Christ is all
Winter, (December 2003, January & February 2004)
Dear Friend in Christ,
A small chapel in the nearby town of Karuizawa asked me to be their guest preacher on Sunday, December 21st and preach a Christmas sermon. So I preached in Japanese on the birth of the Saviour, telling how that Christ is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Over 30 Japanese people were present and most of them were not Christians. With Godís Help, I tried my best to clearly explain Christís finished work on the cross and how that salvation in Christ is freely available to any person who will repent of their sins and receive Christ. Please pray with me, for the salvation of the ones who heard that message. Please pray that God the Holy Spirit will use what I said to strongly convict them of their need to turn from sin and to receive Christ. How I long to see them get saved. I have prayed for them, and I would appreciate you also praying for them, and for the many other Japanese to whom I am preaching. How wonderful it would be for many of them to get saved.
I came to Japan the first week in December 1973. So that was 30 years ago. I thank God for sustaining me and keeping me faithful to Him on this mission field for 30 years, and I give God all the glory for it. Out of all the missionaries who started in Japan in 1973, likely about 30 something percent of them remain here now. The majority of them have left Japan down through the years. I certainly have nothing in my own ability or power that has kept me here that long. God is the One Who enabled me to do it. Also, He used you to be a great part of it. Your many prayers for me have enabled me to stay faithful to God here in Japan. Furthermore, some of you have given much financial support to me over the years, by which God has provided for me. Some of you have given ever so faithfully, and some have given sacrificially at times. Down through those 30 years, many of you have spoken such encouraging words from the Lord to me. And I could go on and on, listing various things you have done to help. It all means a lot to me. I love you for it, and thank you for it from the bottom of my heart. May God richly bless you for all the help and encouragement you have been to me.
On Sunday, January 4th, after I attended church in the morning at Brother Hayashiís house here in Matsuida, I rode the train to Tokyo and there joined some other missionaries and Japanese Christians in the street evangelism they were doing on several crowded sidewalks in various areas of Tokyo. We set out Bibles and literature for the passersby to take free, broadcast Gospel messages over speakers, and held up large Gospel placards. Thousands of Japanese people saw and heard the Gospel there, and some of them took a Bible or literature on their own. Please pray along with me that many of them will get saved.
On January 13th through the 15th, I again joined these ďevangelistsĒ for street evangelism in the city of Tochigi, which is sort of between Tokyo and where I live in Matsuida. There we passed out tracts to students as they went to school in the mornings and left school in the afternoons. We also went from house-to-house leavings tracts at the door, and we broadcast the Gospel out on the streets. Again, many Japanese heard, or read, about salvation in Christ. Please pray with me for God to work powerfully in their hearts and save many of them. Intercessory prayer is so important. I am praying for God to send a great revival to Japan & would appreciate you praying for that too.
On several days in February, I distributed Christian literature in the city of Annaka, which is next to Matsuida. I went from house-to-house leaving it at the door. One Japanese lady who received it wrote to me, asking for more literature. Please pray for her salvation. Her name is Yuuko. During February, I distributed literature to about 1200 houses. Please pray that the people who received it will not throw it away, but will read it and will seriously think on the Biblical message in it.
It is such a blessing to me to get out and do some evangelistic work as I am recovering from the brain surgery I had back in November. On December 10th and January 28th, I went back to the doctor for checkups and he said that I was recovering normally. I thank God for that good report, and I thank you for praying for my health and healing. It means so much to me that you pray for me, as I know God is most attentive to our prayers. Please pray that if it be Godís will, that He will give me a full recovery from this surgery. I feel fine physically, but experience some depression, which is common after such surgery. Also, my memory is not as good as it should be. And I have a little numbness in my left hand and arm in particular, and a few other places mainly on the left side of my body. So I would certainly appreciate your prayers for my health.†
Thank you so much for praying for me and for the missionary work here. And for you who gave offerings during the winter, I really appreciate that help. May God be with you to help you and bless you in every way as you live for Him and serve Him.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Christís unprofitable servant,
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Richard Yerby†