After 8 AM, on July 28th, I boarded a train near my house to travel to Tookamachi City in Niigata Prefecture. At that time, heavy rains had been falling there for several hours. The first I heard of it was an announcement on the train, telling of local trains in that area not running because of flooding. From Nagaoka City, I was able to catch a bus to Tookamachi. The bus traveled a highway along the Shinano River. That river was swollen with brown floodwater and was boisterous. I saw washed out areas and flooded areas along the way. Thank God, the bus made it safely to Tookamachi. Getting off the bus, I caught a taxi nearby which took me to the apartment I had already rented and had already gotten the key to it.
I went into the apartment, prayed for God to bless my time here and make it fruitful, took over 300 prayer sheets that I brought with me on the train, and at 2:50 PM immediately went out walking under my umbrella, leaving a prayer sheet at each house. I returned to the apartment quite soaked before 6 PM, having put out close to 300 of the sheets, and praying for the salvation of the souls who would see them. After 8 PM, a truck delivered the 8 boxes of literature and personal items from my house I shipped 2 days before.
The next morning, I went out putting out the literature in light rain, seeing flood damage; some streets washed away and parts of foundations washed out from under houses. Residents had already evacuated their dwellings in some such areas near streams. I walked all day, putting out about 700 prayer sheets. That night as I slept in the apartment, rain came down in torrents. I prayed hard, knowing this was most dangerous. That night and the next day, Saturday 30 July, 3 or 4 people in Tookamachi drowned in the flooding. Thank the Lord; no floodwaters reached the apartment complex in which I was abiding. Our Lord was most merciful and gracious to keep me safe amidst that danger. I know your prayers for me help much. God bless you for praying.
The rain lightened Saturday morning, so I again went out distributing the prayer sheets. People who lived near streams were shoveling mud out of their houses. Muddy, soaked bedding, clothing, books, and such household items were stacked outside some houses, much of it to be thrown away. I prayed hard for the people suffering so badly, preached some on the street, and left literature at each house I could. Small railroad trestles and bridges had been washed away. Highways and some bridges had been washed away in places. Everyone quickly got hard to work, laboring hard at cleaning up and starting to make repairs. It was most heartbreaking to see, knowing that most all of them are without Christ, lost with no eternal hope.
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:19) At times, life becomes a hard struggle for anyone. But we Christians are fortified by knowing that a perfect life in Heaven awaits us after this short life on earth. That makes us victorious now, no matter how hard the struggle.
But all souls without Christ are lost without hope. Christian friend, I walked by several dear lost souls there in Tookamachi who were shoveling mud out of their houses. Ruined, rain soaked and mud soaked household possessions were stacked outside the small houses, in the tiny yards or along the street. Many of those things would have to be thrown away. And the people were doing exactly what comes naturally, that being, just doing the best they could, laboring hard (struggling hard with all their power and might) to overcome the disaster that had struck them. And unless they repent, all that awaits them after this life is eternal Hell fire. That breaks my heart. I prayed hard that they would look upon those written prayers I left at each house, and pray them from their hearts. Please pray with me for their salvation.
Back in the mid 1990s, I passed thru Tookamachi once on the train, not getting off there. Other than that, I had never been there before. But I felt led to spend a month distributing Gospel literature there. Truly God led me there right when many people were suffering. May they look to their Maker for help.
I found the one Protestant church in that town and attended it the 4 Sundays I was there. The Christians in the church were a blessing to me, about 26 or so people attending Sunday morning services. I stayed in Tookamachi till the afternoon of August 26th. Some trains were running by then, and I was able to get out of there by train, and return home as planned. In the 30 days I was there, God enabled me to distribute from house to house all the literature I brought and shipped by truck. Total was about 14,000 pieces. I preached some on the streets and personally witnessed to a few people. I pray that the Lord of the harvest will bring fruit from the Gospel Seed I broadcasted to many souls at a time when they were in despair. I hope God put me there at that time of disaster for the purpose of pointing souls to Christ. Save souls, Lord. What a glorious privilege to be here in Japan exalting Christ and holding forth the words of life.
Thank you for praying for me and interceding in prayer for the many lost Japanese to whom I preach Christ. As for you, who give financially to me, thank you so much for that help. God bless you for all you do and repay you many fold over for all you give. God be near and dear to you, to bless and keep you.
Christ’s unprofitable servant,