This story of Ryuichi was shared by Bella Mori (missionary at the Sendai Izumi Evangelical Free Church) and is written by Ann Little.

Ryuichi lives with his mother and grandparents near the Sendai Izumi Evangelical Free Church (Sendai, Japan). He was born with some mental challenges and because of this, his father bullied him when he was very small. His mother decided to divorce, to protect Ryuichi from abuse. After the divorce, Ryuichi’s mother became discouraged about raising Ryuichi alone, and decided that suicide by jumping in front of a train was the only answer. Ryuichi was just a small child at the time and his mother was carrying him on her back. She lacked the courage to jump and four trains passed by, but as the 5th train came into sight, she resolved to jump. Just at that time Ryuichi said to her; “Mother, please don’t give up!” His words were enough to convince his mother to keep on living!

One day when he was 8 years old, he and his mother were walking by the Izumi EFC. Missionary Bella Mori greeted them and invited him to the children’s meeting. Ryuichi and his mother promised that they would come. However, when the time came for the children’s meeting, no one came. Bella was about to go home when Ryuichi and his mother arrived. His mother confided in Bella later, that she had had no intention of bringing him to the children’s time, but that Ryuichi had insisted that they come. He reminded his mother that she had promised, and she must keep her word. So she decided at the last minute to bring him.

Ryuichi has been attending Sunday school ever since that first meeting and has come to believe in Jesus. He is a changed boy; so much brighter and more cheerful than before. Even his grades at school have improved. He wants very much to please Jesus with his life. He has decided on his own that he will not participate in the community children’s club, because it requires that he carry the temple shrine at the festivals. It is a delight to see him grow in the Lord. Bella teaches him during Sunday school and Gina Lo looks after him during the church service. Gina and Bella have become second mothers to him. (photo attached)

Just a few months after Ryuichi started attending Sunday school his mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When she and the grandmother told Bella about the tumor, Bella, Larry and Gina spent time praying for her. (Ryuichi confided to his grandmother that if his mother died, he would like to be adopted by the Mori family (Bella and Larry).) However, when the mother returned to the doctors for further tests, the tumor had completely disappeared! This was a wonderful miracle for this family!

Once when Bella was also passing out tracts in the area around the church, she met a neighbor. This lady was delighted to meet Bella, not only because she herself was a Christian, but because she also knew Ryuichi and had heard that he was attending Sunday School at the Izumi church. She had had a burden for Ryuichi and had wanted to take him to her church, but it was too far away. Now she was happy that there was a neighborhood church for him to attend.

Ryuichi is now 12 years old and has entered middle school. Once a student reaches middle school, there are always extra school activities held on Sunday that prevent young people from attending church. However, he has chosen an activity that allows him to continue to attend church on Sunday. Please pray that his mother, grandmother and grandfather will also come to believe in Jesus and that Ryuichi will continue to grow faithfully in the Lord.