By Barbara Bauman
"She must be very frustrated with her children," I thought. I had noticed a young non-Christian mother near the door at a parenting seminar I was leading at a local preschool. Her distressed face said more than a thousand words, so I was disappointed when she got up to leave before the end of the seminar. She would not hear the points I was going to share later about disciplining children in love and communicating positively with them.
By the time I had finished my presentation and answered the final questions of the day, I was exhausted and ready to go home. The muggy August heat of this western Tokyo suburb had drained all my energy. Then Junko*, the event organizer, came up to me and said, “You know that mother who left early? Her name is Sayuri. On the way out the door she told me she just learned she’s pregnant with twins. The idea of caring for two more children in addition to the two preschool-aged daughters she already has is too overwhelming. She and her husband are close to deciding to have an abortion. Will you pray with me that God will change her mind?”
As we prayed, I was reminded of the key point I had shared before Sayuri left—Every child is a unique, special creation of God. Had she really listened? Did she even understand the truth of what I had said? What were the chances I would ever see her again?
One Sunday a couple of months later, Junko greeted me before our church worship service.
“Remember Sayuri, that mother who was planning to have an abortion? She’s coming today!” When I saw Sayuri, I recognized her immediately—and she was visibly pregnant! God had answered our prayers, and Sayuri and her husband had chosen life for their twins. As I drew near, I placed my hand on her growing tummy and said, “We prayed for these babies.” With tears in her eyes, she said, “Thank you. Thank you so much!
From then on, Sayuri began attending our church regularly. She joined a Sunday School class that was going through the book The Power of a Praying Mother. The following January, twin girls, Kyoko and Miyoko, were born. Before long, Sayuri announced, “I want to be baptized! I want to follow Jesus, and bring up my children to follow Him.”
Today, when Sayuri is at a church meeting, it’s not unusual to see her without her twins—or even her two older daughters—because there are so many other mothers taking turns caring for them!
Praise God that not only has he allowed me to see mothers and fathers come to Christ as they have been introduced to God’s Word through biblical parenting principles—but unborn children are even being given life as a result of these materials!
Barbara Bauman developed the text Discovering the Joy of Parenting over a period of seven years while ministering to Japanese mothers and learning their key parenting needs. It is now being used throughout Japan, and is in the process of being translated and adapted for use in other Asian cultures.