Lifeline

By Akiko Matsumoto: 

Kumiko is 24 years old. Her older brother was killed in a car accident a few years ago, and her parents divorced. Because these things happened, she decided not to believe in God anymore. When I met her, she was very discouraged and only talked negatively about her life and other people.

About a month earlier, she had been in the depths of despair and had decided to end her life. At midnight she had driven to the sea, and was about to throw herself in. But suddenly she thought of me, and started praying to Jesus. She changed her mind and made it safely home.

She started phoning me whenever she was having a hard time with her friends or colleagues. Most of the calls were after midnight and lasted for over an hour. Sometimes she would cry and say, “I should kill myself. There’s no use in living.” I would listen and try to encourage her, and tell her that no matter what others said about her, Jesus loved her and saw all her good points. I told her that someday her tender nature and other gifts would win out, so she shouldn’t let them get clouded over by the seemingly bad things. I also told her that I would pray for her, and I did. Then one night she prayed with me to receive Jesus as her Savior.

After that, Kumiko gradually changed. Eventually she told me that she had started crying out to Jesus whenever she had troubles or felt low. We saw each other again recently, and she was so different! She could laugh about her immature reactions to things that had upset her so terribly before. Then she told me something that touched me deeply: About a month earlier, she had been in the depths of despair and had decided to end her life. At midnight she had driven to the sea, and was about to throw herself in. But suddenly she thought of me, and started praying to Jesus. She changed her mind and made it safely home. I was so happy and relieved to hear that!

Often it had not been easy for me to listen to Kumiko go on and on about her problems, especially when I was really tired or trying to finish some timely work before bed. (I help translate The Family’s publications from English into Japanese.) At first, she didn’t seem to be changing or growing spiritually, but the Lord kept telling me that she didn’t have anybody else to encourage or help her. Through this, I think I learned more than Kumiko about the greatness of Jesus’ love. He is teaching me to have more love, patience, and mercy for others, especially those who are lost and looking for real love and answers for their questions.

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