Mi Eh Kim was disappointed. She had arrived in Tokyo from China to study, but she couldn’t find a Chinese Adventist congregation and didn’t yet understand enough Japanese to understand people. She was used to worshipping God every Sabbath in China, and she worried about her spiritual life when she couldn’t go. She prayed to find a place to live closer to a church.
While Mi Eh studied Japanese, she prayed that God would lead her to a university located near an Adventist church. She was accepted at a university outside Tokyo, and to her joy discovered that an Adventist church was nearby. Members offered to pick her up on Sabbaths. What an answer to prayer!
The pastor of the small group of worshippers welcomed her and introduced her to the members. Instantly Mi Eh felt the warmth of fellowship and enjoyed the spiritual feast in the town her friends had told her was cold to foreigners. She looked forward to Sabbaths with an intensity she found hard to imagine.
When she graduated she moved back to Tokyo to work. Once more she searched for a church in which to worship. But this time she learned that a Chinese-speaking congregation was worshipping in one of the Japanese churches in the city. How precious it was to worship God in her mother tongue.
Mi Eh has been in Japan for 10 years now, and sometimes she still feels like a foreigner. She knows the stress people feel in a foreign country, and she knows how happy they are to meet with people who speak their own language. Her church family helps nourish her spiritual roots and makes a huge difference in her life.
Part of a previous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering has helped nourish this Chinese-speaking church in Tokyo. It has now formed a second congregation so that more Chinese-speaking people can find spiritual nurture in a foreign land.
Mi Eh Kim (left) is one of thousands of Chinese studying or working in Japan.