4. Sensei Kyoto

     “This is creepy” Azaliah thought as she walked to the park. With the box tucked securely under her arm she walked towards an empty bench.  As she sat and waited she whispered a small prayer “Lord, please let whoever comes today not be a psycho. I believe in you it’s just that I have never had to step out on faith like this.”  

     “Small beginnings.” 

     “Hello Young Paga’.” Facing Azaliah was a slightly muscled man with black and gray hair. He looked like if he was in his 40s but he stood there she knew he had earned many more years.

     “I am Kyoto. I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you Azaliah. Sensei Kyoto sat down to face Azaliah. “I see you have found the scroll.”

     “It was given to me by Kenji.”

     “Kenji.” smiled Sensei Kyoto. My grandson is very helpful.”

     “I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not sure if this is really happening to me or if you have the wrong person. I’m not much of a fighter.”

     “No?” Sensei Kyoto raised his eyebrows. “Who was the little girl who fought the bully for her friend Kelsi? And the little girl who wouldn’t let the the older kids in the neighborhood pick on her brother? What about the teenage girl who stood up to the town bully and won?” Azaliah sat looking puzzled as Sensei Kyoto continued.

     “Now you're wondering how do I know so much about you? I have been called to look out for you. To watch over you as you become who God has destined you to be. I have seen your story young Paga' and it is a great one.

     “Who showed you my story?”

     “Abba.”

     “Abba? Who is that?”

     “You call him God,” says Sensei Kyoto,  “but we call him Abba. It’s like a term of endearment for those of us who are Paga’. Yes, he is God our Father, but he is so much more.”

     Azaliah’s eyes grew wide as she began to understand Sensei Kyoto was a Paga’ warrior like herself.  “You will come to know him as Abba in time. For now, I must tell you of your assignment. Sensei Kyoto closed his eyes, and with a deep breath began to tell her the story he had practiced for years.

     “God has called you to be his warrior, his “Paga’”, here in the earth. The meaning of the word is Old Hebrew and it has many meanings. What you should know is you are called to intercede on behalf of humanity. To attack the evil darkness that attempts to take out mankind.

     “You know that God loves humanity. He may not like all the things we do but nothing can separate us from God’s love. It is eternal. The evil darkness, our enemy,  he doesn't love us. He doesn’t love God’s creation and will steal, kill, and destroy us all if he has the chance. This is where you come in.”

     “How can I do anything about that?” Face crinkled in frustration Azaliah stood up to leave. With a gentle hand on her arm Sensei Kyoto softly spoke to her.  

     “You think that because you don’t know who you are. Most of us don’t. So we doubt what God can do because we think he functions like us. That would be incorrect. We forget that God is the initiator and completer of our faith. Only the creator can tell the creation who they are and what they are meant for. This you find out by spending time in his presence, listening to what he says about you. And you are meant to fight for him.”

     “I can barely have an argument let alone fight.”

     “You will learn.”

     “I just want to help people. For them to be a better version of themselves.”

     “You will fight for the mother fighting for her children. For the man who wants to be free from drugs. For the children who are being abused. You will fight for your loved ones and for my loved ones because someone must. ”

     Azaliah turned towards the open park and began to walk. “Did you go through this? Did God call you to be this warrior?”

     “Yes he did and I ran.”

     “What?” Azaliah exclaimed. “You ran but you expect me to just say sure I’ll go fight the darkness by myself.”

     “No, not by yourself. I expect you will be unsure of yourself but sure in God. I wasn’t even a Christian. I was just minding my own business when a woman walked into my music store. She gave me a box and told me where to meet her. I didn't go. It was 5 years before I saw her again. I should say I was embarrassed but I’m not because what I learned in those 5 years about myself as I ran from Abba shaped me.”

     “How do I learn to be this warrior this Paga’ warrior?”

     “You will be trained by others like yourself. They too are Paga’ just more mature in the fight. You will learn some fighting techniques and you will also develop your own fighting style. Some of the lessons you learn will be less tacticle and more guided by Abba.”

     “How many trainers are there?”

     “For now 3.”

     “Are they here in Japan? “

     “No, they are around the world and they each will teach you different skills to defeat the darkness. The European, the African, and the Nordic.”

     “Those are their names?

     “That is what they will be called for now. Kenji will give you instructions on when you need to leave for training.” Sensei Kyoto begins to walk away.

     “Wait! Leave? I have a job and a life I can’t just pick up and leave!”

     “It has been 1 year since you and Mekhi ended your relationship. How much of a life have you had since then?” Sensei Kyoto looked at Azaliah shuffling her feet and remembered his own confusion when he learned his purpose. 

     “You will know when it’s time and you will be ready. God said he knows the plans he has for you. They are good plans not meant to harm you but to give you a hope and a future. Stay ready young Paga’ because the kingdom of darkness is getting ready for you.