Given Grace

For young Mika, as for so many Japanese youth, the pressure and expectations are often overwhelming. Parents with unrealistic goals, insensitive uncaring peers and a future that often seems hopeless. She finds herself sinking into despair until one day she meets a young man that is somehow very different, he is kind and caring with an unusual wholesomeness about him. She soon finds out that he is a Christian and he invites her to his church where she discovers that there is a God who loves her. A message of hope invades her life, a message that leads to places far from Japan such as Kenya, Ecuador, and Honduras. Missionaries with great stories of faith. From deserts to jungles and city slums, Jesus commands us to carry the message of the Gospel to all people. There are surprises close to home with an elderly neighbor trying to put the war behind him who turns out to be a Christian with an amazing testimony. A child named Grace that brings joy to many lives and seems almost supernaturally attune to God. An encounter with a witch doctor that unwisely defies God. Although Mika feels a positive change and an underlying joy in her life after becoming a Christian, she soon comes to understand that following Christ is not always easy. Conflict with parents, friends, and a society that is deeply entrenched in Buddhism, Shintoism, tradition, and superstition. Keeping a strong faith and staying true to scripture is a challenge for any Christian, particularly when facing issues such as suicide, rape, and abortion and more so in an unbelieving society.

--Rhea McCullough

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