Spring 2017 (March, April, May)

Dear Friend in Christ,


I had a most blessed time in Georgia, preaching in churches, cottage meetings, on the street and in Fulton County Jail in Atlanta. On the 10th of March, I bade Farewell to my good friends in Georgia and drove to northwest Alabama to preach in 9 churches thru the 29th of March. Most of that time, I was in the area of my hometown, Vernon, and enjoyed being with folks I’ve known since my boyhood, including family and relatives. On the last day of March, I drove to Searcy, Arkansas to spend the night with my Aunt Sarah Alice, one of Daddy’s younger sisters. The next day, April 1st, I drove on to Pastor Lonny Burks’ house in Harrison, Arkansas in time to ride a few miles with him in his truck to feed his 2 horses. I hadn’t seen those horses for 2 years, but they didn’t even act like they had missed me.

From Sunday, April 2nd, thru Sunday April 23rd, I preached 11 times in 9 churches in northwest Arkansas and 1 time in a church nearby in Blue Eye, Missouri. Everyone was most kind to me and we had some blessed services, thank God. The climax was Pastor Burks’ Camp Meeting at Oak Lane Free Will Baptist Church from April 19th thru the 23rd. About a dozen different preachers “preached the word”, and how they could preach! I was well fed, most blessed, and fired up by their preaching. I also got to preach 3 times during that Camp Meeting. My cup runneth over.

My final sermon was at 11 AM on Sunday the 23rd. After that service ended, I loaded up my books and such as the other folks sat down to eat lunch. Two more preachers preached that afternoon. But I got on the road to drive 8 hours straight, returning to my home base in Vernon, Alabama, arriving after 9 PM in time for a good night’s rest after pounding the pony hard for 8 hours.

The following 2 days, I tied up loose ends and packed to go back to Japan. Tuesday night the 25th I had a nice evening at Joe (my brother) and Mavis’ house in Tupelo, Mississippi. My other brother, Sidney, and wife Shirley were there, along with my sister, Janiece. Early the next morning, Joe drove me to Memphis Airport, and I flew from there to Dallas and then non-stop to Tokyo on a big bird, arriving on the afternoon of the 27th, Japan time. Thank God for safe travels from January 10th to April 27, long distances in the air and on the roads, many open doors for preaching, and much good Christian lodging, hospitality and fellowship. God bless each of you for being so kind to me.

Riding 4 trains from Narita Airport to the small train station 400 yards from my front door, I walked to my house with my heavy luggage and got home at 9:45 PM. It felt most blessed to be back home in Japan, with many fond stateside memories.

The very next morning, I drove up the curvy mountain road to the town of Karuizawa and opened the rescue mission with jet lag and have been manning it 5 to 6 days a week since then, also preaching on the street near it. Also I preached in the church in Isesaki the last Sunday of April and the 1st Sunday of May. And I preached in the Takasaki church on May 14th, Mothers’ Day. I’m so richly blessed, to be called to exalt Christ in Japan.   

Let me mention something that’s on my heart. For several years now, a middle age Godly Christian lady in Florida has been collecting aluminum cans, selling them and donating the proceeds to my missionary work, thank God. I’ve never met Sister Parry in person. Over 10 years ago she got my books somehow, read them, and started writing me. She’s a tremendous blessing to me. Each time her sales of the cans add up to $100, she sends me $100, an average of about 3 times a year. That helps me tremendously.

If there is a place in your area that buys aluminum, consider urging your church’s young people to collect aluminum for your church to use the proceeds as the Lord leads you. With minimum supervision, church youth could take this on as a project. You well know how our nation is “covered with cans”. Mrs. Parry asks gas stations and such places to let her go thru their garbage to retrieve the aluminum cans inside. When she tells such businesses that the money is going to a missionary in Japan, several places gladly save up their cans for her and call her when they have a load. I’m most thankful to God for the $300 or so annual support that it means to me.

Anyone collecting cans would need to carefully organize that “operation” to the end that they aren’t doing much extra driving to accomplish it, consuming expensive gasoline. Mrs. Parry drops by businesses to pick up cans, as she does her routine driving to and fro, thus doing very little extra driving in her “canning” work. She routinely walks roadsides in her area, picking up cans.  

