Recently, the OM Japan’s team which is working among victims of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, had the privilege to meet Shindo Tatsuya Sensei – a former Yakuza (Yakusas are considered the Japanese Mafia).
Shindo used to be a drug dealer for a gangster family under the nationwide Sumiyoshi-kai Yakuza syndicate. However he miraculously found salvation in Jesus and is now a pastor in Saitama prefecture working among those who come from backgrounds that are similar to his own.
Since 2011, Shindo Sensei has been coming to Tohoku to assist with relief work like encouraging survivors at the shelters and helping them to subsequently move into temporary housing. He still continues to visit today to share his personal testimony, inspire the people at temporary housing as well as those in their new homes.
“It was a privilege to meet him and hear his testimony. I have read about ex-Yakuzas whose lives have been transformed but didn’t think I would meet one face-to-face,” OMer Lee Sin shared. “He also brought along two younger disciples (in their 30s) who were saved by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus. Truly, it was so encouraging to hear how Jesus changed their lives so drastically. I was reminded again of Psalm 51, ‘….O God, according to your unfailing love…wash away my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.’”
Typically those who have gone through such experiences would not share openly about their past lives and what they have gone through. However it is evident that Shindo Sensei has experienced the forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ and hence felt liberated to share the truth.
A non-believing lady who attended one of Shindo Sensei’s talks was so touched that she started telling her friends about what she heard. She was also motivated to help the team arrange another session by Shindo Sensei for her business contacts and her family members’ friends.
Please continue to pray for the locals and friends that the OM Japan team in Miyagi are reaching out to. May their spiritual eyes be opened through the testimonies they hear about Jesus Christ. Learn more about Shindo Tatsuya in this news article: God’s gangster: Former yakuza Tatsuya Shindo preaches the gospel, or watch his interview towards the end of this documentary from Aljazeera 101 East - Battling the Yakuza.