Freedom in Christ


Several years ago, the Alliance team in Japan requested prayer for a young woman named Takako. She had many problems, not the least of which was a powerful demonic influence in her life. It seemed impossible for us to reach her with the gospel.

But because of the prayers of God’s people, she put her faith in Jesus and was completely delivered. The transformation in her life has been dramatic. Now, Takako is a leader in an evangelistic children’s puppet ministry in Sengendai Church.

Takako’s husband, Hideji, however, had no interest in Christ. It seemed as if Takako would be in for years of prayerful waiting, along with many other Japanese Christian women.

Hideji had been raised in a secular home and claimed no religion. Like most Japanese men, when trouble came, Hideji would pray for help at the Buddhist temple or the Shinto shrine. He was not opposed to his wife’s Christian faith and even drove her to church, but he saw no need for Christ in his own life.

While on home assignment, Alliance workers Ken and Kathy Young asked the C&MA Men’s Ministry groups to pray for Hediji. For three years, many in the Alliance family prayed for him.

About a year ago, God provided the opportunity we were waiting for. We had been praying with Takako and trying to reach out to Hideji, but he is a very quiet guy and the conversation never went beyond “hello” and “sayonara.”

Then one day, Hideji asked if we would teach him English. We began getting together late on Friday nights—the only time to meet Japanese men because of their intense work schedules. We studied English a little, and then had short Bible studies. Hideji listened politely to what the we said about Jesus, but he was personally uninterested. He considered Christianity just another religion.

About six months later, God allowed a difficult situation to enter Hideji’s life, showing him his need for Christ. Hideji’s attitude toward the Bible changed, and he began to study it seriously. Late last fall, Hideji put his faith in Jesus, and he was recently baptized in Sengendai Church.

At his baptism, Hideji testified to God’s work in his life. “When I read in the Bible, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick . . . I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners,’ I realized that I was a sinner and needed the Savior” (Matt. 9:12–13).

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