Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation….

私は日本のとても田舎で育ちました。猿がすぐ近くにいるような自然の多い所で、色々な神々がまつられている古い風習がたくさん残っている町でした。そんなところで、聖書が語る唯一の神、イエスキリストのことなど、知る由もありませんでした。

そして、私がまだ小さかった頃、こんなことが、幼少期の頃、起きてしまいました。私の父は会社を経営していたのですが、もう一人のビジネスパートナーがお金を持ち去ってしまい、父は、裏切られただけでなく、大きな借金を背負ってしまい、会社も倒産してしまいました。そして、父は借金を残して私達から姿を消してしまいました。借金の取り立てがひどくて母は幼い私を連れて自殺を考え、実際に橋の上に二人で行ったそうです。でもそこで私の帰ろう帰ろうと言う言葉と同時に、電車でいつも通っている窓の上に立っている十字架が頭に浮かび、ハッとして自殺を思いとどまったと後で話してくれました。

そんな私の家族がどん底の時に、主イエスキリストは、私達の家の斜め前に、牧師夫婦を送ってくださいました。そして、彼らから、イエスの福音を伝えられて母はキリストを受け入れました。 父が出て言ったこともあって、母がクリスチャンになった後も、私達の生活は貧しく状況は変わりませんでしたが、母の心は救いの喜びに変わりました。

そして、私も母に連れられて教会へ通っていましたがイエス様と自分の関係が良く分かりませんでした。母親を通してのキリスト像しかわかりませんでした。教会で罪についてよく語られましたが、私はお母さんの言うことをよく聞いて色んな苦しいことも我慢していたので正しい人間だと思っていました。

そして、私が12歳になった頃、私はそれまで父親のいない寂しさと他の友達との生活の違いに悩んでいました。しかし、母に心配をかけてしまうという思いもあって、自分の心の内を誰にも見せてはいけないと思い込んでいました。でもそんな時、一人で聖書を開いて、神様に自分の心の内にある全ての寂しさや悩みを打ち明けました。その時に私は自分の内側にあるドロドロとした罪にハッと気付かされました。自分は盗んだことも親に逆らったこともない良い人間だと思っていたのですが、神様は私の内には人をうらやむ心、親に反抗し尊敬しない心、劣等感や優越感に支配されている心を示してくださりそれが聖書で言う罪であることを教えてくださいました。それと同時にその私の汚い罪の為にイエスキリストが十字架で身代わりに死んでくださったこれほど私はイエス様に愛されていることを神様は私に教えてくれました。その時私は初めてイエスキリストが私を抱きしめてくださり無条件の永遠の愛で愛してくださっていることを知り感動の涙が止まりませんでした。第二コリント5:17誰でもキリストのうちにあるならその人は新しく作られたものです。古いものは過ぎ去って見よ、全てが新しくなりました。

そして神様の愛によって変えられた私の人生に神様は主となってくださり宣教師になるように示してくださいました。当時住んでいた私の市には出稼ぎブラジル人が多く教会ではブラジル人グループができ、たくさんの祈りが捧げられる中、多くの方々が救われました。ブラジルの方々と触れる中でブラジルへ宣教師として使わされるとの思いが神様から与えられて日本で救われたブラジル人の夫婦と共にブラジルへ行ってストリートチルドレンへの伝道の道が開かれました。その後、日本人がたくさん住む、ハワイにも宣教して遣わされました。

帰国後、主人と出会い、結婚して、主人がトリニティーで学ぶことになりシカゴへ導かれました。そこで、たくさんの信仰が試されたました。主人の勉強のこと、異国での子育て、二人目の子供の誕生、また、学費の問題などなど、信仰が試される時が何度もありましたが、その度に神様の御業を体験しました。

そして、今、神様の導きで、オーチャード教会に導かれ、主人を支える中で、こんなにも色んな国の方々への宣教が前進していることを覚えて感謝です。宣教師でブラジルへ行くか結婚するか決める時に神様は私に結婚して主人を支えるようにと示してくださいました。主人の働きを支えることができることを感謝します。日本人グループでの働きを通して救われる人々が起こされていることも感謝です。

I was raised in the country side in Japan. It was an old fashioned town full of nature where you could see monkeys right in town, and also lots of different gods were worshiped. So I had no chance to know the one true God described in the Bible; Jesus Christ.

