Dear Friend in Christ,
It was back about 2007 when a Japanese Christian lady, Mrs. Kobayashi, called me by phone upon receiving my prayer sheet stuffed into and delivered in her daily newspaper. Over a year later, I met her in person in the church in Takasaki. In another year or so, her husband got saved and baptized, thank God. I seldom see them. But on Sunday afternoon, 6 September, I saw them at a children’s service I helped with at that church in Takasaki. Mrs. Kobayashi then told me that an elderly man in her area had gotten that prayer sheet on the same day she did, kept it for over a year before he got saved and baptized. Then he kept that prayer sheet till his death about 3 years later. He died in his 80s. Mrs. Kobayashi said the prayers on that paper were a strong influence in him getting saved, thank God!
Back on Sunday May 10th of this year, when I preached in the church in Yoshii, a Mr. Sakai attended church there for the 1st time. He works at the same place as Brother Nukui, who invited him to come to church. Mr. Sakai had many sin problems. At the end of the service, we divide up into groups of 3 or so and pray. Mr. Sakai was seated next to me and thus we were in the same prayer group. I knew he was not a Christian and told him he could just listen to us other 2 pray and that he was not compelled to pray. He nodded his head in agreement. After we prayed, he started crying. I spoke to him of the Help and Salvation that is in Christ. He soon dried his eyes and went outside to smoke. Then, Brother Nukui told me a few details of what a terrible mess Mr. Sakai had made of his life. We all prayed for him and befriended him much.
Thank God that Mr. Sakai continued coming to church regularly. Each month I went to Yoshii to preach, his countenance became brighter and brighter. He would listen each time we prayed. I would call on God to help him as I prayed in his presence. Recently, he made a public decision there in church to repent of his sins and trust in Christ. Two Sundays or so later, he was baptized. This was a great joy to us Christians who were involved. Thank you for praying for the lost Japanese to whom I preach Christ. Would you please continue to pray for Brother Sakai. He needs Christ’s victory over a sinful lifestyle that he has lived for many years. Please pray for God to give him victory over smoking, drinking alcohol, and numerous other sins. I thank you for lifting up in prayer, these dear hurting Japanese souls for whom I ask prayer. Please keep it up and may our Lord richly bless you for doing so!
This is the 2nd co-worker to whom Brother Nukui has witnessed who has gotten saved. Over 2 years ago, I told you of Mr. and Mrs. Yasuda starting to attend the Yoshii church with their 3-year-old son. Brother Nukui met Mr. Yasuda at work and invited him to church. His family began attending regularly. He and his wife both trusted in Christ and were baptized at the same time. They now have a second son about 1 year old.
When anyone is baptized in the Yoshii church, Brother Arai has them write out their testimony and stand before the small congregation and read the testimony to everyone. Mrs. Yasuda testified of how that when she 1st started coming to church, the Bible preaching seemed strange and out of place to her. She gave 1 example of that, one of my sermons when I preached on Christ’s invitation to us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. She testified that she sensed no need in her life for such an invitation. As she said that, I smiled inside my heart thinking, “She sure is young”.
Recently I shared with that couple my thoughts when I heard her testimony. I looked at her holding her 2nd son on her lap (about 1 year old) and said to her: “When this boy graduates from high school (after you have raised 2 active boys) then I want to ask you if you have ever been heavy laden and tired and in dire need of rest”. She smiled, nodding in agreement!
Please pray for a Japanese Christian couple, Brother and Sister Tomioka, likely in their late 40s. I met them for the 1st time last year when they walked past the rescue mission and came in because they saw the Gospel signs. Since that 1st time, they have stopped in 4 times or so, when they are in the area of the rescue mission. They are both gentle in spirit and are a blessing to me.
One time, their son, Junta, was with them. He is about 20 years old. Upon 1st meeting Junta, I soon realized that he was beset with mental illness. I did not inquire about that, of course, and know no details of it. That 1 time the 3 of them came together, soon the mother asked me to pray for Junta and began to speak just a little of his condition. Upon seeing his mother’s talk heading in that direction, Junta started saying, “Let’s go. Let’s go,” not wanting his mom to tell me of his problems. I kept a “strong front” for his sake, not showing pity for him. I told him I would pray for him and that The Lord Jesus Christ has all the Help that he needs.
Back in September, his mother called my home phone while I was out and left a message. “Pray for Junta, please. He attempted suicide by taking an overdose and slicing his arm several times.” That was most heartbreaking to hear. She gave me no more details of his condition, only that he survived the attempt. That is a relief. But now he must be much more depressed in his injured condition. I know not how well he is expected to recover physically from that 2-prong attempt to take his life.
Sister Tomioka did not give her phone number with that message and I do not have it or their address. Thus I cannot contact them. That dear Christian couple is carrying a heavy load, folks. Please pray with me for The God of All Comfort to please make His Grace and Comfort sufficient for them in this dark hour. So many hurting souls around each of us. God forbid that we fail to pray earnestly for them and do all we can to be of help and comfort.
