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Broadcaster Comes Full Circle

January 9, 2007

Thirty years ago, Hirotsugu Mochida was struggling. Just 13 years old then, he and his family were experiencing great trouble and needed hope. Hirotsugu found it through The Back to God Hour radio program. What he heard on that broadcast would change his life—and impact the church in Japan.

Hirotsugu Mochida’s family practiced Buddhism, Shintoism, and ancestral worship. In 1972 his father suffered a debilitating stroke. Then four years later his mother became extremely ill and nearly died. Every day, as Hirotsugu visited his mother in the hospital, he biked past a Christian church. Something kept compelling him to stop in, but because of his family’s and culture’s intense resistance to Christianity, he was afraid.

One night, after an especially difficult day when he was feeling so overwhelmed, Hirotsugu heard on The Back to God Hour broadcast the story of a Savior who gave His life for those He loved, a loving Lord who lifts burdens. He wrote a note to the follow-up staff, asking more about this Savior. Mrs. Namiko Kumada was handling follow-up work at the time. She remembers the day he contacted her. “His burden seemed much too heavy for a high schooler.”

Kumada directed Hirotsugu to the very church he had biked past every day on his way to the hospital! He visited the church, and gave his life to Christ. Later he followed God's leading to become a pastor and evangelist for the Christian church in Japan.

Rev. Mochida reflects, “What motivated me to confess my faith in Christ—and become a pastor—were the words of Jesus: that anyone who gives up father or mother for Christ’s sake will receive back a hundred-fold in this life, and afterward, eternal life.”

Rev. Mochida’s story doesn't end there: he is now one of The Back to God Hour’s Japanese broadcasters and serves as the chairman of its Japanese Media Ministry Advisory Committee. And because the Internet is so vital to the Japanese ministry, his expertise in that area is very valuable to the outreach.

“It was wonderful, not only that Rev. Mochida finally found hope in the Bible, but also that he decided to become a pastor through our ministry. I cannot help but thank our Lord,” says Kumada.