CHRIST IS ALL
†††††††††††††††††††††††† Spring (March, April, May 2012)
Dear Friend in Christ,
Flying back to Japan from the US on February 28th, I lost about half a day coming thru the time zones, arriving at Narita Airport late afternoon, February 29th here in Japan. I caught a train into Tokyo, and then changed trains 3 more times to get home to Matsuida. A white blanket of snow covered the ground from new snowfall this day. I opened up the cold house, knelt and thanked God for bringing me safely back and for keeping the house safe the 3 months I was in the States. The next day, March 1st, I preached on the streets here, and by Godís grace I have done so every day since. O what joy that brings! I pray for our Lord to save the many lost ones who hear. Please intercede with me for their salvation.
Also, on that first day back home in Japan, Pastor Isaac Ishiguro from Mino Mission called me, asking me to preach at one of his churches on Sunday. So I set a few things in order at home for 2 days, and on Saturday March 3rd, I rode 2 Bullet trains and 2 regular trains to get to Mino Mission in Mie Prefecture. I spent the night in their prophetsí chamber built ďoverĒ the Tomidahama church. Next morning, I rode 2 trains to the city of Oogaki to preach in the 2 Sunday services in the Mino Missionís church there. About 20 souls attended the morning service and about half that number came to the afternoon service. The following Sunday, the 11th, I preached the morning and evening services at the Tomidahama church. 30 people or so attended in the morning and about 15 at night. On Wednesday night the 14th, I taught the Bible study at the Tomidahama church with 9 or so attending. I stayed at Mino Mission for 2 weeks, each day preaching and singing on the streets, walking from house to house leaving literature while praying for our Lord to save many! On Saturday March 17th, I rode the trains home to Matsuida, rejoicing in what the Lord allowed me to do there in Mie and Gifu Prefectures.
Next day, Sunday the 18th, I drove up the beautiful mountain to Miyota and taught Sunday School and preached at Miyota Bible Church with about 9 others present. After we ate lunch together in the church, 7-year-old Mari again begged me to take her out to distribute literature. Glory! Praise God for working so in her heart. Both she and her older brother, Naoki, went with me and we walked from house to house an hour or so leaving literature at each house. We three did that in late November in a cold rain. Same on March 18th, a light, chilly rain falling and we under umbrellas! Glory to God for the privilege of being out there with little Mari and young Naoki spreading the Word!
On Sunday, March 25th, I preached at the church in the town of Yoshii, with about 20 Japanese attending. Our Lord blessed us with a Spiritually rich time during the service. Late last year, I asked you to pray for the salvation of a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Yasuda, who are attending church here. Praise God for answering our prayers. They both trusted in the Lord during the winter while I was in the States. I received that wonderful news with great joy in March after arriving back here. I encouraged both of them to faithfully follow the Lord. On this day, March 25th, Bro. Yasudaís younger brother, wife, and small child attended church. None in this family is a Christian. Letís storm Heaven for their salvation. I donít remember their names at this time. Thereís great Power in intercessory prayer. God bless you for praying. It brings down miracles here!
Sunday, April 1st, I again preached at the Miyota Church. About 10 people attended. We ate lunch together after church and fellowshipped inside, as it was chilly, damp, and cold out. The next Sunday, I attended church here in Matsuida and was blessed by the fellowship. Since returning to Japan on Feb. 29, this was the first time on Sunday for me not to have a preaching engagement. I praise God for opening doors to preach in several churches regularly. I earnestly pray for God to make my preaching a great help and blessing to the Japanese souls I preach to. Please pray for that also. Such evil power and darkness surrounds and enslaves them. Letís call on Almighty God to break their bonds and to set them free. Hear our cries, O Lord!†††
On April 15th, I again preached at the church in Yoshii, with just over 20 souls there. Bro. Yasuda and family were faithfully there, but his younger brother and family did not come this Sunday. Please pray for God to bring them to church and to strongly convict their souls of their need of Christ and His Eternal Salvation.
