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How I (a former Evolutionist) came to know Jesus as Creator and Saviour

by

Published: 9 June 2020 (GMT+10)
Toru

Toru Yasui, M. Eng., has been translating biblical creation resources and speaking on creation topics fulltime in Japan since 2003. He earned his Master’s degree in electronic engineering from the Shibaura Institute of Technology.

He speaks about 40 times a year in churches, cell groups, and in one seminary in particular, under the auspices of one of Japan’s creation organizations, Bible & Creation headed by Rev. H. Akae.

Yasui-san1 has published Japanese versions of various CMI resources, including The Creation Answers Book; Refuting Evolution, Starlight, Time and the New Physics, Stones and Bones, and Adam and Family. He translated most himself. Currently under translation are Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels and 15 Reasons to take Genesis as History. He has also translated subtitles into Japanese for CMI DVDs such as From a Frog to a Prince and Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World.

 translated-materials

He has hosted and helped interpret for various international speakers visiting Japan, including the following Ph.D. scientists: Drs Don Batten, John Hartnett, Andy Macintosh, and Werner Gitt.

At the time of the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, with help from friends in Hong Kong and Japan, Yasui-san produced a booklet and DVD package outlining the Gospel starting with creation. About 50,000 copies of It’s a Wonderful World were distributed, mostly to people in the affected district.

More recently, he has developed two Japanese creation websites featuring various biblical creation resources.2

I used to work for a large Japanese electronics company as an electronics engineer in hardware development. The mid-80s was a period of high growth in Japan, and competition was fierce. I worked every day, Monday to Saturday, until midnight. I was married, with two young children—a girl and a boy—but I only saw my family on Sundays.

Enslaved to work

In Japanese business culture, it is not uncommon to be expected to put one’s work well before family. My boss often used to say to me, “Your career depends on how much of yourself and your family you are willing to sacrifice.” I respected my boss in many areas; but he certainly was a very tough person.

One day, I was called by the Human Resources Division. “Mr Yasui, we are relocating you and your family overseas.” For a while it seemed I would need to fly in a week, with my family following a few months later. But to my relief, the transfer was delayed by three years.

To prepare for living abroad, I enrolled in English classes, where my teacher was an American missionary. My wife wanted to learn English too. So I encouraged her to go to the English classes at a nearby church, as I knew my English teacher taught there also. But after attending this church’s English class for a year, my wife told me that she had decided to follow Jesus Christ—she had become a Christian! I wondered what changes this might mean for us. It wasn’t long before I began to think this was not good news for me.

Home alone

Every Sunday morning (actually, at about noon), I would wake up to find that on my only day off work, my family had all gone to church and left me all alone. I sometimes went to pick them up at the church. But because I was afraid my English teacher would notice me and invite me to go in, I always stopped the car some distance away, and ducked my head every time someone walked past.

My wife had a Bible, and one day, when she was not at home, I opened it. Of course, I started at the beginning—Genesis. I was shocked. It said that the whole universe was made in only six days, that man was made from dust, and woman from one of the man’s ribs. How could Christians believe this? They must be insane!

Studying evolution to undermine the Bible

But this gave me hope. I thought that if I studied evolution well enough to out-debate the people at church and prove that the Bible is unscientific, I would be able to get my family back. So, I studied evolution for about a year, after which I gathered courage to go and talk to the pastors at church. “Genesis clearly goes against evolution. How do you explain this?” I asked them. However, they were American missionaries and their Japanese language ability was somewhat limited. So, we were unable to communicate on such a complex topic. I was disappointed; it was like stepping into the batter’s box without being able to swing the bat. However, they gave me a book to read. It was a book popular in the early days of the creation movement—Bone of Contention by Sylvia Baker, translated by Masami Usami. I took it home and read it.

Toru-wife

I remember being extremely surprised because it discussed the book of Genesis—which I could only view as a myth—in a scientific way. I was intrigued, but was still determined to find flaws in it.

Eventually, though, I came to the point where I had to admit that evolution was not as scientific as I had thought it was. So much so that I found myself mumbling to my wife, “Maybe the truth really is creation, and not evolution.” My wife leapt at this opportunity. “I remember you once said that if you ever came to believe in creation over evolution,” she said, “You would come to church with me!” I had forgotten I’d said that. I had done so only because I was confident that I would never reject evolution!

