Akira and I were deeply saddened by a story we read in yesterday’s news. The night of Monday, May 9th, two thirteen year old girls, linked arm in arm, jumped off a train station platform in front of an oncoming train. They were rushed to the hospital where they were pronounced dead. In their backpacks found on the tracks were notes saying they wanted to die.
Last year in July, when Josie was still deciding what to do for her schooling, she visited her present school, Tsukimino Jr. High , for a one week trial. At the end of the week, she decided to attend the school. Then, summer break started and she had a six week break. Josie was 13 years old.
Just two days into the first week back after the break, all the second year students, like Josie, were called into a special school assembly. They were told that the day before school had started, one of their classmates had committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. I remember that day, when I went to meet Josie as she walked home from school. Her face was pale and she was so frightened when I saw her. She had not known the girl, but others in her class had. She said several girls had been crying. Josie told me that if this had happened before she decided to attend the school, she would have said no. But, since it happened after she had decided, God must want her to be there. So, she would continue to go. It was a very hard way for her to start school, a hard introduction into the reality of Japan.
In Japan, only 2-3% are believers. That means 97% don’t know God. They don’t know how much they are loved. Children are taking their own lives. To them, life is so bad that suicide is the only alternative. But, they have to know there is something better…that there is a reason to live. Our constant prayers for them are to know their Heavenly Father and how valuable they are to Him. That is why we are reaching out to families and children.
Yesterday evening, Akira and I walked around Josie’s school campus praying for the students and teachers. No doubt they also will have heard the news about the two girls. No doubt, they are being reminded of painful memories from last year. My heart is grieving for them, for the two families that just lost their daughters, and for their friends and teachers.
Anyone who reads this, please pray for the children of Japan, especially the Jr.High students. Suicide is like a sickness here. They need to know there is a Someone who understands. There is a Someone who loves and values them, a Someone who cares.