Summer (June, July, August) 2005

Dear Friend in Christ,

On the last Sunday morning back in May, a 46 year-old Japanese woman attended church services for the first time at Pastor Hayashi’s house here in Matsuida. He was preaching at a Chinese church in Tokyo that morning, so I brought the message at his house. Two days later, this woman came to my house for Bible and prayer. I talked to her from the Bible about salvation in Christ and prayed for her. Then I asked her if she wanted to trust in Christ as her Saviour. She said that she did and then she prayed aloud, repenting of her sins and asking for forgiveness and for Christ to be her Saviour. How it blessed me to hear that prayer. She asked me several questions about living a Christian life and such. And with God as my Helper, I tried my best to answer her from the Bible. I gave her a Bible and urged her to read it and to pray daily. The next Sunday she again came to church, and both Pastor and Mrs. Hayashi talked to her from the Bible about what it means to trust in Christ and to have God’s salvation and eternal life. They also prayed for her. Since then, she attends church regularly.

She has cancer and that is one reason she sought the Lord. But I believe that she is sincere in her decision to repent and trust in Christ. She has been receiving medical treatment for the cancer, and is in pain and is quite weak. It blesses me to see her come to church in spite of that. She is depressed about the cancer and says that it lifts her spirit greatly to come to church. At church, we pray for her and encourage her in every way we can. We are praying that her husband and 2 teenage sons will soon trust in Christ as their Saviour. Would you please pray for their salvation and pray for the health of this new Christian woman, and for her to grow spiritually. I know she would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Since late April, I have preached quite frequently on the crowded main street of the nearby summer resort town of Karuizawa. One day, 2 Japanese ladies who appeared to be in their forties read aloud the written message I had on display; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Upon reading that, they both erupted into laughter. As kindly as I could I told them that was no laughing matter, that it was God’s eternal truth, and that all people who reject Christ perish in Hell. With a lot of effort they both managed to keep straight faces as I talked to them, but again erupted into snickering as they walked away. Japanese people are known for being straight-faced and not prone to laugh. But as I preach to them out in public, many are most prone to laugh at any Bible message. But Christ-rejecting humans are not the only beings known for laughter. Their Creator has warned them, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.” (Proverbs 1:26) Oh how pitiful their fate. Therefore I often intercede in prayer for them to repent. Would you please pray for God to have mercy on them and lead them to repentance. 

Another time when I was preaching on that street, a man stopped right in front of me and listened. After a while I began to talk to him personally about salvation in Christ. Whereupon, he commenced talking to me about his heathen religion. I soon asked him to stop that because I was not there to hear about the devil’s religion, but rather was there to proclaim the True God to him. Tho it is heartbreaking to daily face a multitude of lost souls so set against God’s Truth, I feel so privileged to be here to proclaim Christ to them. May God keep me faithful in preaching Christ to them and praying for them.

In late July, I went about 60 miles from where I live, to down near Tokyo, and joined other missionaries and Japanese Christians for 2 days as they did outdoor evangelism. We would go to a school early each morning and pass out tracts to students as they came to school. Then we went from house to house, leaving Gospel literature while the driver of our van slowly drove around broadcasting the Gospel over loudspeakers on the vehicle. Then in mid-afternoon, we went to a different school and passed out booklets to students as they left school. May God save many of those who heard and read Gospel messages.

One of the Japanese Christian men working with us, Mr. Matsuo, until a short time ago, was unsaved and was homeless in Tokyo. He heard the Gospel when this group of Christians broadcast it near the large train station where he hung out. At first, he thought it was foolish teaching and that they were so foolish for broadcasting it. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness…” But after listening to it for some time, he repented of his sins and asked Christ to save him. Now that homeless man has a home in Heaven. Also he is now out in public spreading the same Gospel message he first thought to be so foolish. Amen! Please pray for Mr. Matsuo to grow in grace, and for many other lost Japanese to get saved when they hear or read the Gospel. Prayer is so important. Let us pray without ceasing.

On the last Sunday morning in August, I preached in the Union Church in Karuizawa. Presently, it only has services from late July to the end of August each year. During that time several missionaries and other Christians come to Karuizawa to attend Christian conferences, do evangelistic work, and to vacation in the cool mountain climate there. I felt honored that they invited me to preach the last Sunday they had services there this year. About 40 people were present, mostly missionaries, and I preached in English. I exhorted them to continue to be faithful in letting God’s marvelous Light shine in this land of spiritual darkness. I pray that the message encouraged them. 

It means so much to me that you pray for me and for the many lost Japanese people God is enabling me to preach to. May God richly bless you for praying. For you who gave me offerings during the summer, that was such a help to me. Thank you for being so generous to me. May God repay you many fold over for your giving. May God be with you to bless, protect, and help you, as we stand for God in these perilous times.

                          Christ’s unprofitable servant,

                           Richard Yerby   


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