A question of authority

When I began thinking that creation might be true, I became afraid, because it forced me to become aware of ‘some being out there’ who may have created me. As an engineer at a manufacturing company, I knew that every product has a designer. I knew that the meaning and purpose of every product were given to the products by the designer—it was not the products themselves that decided how they were to be used! So, if there was a Creator, that meant that the meaning and purpose of my life lay with Him, and not me! This was a question of authority.

I already had some major authorities in my life. They were my company and my boss, for I spent most of my waking hours at work. And at home I was under another authority, my wife (just joking!). I didn’t need any more authorities, I thought. So, each Sunday, I parked my car even further away from the church and reclined my seat as far as it would go so that no one could see me through the windows. I wasn’t hiding from the missionaries; in reality I was hiding from God the Creator. As I look back now, I realize I was doing exactly what Adam did after he sinned, when he was awakened to God’s holiness and authority over him (Genesis 3:8).

The-Creation-_Answers-Book-Japanese
The Creation Answers Book in Japanese

The time finally arrived for me to move abroad. But prior to the actual transfer, I had to hop around different countries on a business trip to conduct tests on our products, which meant I had to fly on many airplanes. There were quite a few hijack incidents happening around that time, which made me very concerned. On leaving my house to go to the airport, my wife said to me, “I know you haven’t yet decided to believe in Jesus, but if your plane gets hijacked or has an accident, please believe in Him before it crashes.” Because I was trying to run away from God, her words upset me. So, I angrily replied, “Just leave me alone!” Then I boarded the bus.

But I soon regretted what I had said. If I did die and never saw my wife again, those would be my last words to her. I wanted to take them back. As I reached the airport, just before boarding, I finally made up my mind to call her.

“I’m sorry I told you to leave me alone. I want to take those words back,” I told her.

“Oh, do you mean you want to believe in Jesus?” she immediately asked.

Oops! I had gotten myself into a hole. I was tempted to tell her to leave me alone again, but then I’d have to apologize again. Instead, on the spur of the moment, I surrendered my life to God.

“OK. I believe,” I hurriedly said to my wife. “Please pray for me,” and then I jumped on the plane. During the flight, I nearly came to the point of trying to undo my sudden decision. But I didn’t, because I thought that would come across as being weak-willed.

So, funnily enough, this is how my Christian life began—a sequence of battles with my own pride. But thanks be to God that I did not ever take those words back.

After my business trip, I returned to Japan, got baptized, and went to the UK a week later. My family and I spent 8 years there.

Some years after my surrender to God, I realized I was completely mistaken about the nature of His authority—the authority I was so afraid of. In John 10:18, Jesus says this about His authority:

“No one takes it [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

I always thought I had to sacrifice myself for my authorities. But Jesus’ authority was the other way round. His authority was one that enabled Him to sacrifice Himself for me in my place. The Maker of the whole universe, the One who created me, sacrificed Himself to save me. Now I live in absolute awe of this amazing Authority. Hallelujah!

References and notes

  1. The ‘san’ after someone’s name (either family name or first name) is a very commonly used honorific in Japan, where it can be impolite to refer to someone by just their name. It does not readily translate into an equivalent English term. Japanese English-speakers will often use it when conversing in English, too. Return to text.
  2. gophertree.jp and b-c.jp. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Rev Robert W.
I am glad you were only joking about obeying your wife. Has your wife learned to obey you, according to the teaching of the Apostle Paul?
Mark R.
Thank-you for your testimony, Toru! Very encouraging. I've worked quite a bit with Japanese teenagers in English classes in Canada and love their inquisitive minds and cheerful souls. May the Lord continue to use you to bless Japan and spread the glory of his Name and Grace across your land!
Joel D.
Awesome testimonial, it brought me tears and laughter in just minutes. There’s a Christian movie to be had here in Yasui-san and his wife’s story! Praise God, to Him be the glory
Manuel T.
やすい さん,

I am made most happy in your acceptance of Jesus! As one who loves Japan and its culture, I would pray that more and more people in Japan turn to Jesus. I would urge them to consider that the acceptance of Jesus does not mean the acceptance of "Western" Christianity, that is all of its traditions and customs. Biblical Christianity has nothing to do with tall churches with stained-glass windows and steeples,etc,,., but rather with the acceptance of God's Son.