From the time I was 4 years old or so, till I graduated from high school, my parents kept me busy doing all the physical labor on our farm that I was able to do. That was most beneficial to me. It engrained a strong work ethic in me. Many present-day kids and youth are cursed in that little or no physical work is assigned to them, or even available to them. With much free time, the devil is quick to step in to entice them to engage in sin during it, or to sit endlessly before a high tech moving screen that ruins their precious God-given eyesight and robs them of necessary exercise, not even to mention the ungodly and sinful scenes they are watching, which program their minds to copycat that sin.  

Aluminum cans abound everywhere. It would be most profitable eternally for kids and teens to make valuable use of free time by collecting and selling them. It seems a shame to let the aluminum “go to waste”, when young’uns could be laying up treasures in Heaven by collecting it to use the proceeds for God’s work.

If you ask businesses in your area for cans that accumulate in their garbage, and if young’uns (or anyone) keep an eye out to pick up cans they see lying around, likely you would be amazed at the amount you would accumulate as times goes by.

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10) The short answer to that question is “Those souls who know not their Creator God and His Will for their lives on this earth.” Almighty Jehovah is a God that forbids waste. “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” (John 6:12) Our Lord commanded that the fragments of food be gathered up after He miraculously multiplied 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fishes to feed a hungry multitude of thousands of folks to the full. Lord Jesus, please save each of us from the awful sin of wasting.   

Each aluminum can will likely sell for 1 cent or more. Millions of cans are daily emptied and discarded in our nation. That is millions of pennies Christians could use to feed the hungry, preach the saving Gospel far and near, and such, if only Christians would take the time to gather up those fragments. Who hath despised a small penny?? But present-day Christians had rather spend their free time eating, drinking and making merry, fattening themselves up for the soon-coming slaughter.    

During World War II, the German Nazi army surrounded Leningrad, Russia in a siege trying to starve them into surrendering. Thousands died of cold and starvation. Toward the end of the siege, cannibalism abounded. (Reader friend, starvation and its resulting cannibalism are in our near future. Read such history in ancient days in the Old Testament book of Lamentations.) A starving lady resident of Leningrad walked to a high ranking government office begging for food to keep her alive. The official sadly told her none was available. She asked him for the old leather case she saw lying on a table in his office. He gave it to her. She went home, cut the leather into string-like strips, boiled them to make “meat jelly” (to eat) and sent him 2 jars of it as a gift (for him to eat).

Reader friend, such a life of starvation worldwide is just ahead, I firmly believe. When I was a small child (1950), we ate at church only one time a year (dinner on the ground in mid-summer). Presently, I’m most blessed with the privilege of preaching in many churches in Japan and in the U.S. But upon entering a church building nowadays, often it is a sore grief to me to be greeted with “The coffee is over there.”

‘No thank you, I’m not a drug addict. I came to this house of God to worship my Creator, not to work at becoming a drug addict!!!’

“Help yourself to everything” (donuts, fudge, pie, cake and such harmful junk foods in gluttonous abundance). Then, when prayer requests are voiced at church: “Pray for Sister Plump Pie (or Brother Cake Clump). Their diabetes is bad, out of control.”

‘No, thank you. Please cease trying to make a diabetic out of me.’

“What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? (I Corinthians 11:22) By God’s Abundant Grace, annually I send as many thousands of dollars as I possibly can to Pastor Raju in India for him to feed widows who were eating only 1 meal a day. One time, upon receiving a donation from me, he wrote to me in Japan to say that my donation enabled him to give his church widows a 2nd meal each day.

God have mercy on you pastors in the U.S. who regularly lade church tables with diabetes-inducing sweets practically every time your church folks assemble in your “house of God”, and don’t give a hoot about the welfare of your hungry widowed elderly sisters in Christ in India who have only one bowl of rice to eat each day. Should not the remainder of the Body care (hurt), when one member hurts??? Beware that your Creator God is likely to soon give you “cleanness of teeth”. “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.” (Amos 4:6) 

“And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.(I Cor. 11:34) Church Attending Friend, do you ever hear these 2 above verses from I Corinthians 11 expounded upon from your church’s pulpit, or by your Sunday School teacher, or even mentioned by anyone in your church??? Get ready to frantically catch mice and rats to eat as you starve.

