As I prayed for relationships and opportunities for deep spiritual conversation, God began to answer those prayers through Miki, an outspoken but insecure freshman. Part of her insecurity was because she was older than most freshmen since she had to study for an extra year to enter the university of her choice.
She fought constant feelings of not being smart enough and being different in a culture that highly values education and fitting in. April used this chance to tell Miki what God thought about her. In a letter quoting Psalm 139, April told Miki how special and valuable she was to God and that she could have confidence because she was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” This is what Miki wrote in her goodbye letter to April – “Do you remember you gave me a message card? I was so happy and the letter is my treasure. I still don’t have strong confidence but I’ll try to have. Thank you for being my friend, spending time with me, giving me presents.”
One Navigator missionary described the process of a Japanese person believing in Christ like moving 100 yards from one end of a football field to the other. It is often a long process marked by small gains of 3 to 5 yards at a time, usually taking roughly 3 years. I praise God that in the 7 weeks I spent with the students we were able to see God bless our efforts and move many of the students a little further down the field. Now almost all of the freshmen that we intentionally pursued have a strong relationship with the local Navigator missionaries who can continue to help lead them to the end zone of personally knowing Christ as their Savior.