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journey to faith

Meeting Christ in an old family journal

Joanna Shelton was about 5 years old when her grandmother Evie Shelton began to talk to her about Japan. Evie was born in 1889 in Oakland, California, but at the age of 3 months traveled to Japan with her parents, Presbyterian missionaries Tom and Emma Alexander. Evie introduced her granddaughter to chopsticks and a few words of Japanese that she remembered. Shelton later learned details of her great-grandparents’ mission in Japan from a copy of Tom Alexander’s journal. As an agnostic, she considered the journal important to her as a historical and family document, not as an account of a faith journey. Years later that would change.