True Radiance

By Harry and Jane Landaw, serving in Japan

Exposed to strong radiation during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, Wakana still remembers the bright light of the bomb that hit her town when she was a small child.

Sudden poverty and permanent sickness began to shape a changed life for Wakana. Physical weaknesses resulting from the blast remained a lifelong battle.

Searching for Peace

In time, Wakana became a wealthy woman. Married to a top executive for a major car company, she gained a strong command of the English language and enjoyed talking to foreigners. Gunilla, a Swedish member of the Yachiyo Alliance Church, reached out to Wakana.

We first met Wakana at a Christmas party at Gunilla’s home while we were leading the church. With true openness and acceptance, Wakana wanted to become friends with us Americans. A bond immediately emerged. It seemed natural to invite her to church that day. And she came-the very next Sunday. It was the beginning of Wakana’s journey with Jesus.

Searching for peace and hope, Wakana determined to learn more about the God written about in the Bible. Every Sunday she attended church and faithfully participated in Bible study on Wednesday. The beautiful light of Jesus had begun to penetrate her hungry heart.

It was a day of rejoicing when Wakana asked Harry if she could accept Jesus. She prayed a prayer of forgiveness. It took time, but she grew strong in her faith. We were on home assignment, having just finished a fall missions tour, when we received a phone call. “I’m going to be baptized at Christmas!” Wakana exclaimed. We cried together with joy.

Wakana’s husband did not join her in coming to church or in studying God’s Word-until he was diagnosed with lung cancer. His life suddenly had a note of finality written on it.

A Faithful Witness

During his long hospitalization, Wakana’s husband listened to her as she witnessed to him, along with the church family and Richard and Janice Kropp, international workers serving with The Alliance at Yachiyo. They held worship services in his room, singing praises and reading from the Word.

His heart began to open, and he would repeat “Amen” at the end of the believers’ prayers. During his last days on earth, he gave his heart to Jesus.

Testifying that her husband had accepted Jesus before he died, Wakana stood before some of Japan’s highest executives in her husband’s car company. She told them that his last words were, “Jesus, Jesus.”

When Harry preached recently at the Yachiyo Church, we hugged Wakana, who was in attendance. It was evident that she was growing weaker, but she said, “I just wanted to come and hear the Word from your sermon today!” It was her turn to read the Scripture during the service. With power, she read from John 6. It brought tears to our eyes.

After the service, Wakana graciously approached two new women and welcomed them to church. Although she bears the physical effects of radiation yet today, it is the true radiance of Jesus Christ that sets her apart. Her life goes on as she daily lives out the fragrance of her Lord and Savior.

Pray for Pastor Akira Minamitani, who now pastors the Yachiyo Church and faithfully shepherds the flock of which Wakana is a member.

What You Can Do

Praise God for Wakana’s vibrant testimony and for her husband’s salvation. Pray that his former colleagues will respond in faith to Christ’s message of hope.


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