Looking back on the path I was on, I can see people planting good seeds in my life. Reverend Juengel was instrumental in my life. He shared how he grappled with life and just showed love towards the community
Getting to know some older Japanese Americans, I was led astray into a life of drinking, and philandering. Practically straining to be like them, I found myself in a dead end lifestyle.
At the grocery store job I had, I met some more partying types. Frank was the son of the local wealthy Dentist in the Harbor. He was set to go to Dental school and inherit his Dads practice . One day he pulled me aside and told me he did not want to party anymore. I needed to know what happened to him and why he was not going to pursue Dental school and go to Bible college instead. The height of the battle was on. Carousing for women, drinking and drugs vs Frank asking me to go to Bible study with him. This went on for months.
One night after work, Frank asked me to go for pancakes at the local Cafe. we went, and on the way back I was asking the Lord that He needed to give me a sign of some magnitude for me to believe in Him. Frank led me in the sinners prayer and when I stepped out of the car, the trees came alive and were clapping for me. Only later on in my walk did I read that the trees would clap their hands...
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
Life has never been the same! Hallelujah! That is ‘How I met my Father’
My name is Sally Kadowaki, and my story is being retold by my son Stanley Kadowaki.
I grew up in a typical Japanese American Home with lots of siblings and Buddhist traditions.
During the war, our government took away my family's home and our livelihood and put us in internment camp. The ‘white’ American ‘Christian’ values were not for us it seemed. Released from camp and on to young adulthood, I met the love of my life, my husband. We started a family and raised them in a semi-Buddhist way. We attended funerals, weddings, and the obon festivals at the local Buddhist church. There was community there and all the families seemed happy and were doing well. I can remember our children asking, what does the chanting mean?My response was, "I do not know just be quiet and sit up straight and behave like all the other families…"
One day my son came home from work and said he was now a born again Christian! He was very excited to share his new life with us. We dismissed and rejected his born again new life and he shut down trying to get us to listen for at least a decade.
A decade or more passed and I had an incident with our jacuzzi. The miraculous visited our home. I was found floating and unconscious. My hero husband called 911 and they revived me. I was in the hospital alive but my heartbeat was dangerously racing. My son Stanley came in to my hospital room and he said a prayer and immediately my heartbeat went to normal rhythm
A few days after being released from the hospital Stanley came to visit. I sat down and he explained Jesus' purpose for our lives, and we prayed the sinner's prayer.
This was a new life for me. During my whole life it seemed like the Christian way of life was not for me. Before i was born, my older brother died, he was hit by a car getting off the bus coming home from church. This set a standard for our family. My dad told all of us. “You do not have to go to church to be a good person, so no more church” our whole family obeyed without question and my sisters and brothers never pursued knowing Jesus Christ. I did not know that Jesus would pursue them all the way to the end.
I was able to listen to Stanley and my eldest daughter Linda talk about Jesus Christ while on my last hours on the earth. When i took my last breath i opened my eyes and saw Linda, like a deer caught in the headlights as she was being introduced to Jesus Christ.
I came to faith the first time as a 6 year old first grader in Catholic school. I fell in love with Jesus. As a 17 year old, I was witnessed to by a dear friend who was in college. She explained "the bridge" to me, how Jesus is the bridge between the Father and all humans. I was enchanted! The college years were filled with the World. As a late 20s person, I was invited to make a Cursillo. That was the life changer. Between all these conversions was backsliding. Major. When we moved to Texas, I read a book by John Bevere and realized I had been playing a game and needed to confess ALL my sins to a fellow Christian, make myself transparent ond accountable and walk in Jesus' footsteps every day. It's been two years now. The walk of faith continues to deepen daily and my love for Jesus, my heavenly Father and the Spirit grows daily also. I'm so happy. I have eternal security and the backsliding is over. Praise GOD.
I met the Lord late in life during a very dark period. I had been laid off when I was in my early sixties. I was deeply depressed and suffered from too much stress and anxiety. I was drawn, like a match to the flame, to watching people that actually had jobs drive to work in the morning.
