Summer 2016 (June, July, August)

Dear Friend in Christ,

June 2016

Please intercede for the salvation of a drunken Japanese man who has come into the Rescue Mission in Karuizawa twice, each time in the middle of the day, and each time drunken as best I can discern. Almost no one enters the Rescue Mission seeking Spiritual Help. Of the few people who come in, most do so to take the items I put out for free. This man saw the “Free” signs and immediately started taking many daily use items that are free. He took a fistful of pocket size tissue packs with a wonderful prayer on each. He may have taken another item with a prayer on it. I greeted him friendly and told him he was welcome to take what he wanted, trying to befriend him.

The 2nd time he came, I did likewise. When he took a fistful of tissue packs, I picked up another pack and pointed to the prayer on it. “This is a wonderful prayer.” He grunted. “Please pray it from your heart.” He grunted again. I spoke kindly as he took several items and soon peddled away on his bicycle. Each time, the smell of alcohol was most strong. He appeared to be in his fifties and is most pitiful, apparently daily drinking himself drunk. He never spoke an audible word, just grunted. Likely he is a mute, unable to speak, has no job, no life, and daily sits in his abode drinking. Please pray with me for the Lord to set him free from slavery to alcohol and to save him to the utmost!

Please pray for the salvation of a Japanese lady I will call June. She is about 70 years old and comes into the Rescue Mission periodically; usually to bring me used items to put out for free. She is a quite miserable lady. I have spoken to her of things pertaining to Jesus Christ. She puts forth much effort to ignore me each time I do so. Recently when she came in (in late June) she said that she was worried about having enough money to pay her rent. Then she said, “I think someone is paying your rent for you” (the Rescue Mission building). I joyfully told her that the Lord Jesus Christ was paying this rent for me and abundantly supplying my every need. She turned a deaf ear to that and did all she could to avoid any talk of Christ. Truly, souls are pitiful as they ever so adamantly reject the One True Eternal Help they most desperately need.

A Christian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Tomioka, first came into the Rescue Mission over a year ago. They live in Tokyo and drop in to the Rescue Mission occasionally, when they come to Karuizawa. They highly encourage me, praying for me and such. They witness to their family members of salvation in Christ. Please pray for God’s blessings on this godly couple, and for their family members to all come to Christ for salvation.   

On Sunday 19 June, both Pastor Tamura and I preached at the morning service in his church in Isesaki. I ate lunch with the church people and then attended the evangelistic service from 2 PM to 3 PM. Shortly after it ended, friends called me from the Minakami Church, asking me to preach there the following Sunday because Pastor Tom (a missionary) was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer. I soon rode the trains to visit Tom in the hospital that night and prayed with him. On Sunday 26 June, I preached the AM service in the Minakami Church, went to the Bible home to spend the night, and the following day (Monday) I helped the workers at the Bible Home. Tom was discharged from the hospital the next day on 28 June, weak and anemic. Please pray for healing and strength for him.


July 2016  

On Sunday 3 July, I preached the morning sermon at Pastor Kanai’s church in Takasaki. He was able to attend, weak from cancer and much treatment for it. He’d certainly appreciate you praying for him, his family and the small church congregation in their present “struggle”.

Sunday 24 July, I preached in the Minakami church. Pastor Tom was able to attend, weak as he recovers from a bleeding ulcer. After lunch at church, I went up the mountain with his family to Japan Bible Home that they “minister”. The following day and half (till Tuesday noon), I labored with them in their busy summer season of large numbers of campers coming to their Christian camp. It blessed me to do what I could to help. They are a hard working family. Please pray for our Lord to provide sufficient laborers in their work.

August 2016

On Sunday the 21st, I preached in Pastor Kanai’s church in the city of Takasaki. He was able to attend, weak and struggling to recover from cancer, surgeries and treatments. Please pray for him. There were a total of 9 of us in the Sunday morning service in his church this Lord’s Day.

On Sunday the 28th, I again preached in the Minakami church with about 18 others present. That afternoon, I again went on up the mountain with Pastor Tom to Japan Bible Home. The following day, I labored with them preparing for several Japanese church groups that arrived that afternoon, about 70 people. They lodged at the Bible Home 3 days or so to conduct a “Deaf Camp.” Several deaf Christians were among them. There they practice sign language and hold services with sign language given for the deaf members. That is truly a blessing to behold. Please pray for the church in Minakami, the much “camping” activity at the Bible Home, and for these 70 church people who held this most valuable camp at the end of August.

I daily tend the Rescue Mission in Karuizawa, except for Sundays and the days I help others. I preach and sing on the street near it. Oh, that brings great joy. I have started holding out the tissue packs as I sing and preach. Each pack has a prayer written on it. Holding forth the words of life, inviting people to take them. When the many souls see and hear me, the sight and sound brings forth smug smiles, chuckles and laughter from most of them. I pray for Almighty God to show great mercies unto them, to bring them to repentance, just as He did for me, for which I’m most thankful. If they die lost and undone, their smug smiles, chuckles and laughter will instantly evaporate, replaced by intense fear they never thought they would ever experience. May God keep our heart tender toward precious lost souls for whom Christ died. Save many, dear Lord, I plead.

This is my 3rd year to run the Rescue Mission in cold Karuizawa (each year operating it from late April till late November) when this summer resort town bustles. Last October, the lady realtor informed me that owner would no longer rent to me and she told me to move out in late November. I asked her why. She said she didn’t know. I think she lied. I hired a lawyer to inquire about the matter. He found out that nearby merchants complained to the owner because I was giving away things free. They feared that would hurt their business. The lawyer called on the owner to give me 2 more years, as I had already been in this building 2 years. The owner reluctantly agreed to one more year. That is this year. I will have to vacate this store space in late November.

I am praying, seeking God’s Will as to what to do next. I pray that if it be the Lord’s Will, He will provide an even better location nearby. Empty store spaces with “For Rent” signs hanging lonely on their doors abound in this town, the Japanese economy being plenty depressed. Please pray for our Lord to guide me perfectly. If it be His Will that I continue this ministry in Karuizawa, pray with me for Him to provide the perfect building in the perfect location. Please pray for God to open doors that no man can shut.

I greatly appreciate you praying. God bless you for it. As for you, who give offerings to me, thank you so much for that help. I pray for our Lord to repay you many fold.

       Christ’s servant in Japan,    

Richard Yerby



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