My name is Ken. My parents come from the Philippines; but my brother and sister, Mark and Kaycee, and I were born and grew up in Japan, where my father works for a bank.
We live in Tokyo, the largest city in the world. [Locate Tokyo on a map.] There is no Adventist school near our home, so we attend a public school. And all public schools have classes on Sabbath.
But we’re allowed to attend Sabbath School instead. Our Sabbath School teacher signs a paper that says we were in Sabbath School and studied our lessons, and we are excused from school on Sabbath.
But when we enter the seventh grade, we won’t have that permission any longer. The only way we can keep the Sabbath then is to attend an Adventist school. And there isn’t one where we live.
We love Sabbath and look forward to Sabbath School, church, and the afternoon programs that the church plans for us.
Why is Sabbath so special to us? First, we don’t have to worry about homework, so we can focus on spending the day with God and our family. Second, it’s the only time we can see our Adventist friends. Because we go to different schools, we don’t get to see one another except on Sabbath. That makes Sabbath even more special.
We’re the only Adventists—and probably the only Christians—at our school. We spend our days with children and teachers who don’t know about Jesus. Our classmates don’t understand our faith, and sometimes it’s hard to explain why we love a God we can’t see.
We know that God created the heavens and the earth and made us in His image. But our teachers teach evolution. It’s hard to explain what we know as truth to our friends who don’t know.
Our family talked about how we can share our beliefs, and we decided to give our teachers and our friends Bibles and other literature. But that’s expensive.
Then last summer at our church’s retreat, we received Japanese Bibles to give to our friends. My brother, sister, and I took 10 Bibles plus copies of Steps to Christ to give to our teachers and our friends so that they can read for themselves about the God who made us and loves us.
My sister gave a Bible to her friend Mayuko [may-YU-koh]. Mayuko said that she had once attended a Christian church and had heard something about Jesus. She was glad to have the Bible and plans to read it.
My brother Mark takes his Bible to school with him and reads it when he finishes his class work. The teacher noticed this and realized how important his Bible was to him. So when Mark accidentally left his Bible at the school one Friday, the teacher called to tell him where his Bible was.
Mark gave her one of the Japanese Bibles and often asks her if she’s reading it. He wants to be sure his teacher will get to know God.
Mark is only 8, but he really shares his faith!
The students in our school all wear an electronic alarm, like a pendant, around their neck. If a student ever feels that they’re in danger, they can pull the alarm and call for help.
One day Mark lost his alarm, and his teacher was worried about his safety. Mark held out his Bible and told his teacher that God would keep him safe! His teacher smiled and encouraged him to keep his Bible close until he received his new alarm.
Sometimes our classmates ask us why we don’t worship their gods and don’t attend school on Saturdays. We use these opportunities to tell them about God and how much He cares for us.
Japan isn’t a Christian nation, and very few Adventists live there. Please pray that God will use our offerings to share His love with the people who don’t know Him.