My brother-in-law Stan Kadowaki reached out to me to come to his church, Robinwood. This was a big deal for me because I was Jewish going to a Christian church. At the time, I felt totally empty inside. My soul called out for help. Such was the need I felt.
Every Sunday, off I went to what would later become my new faith. During that time, I was extremely self conscious and uncomfortable. I stuck to Stan like glue. When he would go talk to someone or get called by the pastor, I stressed out big-time. And so began my journey.
During that time, a very good friend of mine’s daughter had stage 4 cancer, and the prognosis wasn’t good. She went to the same high school as my daughter. It is always so sad to hear that kind of news, but it hit me really hard. As I would lay awake at night, I would think, “Something has to happen before it’s too late.”
During my prayers one night, the Lord whispered in my ear, “ You should get the whole congregation to prayer for her.” I awoke that morning with a new mission.
As I went to church that Sunday, it was all I could think about. I was looking for my new Pastor. As I walked towards him, one of the church elders was walking fast to intercept me. Now at that time, unless you knew the pastor, you had to go through this elder. Also, getting the whole congregation to prayer for someone was just unheard of. So there was no way that Elder was going to let me through to the Pastor.
I was really high strung and looking very intense. So after he explained that it wasn’t permitted for the 3rd time, he didn’t know what else to do and let me through. Now this Pastor kept nervously walking away from me while giving me some excuse or another, but I just wouldn’t let up. So he stops trying to escape from this Jewish nut in his Christian church, He listens and calmly says that’s not how it works here. We do it in small prayer groups. He says it again, but I still have that very intense look on my face.
“We just have to. I promised her dad”, I said. Now I was very emotional and at the point of tears. He looked at me quietly for a minute, and then nodded his head yes, and said “okay.” So he went up to the pulpit and looked at the congregation, sweeping his eyes from left to right. “Today we have a special request from one of our attendees, Stan Kadowaki’s brother-in-law David Beaver. I know that this is very unusual, but I couldn’t say no. Will you all rise and prayer with me…”
And that’s how I met my Father,
I remember it very well, as if it were yesterday, November 11, 1982. By divine intervention…
I was working as the evening supervisor ( 3-11pm) at Temple Community Hospital. It was my first day of duty after my orientation. A newly admitted patient required reverse isolation procedure and this set-up required the Infection Control Nurse to approve. The charge nurse called the Infection Control nurse to come back and set it up.
It was around 6pm already when Mila showed up in the nurses station and so I met her there and we introduced ourselves. She said she was from the Visayas and graduated from Chong Hua Hospital . I told her I knew a Mila Mc Michael from Chong Hua Hospital because she was the President of the Cebu Student Nurses association and I was the Representative from my school. It turned out it was her!! I was “starstruck” because I idolized her then!
After the patient issue was completed, she invited me to her office and she and I talked about her life after she left Chong Hua and the miracle that happened to her. I also shared with her my life at that time. Then she asked me a surprising question that if I were to die today, am I sure I will go to heaven? I said Not sure because I am a sinful person.
The next thing we did was we prayed the sinner’s prayer and I remember the words “ as white as snow” and “Jesus does not remember my sins anymore “. I cried for a long time…
After that, she invited me to attend the Sunday service at Angelus Temple and I walked to the altar during the altar call.
I received a Bible from her with my name engraved on it’s cover and a One Year Bible ( I still have both of them).
All the rest is history. And whether we see each other or not, the gift of salvation that she introduced me to has become my hope, my guide, my encouragement and my assurance that I am going to Heaven!!!
How I Came to the Father
Raised in a Buddhist home, my brother and sisters and I went to the Buddhist church when we were children. As we grew older, my parents didn’t make us go anymore. All in all, we were good kids and really didn’t think too much about religion.
My first year in college, I lived in the dorms next to Jason. Little did I know at the time, how Jason would impact my life. Back then, I concluded that Jason was all about getting into medical school. Little else seemed to matter to him.
