... and hers was the only public decision made in a revival I preached at the Pine Grove Baptist Church near Union, MS, several years ago. Maki (pronounced “McKee”) accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior after months of examination, investigation, questions, and reading. She was a 17-year-old exchange student from Tokyo, Japan, whose parents were Buddhist. Maki was hosted by James and Betty Stack, a couple with big hearts who allow God to use them in a ministry to exchange students (Maki was their third).
Bro. Curtis Guess, the pastor of Pine Grove at the time, and I visited with Maki on Monday afternoon at her request. She had questions which we tried to answer for her. but knowing how this would be even more life-changing for her than most, we did not push her into a decision. We prayed with her, and then left.
Tuesday evening there was a hamburger supper at the church for the young people. In chatting with Maki, 1 asked her if Japanese names have special meanings. She told me that her mother gave her the name “Maki” because it expressed her hopes for her child. In Japanese. “Maki” is actually two words: one means “to be strong,” and the other means “to have a goal for your life.”
The Holy Spirit immediately brought two verses to my mind; I usually don’t have such a keen memory, so I know it was from Him! I reached for a Bible there on the table, and read Ephesians 6:10 to her: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and In His mighty power.”
Then, a few pages over, I showed Maki the verse from Philippians 3:14—“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Then I said to Maki “You see, when you give your heart to Christ your name really will be ‘Maki’!” Her face lit up with a new realization of what the living Christ could mean to her.
That night Maki came forward to accept Christ as her personal Lord! Praise the Lord!
May each of us be alert to the opportunities the Lord places in front of us to share the message of the living Christ with those we meet!
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com