Pastor Raju in India feeds and clothes widows and orphans with the offerings I send him, thank God. He also used some of my offering to buy a wheel chair for a boy in his church that has one leg missing from the knee down. Reader Friend, if you would care to push away from the banquet table, get off your fat can, and get your church youth out collecting the many pennies readily available in the form of aluminum cans, and if you want to send any portion of the proceeds to me and designate them to go to Pastor Raju in India, it would be a delight to me to send them on to him.  

Back in the early 1990s, a letter came to my house from Sister Pansy Nerella in India (of no relation to Pastor Raju’s church). Pansy was the widow of the late Pastor Henry Nerella (in a different area of India). Part of her letter read like this:

“I am very weak, recovering from extensive and painful surgery to remove numerous kidney stones and gall stones.” (The drinking water in her area was light brown in color, from the much iron that was in it.) “Tho I was practically dying, they would not admit me to a hospital unless I paid in advance. But I had no money. So I went to an acquaintance who was a man of means, tho not a Christian (a Hindu), and begged for a loan from him to save my life. He had pity upon my soul and loaned me the necessary $7,000. Now, in my dire poverty and weak physical state, I must somehow repay him but I have no means whereby to do so. Please have pity upon me to help me, if you will.”

Glory to God, by God’s Grace I sent that dear hurting sister of mine $8,000. (Thanks be to God, I am my sister’s keeper!) I wrote my elder Sister Pansy saying that I was praying for healing and strength for her. I told her to pay off her debt with the offering I sent and to use the rest of the money where most needed. She was most grateful. Sister Pansy lived several more years, going on to Heaven in 2015.

“Brother Richard, how could a poor missionary like you immediately send her $8,000???”

It’s simple and easy. Here in Japan, in addition to daily preaching Christ, I regularly work 3 “tent making” jobs that provide income to be used in such noble and lofty ways. In my younger days, I sometimes worked as long as 20 hours a day. I have no time to stare at moving picture screens and to live in worldly pleasures. I eat simple and healthy, disdaining the banquetings (I Peter 4:3) that have become prevalent most every time the church comes together in the house of God.       

In December 2007, I was preaching on Guam and took a short airplane hop over to the nearby small island of Rota to lodge 12 days with Pastor Tony and to preach in his church of about 10 in attendance. Twelve-year-old Kati (a brown island girl, and not her real name) attended his church with her mother and half-sister. Having observed that the “service sector” was very limited on primitive Rota, one day I remarked to Pastor Tony; ‘I’m surprised that there’s an orthodontist on Rota.’

“There’s no orthodontist here!”

‘But Kati is wearing braces.’

“Yea, she was staying a while with her auntie in New Jersey, and there Medicare paid for those braces she needed.”

But while Kati was under that orthodontist’s care in New Jersey, her family made the decision for her to get on an airplane and fly to her family on Rota where there is no orthodontist. Kati just up and flew away, wearing her braces to Rota.

‘Well, Pastor Tony, something must be done about those braces! Her mouth is growing and …’(I expounded further).

That missionary pastor sort of shrugged to indicate “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The next time Kati came to church, I made sure to ask her, ‘Kati, how are your braces?’

“They are beginning to hurt!” She replied plenty painfully.

Thank God for bringing me to Rota (the first time in my life) in perfect timing to help hurting Kati! I went over to her poor mother: ‘Kati’s braces are starting to hurt her because her mouth is growing. It’ll get worse! Something must be done!’

“I know,” she replied remorsefully and hopelessly, “but I have no money.”

In a few days, I flew back to Guam as scheduled and started searching for a dentist who would remove Kati’s braces immediately, calling Kati’s house almost daily while searching.

“Because she’s a minor, I’ll take her braces off on the condition that her mother be present,” one Guam dentist replied to me.

I call Kati’s mom on Rota to tell her I’ll provide plane tickets for both her and Kati and they can lodge a night or two with church folks on Guam.

“I cannot enter Guam on my passport.” Kati’s mother gave that regretful reply. She was not a U.S. citizen. Trying as best I could to relieve Kati’s torment, I was hitting one brick wall after another. Mercy, Lord God, to open up the way, I plead!

“The braces are getting so tight I can’t sleep at night because of the pain!” Kati frantically told me that on the phone.

I phoned that word to a dentist on Guam. “Tell them to take needle nose pliers, clip the wires, and pull out all the wires from the braces. That will relieve much pressure.” I relayed that to Kati’s mom and they did that on Rota.

