Autumn 2005 (September, October, November)

Dear Friend in Christ,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ’s Most High and Holy Name. Fall time is harvest time and thanksgiving time. And presently as I write this on Thanksgiving Day, my heart is overflowing with thanksgiving to our Gracious God for the small harvest of souls we have seen here in this town of Matsuida this year. In my spring and summer letters, I shared about the Japanese high school girl trusting in Christ back in March and then the 46 year old lady who trusted in Christ at the end of May. This fall, a Mrs. Kobayashi trusted in Christ, and then just a few weeks later her husband also trusted in Christ. This couple has been friends of mine for several years and I have been praying for their salvation. What a blessing it was to see this man and wife both enter into the fold of eternal life in Christ.

After the morning church service ended this past Sunday morning, Mr. Kobayashi shared with me personally his testimony of how that he heard the Gospel message from another missionary when he was a boy. He talked of how God’s Hand was upon his life from that time until now, leading him to receive Christ as his Saviour. He expressed regret over having waited this long to receive Christ, (he is now 53 years old). And he asked me what he could now do about holding out against Christ all those years. As he talked, I sensed his regret over those “wasted years.” I told him that the only thing he could now do about that, was to repent of it, and put it behind him. I reminded him that he is now a new creature in Christ, and old things are past away. Therefore he should repent of ALL the “old things,” and with God’s Help, from now on daily strive to live his life to the fullest for God. He asked me other questions concerning separating himself from the false religions he has been involved with till now. With the Holy Spirit’s Help, I did my best to answer him. It is such a blessing to me to see how sincere both he and Mrs. Kobayashi are in wanting to obey and follow the Lord. Please pray for spiritual growth for these 2 precious new Christians and for the salvation of their 2 grown sons.

In the past, I have told of how I often attend Sunday morning church in the home of Pastor and Sister Hayashi here in Matsuida. Well, Mr. Kobayashi is Sister Hayashi’s older brother. The Hayashis have prayed many years for the salvation for this Kobayashi family. So it has been a great joy to us to see the man and wife receive Christ. The lady who got saved back in late May is a friend of Mrs. Kobayashi. And when that lady’s cancer reoccurred, Mrs. Kobayashi brought her to church, even though Mrs. Kobayashi was not a Christian at that time. Both Mr. & Mrs. Kobayashi have a heart for helping others. Let us pray that God will enable them to lead many people to Christ. Thank you so much for praying for these new Japanese Christians. Please keep interceding with me for God to save many more Japanese souls here. I long to see God send revival and save many souls here.

The lady who has cancer continues to come to church each Sunday that she is able to come. Presently, she is staying in the hospital most weekdays, but is able to come home for the weekend. She is constantly in pain from the cancer. So please pray for God to uphold her in this suffering. I visit her in her home and in the hospital. And while there I read the Bible, pray, and sing hymns and such. As a new Christian, her faith is still quite weak and many fears assail her along with the physical suffering. It is a most trying time for her, so your prayers will make a great difference. Thank you for praying for her.

About once a month, I preach at the Sunday service in the Hayashis’ home. The first Sunday in November, I was asked to preach at a church up the mountain in the town of Karuizawa. May God help me to feed these precious flocks in accordance to His Will. It is a great responsibility, but it is also a great blessing. During the fall, I preached several days on the crowded street there in Karuizawa. I also put out Bibles and literature for people to take free, and several people took something. Let’s pray for their salvation. On several days, I have walked from house to house in the nearby city of Tomioka, leaving Christian literature at each house. This year, God has enabled me to distribute over 20,000 pieces of Christian literature along with a few Bibles. I pray that the people who receive these Bibles and literature will read it and thereby the Holy Ghost will work powerfully in their hearts to produce fruit for our Lord. I am so blessed to be here proclaiming Christ to these Japanese who are worshipping Buddhist and Shinto idols. Thank you so much for praying for them and also for me. As for those of you who gave offerings during the fall, thank you so much for being such a great help. May God richly bless you for all you do, and repay you many fold over.

As we commemorate our Saviour’s birth during the Christmas season, may we truly put Christ first in all our Christmas activities. I pray that God will bless you and your family with a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year. Thank you for caring about me and this missionary work here in Japan. You are such a blessing and encouragement to me. How I long to be more zealous in preaching Christ to these many lost Japanese around me. Please pray that I will do all I can to reach them for Christ. God bless you.

Christ’s unprofitable servant,

                                       Richard Yerby


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