodist Church. I went up to a small fourth floor room and there repented of my sins. It was on the same say, July 22nd, that I had been baptized a year before.

The Lord spoke to my heart, "You're a hypocrite." My heart was pricked. "You tell people that you are a Christian and yet there is no change in your life." It was true. Even tho I had been attending church faithfully, still I was unable to free myself from the strong desires of the flesh. I spent a night in prayer and wrestled with God. This is how my conversion took place.

One day when I was walking in Tokyo the Lord gave me Luke 9:60, "...Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." These words were an inspiring challenge to me that I must proclaim the Gospel. Thus it was that I heard God's call to become an evangelist. I soon quit the hardware shop and became a Bible colporteur. I walked many miles in the Tokyo, Saltama, Gumma, and Ibaraki areas going fromj village to village and from city to city selling Bibles.

On my trip to the City of Takasaki I went to Pastor Yamaguchi's church. He often had only two or three in attendance. He said to me, "Honda, are you living the new life?" "Yes, when I was eighteen I repented of my sins," I said. He replied, "Have you made restitution?" "No," I answered. "Just as I thought. You're a Christian, all right, but there is something lacking in your life because you haven't made full restitution."

My heart responded to what he had just spoken. I knew the words were true. The next day I wrote the principal of the Fukui Commercial School a letter of apology. I enclosed five yen (then about $6) in it. I also wrote other book and candy stores in my home town the same kind of a letter, and enclosed money in them. I also wrote to some of my friends to repay the money that I had brrowed from them.

A week later a letter came from the school principal. He wrote, "At first when I read your letter I didn't understand it. After reading it several times more I gave thanks for it. In all of my fifty-one years I have never received such a letter. Please continue faithfully in your way of faith. You didn't need to worry about the money, but since you sent it I hgave added it to the school funds." The letters from the stores all carried about the same answers, with added words of encouragement for me to continue in the Christian way. In this way I was taught to walk in His glory.

Then I went to the City of Sendai in northern Japan to sell Bibles. On a Sunday afternnoon the Lord gave me Matthew 21:3, "And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them." The Lord gave me the assurance that I was to separate myself rom other things nd become His evangelist. After having worked two years as a colporteur I submitted my letter of resignation. Thus the aim of giving my life as a sacrifice to the Lord was beginning to be fulfilled.

In August I went to help in a church in in Akasaka. There I did everytrhing from washing floors to teaching in the Sunday School. These were necessary preparation days. There my life was greatly influenced by the godly lives of the pastor and of the Bible woman. There I learned about the necessity of a life of prayer. I also learned about tithing, home visitation, and the victorious Christian life.

One night after the Sunday evening service was over I took some of the believers to the riverside for a prayer meeting. As I was praying in a loud voice a policeman approached me with his stick and flashlight, and said, "What's going on here?" I answered, "We're only praying." "Excuse me," he repied and went on his way. He thought I was either a Communist or an agitator, who was creating a disturbance among the people."

Please return for Chapter Four, "Bible School Days," when it come on-line soon.

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Text: (c) Koji Honda, 2007, All Rights Reserved

Format only: (c) 2005, Butterfly Productions, All Rights Reserved