CHRIST IS ALL
Winter: (December 2012, January and February 2013)
Dear Friend in Christ,
On December 1st, I left my house in the town of Matsuida with all the bags I could carry, walked out to the small train station about 300 yards away, and caught a local, slow train that takes 28 minutes to get to the city of Takasaki. At Takasaki, I changed over to a Bullet train to Tokyo, and there changed to the fastest Bullet train, Nozomi, headed southwest, and rode it to Nagoya. From there, a 45 minute ride on a slow, local train brought me to the Mino Mission headquarters and their church in Tomidahama in Mie Prefecture. I greeted Pastor Isaac, his family, and a couple more Christians who were there at the time, went out and street preached a short time, came back to the church, put my things in order and settled in for the night in their prophets’ chamber above the church. They are so good to accommodate me.
The next morning, Sunday, I rode 3 local trains for over an hour and a half back thru Nagoya to Jeff Brigham’s church in Anjoo City, past Nagoya. As scheduled, I was so blessed to have the privilege to preach in Japanese during the Sunday School hour and 11 AM service to about 20 souls who were there. Then we ate lunch together, and I again preached for the English service at 1 PM. Several of the Christians here go with Pastor Jeff most every Saturday to do public evangelism. They are a great blessing to me! Please pray for our Lord to bless their efforts mightily. That afternoon, I rode the trains back to Tomidahama and at the 7 PM service, listened to Pastor Isaac preach at the Mino Mission church. Glory!
The next morning, December 3rd, Pastor Isaac gave me a load of literature, took me a distance away in his car and showed me the area I should distribute the literature from house to house, leaving a tract or flyer at each door. Glory! From this day to around New Years, this became a routine for me 5 to 7 days a week, carrying a heavy bag of “Precious Seed” and walking up to 6 hours or so a day. What a joy to get out about 7,000 or more pieces of Gospel literature. I pray that many lost souls will read the good news and get saved. Will you please join me in interceding for their eternal salvation?
Mino Mission has 3 churches in that area, each in a different location. During December, the Christians in these churches held well over a dozen (possibly close to 20) Christmas services in various care facilities for the elderly and handicapped, hospitals, and in 1 orphanage (each service in a different facility). I attended several of these one-hour services. Each was a joy to me, and a welcomed relief from my many hours of walking to sit down for an hour. I attended the Christmas service for the “orphans”, talked to some of them, trying my best to be a blessing to them at Christmas time. Most of their parents are living, but various terrible “home” situations caused them to be in the orphanage. I pray each one of them will trust in the loving Saviour we told them about at Christmas as we gave each one some literature and a small present.
During December, I preached on 3 Sunday mornings at the Tomidahama church and 2 Wednesday nights at the Bible study and prayer meeting there. Then early Sunday morning, December 30th, I rode with Pastor Isaac in the Mission’s small van thru cold rain over an hour to the Oogaki church and preached in the morning service. A few of us then ate a snack lunch together in the church. Then followed a 1 PM service, in which I preached also. I soon said farewell to those dear friends at Oogaki, rode back to Tomidahama with Pastor Isaac and listened to his preaching at the 7 PM service there. More glory!
At Tomidahama, we had a church service on Christmas day. Glory! We had a church service on New Years day. More Glory! On Wednesday, January 2nd, we had a church service at 10:30 AM and again at 1:30 PM. More and more Glory and Glory!!
My dear friend in Christ, please carefully read the following, while listening to Almighty God’s Holy Spirit speaking unto you for all eternity! For the past 20 or more years, I have spent many of those Christmases either on Guam or in the States. During those times, so many of the good Christian people around me constantly and fervently heaped food upon me, much, much more food than necessary to nourish my body, and much of that “food” and “drink” profoundly sweet cakes, pies, cookies, fudge, and such that destroys one’s health. Many of those good Christian friends were not content with me exercising the free will God gave me to abstain from the mountain of “poison” they had heaped on a banquet table before me. At times when I abstained, they would fill a plate with sweets, hand it to me and issue this “decree” to me. “This is yours.” Personally, I do not believe Almighty God gave them the authority to issue such “decrees” to me. I know of a certainty that God hasn’t given me such authority. Thus, I abstain from issuing such “decrees” to people around me, but rather commend them on their temperance.
A few years ago on a December Sunday night, after I preached at a small Baptist church on Guam, they laded the banquet table with sweets, and as they began to partake, several souls started urging me to do so also. I only took a cup of juice and started sipping it, because Keith and Sue were soon to come from their church service to pick me up and take me to a café for supper. Watching my abstinence, a dear sister in Christ put cookies, cake, and pie on a paper plate, thrust it out to me, and decreed, “This is yours!” I took it, soon set it on the table, took 1 cookie from the plate and slowly munched on the cookie as I sipped my juice. Soon Keith came for me. And as I was walking out with him, that dear sister handed a whole, full-size pie to me, decreeing, “Take this.” So I did and put it in Keith and Sue’s fridge.
