An evangelistic event called Life Champions was held in Tokyo (21st Century Christ Church in Shibuya; February 10) and Osaka (Mustard Seed Christian Church in Kita-ku; February 17). It was organized by a team of six Christians, which included one of the coaches of a top American football team in the National Football League (NFL) in the US.
At the meeting, singer-songwriter Junko gave her testimony. She worked on the production of “Delicate”, a music video by American singer and actress Taylor Swift. She said, “Taylor once asked me, ‘Why do you look so young?’ Although I didn’t have time to answer, I would have replied, ‘I sleep eight hours a day. Since I became a Christian, I leave all my anxieties and worries in God’s hands through prayer, and as a result I sleep well.’”
NFL cheerleader Sayuri, who had been baptized just a few days before the event on February 3, also gave a testimony. Talking about when she passed the audition and joined the NFL team—Tennessee Titans—in 2017, she said, “I was surprised that the Christian dance director respected the personalities of all the team members. And my teammates, most of whom are Christians, helped anybody who was in trouble. They loved me as a family member; no one else did so during my stay in the US. I discovered how wonderful it is to believe in God and that it transcended culture and language. Our relationship with God is the center of our life. Since my teammates know that God loves them unconditionally, they can share their love with me.”
Rev. Rocky Setō, who was on the coaching staff of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks when they won the Super Bowl in 2017, gave a message from Luke 19. He said, “Zacchaeus, who as a tax collector was hated by the Jews because he cheated them, climbed a tree to see Jesus. It reminds me of the wild excitement of millions of people in Seattle during our victory parade. They climbed up trees and buildings to see us; the whole city was at fever pitch.” He continued, “Why did Zacchaeus climb up a tree? Because, despite his great wealth, he wasn’t fulfilled. He had been waiting for someone to complete his life, and that person was Jesus. . . . Jesus was the only sinless person, but he was crucified.” Then he challenged the audience, “If you accept Jesus as Savior, your sins will be forgiven and your relationship with God will be restored. If you believe in Jesus as your Savior today, this day will become your new birthday. Just believing is enough.”
From Christian Shimbun, March 3, 2019
Translated by Tomoko Kato