On April 22nd, I preached at the Miyota church. Outside was a dark cloud cover, light rain, and cold. Driving there from my house, I saw people out on the street in Karuizawa all bundled up in heavy coats. Will spring ever come? We turned up the heat in the church, and by Godís grace I endeavored to put much heat in the adult Sunday School lesson and then the sermon at 11 AM. 13 others attended. And The Lord richly blessed our worship service, thank the Lord. Most people stayed for lunch. Then Mrs. Isozumi talked much to me about her family, asking advice. She is separated from her Christian (?) husband and she has the 3 children with her. The children havenít seen their dad for 6 years. Mother keeps them from him because he was quite abusive to her and to the children. The youngest child, Mari, almost 8, is begging to see her dad because she canít remember him at all, having not seen him since she was about 2. The oldest child, Yuri, doesnít want to ever see her dad again because of the hurt he caused to her when she was small. I told the mom, ďBy all means, take Mari to see her dad. Donít let that void keep building in her life.Ē Pray for the Isozumis. Those 3 children, Yuri (girl), Naoki (boy), and Mari (girl) appear to be chosen vessels of our Lord. Please pray for Godís Protective Power and Guiding Hand to be upon them.
On Sunday morn, April 29th, I rode the trains up to the town of Minakami and enjoyed the cherry blossoms in bloom along the way, blooming later than where I live, as that is a cooler region. Many lovely flowers were also in view along the way from my train window. (The color of this print is labeled ďPlumĒ on my writing machine. Spring is so cheerful with many plants in bloom.) About 30 souls came to the morning church service in Minakami and I preached earnestly to them all. Praise God for blessing. Most of us then had lunch together at the church. Returning home, I preached in two spots where I changed trains. Such a lovely and blessed spring day, praise God.
On Sunday, May 13, I preached at the Yoshii Church with 25 or so attending. Afterwards, Mr. and Mrs. Yasuda were baptized. What a victorious blessing to see that. Each testified before the baptismal service. Mr. Yasuda told of joining a small motorcycle gang as a teen, stealing, using drugs, and being jailed a week or so for his lawlessness. Mrs. Yasuda testified of how strange it was to her when they first came to church, and we urged her to put her trust in Christ to help her. She somewhat resented such wooing, feeling she was well able to take care of herself. (Proud, strong, self-sufficient, self-made mankind. Donít need and donít want God interfering in their lives.) Each clearly testified of coming to repentance and of trusting in Christ to save them. What a joy to hear and see that reformation! Thank you dear friends for praying!
On May 20th, I preached in the morning service at Miyota Bible Church. 14 others attended, more than last month. Each month I go there, I also teach the adult Sunday School class at 10 AM, usually with 4 to 6 present. Lately, God has led me to tell them of Godís Perfect Holy Bible on this earth, the King James Version 1611. Sadly, presently, thereís not a good Bible in the Japanese language. I hesitate to tell Japanese Christians this, because Satan always tries to turn such news into a big stumbling stone to them, trying to make them feel I am against the only Bible they have and trust in. I prayed much for God to speak clearly to them and at the start begged them to listen to the Holy Spiritís Voice more than to me. First, I typed key scriptures from my KJV Bible that are totally missing in their Bible. With Bro. Takaoís help, we translated those scriptures into Japanese. I then gave copies to the adults at Miyota (several verses in English & Japanese) and had them turn to that place in their Bibles to see that these scriptures are missing. I asked them to earnestly pray to God for Him to give us His Perfect Holy Bible in the Japanese language. I first spoke of that in April, and it was a hard blow to some. Bro. Kawahara told me in a downcast mood, ďI didnít want to hear that.Ē I prayed hard and on May 20, again taught about it. Mr. Kawahara had recovered some. Others testified of seeing the truth of what I taught and were blessed by key verses I showed them (and gave them in print), not available in their Japanese language Bibles. Pray for Godís Help here. Miracles!
Thank you for caring, for praying, for giving. I pray for Almighty Godís Richest and Most Abundant Blessings to be showered down upon Thee.
††††††††††††††††††† Christís unprofitable servant,
†††††††††††††††††††††† Richard Y.