On Saturday, my church, along with a group from the YMCA hosted a Christmas worship service at a local prison. Thanks to God, I could get the time off Saturday morning and go. A group of about 15 people prepared a sign dance to a song, “More than Wonderful”, by Sandi Patty (of course, it was translated into Japanese) for the prisoners (there were also some more songs prepared, a service, some Christmas carols, and prayer in the service, prepared by my church and the YMCA group).
It was my first time to go to a prison. And this prison was for people from all over Japan who had committed more serious crimes. I was told what to expect: some really unhappy faces, same clothes, same hair, but some people will sing along, and look interested, because Yoji, the pastor, had gone there about 120 times this year, and could talk with some prisoners about Jesus’ great love for them. (Sometimes Yoji reads letters in church from the prisoners; it’s a great ministry. God is doing something great in this prison.)
I don’t think I’ve ever really given prisoners (any prisoner) a chance in my mind before, because I was really struck by how much God really loves those men in the prison. My entire life since coming to Japan has been mostly with fellow Christians, at school my friends were Christian, and church was my only constant extra-curricular activity until I went to a Christian college. ^^
My life has been surrounded by Christianity! Finally, I am getting a chance to meet non-Christians. I am meeting and loving people who do not have the same hope and joy that I have! No wonder they are so unhappy! God has been my joy since I was a little child, and I can’t imagine living without that peace and love. Thanks to God that He has given me His grace all my life! Wow…
How can I show that love to my friends (Christian and non-Christian)?