Please pray for a 16 year-old Christian boy here in my town of Matsuida, Masayoshi, who has both physical and mental problems. He was born of Christian parents and has 1 sister about 20 years old. His dad suffered with mental problems and committed suicide about 6 or 7 years ago. Some years before that, his dad’s brother committed suicide.
Lately, Masayoshi comes to my house from time to time. Last week, he asked me if I had ever doubted my salvation. Thus I knew the devil is fighting him for the assurance of his salvation and of him being a child of God. I told him that when I was a teen that doubts did come into my mind. I encouraged him to rely on Christ’s promises to believers in the Gospel of John and to daily confess to Christ that he is trusting in Jesus Christ as his Saviour. I urged him to daily ask God to perfect his every way. Pray for God to guard over him, nurture him, and to perfect his every way.
On Sunday 18 October I went to the Isesaki church and shared the sermon time with Pastor Tamura. Then we all ate lunch at the church and held an evangelistic service at 2 PM. Two unsaved men attended the afternoon service, Katsumi and Yuuji. (Those are first names.) They both work for Brother Tamara in the private school he founded. Both Bro. Tamura and I preached salvation at the 2 PM service with these 2 men listening. Please intercede with us for their salvation. God bless you for praying!
On Sunday 25 October, I preached at Pastor Kanai’s church in Takasaki because he went into the hospital the day before to have surgery for bladder cancer the next day, 26 October. Pray for healing for him, that God will grant him healing and a quick recovery to resume his much work for our Lord. Thank God he went home from the hospital on the 29th (3 days after surgery as planned). He is recovering normally. To God be the glory for restoring his health.
I know that several of you dear friends are praying earnestly. I also know for sure that God is working powerfully here in answer to you praying. God richly bless you for caring!
By God’s Grace, thru out 2015, daily I have held forth the words of life to many lost Japanese souls around me; Buddhists, Shintoists, atheists, self-made gods, and all sorts of proud, scornful sinners. My Lord Jesus has filled my heart with joy for preaching to them the Hope that is in Christ Jesus. And two or more souls who listened to me made the decision to repent and trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. To God be the Glory!
On Sunday 8 November I preached in the church in Yoshii to about 17 Japanese attending. Each time I go there (once a month), Brother Sakai’s countenance is brighter. Thank you for praying for him.
I closed the rescue mission in Karuizawa amidst chilly rain about 6 PM on Saturday November 14th. Since mid-April, it has brought me much joy to tend it 5 or 6 days most ever week to lift high the Saviour of the world for the many passing souls to see.
This is my 2nd year to run the rescue mission. In October, I told the realtor I wanted to rent the building next year. Soon she replied that the owner said “No” and for me to get out in November. I sense the owner hates my large sign “Christ Is All”. Please pray with me for the salvation of this Japanese owner couple and the lady realtor, and for miracles so I can keep renting and glorifying God in this place if that be my Lord’s Will.
“Not my will, but Thine be done, Lord God. If it be Thy Will, keep this door open, I plead.”
On 15 November I preached in the Isesaki church. Upon arriving there, I was greeted with the news that Yuuji had trusted in Christ the previous day. This was a great joy to hear! Pray for his spiritual growth and for the salvation of his family. He appears to be in his 60s.
On Saturday 28 November, I hope to close up my house in Matsuida for the winter and travel by train to Mino Mission in Mie Prefecture near Nagoya. I am scheduled to preach the following morning in Brother Jeff Brigham’s church in Anjo City, about an hour and 20 minutes by train from Mino Mission and then return to the Mino Mission Tomidahama church to preach in their 7 PM service that night, Nov. 29th.
I plan to lodge at Mino Mission till about 5 AM on December 1st, and then ride the trains down to the very southern tip of the main islands of Japan to Ibusuki City in Kagoshima Prefecture. (If you play with Google Earth or such, you can easily view these locations in Japan.) Ibusuki is said to be the warmest spot on mainland Japan. (That excludes Okinawa.) In February 2014 when I stayed nearby there in the winter, I visited Ibusuki one day. I found the temptature plenty mild and inviting. I street preached, praying for the salvation of souls there. Searching for a realtor, I found Mr. and Mrs. Kirihara, and asked about renting an apartment. They were most friendly to me and said to contact them “when the time came.” In October of this year, by letter and phone, I rented an apartment thru them for 4 months from December 1st thru March 31st. Please pray for their family’s salvation. They have 2 grown sons.
God has called me to daily do outdoor evangelism when I am in Japan. The older I get, the less fun it is to preach and sing out in the freezing cold, especially if a cold wind is cutting thru me. I thank God for opening doors to allow me to spend the winter months in a mild climate in southern Japan. I desire to serve my Lord to the fullest during that time. (Motivation to preach to the fullest comes much easier when I am not shivering and my teeth are not chattering.) Please pray for our Lord to open doors unto me in the Ibusuki area and to draw many lost souls to the Saviour of the world.
I pray for our Lord to richly bless you and your family as this another year draws to an end.
Christ’s servant in Japan,