By David Harris
As the Lord directs our lives, we learn that unexpected occasions can become Di-
vine appointments. In July of 2011, I boarded a flight for a meeting. A 70-year-old
Japanese lady sat next to me. After greeting her, I began a conversation with her.
She asked, “Have you been in Japan long?”
“Twenty-three years,” I replied.
“What do you do?”
“I am a missionary.”
“Are you a pastor?”
“Yes!” Her response was unusual. She bowed and several times said, “I have been seated
next to a very nice person!” She seemed to contemplate something. She contin-
ued, “This trip is not for pleasure.” There was a pause. “I am going to talk with my
grandson.” After another pause, she lowered her voice and said, “He has started
taking drugs!” She began to relate her fears for her grandson as well as for the
family. She leaned closer and said, “I am going to talk to him, but I do not know
what to say!”
The Lord directed. I reached into my bag and pulled out a Gospel tract. “Here is
what your grandson needs to hear,” I replied.
For the next while I told her of a God in heaven who loves her, sent His only Son
to die for her and made it possible for her to be saved. She seemed to understand
and knew enough Bible stories to understand the concepts of the One True God,
sin and salvation.
She replied, “But I am a Buddhist!” She talked about praying at the butsudan
(Buddhist altar) in her home. I asked, “Did this help?” She shook her head and
She said in hushed tones, “I have even been to Osore (o-so-de) san to pray.” Mt.
Osore is well known in Japan as a place people go to talk to the spirits of the
dead. It is located in Aomori prefecture. I said, “I know of Mt. Osore. I worked in
Aomori for 15 years.” The Lord impressed me again to ask, “Did this help?” She
shook her head again and said, “No!”
24 BIMI WORLD
Number 3, 2011