(May 29, 2006)
During our recent trip to Japan we visited the Tomihiro Hoshino Museum in Gumma Prefecture. The museum is a powerful witness to Mr. Hoshino’s Christian faith and strength to overcome great difficulty. At 24 years of age he was paralyzed from the neck down. That happened in 1970. Four years later he became a Christian. He paints by holding his brush with his mouth. These paintings and his poems have had a large impact on people in Japan and around the world. You can find out more about him at http://www.myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=TomihiroHoshino .
While at the museum we received a copy of his first book “Love From The Depths.” I recommend reading this book.
Lessons of encouragement are many. Also, the way he came to become a Christian is very helpful.
His first contact with Christianity was during high school, climbing up the hill side near his home he discovered a small white cross, marking a Christian grave. On the cross in small letters were the words “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads.”
After his accident a college friend brought him a Bible in the hospital, and prayed for him. But he never read it until another patient gave him several books written by the Ayako Miura. Then a local pastor and a Christian from the church visited him weekly.
I have learned much from Mr. Hoshino’s story. His accident happened about six months after we came to Japan to begin our missionary work. I never heard of him until at least 15 years later, and have never personally met him. Yet his life and testimony has touched millions of people.
In the prayer book “Operation Japan” there are listed many Christian hospitals. As I pray for those in the hospitals I pray that the Lord will touch those patients, and I ask that God would raise up other Tomihiro Honshinos.