I had a tough childhood. My father owned a company, but one day his business partner disappeared and took all the profits with him. My father was not only betrayed, but his company soon went bankrupt and he was stuck with a large amount of debt. Then he left all of his debt on us and also disappeared. Debt collectors were so vicious that my mother took me to the bridge and contemplated committing suicide with me. But at the same time I was saying “let’s go home, let’s go home!”, my mother remembered the cross that she always saw from the train window, and there she suddenly stopped feeling the urge to commit the suicide. My mother told me this story long after it happened.

But then, when my family had hit rock bottom, the Lord Jesus Christ sent us a pastor who lived across the street from our house. He told my mother the Gospel and she accepted the Christ. After becoming Christian, my mother’s heart was filled with the joy of salvation, even though we were still poor.

My mother always took me to the church, but I didn’t really understand what Jesus had to do with me. I only kind of knew Christ through my mother. The church taught me about sins, but I thought I was a good person because I obeyed my mother and endured many difficulties in life.

When I was about 12 years old, I felt lonely without a father when I compared my situation to my friends’. But I was hiding my emotions because I didn’t want my mother to be worried. But one day I was reading the Bible and told God about all of my loneliness and all the worries on my mind. At that time I suddenly realized all of the sin in me. I thought I was a good person because I never stole nor talked back to my parents. But God showed me that I was jealous, I didn’t respect my parents, and that my heart was dominated by thoughts of inferiority and superiority. And God showed me that all of these are sins according to Bible. At the same time, God taught me that Jesus Christ died for my dirty sins and how much Jesus loves me.

I finally understood that Jesus Christ was holding me with his unconditional and eternal love, and I could not stop crying. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Cor. 5:17)

My life was changed through God’s love, and He became my Lord. And I received a calling from God to be a missionary There were many migrant workers from Brazil and there was a Brazilian group in my church. My church prayed for them a lot, and many were saved. After interacting with many Brazilians, God put the thought in my head that He would use me as a missionary, so I went to Brazil with a Brazilian couple who had been saved in Japan. In Brazil, I was led to preach to street children. After Brazil, I was sent to Hawaii where many Japanese live.

After I came back to Hawaii, I met my husband, and we got married. Then we came to Chicago because my husband got an opportunity to study at Trinity Seminary. Her, our faith has been tested by many things; my husbands studies, raising my children in a foreign country, the birth of our second child, tuition, etc. We faced many spiritual difficulties, but each time we also experienced God’s work.

Now God has led us to the Orchard, and I am thankful that we can preach to many people from many countries while I also support my husband. When I needed to decide to return to Brazil as a missionary, or marry my husband and support him, God guided me to be married and support my husband. I’m grateful that I can support my husband’s work and also thankful that there are people being saved from our Japanese group.

예수님께 감사하는 나의 어려운 시간들 / It was a great hardship for me, but now I am thankful to Jesus

이름은 소피아 안종순 블레이티 입니다. 제 한국 이름은 안종순 입니다.
통역하시는 분은 제 남편 게일란드 블레이티 입니다

저는 한국에서 태어나, 한국에서 자랐읍니다.
저는 한국전쟁 몇년후에 태어났읍니다.
그 당시는 저희 가족에게는 음식이 중요했고,
저희 어머니, 아버지는 자녀들의 교육과 먹을 양식을 위해
열심히 일하셨읍니다
저녁 늦게까지 일 하시고는 피곤한 몸으로 집에 오셨읍니다