Accepting Christ does not mean one has to relinquish all of the wonderful traditions that come with being Japanese, contrary to what many may believe, one can be Japanese *and* Christian.

Thank you for your wonderful story, I wish you and your family all the best!
Jukka Y.
Thank you, Toru Yasui, for your testimony!
Sarah M.
Really encouraged by this, thanks!
Bruce M.
What a good read. I so very much enjoy testimonies of God's sovereign grace at work. I was raised in Catholicism believing the biblical story of creation, but after university I considered myself a theistic evolutionist. That was followed not only by involvement in progressive creationism (I was a signing witness when the papers were drawn up to begin Dr. Hugh Ross’ ministry in Canada), but also by an interest in intelligent design. While working as a Wildlife Biologist/ Environmental Consultant and while in my third year of marriage, I had a true conversion experience. Shortly thereafter we attended seminary and for the last 40 years or so have served God’s people as a pastor/chaplain, just recently retiring.
Wanted you to know that I have been reading CMI’s materials for a long time, beginning with Ex Nihilo, but have only recently returned to a more biblical position on creation. Theistic evolution, progressive creationism, and intelligent design, with their billions of years, just cannot adequately answer the sin question to my satisfaction. So, thank you for such wonderful resources. Thank you for the amazing work you do, keeping us informed/ encouraged with up-to-date information, and yes, testimonies. And especially thank you for remaining true to God’s Word since 1977.
Bruce M
Don Batten
Thanks Bruce. Your feedback encourages us greatly!
Murray A.
It's amazing to see how God answered Mr Yasui in a way that is so personal. I am in awe that our Maker understands our complexities, and does not circumvent our thinking, yet gently and authoritatively speaks to our hearts in a way that we can be understood and understand Him. John 1: 48 'Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”"
John C.
1) I’ve never really given much credence to this thoroughly modern idea of ‘fear’ relating to the creation story. But then, I grew up in a society that at least gave lip-service to the idea of creation, and the existence of God. The point is well taken, with apologies for not having recognized it more fully till now. It encourages even more gentleness and respect in our presentations; 2) The analogy to his actual employment was a very intelligent comparison to make, and stands as a great reminder that the eventual goal of Creation is Christianity. This is not just the goal of our Apologetic, it is the actual outline of God’s Word!
Terry D P.
A great testimony of coming to appreciate Creator God’s authority, to instantaneously turn water into wine.
MICHAEL S.
I work with many Japanese people, and would love to have access to the Japanese resources. What is the web page?
Shaun Doyle
The web pages were listed in the second reference note; they are gophertree.jp and b-c.jp.
In addition, see Japanese articles on creation.com and search the Creation.com store for 'Japanese' for various books and DVDs that are available.
Vera Y.
Very encouraging. God is good. Thanks.
Bill P.
This is one of the best stories I have ever heard or read about since the day The Lord had mercy on me many decades ago. Even with all of the insanity taking place today around this world The Father in heaven through His Son Jesus Christ is still going around the world saving the souls of many people in all nations. Look forward to meeting you Sir and the rest of our family in Christ Jesus from around the world very soon I do believe.
"Who is like The Lord from everlasting to everlasting He is God" and there is no other. Even in these last days He still has mercy on ALL who repent and believe in Him. Even more amazing is when He sees those coming to Him and they are still afar off HE runs out to greet them w/open arms, dressing them in clean linen, and prepares a feast to celebrate the fact that another one who was lost is now found. How can anyone opt to walk away from so great a salvation ?
Richard G.
And I have nearly completed 60 years as a New Zealand missionary to Japan. So God is at work even if it looks slow to us. I have only about 16 churches closely connected to my work but this story of Bro Yasui propels me into great hope and happiness. Praise God... And I was wanting those books in Japanese!!
Robert H.
A great account of conversion to Jesus!
Wildee R.
Wow! A very encouraging testimony.
Col M.
Domo arigato, Yasui-san
David G.
Wonderful encouraging story. Thanks.

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