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.
It has been a perfect weekend with good weather. Of course thousands and thousands celebrated in Hamamatsu with lots of noise, drinking, etc. And we prayed and can only trust in God’s work in people who need Him so much but do not think so! Anyhow, we had a small celebration on Saturday(see part 1 of 2 part video) and it was so good with new friends from 5 nations! Wow! One of the new friends came to the church on Sunday for the first time AND…a young single man returned for the second time traveling more than 2 hours one way to get here. Maybe the Lord is doing something good in his heart too. Prayer is so important for experiences we need from heaven. Thank you for praying. Otherwise, Sunday was good with a Brazilian brother sharing with passion. Another Brazilian will share later this month. Hey, you all are special to us. And yes we are praying for leaders of several nations. God bless you more!
It has been raining for 2 days but we think that better days are around the corner. All are praying for the city as it begins a big festival on Friday. Talking negative about an event that citizens have greatly enjoyed for a long time is a little difficult for me but this word popped out of the Bible last week, ‘Unrestrained.’ And God said this about the Israelites in Exodus 32, they ‘have corrupted themselves'(NASB). We are still believing God will change multitudes somehow. This past Sunday, five came to church for the first time….3 from Brazil, one from Peru, and one from Japan. I enjoy meeting people for the first time. God is doing something good. And again, thank you for praying for us!
It has been perfect weather for a few days and wow…the flowers! (See video). This is a special time for flowers all over the city and more will appear by the weekend. This past Sunday we had 2 to attend the morning meeting for the first time. Too many were absent because of school activities for their children but they’ll be back. Each meeting finishes with someone needing prayer for a serious problem but the church is the place to ask for help! This past Sunday a distraught mother whose grandmother died in the Philippines last week said an aunt fell at the funeral with a 3 year old niece whose head was seriously injured on a steel fence. Another young wife said her husband is wanting a divorce. Lord, have mercy! Thank you for praying for us and others. The flowers are beautiful but we must keep looking for help from the Almighty. God bless you more!
It has been a beautiful day but sad to say that all the cherry blossoms have fallen off. They did not last long this year….less than a week. Not sure why the blossoms fell off so quickly but maybe it was because of the ‘typhoon’ wind we have had for about 7 or 8 straight days. Today, no wind. Hallelujah! But the meeting at the church this past Sunday was good. We had 2 attend the church for the first time…a young couple from Brazil. We have started weekly prayer again for our city since the first week of May will be the annual kite festival which is accompanied by a lot of drinking and very loud trumpets and drums. (Short You Tube video of previous festival made by somebody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2uIa7z44cI
We don’t take videos of this event since we don’t attend for a lot of reasons. But we pray. Christian concerts, special meetings, and church youth events should take place instead of the festival but….the Lord hasn’t started that plan yet but we keep asking Him. Again, thank you for praying for us. April is going to be a good month for the church! God bless you all today!
Yes, the cherry trees are full of beautiful blossoms today. And….what will the Lord do today in this nation? Thank you again for praying for us. We had a great Sunday which included singing new songs to the Lord. And Ruth is back which made so many sisters very happy. To her surprise, they presented her with a beautiful expensive bag….the Filipino sisters really love her. We are thinking of a BBQ in the near future. No, it’s not really an evangelistic event as much as a longer time to encourage each other and make joy abound. Another recent large gathering of Christians in Kyoto was filled with foreigners from around the world who believe this year will be a good year for the church. Hallelujah! Thank you for supporting us! And God bless you all today!