The Light of Eternal Agape 東京アンテオケ教会

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Salvation From the Aum Cult and Victory from the Loss of Three Hundred Million Yen

To those who are burdened with debt

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“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”  Job 42:5

My father suffered a damage of three hundred million yen due to the bankruptcy of his business.  When I was at the age of 24, I was converted to the Aum Shinrikyo, influenced by my elder brother.  However, I got to know the true Savior Jesus Christ, sought Him and began to pray and ask. Then I saw a living God beginning to work in my life.

 Currently Hiroyasu Kikuchi who writes this testimony runs a convenience store on the land of Hokkaido.  We’ve interviewed him about the conversion from the Aum Shinrikyo cult, the 40-day and 40-night fasting and his current financial blessing.
The Trial the Lord Gave to Me

My parents’ home ran Kimono shop.  The business went well enough in a family type operation.  We had been rich enough to want nothing much since my childhood.  However, due to a trend of the times, people began to prefer western clothes to kimono, and we had very difficult time going and selling kimono.  The time was over when kimono had been sold well without doing anything.  Our shop had quite a debt piled up and was put in a desperate situation.  My father was so worried about the red, and came into the future trade of rubber at last.  It went well at the beginning, but it didn’t last long.  The amount of money he bet was so large that it went down by tens thousands yen once it did so.  This huge amount of money moved in one day, and he bet again to recapture it and then he lost.  He couldn’t quit the bet over the several months even though he said he would quit.
The Loss of Three Hundred Million Yen

Most of our property was gone at last, and the damage amounted to an astronomical figure to me.  He toiled to sell goods, but the profit was so small that it gave us a mere consolation.  Our family couldn’t recapture the loss that became so huge, but my father didn’t stop quitting a stock trade. I couldn’t do anything about it, but I felt like going crazy unless I did something, and couldn’t sleep at night.  Around that time, I sought the Lord with all my heart and began to pray to Jesus.

Prayer on the Bank of the Ishikawa River

I slipped out of bed every night not to awaken my wife who was fast asleep, and went to the Ishikawa River around two o’clock midnight in order to pray and cry to the Lord in the pitch dark.  The time flied and I returned home around seven in the morning.  Then I slept for about one hour, and woke up, feeling uneasy.  I couldn’t sit still, so I went out to pray again.  I was totally a slave of fear.  I didn’t fail to go out to pray each day even when it was raining.  “Lord, are you real?  If you are almighty, why don’t you solve this problem of mine right away?  Why do you keep silent day in and day out?  Do you really exist?”  I prayed and cried to the Lord on the band of the Ishikawa River.

The Answer from the Lord

One morning I was praying as usual.  Then, all of a sudden, something spiritual opened up inside me.  I clearly knew that the Lord was here.  I was confident that a living One who was invisible was here with me as if I was touching His warmth.  I was so amazed that I bowed down on the ground and couldn’t lift my face in His presence.  With tears welling up, I cried out loud.  At that moment, I was clearly told and heard a voice, saying, “I am with you.  You will see my glory.”  Then, amazingly enough, I got to understand everything.  The scripture which the Lord spoke to Job came to my mind: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)  I learned that everything I had gone through was in His provision and plan.

Led to Engage in a New Job

After that, I unexpectedly received job offers outside my field one after another. One of them was the management of a convenient store.  I decided to start to engage in it just for my wife to make extra money.  The store was located in a discouragingly stagnant area.  However, it made profits more and more, so that even the people in its franchiser proudly mentioned in one accord about the store, saying to me, “you won the lottery.”  It happened just as the Lord told me that I would see His glory and that I would know more of Him.

Release from the Aum Shinrikyo Cult
After I became a member of society, I converted to the Aum Shinrikyo and went to its training hall in a place called Sapporo from my town Asahikawa every day.  The training I had in the Aum extended into midnight.  I was compelled to hold breath for three minutes.  I was worn out by holding breath and inhaling repeatedly for four hours. For the last two hours I went in a trance where I was instructed to meditate, and was given images.  As I gained training, I lost mental balance and became mentally ill.  I had a suicidal thought and experienced auditory and visionary hallucination, attacked by unfathomable fear.  When I was 24 years old, God sent me a pastor.  My parents who were concerned about me contacted a pastor of a church.  The pastor talked vigorously about the cross of Jesus Christ.  I decided to read the Bible on the pastor’s recommendation.  I didn’t understand the book of prophets at all.  While I was reading the Old Testament, it didn’t make sense to me.  I had thought that I would became like god by keeping the law and by doing good things, and that The Old Testament was the same as Buddhism in content.  However, as I started to read the New Testament, having Jesus Christ appear in it, I was greatly shocked.  I learned that I hadn’t been saved until then.  You cannot find salvation anywhere in Buddhism.  When I learned the redemption by Jesus Christ who died on the cross in our place, I accepted His salvation.  I had the pastor lay his hands on me and had him drive out the evil spirit from me in the name of Jesus Christ.  Then, to my surprise, I was completely healed of mental illness only in three days’ time although I had been diagnosed it wouldn’t heal not less than one year.  The truth of the Bible, which is the salvation by Jesus Christ alone, made me decide my conversion.  The Aum Shinrikyo cult believes that doing good things will raise you to a higher level, and that ultimately your obedience to a guru Asahara will raise you.  However, when it comes to salvation, there is none except through Jesus Christ.  When I was convinced about this, I was converted from the Aum cult.  I burned up a lucky charm of the Aum called Purusha and bound the evil spirit in the name of Jesus Christ.

Forty-Day and Forty-Night Fasting

Within less than a year, a second shop opened. (Currently we as a couple own and run that shop.)  I wished to open another shop and spoke about it to the franchiser.  He answered me and said, “It is non-sense.  Who will run the shop which has been there just less than a year?  Besides it hasn’t been systematized yet.”  I was flatly declined.  I prayed about it by fasting forty days and forty nights.  After I was over with it, nothing extraordinary took place to make a change.  However, the Lord heard my desire.  Unexpectedly, a person who was in another section of the franchiser asked me to do what I had had in mind.  Not only that, specific requests about a new shop I had prayed for were answered in the long run.  The manager candidates for that shop were all shifted away by the Lord and disappeared, but a very experienced young staff was picked for the manager from another area Sapporo. This way, a third shop was opened.  After that, it was frighteningly amazing to see things went so well beyond my ability

If you are put in a desperate situation, please rejoice.  Because this is your chance.  I was a Christian, but my prayer would have been just a form without having a problem of my father’s stock.  I was able to earnestly pray when I didn’t have anybody to turn to for help, and was left only to depend on the Lord in a desperate situation.  When we rely on the Lord alone, He will draw near to us.  If you persistently ask Him, the Lord will surely resolve your problem and bless you.  Looking back now, our asset became zero because of stocks, but the currently offered job has given me much more blessings that I used to receive.  I find what the Lord has done is marvelous in my eyes.  If you continue to ask something, it will be given by the Lord in His way.  Something perfect will be given.  I was so grateful that I had been put in such a situation that I cried to the Lord on the bank of the Ishikawa River and sought Him. 

Written by Hiroyasu Kikuchi  

Reprinted from the issue of Feb. 21, 1999 of the Mikoe Weekly News Press. All rights reserved

God is Love.