The day was long and disappointing as I went door to door to sell Seventh-day Adventist books in the southern Japanese city of Shizuoka. No one wanted to buy a book.
Near the day’s end, I suddenly found myself on a strange, dark street. Uneasily, I walked over to the nearest house. Pornographic magazines were strewn around the yard. Piles of the magazines were stacked up near the front door. The magazines were everywhere.
I backed away. Fear seized me, and I wanted to run. Then I panicked.
“Hello, my name is Takahashi Toru!” I yelled at the house. “I’m from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I have some books that will change your life!”
The words came from a speech that we are trained to give by Youth Rush, a student literature evangelism program. When I panicked, I began to blurt out the speech.
The front door opened, and a severely obese man stepped out. Still following my speech, I asked, “Would you like a health book?”
I expected the man to say, “No,” and I was prepared to run.
But the man, his voice rumbling in a deep bass, said, “Yes, I’d like a health book.”
I nervously held out a small missionary book. The man took it and opened it with interest.
“Yes, I want to get this,” he said, pulling out some money.
After the sale, I fled. I was scared, and I wanted to get far away. As I ran, I prayed for the man and thanked God for His protection.
Then I stopped in my tracks. I had an epiphany. My heart was just as filthy as that man’s yard. Still, Jesus had walked into my heart and offered hope. Jesus said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26, NKJV).
As I stood on the street, gratitude overwhelmed me. I felt so thankful that Jesus had dared to enter my heart. With that newfound appreciation, I marched over to the nearest house and immediately sold a book.