Two months ago, I received a postcard from the Shingu Police Station.
It appears that I had gone home without receiving my change of 2,000 yen when I went shopping at the store. The cash register noticed and reported it to the police station. The reason why she knew it was me was because of the phone number on the point-of-sale number.
I was just in the middle of a fund-raising campaign for Ukraine, so I picked up the money and I donated the 2,000 yen in the donation box.
Lately, I noticed that I forget more and more things, and I have been searching around the house for my wallet, phone, and keys, not knowing where I put them. It was the first time I forgot my change.
But I always had the tendency to forget things.
Once, during my stay in Zurich, I had thought I irrevocably lost something of significant value. It was on Sunday when we decided to make tithe to the church for the first time.
By the way, the tithe is an Old Testament concept. Tithe was a requirement of the Old Testament. Every Israelite was required to give 10% of everything he earned or produced to the Tabernacle/Temple. (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 14:24; 2 Chronicles 31:5). Some believe the Old Testament tithe to have been a way of collecting taxes to provide for the needs of the priests and Levites who were in charge of the sacrificial organization. In the New Testament, there are no commands or exhortations to people to follow the legal tithe. Paul recommended Christians should set aside a portion of their income to support the church. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
We were so thankful for our fellowship in the Korean church that we naturally felt the need to give more. We decided to offer 100,000 yen (1,000 francs) every month. It is much more than the tithe.
My husband's salary was high at the time. We had never offered much before and I was a little nervous about whether I would be able to continue to do so every month, but I was more excited and joyful that day.
On Sunday morning, I put the offering in my backpack. It was the middle of winter, snowing and windy, and I carried my youngest son on my back in my coat and put my second son on the carriage and I hooked my backpack to the carriage side. When we arrived at the church, I looked for my backpack, but couldn't find it! I panicked and almost cried. The co-pastor smiled and said, "Don't worry, Mrs. Ono. I'm sure you can find out that lost one in Switzerland."
With such a large sum of money in it, I couldn’t believe it could be found. If someone found it, they must have taken the money. I was so upset during the worship service. We went to the police station on our way home from church to report the missing backpack.
A few days later, the police called me and told me they found my backpack!
When we went there, the police officer handed me an envelope containing the money and said, "We have the rule to give 15% to the person who found it and I have already given it to her from this money. Her address is here, you can contact her."
Wow! It was amazing! I was shocked and thrilled that I couldn't believe it even though I held the envelope with the money in my hand. I left it at the transfer stop and got on the train, but the backpack had somehow ended up in the grassy area away from the bus stop. There was a potluck chicken in the backpack and her dog found it because of the dog's scent.
The lady who found my backpack was an American, so I wrote a thank-you note in English.
She replied immediately and wrote that she was on her way to the pool to swim and that her dog found the backpack. We had not met, but we exchanged Christmas cards for a while when I left Switzerland and moved to Brazil. I lost touch with her when she returned to the U.S. She was an angelic lady who I will never forget. I am sure it was thanks to God's blessing, but at the same time, my respect for the country of Switzerland increased.
Then another day, I left my umbrella on the train, and my co-pastor said to me with a laugh, "People in this country will always return an item even one umbrella.” The umbrella was not expensive, but when I went to the police station, I found my umbrella there. These are a miracle that happened twice. Through this experience, Michio and I both came to firmly believe that even if we made a mistake, God would always guide us to solve it and God’s protection would always be there. Of course, when we told this story on Wednesday, everyone clapped their hands as if it were their own, and we all prayed a prayer of thanksgiving aloud. Many members already had given tithe. We recognized that Korean Christians are committed to their churches, and I wanted to emulate their faith. (To be continued)
Encourage us to offer them to You.
Free medicines and toothbrushes from volunteer clinics, dental clinics, dispensing pharmacies, and drug companies have been given us. However, since I am entering the country as tourist, there is a possibility that the medicines may be detained by customs. We are trying to encourage them to take this into consideration, but it is not easy. We are praying and searching for where the Lord's plan is. Please remember us in your prayers.