Mrs. Misao Fukunaga is an office worker at Japan Mission who helps with the correspondence, counseling and reaching out to many with the Gospel. Pray for Misao as she recently experienced the loss of her husband and continues to serve the Lord.
Read the following moving testimony of Mrs. Fukunaga:
A WORTHWHILE LOVE – Testimony of Misao Fukunaga
Misao grew up in the difficult days of postwar Japan. Her parents worked hard to eke out a meager living, but they always dreaded the last ten days of every month. She and her mother often had to go to the country side to forage for food. Rice was rationed, as they were only given a twenty day supply each month.
Academic pursuits were also hampered after the war, but Misao was a keen student. When a friend asked her one day if she would like to learn English from a foreigner, she jumped at the suggestion. The English classes were held in a church and the missionary invited Misao to attend Sunday School. There for the first time she heard of the love of God. Misao had never heard anything like that before.
Their family god was the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu Omikami. In her school books she had learned that Amaterasu was born from the left eye of the god named Izanagi and that Amaterasu received the country of Japan from him as her portion.
Misao’s parents often told her about the judgment of Amaterasu that would come down on her if she stepped out of line or if she did not do her homework the previous night.
She also heard of many other gods, but they were all harsh and insensitive. She feared to even get near them. Now for the first time in her life she heard that there was a God of love. She wanted to know more about Him. Did He really love mankind?
Misao was utterly amazed when she learned that the love of this God went so far as to send His only Son to die for the wayward human race! The Sunday School teacher told her that Jesus, God’s Son, died for them all.
She had never heard of such love being taught in Buddhism, Shintoism or any other religion in Japan. She felt that this was a worthwhile love to pursue and started to read the Bible and found many verses proclaiming God’s love.
Hereby perceive we the love of God because he laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16, KJV).
She wanted to tell everybody about this wonderful God she had found, but her mother was worried about her sudden zeal for the God of the church on the corner.
“We will never be able to find you a husband if you become a Christian!” her mother stormed. “You will disgrace the whole family.” In spite of her opposition, Misao was determined to follow the God of love.
When Misao’s younger sister died, the family suddenly became very religious, but Misao did not want to have anything to do with it. Her parents spared nothing to appease the gods. Every day her mother would place rice and water in front of the god-shelf and clap her hands to pray for good luck and protection, but now they had to do something special to assure her sister’s prosperity in Nirvana.
The god-shelf was covered with white paper, because the dead were considered to be impure and the news of the death of a family member had to be kept from the gods.
Misao’s parents did not have a lot of money, but the Buddhist priest was paid handsomely to assure that their beloved daughter found a good place in heaven. No cost was too much to avert the wrath of the gods.
Misao watched all of this in silence. She felt as though the entire family was against her, but then her younger brother sought the Lord. He had seen a great change in her and he knew that she had found something that was real.
When Misao enrolled as a student at the Kansai Bible College, her mother was up in arms. She warned her that she would be an old maid for life.
“Mother,” she said, “to me Christ is more important than the most wonderful wedding you could ever arrange for me!”
After three years of Bible study, she spent the next six years assisting missionaries in the rural parts of Japan to spread the Gospel.
Much to her mother’s surprise, a marriage was then arranged for her with Isamu Fukunaga of the Japan Mission. He was a handsome young man and her mother approved of him.
Mr. and Mrs. Fukunaga were dedicated workers of the Japan Mission for many years. Mr. Fukunaga recently passed away at age 81 on March 23, 2013. Mrs. Misao Fukunaga continues to work with JM and helps with the correspondence, counseling and reaching out to many with the Gospel. Pray for Misao as she recently experienced the loss of her husband and desires to continue to serve the Lord.
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