Summer, 2,002 (June, July, August)

Dear Friend in Christ,

  Greetings from Japan in our Lord and Saviour’s Most Wonderful Name.

  Here in central Japan where I live, we have a rainy season each year from about June 5 through July 20, but there is seldom much hard rain during it. Typically, the sky is clouded over 5 to 7 days a week, with some rain about 4 or 5 days a week. Much of the rain is very light, often just a fine mist in the air. When I first moved here, the rainy season more or less irritated me, with its many cloudy and rainy days, my shoes and umbrella constantly staying wet, and the smell of mold and mildew throughout the house. But I soon got used to the rainy season, and even grew to like it somewhat. The almost constant cloud cover keeps things somewhat cool during that part of summer. And I have come to enjoy walking under my umbrella in that mist and fine rain that is so prevalent. And as weird as it may seem, I have come to somewhat enjoy the smell of the mold and mildew in the house. (Since that smell is there anyway, why not enjoy it?) When the rainy season ends in late July, there is so much moisture everywhere that it becomes very humid, with my shirt then often soaked with sweat as I am out in the heat each day. From late July to the end of August, it is very hot and humid here, except when a typhoon passes through, which is usually about every 2 weeks or so. I am far enough inland so that the typhoon winds are seldom strong enough to be destructive here, but sometimes we do get flooding from the typhoon rains.

  Attendance was low at the few services I held in the summer, so please pray for more people to attend. No adults attended, only children. So please pray for adults to attend also. The public schools here let out for summer vacation on June 21 and start again at the end of August. So summer vacation here is typically just under 6 weeks long. During that time, I do not hold any services aimed at the children, as I always invite them to the services by passing out notices to them as they go to school in the morning.

  So while they are out of school, I work hard at my part time job of selling in two mountain towns that are summer tourist resorts, and that “summer vacation” time is their peak season, which is good for my business. I sell on the street in the open air, so rainy days shut me down. I preach while I am out there and the people, who buy from me, find a tract in their shopping bag, along with what they bought. I also witness personally to anyone who will listen. Please pray for God to deal with their hearts through what they hear from me and from what I give them to read. What a wonderful thing it would be for many of them to get saved. I pray that they will.  

  I spend most of that time selling in the town of Karuizawa, which is only about 14 miles from where I live, and I drive up the mountain to Karuizawa each day I sell there. In mid-August, I went to Kiyosato and sold there for one week only, Monday through Saturday. (I never operate my selling business on the Lord’s Day.) Kiyosato is about 60 miles away, so I went there early on a Monday morning and stayed till Saturday night, sleeping in my car those 5 nights. I “collapse” the back of the front passenger seat and sleep on it, “reversed” with my feet inclined on that inclined back of the seat and my head at the glove compartment. I can then look up through the windshield and see the stars as I drift in and out of sleep. I enjoy it plenty, but always enjoy it more when I get back home late Saturday night and bed down on my pallet (futon) on my straw mat floor in this Japanese style house.

  When I am out there selling, in addition to preaching and putting a tract into the customers’ shopping bags, I also put out a good assortment of Christian literature for them to take free. Very few of them will take it. Some who do not take it will stand there a while, looking through it, reading some of it on the spot, and then leave without taking any. It is amazing to me to watch the spiritual battle going on in their being as they consider taking it. Some people will take a booklet, start walking away with it, then immediately turn around, bring the booklet back and leave it.

  The Japanese people are group oriented, most always working, playing, and traveling with others. Almost no individualists. When one person would decide to take a booklet, others who were with him or her would make fun of them till they returned it. Most people who would take the literature were children and teenagers. Often when a kid would joyfully take a booklet, the parents would make their child put it back. That is always heartbreaking to me to see. Those parents are going to have all eternity to think on those actions of theirs, when it is too late to correct them. Still, several people took the literature of their own free will. Please pray that they will read it and listen to what the Holy Spirit says to them as they read it.

  July and August are always hard on me as I have much work that needs to be done and the humid heat adds to the fatigue of long hour days, 6 days a week. So it is always a relief to me to see the month of August come to an end. I make it a point to eat light and very healthy during that hot time, and drink plenty of distilled water and eat watermelon. I thank God for upholding me with that heavy load in the hot summer and always rejoice when it comes to an end.

  Thank you so much for all you have done for me during the summer. I have been so blessed and encouraged by the letters I have received from some of you. Some of you are praying for me and for the lost Japanese I preach to. Thank you so much for those prayers. I know God hears and answers them. During the summer, several of you donated money to me for the missionary work. What a help that was. May God richly bless you for that.

  May God be with you and bless you in every way as you serve Him there where you are. I pray that you have had a blessed and fruitful summer in the Lord. 

                            In Christ’s Love,

                            Richard Yerby  




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