2017/05/14

Baptism Celebration

IJCS was blessed with a mother and a daughter's baptism on Mother's Day.
 




 
Many Friends from ICS came and celebrated their very special day!
 
Confession of Faith  by the daughter M.I
I believe that I am a sinner.
I believe that God sent his only Son to die on the cross to pay for my sin.
   I can talk to Him.  He makes me Happy. Jesus rose from the dead.
He lives with us. I want to go to the Church.
Thank you Jesus for my family.
Confession of Faith by the mother M.I
The beginning of knowing Christ was when my family moved to Singapore about 2 years ago and my 3 daughters started attending Christian school, International Community School (ICS).  In ICS, teachers, school staff and many of families are Christian. They have very warm heart to reach out and help people in need, and the encounter with them has made good changes in my heart day by day.
The Bible my daughters brought back from school was the first bible I read, though it didn't sink in my heart at all.
Around the same time, I was invited to bible study for parents and started attending to make friends. Through the bible study, I have been blessed with many Christian friends who are always supportive. Their kindness naturally coming from their hearts and their actions with consideration are what I always respect. I met Ms. K in IJCS through ICS too.
Last summer, the condition of my mother, who had been fighting against cancer for two years, worsened and I went back to Japan. At that time, many Christian friends prayed for me, encouraged and supported me. My mother passed away later, but through her death, I started contemplating life, death, and religion. Then the teaching in Christianity naturally sank in my heart. After 49-day memorial service after her death, I sorted out my feeling and came back to Singapore. Around that time, I was invited by Ms. K to small bible study group, and got to know Pastor I and other members of IJCS through the group. As studying bible in Japanese, I realized the depth of the Bible. I felt the Bible was speaking to my current situation and wanted know more about Jesus.
I wondered what "sinner" means in the Bible. Sinner sounds like a criminal who commits heavy crime. However, sinner in the Bible means unfaithful person. Since the moment Adam and Eve did not follow the promise with God, unfaithfulness have resided in every human's heart and we are born with unfaithfulness in our nature.
I have always felt something is missing in my heart. I assume many people feel in the same way. According to the Bible, we are losing "refuge" of heart due to the sin of unfaithfulness. I was indeed a sinner without faith for 44 years. 
I have been blessed many things since small, I have grown up with everything I needed and now I'm blessed with beloved husband and children, but I have failed to see those blessings because of busy life. I realized that I should not take any small blessing for granted. Because I now know Jesus, I can have appreciation to all circumstances I'm placed, even if it is hardship.
Within a year after mother's death, in March 2017, I confronted harsh reality again. My father, who was always healthy, visited hospital for just short consultation and found out he actually had last stage cancer. As there was no cure, he was told to go home and prepare himself. Not only him but all family were shaken by this sudden notice.
Same as the time for mother, I sometimes felt like being crushed by helplessness. However, I could still stand strong thanks to the support and prayer from family, friends from ICS and IJCS. The Bible spoke to me in many ways especially in this period.
In the Bible, it is promised that God gives us challenges to grow, so I also took that this hardship was given by God to grow. Jacob 1:2-4 says "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." This verse supported my heart.
On April 13, father passed away. Through my parents' death, I started thinking about the meaning of death - which comes to me someday as well, on the day only God knows. 
I used to have so much fear to death by thinking that everything ends when I die. But the Bible told me something good is waiting after death if we follow God and live with faith. It is the eternal life in which we live with God in heaven with peace. This gives me hope. Sometimes grief suddenly attacks me, but I leave my parents to God, who surely takes care of my parents.
It was very hard for me as a child to see my parents suffer. However, I take the hard time as blessing from God, and it is also blessing that my parents showed me how to live until the last moment. I give thanks to God for all the blessings and declare that I take a firm step every day even when I face to difficulties, trusting that Jesus is always with me.
I could reach this day because of my family's deep understanding and support, guidance by Pastor I  and all Christian friends. I appreciate all of you here. Jesus was crucified for us and resurrected, and I believe Jesus is still living in our hearts as a savior.
 


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