Jo Ushioda stood up in his church in Japan on Easter morning in front of 27 of his fellow believers, publicly professed his faith, and was baptized.
Jo is baptized.
Jo, a 42-year-old follower of several Back to God Ministries International Japanese programs, has shared each step of his faith journey with Rev. Masao Yamashita, BTGMI’s Japanese ministry leader.
“Since last July, Jo has faithfully sent more than 180 comments to our programs,” Yamashita said. “He has never had the opportunity to become a Christian until now.”
Although Japan enjoys freedom of religion, 70 percent of citizens claim none and only 1 percent are Christian. There is only one way Jo could have stayed connected to BTGMI: through faith and prayer.
In fact, Yamashita has requested prayers for continued growth in Jo’s faith nearly every month since his first contact.
Jo had the opportunity to attend church with his grandmother when he was young but lost touch with his faith until coming across BTGMI’s online radio programs.
Today Jo especially enjoys hearing the online edition of Morning Word, a five-minute radio program that airs each Sunday in northern Japan.
Yamashita also believes that joining the ministry’s text-messaging group, Pajapaja, made a difference in Jo’s faith journey. The group provides a community of believers, even if they do not meet face-to-face.