Roy Olsen continues to be Emiko’s “adopted dad,” and looks forward to reuniting with his son, Graham, at Christ’s second coming.
Published on: 06-29-2018
Roy Olsen’s son Graham hadn’t attended church for more than 10 years, and there didn’t seem to be much hope that he’d ever come back. After years of praying, Roy offered up a plea to heaven: “Please, Lord, do what it takes to bring my son back into a loving relationship with You.”
Shortly after Roy’s prayer, Graham was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The family was shocked. This wasn’t what they’d prayed for. Graham underwent surgery to remove a piece of his bowel. The operation was a success, but sometime later a secondary growth was discovered lodged in Graham’s liver. This time chemotherapy was unsuccessful.
Graham decided to take a trip to Japan, where he met a young woman named Emiko.
After Graham returned to Australia, he and Emiko kept in touch. Several months later Graham returned to Japan and proposed to Emiko; and she accepted. By this time, however, Graham’s cancer was quite advanced, and he was hospitalized in Japan. The doctors were able to stabilize him to fly back to Australia for one last round of treatment, and Emiko followed him, sitting by his bedside day and night.
Things soon took a turn for the worse. As his parents and Emiko looked on, Graham’s sister, Glenda, invited him to accept Jesus as his Savior. Graham responded positively and soon after closed his eyes for the last time.
Though heartbroken, Graham’s family was comforted by the knowledge that he’d accepted Jesus. Emiko, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. She returned to Japan confused, but the Holy Spirit had touched her heart as she watched her fiancé find peace.
Knowing how much Emiko was hurting, Roy started to e-mail her. Emiko was impressed by Roy’s kindness and decided to come and stay with her adopted Australian “mum and dad.”
While in Australia, Roy and his wife, Kathleen, continued praying for Emiko and answering her spiritual questions. Emiko began attending church with them, as well as a series of evangelistic meetings. Emiko gave her heart to Jesus and asked to be baptized.
Emiko is now back in Japan and has joined an Adventist church close to her home. She says she now has the hope in her heart that she will not only be able to spend eternity with Jesus but with Graham too.
“My prayer was simply for God to do as only He knew how with my wayward son,” Roy says. “God’s ways are not our ways. He has a thousand ways of doing things we have no knowledge of. But His way—no matter how strange it may seem—is always the best.”
Maritza Brunt is an assistant editor for Adventist Record in New South Wales, Australia.