Autumn 2006 (September, October, November)

Dear Friend in Christ,

On September 3rd, I preached during the Sunday morning service at Miyota Bible Church. Miyota is a town about 8 miles west of the town of Karuizawa. About 12 people were present for church that morning. Years ago, I preached at the Miyota Church from time to time. But I hadn’t been there in a few years. So it was a blessing to go there and fellowship with old friends again. Twenty years ago, that church averaged well over 20 in attendance, and sometimes as many as 40 or more attended on Sunday mornings. It is sad to see how attendance has gone down over the years.

On Sunday morning, October 1st, I preached at Karuizawa Church. About 15 people were in attendance. I preached on the “Fruit of the Spirit” from Galatians Chapter 5. With the Holy Spirit’s Help, I tried to clearly explain these 9 different “fruits” and how to recognize the manifestations of them in a Christian believer’s life. I am praying that those church members who heard that message will let the Holy Spirit search their lives to see if the fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in them. Tho there are just a few people in this church, they listen well as I preach to them. Presently, they are without a pastor, and they ask me to fill the pulpit several times a year. Please pray that God will give me the exact messages they need and also enable me to preach to them effectively in the Japanese language.

On Sunday morning, October 29th, I again preached at Miyota Bible church. And on November 12th, I preached at the Karuizawa Church again. Both of these churches are presently without pastors, and churches without pastors are steadily on the increase in Japan. From the end of World War II till about the mid-1970’s, there was much fervent evangelism in Japan resulting in a number of people becoming Christians and also in a quite good number of young Christian men “answering the call to preach.” But as the “world” became increasingly appealing, fewer and fewer Christian men became preachers. Most churches in Japan are so small that the pastor receives little or no salary from the church, and therefore must work a full time paying job to support his family. That, along with the burden of being a pastor, discourages young Christian men from becoming preachers. So nowadays, as old pastors retire or die, often there is just no one to replace them. Typically attendance then starts to dwindle and sometimes the church just folds up. I pray for the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into the harvest. Please pray with me for that.

Throughout the fall, I preached on the street in front of the Karuizawa Church to the large crowds of people who come to this tourist town. Many heard a little preaching as they walked by. A few stopped to listen more, and some of them talked to me. Just a very few of them took Bibles and literature I put out to be taken for free. Please pray for many of them to get saved. Also, about 1 day most every week, I walked the streets in various neighborhoods in the nearby city of Tomioka, leaving Christian literature at each house. I reached about 3000 houses with this literature. Please pray that those who received it will read it and will open their hearts to Christ, trusting in Him.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, I rode the trains up to the town of Minakami, and preached in the weekly Thursday night service at Minakami Church. My friend, Brother Tom Tierney, pastors that church. Then, on the following 2 days, I helped Brother Tom do construction and repair work on a building at the Bible Home he is in charge of. I enjoyed fellowshipping with him, his family, and the other Christians there. I was glad I could be of some help to him. Please pray for him. He has a heavy workload on him.

God is so good to me to lead you to pray for me, the work I do here, and for these other people I ask you to pray for. God bless you for praying. Prayers of faith move mountains. Please pray for the salvation of the Suenami family and the Kuroda family. Both families are good friends of mine and I so much want to see them all trust in Christ. As for those of you who give offerings to help me, thank you so much for your cheerful and generous giving. May God greatly bless you for it, and reward you many fold over. May God work great miracles for you as you live for Him and serve Him in these end time days. Let’s keep looking up as we labor in the fields of harvest. Truly His coming is drawing nigh.

                         Christ’s unprofitable servant,

                          Richard Yerby


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