Christian Home Life
We both grew up in Christian families. As we grew up, we got to feel that it is hard to live as a Christian in Japan because the Christian population here in Japan is just 1% of the whole population, and you can hardly find other Christian outside of church. This percentage has never changed for decades. We thought that we better not tell our friends and people around us at school and the office that we are Christian, because it is kind of taboo to talk about religion. We strongly felt that way when we were kids. One of the reasons why Japanese think like that is that there were huge cult problems in the past. So, we got to think like, “What is faith?” Our faith in God was fading away unconsciously, and gradually, we stopped going to church when we were junior high school students. We didn’t see each other for a while after that.
But we met each other again in November, 2015. We went back to our church, each for different reasons, for the first time in 10 years. As a result, we started to date. We wanted a partner with whom we could encourage and pray for each other. Our faith was becoming stronger, and our relationship with God was gradually becoming more intimate, as we were going through many things and hard times together.
Through our married life
We got married in 2017. There was so much joy and good times. However, we faced difficulties at the same time, as the two of us, who grew up in different circumstances with a different sense of values, tried to build a new family. We quarreled (we still do sometimes) and could not understand each other well, so sometimes we cried and felt so down. When those things happened to us a lot, we started to think that we couldn’t get over these problems.
On the other hand, God was always there, giving us a hand and drawing us closer to Him. The verse, "And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12, ESV)," was first given to us in our married life. We started to think about the purpose of our lives when the verse was given, and we have come to spend more time praying and learning from the Bible together.
A vision was given
In the beginning, we felt resistance to “missionary outreach.” We were born and raised in Christian families and accepted God’s presence and love unconsciously in our daily lives, so it was hard for us to imagine that people would believe in God by being told about Jesus from others. In the process of our marriage, our passion to share the gospel more with others has become stronger, but at the same time, the opposite thought came up in our minds. One day, we realized through prayers and fellowship, that there are many ways to tell the good news and share the gospel, and every single Christian is called by God to tell the good news in each different place, time and way. It was a big change for us when we realized this. So, we started to pray about how exactly we can share the good news. What is our style? Then an idea was given to us. We want to witness through our lives, through the way we live.
Idea was given
We need to be witnesses of God’s love not only through word, but through the way we live. When we realized that this is our evangelism style, we strongly felt like the door just opened for us. We started to feel that we wanted to change the way we live. A sense of hope filled our hearts. On the other hand, there seemed to be no change in the circumstances under which Christians in Japan lived, and it was still hard for them to live in this society with a consistently strong faith. When it comes to evangelizing, it’s even harder. We hit a wall, and we almost gave up on our mission.
No matter how good your idea is, it will be meaningless unless you try it out. It might sound like we are taking a detour away from living out our testimony fully, but we realized that first of all Christians in Japan need to get connected more, encourage each other, and create better circumstances where they can thrive. We know that it is hard to bring a change into the current circumstances, so we can’t make it happen without any help from God and the people around us. But all of a sudden, this idea was given in prayer one day. “We are not able to do anything, but God can. Therefore, we started to think that we want to provide many opportunities in daily life to turn back to God and help more brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage each other and pray for each other.” These thoughts and this passion were given to us, and we started this brand - Meshrash. (Please go to the brand logo page if you want to know more about what we do.)
What we realized through our activities
We realized one thing through our activities, while thinking about our purpose and what more we can do for God. There are lots of people who need a testimony from those who have a good relationship with them, where they trust each other, and there are also many people who meet God through the way Christians live.
In Japan, many Christians are working each day to reach out to the Japanese who do not know Jesus yet, like bringing friends to church and so on. Of course, these things are very important. But if someone does not have the confidence to share the gospel or do activities like we mentioned above, why not encourage and pray for each other with us? It is very important to communicate with words, but there is nothing more important than connecting to God’s words and preparing yourself to use them when God gives you an opportunity to witness.
We feel that every single Christian needs to live as a witness, but at the same time, we also feel the difficulties in doing this. So that’s why we are doing what we can do through Meshrash, making products, communities and stuff. We hope that our work will help you witness and walk with Jesus.