Spring 2015 (March, April, May)

Dear Friend in Christ,

Sunday March 1st I sat all day with Pastor and Sister Burks in their house in Harrison, Arkansas in a lovely white world of ice and snow. Most every church in that area cancelled church services that day due to hazardous road conditions. We three souls had prayer, singing, Scripture reading and fellowship together.

Two days later in the afternoon of Tuesday the 3rd, the roads were clear enough for me to drive to Pastor Steve’s house in Indianola, Oklahoma. No precipitation was falling but I drove thru heavy fog in eastern Oklahoma. Thank God the cold rain did not start till I arrived safely at Brother Steve’s about suppertime. It soon turned to light freezing rain thru out the night and to snow the next day, Wednesday.

That night, I rode with Steve and Lyn to Canadian Shores Free Will Baptist Church for a joint service with people from 2 other churches joining us. As people filtered into the church that evening someone called out “Hey, Brother (John), your truck is sliding toward the road!” Church parking was on a slight incline adjacent to the road. That brother hurried to his truck that was sliding slowly across the ice and re-parked it. We had a most blessed service and warm Christian fellowship. Glory!

On Friday, I drove back to Harrison, Arkansas. The following day, Saturday March 7, I drove to Brother Floyd’s house in Bixby, Oklahoma to preach in his church the following morning and in Grace Free Will Baptist for the evening service. Then I traveled back thru Arkansas, preaching near Hamburg at Trinity Free Will Baptist on Wednesday night and on back home to Vernon, Alabama.    

During late March and early April, I did much in-house work at my stateside home base in Vernon, while preaching in several churches in that area. That was a great blessing! On 8 April, I packed up, closed up, returned Charles the car he loaned me while I was in the States and rode with my brother Sidney to my other brother’s (Joe) house in Tupelo, Mississippi to spend the night there.

The next morning, I left with Joe just after 5 AM. He drove me to the Memphis airport and left to go on to work that day. I checked in and waited for the boarding call for my flight to Chicago. When they called for boarding I headed for the airplane’s door where they had stopped the passengers in front of me. A man announced that hail and high winds in the Chicago area had delayed the flight indefinitely. (That was the day 7 tornadoes were spotted in Illinois.) I went back to the desk at the entrance to the boarding gate, showed the lady my schedule and she started looking at other possible routes on her computer as I prayed hard for the Lord to take me on to Japan today, if that be His Will.  

The lady worked wonders, thank God, routing me thru Dallas and San Francisco to Haneda Airport in Tokyo instead of to Narita Airport near Tokyo as originally planned. I’d already checked my 2 suitcases to Narita. I asked if they could re-route my luggage. “Yes” was the answer. I soon caught the short flight to Dallas and waited over 4 hours to board the flight to San Francisco. Then I had about a 2-hour wait in San Francisco to board a JAL flight that departed after 1 AM (Pacific Time) for Haneda. I lay down on the hard floor in the airport and dozed.

The JAL lady who checked me in said that my luggage didn’t make it onto this airplane. If that were so, there was no telling where it might have gone. No matter what that lady-who-knows said, I begged God to have my 2 suitcases waiting for me at Haneda. I tried to sleep most of the way as we flew over the wide Pacific pond, arriving safely at Haneda before 5 AM Saturday morning 11 April; only about 12 hours later than I was originally scheduled to arrive at Narita. Thank God for that! 

At Haneda Airport, I processed thru Immigration quickly and prayerfully waited as suitcases popped up on the conveyer. When both of mine popped up it was a great relief to see. Thank God for answered prayer! I soon boarded the Monorail and rode trains home to Matsuida on this chilly rainy day. It was a great joy to find my house safe and to preach on the streets this day! When I lay down to sleep on my pallet on the straw mat floor of my bedroom, it had been over 50 hours since I had gotten out of bed Thursday morning in my brother’s house in Tupelo. Thank God for safety in much air travel and land travel since January 14th when I left my house in Japan and for much preaching in churches, homes, one jail and out in public. Thank you all who hosted me and helped me in many various ways. May God richly bless you for it all!