저희 부모님은 바쁜 일 가운데서도 교회를 열심히 다니시고,
예배가 있는 날에는 일찍 들어오셔서,
깨끗한 옷으로 갈아입고 두분이 집을 나서던 모습이 지금까지 제 가슴에
잔영으로 남아 있읍니다.
저는 부모님의 많은 사랑과 기도로 컸읍니다

저는 부모님을 따라 교회를 다녔지만 주님에 대해서 잘 몰랐읍니다
어릴때부터 교회를 다녀서 교회를 안가면 하나님으로 부터
벌을 받을것 같아 고회를 다녔읍니다

저는 누가복음에 나오는 탕자의 비유가 있읍니다. 저는 탕자의 형처럼저는 늘 하나님 아버지와
같이 있었으나 하나님을 의지하지 않고 감사하지 않은 죄인이었읍니다. 저는 제가 항상 옳아야 했고 잘해야 해서 제 마음에는 만족함이 없었고
그 만족감을 때문에 항상 신기루를 찾는 기분이었읍니다

저는 미국에 25년전에 왔읍니다
미국남편과 갓난 아이를 데리고 미국에 왔읍니다
저는 시카고 공항에 내릴때 첫 생각에 내 남편이 미국사람이어서 내가 미국에서 죽을텐데, 나는 행복하게 죽을까 생각할때 자신이 없었읍니다
저는 제 성취감과 만족감을 찾기위해 공부를 하기로 마음먹었읍니다
지난달 multicultural night 에polish가 세상에서 가장 어려운 언어라고 했는데 저는 한국어라고 생각합니다

저는 공부하는 길이 너무 외롭고 힘이 들었읍니다.
산넘고 산 너머 가면 또 다른 산이 기다리고 있었읍니다.
또 공부가 끝나고 직업을 찾는데 너무 힘이 들어서
하늘에 별따기라는 말을 되새기게 되었읍니다
저는 불확실한 미래가 불안했읍니다.
그러나 주님은 저를 향한 뜻이 있었읍니다.

제가 힘들게 직업을 찾고 있는 어느날, 주님은 저의 더러운 생각을 꿈속에서 행동으로 보여 주셨읍니다. 주님은 저보고 바리새인 이라고 말씀하셨고, 나는 옳은 사람이라고 생각하는 것을 지적하였읍니다. 주님은 저보고 죄인이라고 말씀하셨읍니다. 저는 자다 말고 벌떡 일어나 회개하며 저의 폐부를 아시는 주님을 체험했읍니다

저는 요한일서 1:9 절에 만일 우리사 우리 죄를 자백하면 그는 미쁘시고 의로우사 우리 죄를 사하시며 우리를 머든 불의에서 깨끗하게 하실 것이요
라는 말씀이 감사합니다
누가 나의 죄를 용서하실수 있나요? 오직 예수님 밖에 없읍니다
누가 우리에게 소망을 줄까요? 오직 예수님
누구를 믿을까요? 오직 예수님밖에 없읍니다
누가 예수님입니까? 예수님은 이 세상에 구세주 입니다

요한복음 3장16절에 예수님은 죄인을 구하기 위하여 이땅에 오셨다고
말씀하셨읍니다 하나님이 세상을 이처림 사랑하사 독생자를 주셨으니,
이는 저를 믿는 자마다 멸망치 않고 영생을 얻게 하려 하심이라고 말씀하십니다. 저는 이제는 예수님께 감사하며 나를 구원하여 주신 예수님을 제 마음, 다하여 믿고 의지합니다. 주님을 의지하고 사는 것이 최고의 삶이라고 생각합니다.

저는 온전하신 주님의 은혜로 선생이 된지 14년이 되었읍니다. 저는 학생들을 위해 기도하고 그들의 공부와 미래를 위해 기도합니다. 그러나 무엇보다더, 제 학생들이 예수님을 구주로 영접하기를 기도합니다

또 저는 예수님의 도움없이 학생들을 사랑할수 없다고 고백합니다. 예수님의 나의 구세주요 반석이시며, 저에게 늘 소망과 꿈을 주시고, 기쁨을 주시며,저와 동행하기를 원하십니다.