Such gluttony, and eating much health-damaging foods for pleasure, is sin in God’s Sight, I firmly believe. 40 or more years ago, it seemed that kind hosts and hostesses were content to let their guests serve their own selves, freely choosing what to put into their God-created bodies. I am seldom a host, but am often a guest. So I heartily thank the many people that are kind enough to often feed me and lodge me as I travel to preaching engagements in many locations. But over the years, I have seen a changing trend. Instead of allowing me to serve mo own plate, freely choosing the foods and amounts I deem proper, now a days the hostess prepares my plate and sets before me a gluttonously large amount of foods, some of which I normally abstain from eating because they are not healthy. Often the hostess boldly decrees to me that it is my duty to eat all of it. Then when I leave their place, often she hands me a sack of food to take with me.
Years ago I was reading a book David Wilkerson wrote back in the 1980s or 1990s. In it, he “preached” against similar things concerning food that I have just written, and he asked, “Have Christians gone mad over food?” “Yes” is a most apparent answer.
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded: But the same day as Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
EVEN THUS SHALL IT BE IN THE DAY WHEN THE SON OF MAN IS REVEALED.” (Luke 17:26-30)
In my younger days, this Scripture puzzled me because God ordained that we eat, drink, and marry. Thus all generations of people do so. But the Holy Spirit has taught me that in the time of Noah and Lot, a large number of people had made their bellies into their gods and lived for the sin of gluttony, overeating and overdrinking. Also, in increasing numbers, they had come to profane the Holy union of marriage ordained by God, 1 man marrying 1 woman and that united couple remaining together till death parted them. Presently, these sins of gluttony, and divorce and remarriage, are rampant, even within the body of Christ, His church.
Each year, I have grown more and more spiritually weary of being in such a banqueting (1 Peter 4:3) atmosphere in the house of God (1 Corinthians 11:22), especially during the Christmas season when such doings in the house of God are so prevalent. As I was desirous to spend the Christmas and New Years season in a Godlier manner than eating, drinking, making merry, and heaping expensive presents upon each other when many of our fellow Christians throughout the world do not have sufficient food and clothing, God led me to go to Mino Mission. There, Christians daily take the Good News of salvation in Christ to lost souls, and increase their church services during the holiday season instead of cutting back on them. What a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was most blessed to be a part of it. It made my heart overflow with joy!! Glory!!
Early in the morning on January 4th, I left Tomidahama by train as a light snow fell, praying that the snow would not hinder train service, rode the local train 45 minutes to Nagoya, and caught the fastest Bullet train, Nozomi, heading south. As we went thru Gifu and Shiga Prefectures, I gazed upon the breathtaking white, winter wonderland of mountains, fields, and such lovely nature. I rode the Nozomi to the end of its line just in the northern edge of the southern main island of Japan, Kyushu, and changed over to the Kyushu Bullet train line, and traveled on to Kagoshima City in the southern edge of Kyushu. There I went to the office of a nation-wide (in Japan) apartment chain and got the keys to one of their apartments I had already contracted at their office near Mino Mission. It was located near Kagoshima City in the nearby city of Satsuma Sendai. Then I caught a train there, opened up the apartment that was waiting for me, put down my bags, and immediately went out walking, leaving tracts from house to house, and preaching in public. Glory! By God’s grace, I kept that up for 59 days till I vacated that apartment early on March 4th. What a rich blessing it was!
The winter climate there is quite mild and thus didn’t hamper my outdoor evangelism. (During the 2 months I was in the southern Japan, harsh winter weather with blizzards, ice, and snow in northern Japan took close to 100 human lives.)
As soon as I arrived in Satsuma Sendai, I started looking for a church, and found a Baptist church just a quarter mile or so from my apartment. I attended church there each Sunday, and attended the Wednesday morning prayer meetings. The pastor introduced me to a good church on the nearby island of Amakusa. So in late February, I rode the ferry boat there and lodged in the church for a week. Each day, I distributed literature and preached in public. There, Pastor Minami has a 2-hour Bible session 6 days a week, Monday thru Saturday, from 6 AM to 8 AM. I attended it each morning. Also, he had me give my testimony in church the 1 Sunday morning I was there. That afternoon, we traveled about 3 hours by car, over a long bridge in the northern area of Amakusa, to a different church on Kyushu for the ordination service of a new, young pastor who had recently come to that church. On the way back, we stopped at the home of a young Japanese Christian couple with 3 children, for Pastor Minami to minister to them. They attend his church, but live over an hour away by car. So they don’t come each Sunday. We arrived back at Pastor Minami’s church about 10:30 PM, and my weary joy-filled self was relieved when he told me he would start the next morning’s service at 7 AM instead of 6.
On the last day of February, I took the ferry boat from Amakusa back to a dock in Kagoshima Prefecture, caught a bus to a train station, and rode the next train back to Satsuma Sendai, and walked home to my apartment. So, that ends my news for the 3 winter months. What a most blessed time it was, spreading the Gospel just about every day. I pray that God will give much fruit from it.
Thank you for praying for God’s blessings upon me. Thank you for interceding in prayer for the salvation of the many lost Japanese souls to whom I preach Christ. As for those of you who give offerings to help me, thank you for that great help. May our Lord repay you many fold over. God richly bless you, save your lost family members, heal and strengthen you, and supply all your needs according to His Riches in Glory. Till we soon meet together in Glory Land…
Christ’s unprofitable servant,