Winter 2013-2014 (December 2013, January & February 2014)


Dear Friend in Christ,

On 30 November 2013, I left my house in Matsuida and headed south in Japan like a migratory bird, planning to be gone for the winter. I went by train to Mino Mission in Mie Prefecture. The good people there warmly welcomed me and again graciously let me lodge in their prophet’s chamber, an upper room built onto their church in Tomidahama.

Early the next morning, Sunday, December 1st, I rode the trains back past Nagoya to Brother Jeff Brigham’s church in Anjo City. We had prayer time at 10:30. Then at the 11 AM service, I preached in Japanese. About 14 souls were present. We ate lunch together in the church and then I preached in English for the English service at 2 PM. Pastor Jeff’s family and his church people are diligent Christians and bless me greatly. Please pray for our Lord to richly bless them all. This Sunday afternoon, I rode the trains back toTomidahama and attended church there at 7 PM.

From Monday, December 2nd, thru Christmas day, it was a joy to daily do evangelistic work with the Japanese Christians in the 3 Mino Mission churches. Several days, I walked from house to house, leaving their Gospel literature at each door. I would also preach and sing in public. During December, these Christians held Christmas services in about 22 different care facilities for elderly people. I attended several of these services. At each facility, the residents who wanted to attend our service would come from their rooms to the dining hall or lounge where we held the service. Most were above 85 years old. Several were in their 90s. One lady who attended was 100 years old. Most all of them had lived their lives as Buddhists and Shinto believers. We clearly told them of the Saviour born in a manger Who came to eternally save them, while praying for our Lord to change their hearts to cause them to trust in Him. 

We had a Christmas service in one orphanage with about 50 children (from 3 years old to 18 years old) attending. Likely none of their parents were dead. But divorce, messed up home situations, and such like tragedies caused them to be in the “orphanage.” O how my heart went out to them, especially the precious little souls under 7 years old. 

The Tomidahama church held a children’s Christmas service at the church on Saturday, December 7th, and the Oogaki church held one the following Saturday. About 50 children and a few parents attended at Tomidahama. Most were souls who will not set foot in a church except for Christmas or Vacation Bible School. I attended this service and Pastor Isaac asked me to pray the closing prayer when it ended. Attendance was somewhat less at the children’s Christmas service at the Oogaki church. I distributed literature that day and did street preaching. So I didn’t attend the kid’s Christmas at Oogaki.

Pastor Isaac Ishiguro asked me to preach and teach several times in the Oogaki and Tomidahama churches’ regular services. What a blessing! At 10:30 on Christmas morning, we had a service in the Tomidahama church. Christmas afternoon, we went to 1 nursing home and then to a hospital. What a blessed way to spend Christmas Day. I greatly rejoiced to spend most of December with these fervent Japanese Christians at Mino Mission who spend the Christmas season daily preaching Christ to as many precious lost souls as possible, instead of daily gluttonously feasting on holiday cooking, typically most of which is not healthy food and drink. I became so weary of such Christmas feasting on Guam and in the US. Thus I rejoice that God led me to spend that season at Mino Mission daily going for lost souls.

On December 26th, I arose about 4:30 AM, packed up my belongings, walked to the nearby train station with my bags and caught the 5:24 AM train, the first train of the day. I rode it to Nagoya City nearby & caught a Bullet train to the southern island of Kyushu, changed to Kyushu Bullet line at Hakata station in Fukuoka City and rode that Bullet to the end of its line at Kagoshima Central Station. There I boarded a slower train for Miyakonojo City east of there in Miyazaki Prefecture. I had never before set foot in this city. I did not know a single soul in this city. But in praying, The Holy Spirit let me to come here.

Two weeks before, while at Mino Mission I went to the nearest office of Leo Palace and rented an apartment in Miyakonojo for 60 days from December 26th. Arriving in a chilly but light rain before 3 PM at Miyakonojo station, I put my bags into a coin locker & headed out walking under my umbrella to Leo Palace’s office about a mile away. I had tracts and put them in mailboxes along the way. (That is legal here in Japan.) A lady on a bicycle stopped me, wanting money. I gave her 200 yen (about $2) and a tract, and told her that eternal blessedness is found only in The Lord Jesus Christ. At Leo Palace office, I got the key to my apartment (in a different location), & “tracted” & preached back to the station along different streets. Got my bags out of the locker, took a taxi to the apartment building, entered my apartment for the first time, turned on the heat, knelt and prayed for our Lord to do a Great Work here during the next 60 days.

The next day, I put out tracts from house to house and preached in public (and continued to do so daily). That evening, a truck delivered the 5 boxes of personal items, books, Christian literature, kitchen utensils, & such that I had packed up in my house in Matsuida in late November & had a Japanese Christian friend send them off on Christmas day. Only took 2 days for the truckers to deliver my boxes here, 700 or so miles away.

I started searching out where churches were, and on Sunday attended a Baptist church less than a mile from my apartment. During my stay here, I attended 5 churches in town and 1 church in a town about 35-40 miles away. The people at that Baptist church asked me to preach there on Sunday morning, February 9th. By that time 4 people that had gotten my Christian literature in their mailboxes had called my cell phone. None of them were Christians. I invited them to church and 2 came that day, 64-year-old Mr. Mizobe & 75-year-old Mrs. Kimura. One other, a young mother (Chiaki), wanted to come with her 8-year-old son (Shoota), but she had already made firm plans for the morning.

Praise God for working powerfully in hearts and bringing out these lost souls to church. Thank you for praying for lost Japanese souls here. God is hearing you and answering your prayers. On Saturday, February 22, I vacated that apartment. While in Miyakonojo, God enabled me to distribute over 13,000 pieces of Christian literature, preach and sing much in public, preach in church, and witness to people personally. What a deep joy it all brought to me. Let’s continue to pray for The Holy Ghost to produce much fruit from that labour.

During February, it snowed much where I permanently live in the town of Matsuida, doing damage, causing injuries and taking lives in that area (no deaths in my town of Matsuida). I thank God for letting me go south for the winter where it didn’t snow.

The day I vacated the apartment (Feb. 22), I rode 2 trains to Satsuma Sendai City in adjacent Kagoshima Prefecture. That is where I had spent much of the winter the year before. The Baptist church there let me stay 4 nights upstairs in their church and asked me to preach on the morning of the 23rd. I attended that church last January and February. Now it was joy to see those friends again and fellowship with them. I preached on the streets each day while there. After attending their 10:30 AM prayer service on Wednesday February 26th and eating noodles with them at lunchtime, I bade farewell to those dear Christian friends, caught a Bullet train and headed north to Mino Mission, arriving in plenty of time for their 7:30 PM service. And I was at Mino Mission when February ended. So I will end my winter news at this point.

I am so blessed of God to be allowed to do the work of an evangelistic in many areas of Japan. I pray for the Holy Spirit to bring forth much fruit from it for our Lord’s Great Glory! God bless you for interceding for lost Japanese souls and for praying for me. You who also give me offerings are a great help. May our Lord richly bless you and repay you many fold over. God be near and dear to you to take care of you in every way.

In Christ’s Love, Richard Yerby







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