The very next day, Sunday April 12, I preached at the church in Yoshii. 13 others were present. I preached in public that afternoon. Some children playing outside apartments asked me whom I was talking to. I replied, “To everyone.” 3 or so of the children followed me a while, hearing the Gospel. On Saturday the 18th, I opened the rescue mission in Karuizawa. The following day, I preached at the church in Isesaki.

At lunch there, I asked Pastor Tamura to inquire about me preaching once a month (or more often) in the Gunma Prefecture prison in Maebashi, the prefecture seat. He agreed to inquire for me. Please pray for our Lord to open this door, if it be His Will. I yearn to preach in prisons and jails. Here in Matsuida, I have a Japanese friend, Mr. Kanai, on the local city council. I asked him about preaching in our city jail. He said often no one is in jail there. So different from the overflowing jails throughout the US. I long to preach in the Gunma prison. Please keep that in prayer.

Let me share some ancient history. On Tuesday 5 March 2013, as I was heading back by train to my house in Matsuida from warm southern Kyushu (the southernmost main island of Japan), I got off the train in the city of Nobeoka, put my bags into a coin locker in the station, took a small bag of prayer sheets and started treading earth my feet had never before trod, leaving a prayer sheet at each house. I did that glorious ministry for hours while praying for the souls who would get those prayers. I spent that night in a hotel and the next morning I traveled on. That’s all the time I have ever spent in Nobeoka.

Last year, I got a phone call from a Japanese lady named Tazuko who lives in Nobeoka. She got my prayer sheet and wanted my book of prayers from the 1st 6 chapters of Ecclesiastes. I sent her one book. Later she wrote me, asking for 6 or so of those books to give to other souls. I joyfully sent her the free books.

When I returned from the States to Matsuida on April 11 this year, I had a postcard from Tazuko postmarked 11 Feb. 2015. In it she writes: “Thank you for sending me the books last year. These prayers are very, very wonderful. Daily I am reading them a few at a time while praying that I will become able to pray them from the heart. I have been giving out the books as a present to one person after another here and there. I have great respect for you. May God’s blessings be upon you.” Then she quoted Mary’s words of praise from Luke 1.

Likely Tazuko is a Christian believer. Likely she is in her 70’s or so. I rejoiced to read of the prayers being a blessing to her and also that she would give them out to other people. “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) Please pray for our Lord to bless Tazuko. As for you there in the States who give out my free books to other people, thank you so much for doing that. Please keep it up. I pray that each reader will greatly benefit spiritually from what God led me to write. Thank you “givers” for providing me the funds to print much Christian literature to give out free in several nations around this globe. May our Lord bless you abundantly and repay you many fold for helping me.

Presently, the warm spring weather here feels so good as I daily preach outdoors and pass out Christian literature some days. I pray for many lost souls to be saved. I continue to preach in a few churches around where I live here in Japan, as they invite me to do so.

On May 17th, I rode the trains up to Minakami and preached in the church there. About 16 Japanese Christians were present that morning and all but 1 or 2 of them were in their 70’s or 80’s. The youngest person there was in her 50’s or so. One other person was likely under 70. The younger generation here has no use for their Creator God. I also saw that trend in several churches I preached in while in the U.S. So few young people and children in church. Let’s be faithful to witness to all souls. In the Book of Acts, believers zealously went out thru towns and surrounding areas to where people were, to tell them the Good News. Let’s zealously do the same!

It means a lot to me that you care about me and the many precious lost Japanese souls to whom I preach Christ. Thank you for each prayer you pray for me and for interceding in prayer for lost Japanese to be saved. Thank you for your offerings that are a tremendous help to me. May our Lord richly bless you and your family.

Christ’s servant in Japan,

Richard Yerby



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