We have had 2 days of great events. First, Sunday included perhaps 2 who attended the church for the first time….I forgot the exact number. Our Brazilian overseer was the main speaker and he encourages everyone with his passion. This was followed by a very good deacons’ meeting…wow….those Christians love the church, they respect me, and they want more of God! It’s so good to meet with them. No one comes with a bad attitude or complaining. Pic 6 was taken 2 Sundays ago as we sang Amazing Grace. We sang in three languages and I asked groups of Christians to come forward and lead in their language. These 2 brothers sang in Japanese. The best part is not in the pic; As they sang the last verse, they threw their arm over the other’s shoulder and sang with so much passion. I thought heaven had come down. It was shouting time again. Wow! Pic 4 & 5 were at a Tokyo wedding we attended yesterday, Monday. I water baptized the groom when he lived in Hamamatsu and faithfully attended the church. And now he is married to a beautiful Christian woman. Both serve in their church near Tokyo. Following the wedding we met with Christians (5 young ladies)who were members of the church but now live in Tokyo going to school and working…pic 1, 2, 3. Ruth commented how they were once in our care and have remained lovely Christians. All glory to God! And….these are some of yours! You gave to us….we gave to them. Praise the Lord!
It is Tuesday and we are still so thankful for what the Lord did this past Sunday. Two came for the first time, a Japanese mother and daughter….and….maybe they will come back. A Brazilian couple who requested church membership returned and it looks like they will keep coming. Also, the young lady who took faith in God 2 weeks ago also came back. So, we are thankful. No pics from this past Sunday…I was too busy talking. From 3 PM a Brazilian Baptist church used our building until 9 PM. Also they water baptized a teenager. The pastor and his wife are our friends and they love their church. They had gone to a large river for other baptisms but now it is the rainy season so it is dangerous to get into the river. They used our baptismal pool. So good. Well, more rain today but something good is happening in the church so we can rejoice. Thank you again for praying…for sharing…for remembering.
It’s early Tuesday morning here but I started this note to you yesterday. Anyhow, had a great Sunday with BBQ even though it rained. Four came for the first time and one of those took faith in God at the end of the meeting. Tears flowing. So good. Another 3 arrived at the end so we had 7 for the BBQ who we had never met in the past. Thank you so much for praying for us. I spoke on Romans 7;1-6…we are dead to the Law. That led to the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery and deserving of death because of the law. I think I know what Jesus wrote on the ground with His finger; Law…Guilty…Penalty……….Calvary….No Penalty. We ended with a shout of joy. Love you all so much. You are good to us. God is good to us.
It is a beautiful Tuesday afternoon but yours truly has had a serious right eye infection since Sunday morning. You would not recognize me today but…I shall recover. I have had a bad cold for more than three weeks and it finally went into my eye….well….enough of that report. Anyhow, Sunday was a great day with a young lady attending church for the first time. She found us on the Internet. Prayed for several others who have family problems. I returned to speak about Daniel…last week was about his 3 friends…and what it means to ‘serve the Lord’. The king knew Daniel was serving the Lord because of Daniel’s daily devotions. The Brazilian man who become a Christian two weeks is still going on with God….so attentive to every message. Wow! thank you again for praying for us. I must slow down a little this week so I can see out of my right eye…..it will happen soon. You are all special to us. Oh, 2 songs by a Nigerian singer has been such a blessing to the church. One we have in Japanese and Portuguese. See attached links. Love you….
It has been a beautiful Tuesday. And we are still rejoicing at what the Lord did this past Sunday. A young couple from Brazil came for the first time and another single mom has requested church membership. Plus, we had a Filipino Birthday Party. Yes, delicious Filipino food and of course a big Costco Cake…see attached video. It looks like we are going to set another record for birthday parties this year. Well, a Japanese husband who has been coming to the church and the parties give me the biggest handshake on Sunday. He is not a Christian yet but I think he is going to be another one soon. I think I preached the greatest fear filled sermon this past Sunday….Three Hebrew men in the burning furnace. (Daniel 3) The main point; “Why can’t we stop bowing down and start standing up? The Lord of the fire is waiting to walk with us in it!” Hope all the members return next Sunday! Ha! Again, thank you for caring and sharing! You are all special to us!