저는 여러분과 같이 기도하고 싶읍니다. 여러분이 아직도 예수님을 만나지 않았다면 예수님을 만나기를 원합니다. 여러분은 위대한 뜻과 꿈을 가지고 미국에 오셨지만, 사실은 하나님이 이땅에 보내신 것은 예수님을 만나게 하려고 보내신 것입니다. 예수님은 여러분을 이 자리까지 인도하셨읍니댜. 오늘 이렇게 이곳에서 같이 식사하고 이 자리에 있는 것은 온전하신 주님에 은혜입니다. 예수님은 여러분이 길이요 진리요 생명되신 분입니다

여러분이 예수님을 믿고 의지하면, 여러분은 결코 외로지 않고, 소망이 없지 않을 것입니다.

여러분이 예수님을 나의 구세주로 영접하셨다면, 자는 여러분과 같이 자녀와 가족, 미국그리고 또
우리의 조국을 위해 기도하고 싶읍니다
또 예수님을 많은 분에게 전하는 전도자가 되기를 간구합니다.

I was born and raised in South Korea. I was born not many years after the Korean War. At that time, the food was important for the family. My parents worked hard to provide the meals and education. They worked many hours and often worked late at night. I grew up with my parents’ love and prayers. My parents were dedicated believers. No matter how busy and how tired they were, they always made a time for the church. When there was a service, my parents came home earlier. They changed into cleanest clothes and we all went to the church together…

There is a short story, which is a lesson and is told by Jesus, “Prodigal Son” in the book of Luke in the Bible.

The father had two sons. The younger son received his inheritance and wasted them all. The older son was always with his father serving him, but he was not happy even though he was receiving his father’s love and care. I was like an older son. I always went to the church with my parents. I know Jesus is God the father, but I was not satisfied, nor I was thankful to him. I was sinner before God, the Father. I did not trust him, so I was making up my life in my own way, not His way.

25 years ago I came to U.S. with my American husband and a little baby daughter. I started to question myself. If I die in U.S., whether I could end my life well or not. In order to fill my hopeless heart, I decided to study hard….

During my school years, I felt very lonely and am overwhelmed. Without trusting Jesus, my life was hard enough. There was a mountain and after mountain. And, even more mountain was waiting before me. After I completed my study, I was looking for my job. It was like a catching a star in the sky like many of you may have experienced as well. I often feared my own uncertain future. Now I realize that God led me to this hardship for great purpose for me.

During this hardship, one day I had a dream. God showed the deepest place of my heart.

Nobody knew all of those, but God knows my deepest heart. God showed all of my evil thoughts in action. God showed me that I was like a Pharisee in the Bible. I acted like right person, but I did not repent my sins before God and did not believe and trust Him. I was so sweat and got up in the middle of night. At the night I repent all my evil thoughts and actions before Jesus. I asked his forgiveness.

I am glad that God says in the Bible in the book of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Who can forgive our sins? Only Jesus!

Who is Jesus? Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World.

John 3:16 tells us that Jesus is savior who came to save sinners. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

It was a great hardship for me, but now I am thankful to Jesus. He saved my life. Now I believe and trust Him with all my heart!!!!

Later on God granted my job. I have been teaching Korean for 14 years. Last “Multicultural night”, I heard that Polish is the most difficult language, but I think that Korean is the most difficulty language in the world.

Now I pray for my students’ study, life, and family. But what I pray the most now is for my students to meet Jesus Christ as their savior. I don’t want them to walk their own way like I walked. I truly experienced enough that it is very difficult for me to live without Jesus. Trusting Jesus is the best life!

I will pray for you if you have not met with Jesus in your life yet. Many of you came to this country for great purpose and dream. But I believe that God led you here in U.S. to know Jesus is your Savior! When you believe and trust Jesus, you will never feel lonely and hopeless!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.