Summer (June, July, August) 2006

Dear Friend in Christ,

Please pray for a 28 year-old Japanese lady named Maiko. I first met her when she was 8 years old. Her family lives near Tokyo, but they have a “summer house” up the mountain from me in Karuizawa. In the summer of 1986, when I was witnessing and preaching on the street there, Maiko came around for the first time and we got to be friends. She would drop by often and talk to me each summer when her family was in Karuizawa, had her mother take our picture together, got my address, and wrote to me. She was so cheerful, full of energy and talk, never still and always talking and smiling. I spoke to her of Christ from time to time, and continue to see her most every summer. In May, she dropped by where I was preaching on the street, and we talked a while. She said she was reading some of my Bible teaching. I rejoiced to hear that. I spoke to her of salvation in Christ and of the eternal destinations of those who receive Christ and of those who reject Him. She listened well, as she always does. And as I talked she repeatedly nodded her head in agreement, saying, “I know. I know.” I did not press her to make a decision there because she might voice such just to please me. I gave her some prayers I had written in Japanese and told her to pray those from her heart. I told her that I so much want her to be in Heaven with us. That touched her. Please pray for Maiko to fully trust in Christ as her Lord and Saviour.

On Sunday, July 16, Pastor Hayashi and family were in Tokyo. So he asked me to lead his service and to preach. Only two other people came, Mr. & Mrs. Kobayashi. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” We three sang hymns together and I prayed much for their family. The Kobayashis have two adult sons and neither of them is saved. I preached to them from Acts 16:31. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” I expounded to them the reality and certainty of the truth of this promise of our Lord to save their house. I urged them to pray daily for the salvation of their sons, speak to them about Christ as God directs them to do, and to call on God to give them unwavering, firm faith to believe God’s promise of salvation for their “house.” They have already witnessed to their sons somewhat about Christ. Also Pastor and Mrs. Hayashi have witnessed to those two boys quite a lot, as they are the Hayashis’ nephews. Mr. Kobayashi is Mrs. Hayashi’s brother. At that church service on July 16, I led in a time of prayer for their sons’ salvation. Please pray with us for these 2 young men to be saved.

As a missionary, likely the most important thing I do is to proclaim Christ to the many lost Japanese around me. As they refuse to heed Christ’s invitation to come to Him and be saved, by God’s grace I just pray harder for God to stir up their hearts to seek their Creator God. Intercessory prayer is a must. And for you who also intercede in prayer for these lost Japanese I am reaching with the Gospel, I greatly appreciate you doing this most important work. But another important thing God uses me to do here is to be an encouragement and help to Japanese Christians. They are so few in number. Friends, neighbors, relatives, and family members often shun them because they are Christians. Some form of idolatry or sin creeps into most all the social activities in this small, country town. So Christians have to avoid these activities in order to please God. Therefore society isolates the Japanese Christians. (Such is common in any nation, but most pronounced in Japan.) Anyway, fellowship with missionaries is a blessing and encouragement to Japanese Christians. So many “churches” here have 3 to 10 people present on Sunday mornings, and a lot of churches have no other services during the week. Please pray that God will help me to uplift my Japanese brothers and sisters in Christ and do all I can to help them. Currently, usually 4 to 6 people attend Pastor Hayashi’s Sunday morning church service. This is about as low as attendance has been since he started having services in his house about 9 years ago. I admire his faithfulness and pray for God to greatly bless his work. He would certainly appreciate your prayers.

About 16 days in August, I preached to the large crowds on the street of the summer tourist town of Karuizawa. Hundreds of people each day heard me, and a few of them took the Bibles and literature I put out for free. Please pray for God to save many of them. A lady named Emiko, about 50 years old, came up to me when she heard me preaching. She said she had many problems and asked me to pray for her. I told her of the True Help and Salvation that is in Christ and in Him alone. I urged her to completely open her heart to The Lord Jesus and receive His Help and Salvation for all her needs. She listened well and her husband heard it all as he stood there puffing on his cigarette. Emiko took the literature I gave her. Please pray for her & her husband to be saved. Maiko came by again in August. I gave her and another lady with her booklets of Bible portions. A missionary friend of mine, Brother Joel, was also doing street evangelism in Karuizawa in August. He led a 26 year-old man, Mr. Hoshino, to trust in Christ. Mr. Hoshino immediately started helping Joel pass out literature. I talked to him and encouraged him as best I could. Mr. Hoshino needs your prayers. Praise God for blessing our efforts and saving souls. What a joy it is to proclaim Christ to everyone.

One day in August, a boy about 7 years old came right up in front of me and stood listening to me about 10 minutes as I preached. I then gave him a booklet for children and talked to him. His family was standing nearby also. Two days later, his mother came back alone and said that her daughter liked the booklet and wanted one. I was most glad to give her one to take to her daughter.

On Sunday morning, August 13, I preached at the Karuizawa Church. About 22 people attended, and several said the sermon touched them. To God be the glory. Thank you for caring about this missionary work. Thank you for praying for me, for these Japanese Christians I tell about, and for the many lost Japanese God is allowing me to reach with the Gospel. May God send a great revival to Japan. As for you, who give financially to help me, thank you so much for that help. May God richly bless you for all you do.

                    Christ’s unprofitable servant,

                              Richard Yerby


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