Guam is the largest of the Mariana Islands in the northern Pacific Ocean, surrounded by beautiful beaches and blue sky.
Witnessing With Relationships
Everyone can share their faith
By Nozomi Miyagi
In the summer of 2013 we arrived in Guam, where my husband would serve as missionary physician at the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic. Guam is the largest of the Mariana Islands in the northern Pacific Ocean, surrounded by beautiful beaches and blue sky. I wondered what I could do to minister to people here as a stay-at-home mother.
Finding My Witness
As I observed the island’s history and culture and the needs of the people, praying and asking God for help, I was convinced that I should use my Japanese background to reach people around me. Of the more than 1 million tourists who come to Guam every year, approximately 70 percent are Japanese. Besides this, many Japanese live here, and work for the tourist industry.
I found that mothers of younger kids are particularly easy to reach, since I also have three small children. I decided to open my house every Tuesday morning and hold a Mommy and Me class. The format is almost like a little toddlers Sabbath school, consisting of singing traditional Japanese songs, sharing a story, and learning letters and colors. Then we eat lunch together.
At first I did not mention that I was a Christian, but soon participants started to realize that my family is different. They asked: “Why doesn’t your family eat meat?” “Why do you go to church on Saturday?” “Why do your kids pray before they eat?” Each time they asked, I had an opportunity to tell them about my faith and beliefs.
One day I read them a book about the true meaning of Christmas. One mother came to me and said, “This was the first time I’ve understood the true meaning of Christmas!” Christmas in Japan is quite different from Christmas celebrated in countries with a Christian heritage or a large percentage of Christians. Only 0.5 percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian, with the majority of Japanese being tolerant of all faiths: Buddhism, Christianity, Shinto, etc. But Japanese are great lovers of festivals and celebrations, including Christmas. Christmas Eve has been hyped by the media as a time for romantic miracles. It is seen as a time to spend with one’s boyfriend or girlfriend in a romantic setting.
As I became more comfortable sharing my faith, I invited my group to my church’s cradle roll Sabbath school class. To my surprise, they accepted my invitation. Though it was their first time coming, they felt comfortable and enjoyed the class. After all, it was just like their regular Mommy and Me class. Most of the mothers ended up staying for the church service and the potluck. Since then many of them have been coming to church on a regular basis.
I thank God for giving me this opportunity to share my faith. I pray that my friends will continue attending church and eventually accept Jesus as their Savior. Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). Every one of us has been appointed to do something for God: full-time workers, students, people between jobs, retired, or even stay-at-home mothers like me. God has chosen us to go and bear good fruit, and reach people around us for Christ.
Nozomi Miyagi earned her religion degree from Andrews University in 2005. She serves with her missionary doctor husband, Shishin, in Guam, Micronesia, and is involved in women’s ministries.