“The Japanese man I met on the Internet became my godson”

An instant message popped up on Deborah Ruth's computer from a young Japanese man, Hiroaki in Tokyo, who found her on ICQ's random chat. Hiroaki was only looking for English practice, but as they started chatting, it became clear he was rather down at the time and felt worthless.

They chatted and she shared the Gospel with him. After a while she put him in touch with her Christian friend Laurie near Tokyo, who brought Hiroaki to her church. He started attending worship, bought a Bible, went to a Bible study, and took the Alpha Course.

Months later, he sent Deborah Ruth an email, announcing, "I've decided to become a Christian next month!" When a friend told Deborah Ruth that Hiroaki would be baptized in a month, the same time she would be in Tokyo, she surprised Hiroaki by being at his baptism.

"Hiroaki's jaw dropped to see me there," she says. She adds, "Two of us stood with him during the Anglican baptism service, and a couple of weeks later I learned that my name had also gone on the godparent card, so this man I met on the internet became my godson."