At the beginning of my second year of college, I happened to run into Jason on campus. He seemed different. So different, I had to ask, “What happened to you?” He told me that over the summer he had become a Christian. Though interesting, I filed it away for the time being. After graduation, Jason and I went our separate ways.
About a year later, Jason called to invite me to his church, the First Chinese Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Reluctantly, I agreed to go with him. Over the course of several weeks, Jason continued to invite me to his church. Before long, I found myself wanting to go with him.
One Sunday morning in November 1979 with my friend Jason at my side, I received Jesus Christ as my Savior. The sermon preached that morning was on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Like Lazarus, Jesus raised me from spiritual death to life by trusting Him alone for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of life everlasting.
No fireworks went off that morning, but something inside me changed. No one needed to force me to read the Bible; I devoured it. “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This was all so new and wonderful that immediately I wanted to tell others.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). I came to the Father through Jesus the Son and received forgiveness for my sin and guilt and found rest for my soul.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6
Thanks be to God!
I was baptized as a born again Christian when I was 17 years old but not really serious about it.
I fell into some minor sins, and I felt unworthy. Slowly, I fell into more sins, watching things I shouldn't have, sins of the body, eyes, hands and the heart. Most of all, I felt I wasted my time away from God.
I always thought I was a Christian through it all and kept repenting but I was far away from Him.
When my former company shut down, I was hired by the Mighty Dove Group of Companies and there I met Christians who seemed to have a connection with God led by Dr. Mila Lily Mercader. They told me that the Bible is God’s message to us, we have a Bible Study once a week and morning prayer everyday before we start to work.
I learned in the long run that life is not better if I do not have Jesus in me so in April 2007 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I confessed that I was a sinner, I asked forgiveness and asked Him to take control of myself.
Every day, God gives me the power to turn away from my sin. I’m not perfect, but I am now a radically different person. I don’t trust in my own efforts anymore because I know that God will take care of me. I will not be afraid about something, I will not be worried about something because I am a child of the King, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ.
I give Him all the Glory for His provisions in my life. I cannot emphasize how God's love and mercy have seen me through a lot, and I want to say, FATHER GOD, I THANK YOU.
Edlen Vanezza Bayaton
LIFE BEFORE CHRIST:
I was raised in a Christian home, my family attends a Christian Baptist church in San Mateo every Sunday because my godfather was the Pastor at that time, and my mom taught us how to pray, read bible stories at night, and share about God. I attended Daily Vacation Bible School every summer and Kids camp during my elementary days. So, basically, I have an understanding about God but didn’t have a relationship with God. One day, my Dad abandoned us and never showed up, there was no communication, and no financial support. That incident changed the course of our lives as a family. We stopped attending church. My life went to a downward spiral and I was looking for love outside our family since it all changed when my father left us. I’ve been in some ungodly relationships and was a stubborn daughter to my mother.
I attended a youth camp in Gethsemane Montalban when I was 19 years old and I encountered the God I knew, but this time, I experienced the Father’s love and warm embrace. I finally surrendered my life to Christ on that day and made a commitment that I will serve Him all the days of my life, and this time, there’s no turning back. From then on, my life has never been the same. Surrendering my life to the Lordship of Christ totally changed everything in me from the inside out. As I continued following Jesus, my decisions started to align to His will and it gradually came to fruition. I brought my whole family to Christ and they’re now all serving in their respective ministries. My journey with God continued, and I made a vow that I would serve Him wholeheartedly.
LIFE NOW WITH CHRIST:
After two years walking in close fellowship with God and deepening my faith in Him. I finally found the one that God prepared for me and we got married. We have been married for ten years and we’ve both been serving the Lord ever since we dated. Now, we are pioneering and pastoring a church called Spring City – a church who empowers lives through God’s overflow. I can confidently say that we are living the best days of our lives while we give God the best days of our lives. We love God and will forever be grateful.