MEMPHIS — Hirofumi “Hiro” Kudo came here from Japan to study English at the University of Memphis.
He left knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life.
Kudo, who hails from a suburb of Tokyo, Japan, enrolled in the University of Memphis’ Intensive English for Internationals (IEI) program last fall.
While studying English he encountered a group of University of Memphis Baptist Collegiate Ministry students who intentionally connect with internationals for the purpose of sharing their faith and showing Christ’s love to them, said Jeff Jones, campus ministry and BCM director at UM.
Kudo became friends with Kristina Phillips, a family group leader at the BCM. She took him and other international students under her wing and invited him to the BCM and her local church, Jones said.
Kudo became involved in some of the BCM activities and expressed an interest in learning more about Jesus. As a Buddhist, Kudo had not been exposed to Christianity. Phillips shared the gospel with her new friend and one Sunday after church, in a local restaurant, Kudo and another student from Taiwan surrendered their lives to Christ, Jones noted.
Several BCM students helped in discipling Kudo before he returned to Japan at the end of the semester.
On his last Sunday in Memphis, Kudo was baptized at Bartlett Baptist Church, Bartlett, by Jones and Phillips.
Since returning to Japan, Kudo has been connected with a Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionary and a church plant in his city.
“He is growing in his faith as well as sharing his faith with others,” Jones reported.