With my Lord working Powerfully in hearts, I found a Christian dentist on Guam who agreed to remove Kati’s braces without her mother being present, if I would be present and act as her legal guardian. I happily agreed to that, and phoned that news to Kati’s mom. She wrote her consent to that (giving me custody of Kati during the time she would be on Guam). Kati brought that letter of consent to Guam with her on the airplane and handed it over to me upon arrival. Thank Thee, Lord, for giving me this precious child as my own, for 2 days.   

(Kati has a U.S. passport. So she can enter Guam.) I sent her mother the money for roundtrip plane fare to Guam for Kati alone. I met Kati at the Guam Airport on Saturday 12 January 2008 when her plane arrived at 1:20 PM, and drove her straight to the dentist’s office about 2 miles away (everything is conveniently nearby on these small islands).

Tho he customarily closed at 1 PM on Saturdays, this kind Christian dentist (pastor of a small church) stayed overtime in his clinic with 2 of his staff, patiently removed Kati’s braces (some places were stubbornly tight), and polished her teeth and such.

‘Does that feel better?’ I asked Kati as she finally got out of the dentist chair after somewhat of an ordeal.

“Yea!” She replied with a big smile of relief as wide as the Pacific Ocean.

I paid up and told Kati to give the two ladies (dental staff) a hug. We 2 left the dentist in my rental car, most happy and relieved.

‘Kati, how are your glasses?’

“I’m beginning to have a little trouble seeing well.”

I drove to a mall and took Kati into an eyeglass store where a man gave her a thorough eye exam. “There has been deterioration in her left eye since she got the glasses she’s wearing. She needs new glasses. We can have a new pair ready for her in an hour.”

I asked him to show Kati the styles of eyeglasses (frames) that would be most suitable and practical for her. He did so, and she picked her favorite from among them. I asked which cases are strong and practical, and she picked her favorite eyeglass case. Then Kati and I strolled around the air-conditioned mall an hour or so, chatting and such. (Guam is tropical. January is hot.)

We 2 came back to this “eye” store. Kati took off her old glasses and put the new pair on. These newly measured frames fit her growing face perfectly.

‘Can you see better now?’ I asked.

“Yea!” Kati replied with the same rapturous face she replied to me when she got out of the dentist chair.

‘Put your old glasses in this new case and take them back to your Mother.’ (I don’t think she had a case till now, just her eyeglasses.) Sweet Jesus, I’m blessed beyond measure to have a daughter for 2 days to do these most helpful things she desperately needed! (All you parents know how it genuinely makes you feel like a parent each time you shell out money for your children.)

I drove Kati to a missionary’s house for a blessed supper with their large family and some guests (including me). She went on to spend the night with a pastor’s family who had a daughter just younger than Kati. The following morning, Kati sat in church on Guam listening to me preach. Plane ticket, dentist and eye doctor totaled less than $500. I was most blessed and overjoyed to hand over that money.

Meanwhile, Reader Friend, I keep a sharp lookout for the next “Kati in need.” You do likewise, and help them!

“But I don’t have such money!”

Oh really? Total up the money you have spent for possessions, events and such that were totally (or mostly) for pleasure. Total up the expensive things you have bought, but are not necessary to life. The Judge of all the earth has kept a detailed, exact record down to the penny of your spending on pleasure for self versus your giving to the poor and suffering. You are soon to meet that record in Judgment. The soul that liveth in pleasure on this earth is dead while he or she liveth. (I Timothy 5:6) 

If you want to lead young people to pick up aluminum can pennies, and if you send any pennies to this missionary, those pennies will help relieve the sufferings of the next “Kati” I come to know of on this side of the world.    

You who are caught up in the vanity of social media, I would greatly appreciate it if you would ask all your social media audience to read this newsletter of mine (telling them where it can be found). Please spread these Good Samaritan stories far and wide, while praying with me that more folks will have compassion to become a Good Samaritan themselves!

Truly, there is much good news in this sin sick world that is rapidly self-destructing and is fattening itself up for the greatest slaughter ever known in history. I earnestly pray this letter has been good news to you. Thank you so much for being a tremendous help and a rich blessing to me! God bless you and repay you richly for all you do for me! 

Christ’s unprofitable servant in Japan,

                        Richard Yerby



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