A while back in Japan, I was asked the question, "what is a testimony?"
In Christianity, a testimony is sharing a story of how we received God's grace. I would like to share with you several testimonies instead of a formal message during the worship service.
Since I was a small child, some people have described me as proactive and ambitious, but others may have interpreted it as troublesome because of the high activity.
Even at 70 years old, this tendency has not disappeared. Some may still be overwhelmed by the level and intensity.
it has been so long ago that it may not be accurate. I was not sure where to begin, but I thought it would be easier to start from the pages of my youth, but please understand that
I had a dream to serve people as a medical missionary in Africa. Unfortunately, it was not so easy to get into medical school. I spent two years attempting to get into medical school. It felt as though things were going downhill. Photo is Dr.Albert Schweitzer whom I admired.
One day, a month or two after we prayed, a Korean novelist named Cha Yun-Sun was visiting Japan for publication, and I was introduced to her by Rev. Tsurukame Shimamura, the pastor of Fujimi-cho Church in Japan.
I went to Tokyo and told Mrs.Cha about my dream. She listened very attentively and said she would try to help. After that, Mrs. Cha talked to the ambassador of the Korean Embassy in Japan to see if I could study in Korea, and when she returned to Korea, she negotiated with the universities. Two universities were open to possibly accepting me.
One was Kyung Hee University, a co-educational school, and the other one was the medical school of Ewha Women's University. The former has a language training system within the university, and I had to study Korean there for a year. The latter was to enter medical school directly, so I decided to select Ewha Women's University
There were two conditions for admission. One was to have a high school average of B or higher, and the other was to speak Korean fluently.
At the time, there were only two dictionaries in Japan: Japanese-Korean and Korean-Japanese. I had planned a one-month intensive Korean language course at Seoul National University. When I saw the characters for the first time, they only looked like symbols.
No one could imagine it feasible for someone who failed to enter the medical school could learn medicine in the country of totally different language and culture.
However, I knew I could do it because I believed that God had opened the door for me. There is a saying, "the blind man is not afraid of the snake."
Mrs. Cha arranged for me to meet with the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Japan in Minami-Azabu to obtain a student visa.
I greeted the ambassador in Korean, but I received no response. The ambassador paid no attention to me and spoke in Korean with Mrs. Cha throughout the meeting. I was very concerned about his somewhat grim expression. After some time, the ambassador handed me the documents for my student visa with a big stamp. I later asked Mrs. Cha what he was going on.
She told me that the Korean government would not allow anyone to study at medical college. This was due to many children of high-ranking Japanese officials having enrolled in the medical school at Korai University, but none of them had graduated. Continuing this trend would lower the reputation of medical schools in Korea, so new students were not accepted anymore.
Then, Mrs. Cha said, “Megumi grew up in a pastor's family and wants to serve in a doctorless village in Korea in the future. She is not a person who becomes a doctor for money or honor, so please give her a student visa. I will take responsibility for her." I was so moved that I had goosebumps when I heard that she persistently negotiated with the ambassador. In this way, I overcame an obstacle that seemed impossible.
At the end of December 1992, I boarded a plane from Haneda to Korea.
It was the first flight in my life. The storm shook the plane and made me throw up, but I was full of joy because my dream came true.
We arrived at Kimpo Airport in Seoul and went straight to Mrs.Cha's house. Her husband (Ki Hyun-bin 기현빈), the tall and stout educator, the principal of a school on the border with North Korea, and his two daughters and two sons were waiting for me outside the gate despite the extreme cold and welcomed me as if I were family.
Then, Mr.Ki and Mrs. Cha told their children, "Megumi will be the eldest daughter of our family”. I started calling them both father (aboji 아버지) and mother (omoni, 어머니). Korea became my second homeland, and this family became my irreplaceable Korean family.
누나 (man calls woman older than him)
It was New Year's Day, January 1, 1993. We were invited to lunch, and on our way back by a cab going down Namsan Mountain, we got into an accident. It was snowing heavily that day. The tires slid and we were slipping toward a cliff! "Oh, no! I'm going to die! I can't be a doctor anymore!" I thought for a moment. There was a big sound of hitting something. Miraculously, a large stone kept us from falling off the cliff.
It was extremely shocking.
I was sitting next to the driver, and I hit my face on the dashboard. I lost consciousness for a minute. “Megumi! Are you okay!?" I heard Mrs.Cha's voice from far away. Her friend Miss. Fujino was also in the back seat. Seeing that we almost fell off a cliff, we laughed out loud while holding hands. Strangely enough, everyone can laugh even when we experience something so scary.
My front teeth were only a little cracked, but Mrs. Cha suffered from chest pain later, and turned out she had a fractured rib. We thought of reporting the incident to the police, but we didn't.
Mrs. Cha gave the driver some money because he was probably poor. "What? this driver caused the accident, why are you giving him money!" I muttered to myself. But I prayed thanks to God for protecting us, because nothing serious had happened.
Please guide the Russian leadership and people to oppose the war and renounce the war of aggression so that President Putin will not commit any more crimes.
Also, may the people of Russia trapped in opposition be freed!
May all the people of the world join in prayer!
We also ask that you use the United Nations and the leaders of many nations to end this war and bring peace.
Please stop soldiers on both sides from killing each other.
Let there be no more civilian casualties! Especially protect the children.
May nuclear and chemical weapons never be used.
Give us the courage to welcome and help victims of war and refugees. Please work through all the nations and us individually, no matter how small we may be.
In Christ's name, we believe and pray. Amen.