It is a beautiful Tuesday but they say we are entering the rainy season so I guess it will rain one day this week. Anyhow, the good news is so good. I have written about about a Brazilian couple(including pics), the wife has been a Christian for about 3 years. Their story is a great mixture of good and sad news. Anyhow, he has struggled to believe(wrote about that 2 weeks ago I think). So while we were singing the last song, he came up behind me and said something like, ‘I need to know God now!’. Tears flowing down his face, in less than a minute he confessed his faith in God Almighty! Several others noticed this happening and began clapping and shouting! We ended the song with great praise to the Lord, big hugs, more tears. It was great. His wife was a backup singer and saw it all and burst into tears before the song was ended. Hallelujah! Thank you so much for praying for us! 3 came for the time which included a 20 year old Filipino mother who just a few weeks ago left her 10 month old baby and husband to come to Japan to work in a bar. So sad…she was crying….so lonely. Another Brazilian Christian lady has a young son in jail. ‘God Almighty!’ Yesterday, June 10th, Ruth and I celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary. It was raining but we enjoyed a quiet lunch at a nice restaurant located in the middle of rice fields! Attached are a few pics of us. Can you guess which one was taken yesterday? Dear family and fiends, each one of you are special to us….some younger than us and some older but all special. ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ Much love to all.
It is a beautiful Tuesday morning here and we expect sunny skies almost all week. It was raining this past Sunday but very dry inside the church…air conditioned! Yea! One Japanese lady came for the first time…an 80 year old mother. I was told she has been the member of a Buddhist sect for more than 50 years. But it seems her Christian daughter has led her to faith in God! Hallelujah! Concerning the video attached, Ruth and I recently visited a city not far from the birthplace of one of Japan’s historical citizens. We recently learned there is only one Japanese who has received one of the highest honors given by the government of Israel: Righteous Among the Nations. Mr. Chiune Sugihara, born in the center of Japan, Gifu Prefecture, was a vice consul for the Japanese government in Lithuania during the Second World War. Disregarding strict orders from Tokyo to grant no visas to Jews, Mr. Sugihara wrote more than 6,000 transit visas to Jews trying to escape from German and Soviet-occupied Poland. It is estimated that now more than 40,000 Jews are descendants of those that Mr. Sugihara helped to escape gas chambers. His rescue of thousands of Jews seems to have been unrecognized by Japan until after his death in 1986. To us, it was amazing what one Japanese man did for so many people he really didn’t know.
God bless you this week.
It is a beautiful Wednesday morning here and we are still giving thanks for what the Lord has done! No one came to the church for the first time this past Sunday but when Ruth finished sharing, she asked for all who wanted to be more committed in following Jesus to come forward for prayer. To our amazement, maybe more than 15 walked to the front of the room for prayer. One was a Brazilian husband who has faithfully been attending the church with his Christian wife but he…something seems to be too difficult for him to believe. What’s holding him back? We must keep pressing toward the heart of God. Only He can change hearts, right? Thank you again for praying for us. We feel good. I will meet with a Brazilian pastor for breakfast this morning….a sweet man and his wife who love Japan. Good friends! We love you!
It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon but…the weatherman says we should expect rain for the next 2 days….hard to believe with beautiful blue skies and mild weather. Anyhow, the Lord did several things at the church today. A lady named Rose came for the first time. When I asked anyone who wanted prayer, she immediately came forward with her Brazilian friend. Her request: a daughter had tried to commit suicide and was in the hospital with some kind of wounds. We prayed…with passion. Another Brazilian later told me it was the Lord that spoke to that lady today. Another husband wanted God to bring his father out of deep depression. I like the smiles on everyone’s face but we must get serious with God about having His help with problems at home. One verse of my message came from the words of Jesus in Mark 9…’If You can?’ What we don’t believe God can do?!?! It’s amazing. Lord, help us! You are special friends. Thank you for praying and giving. We are blessed. May He bless you more!
PS…Mother’s Day video is attached today.
It is Monday morning here, about 5:45 AM. I could not sleep because of the excitement! Yesterday 28 mothers attended the church. There was no advertisement about that meeting because I forgot about May 12th being Mother’s Day! Anyhow, it was so encouraging to us to see these mothers in the church. We honored the Filipino sisters who all have children in the Philippines. This is so common for mothers to have 2 or more children who they see maybe once every 2 or 3 years. Almost from birth they are being raised by grandparents while the parents work abroad to make money to support the family in the Philippines. Tears flowed as these mothers listened to a Mother’s Day song sung in Tagalog. Ruth is like a mother to these mothers: Mom Ruth. So, thank you again for praying for us. Video of Mother’s Day will be next week. Today, part 2 of a great BBQ on May 4th. Next BBQ is June 28th. Wonderful. We love you.