The Lord answers prayer…even in Japan!

The religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism.  Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture, while Buddhism was imported from the mainland 1400 years ago.  So evangelical churches in Japan are small and the Japanese are reticent to visit an evangelical church.

Three faithful members of a church planted by Takuji & Hiroko Yamazaki decided to pray for newcomers to the church every Sunday.  To date, they have had new visitors for ten weeks straight!

In March, a 12-year-old boy, originally from the Philippines, asked pastor Yamazaki how he can have eternal life…how he can go to heaven.  The boy has been attending services faithfully with his parents.  But he needed time to process.  Pastor Yamazaki was happy to explain the way of salvation.  They prayed together as he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.  He has also requested to be baptized!

Photo of Takuji Yamazaki at one of his churches.

 

“It is difficult to live and communicate the gospel in a country where idols are everywhere”…

…Jon & Mitsy Mahar write from Japan.  Christians in that country are few in numbers and the churches are small.  So fellowship among believers is a great encouragement for the Japanese Christians to stand firm for Christ, especially for the children.

The Mahars write that they had a wonderful day camp with 67 children and adults from six churches.  Mitsy spoke to the children, who listened and responded well.  Hope Hooper, a short term co-worker, led games.  Jon has Bible study classes with high school students.

Photo of Mitsy Mahar teaching the children.

 

It takes time sharing the Gospel in an Islamic country…

FIM missionary, Steve, writes about a person that he has repeatedly witnessed to.  “We share the Good News in season and out of season but it gives special joy to have an in-season opportunity.  The other day I had a wonderful time sharing the Gospel with our mechanic. He was saying how he remembers Mom (who also served as a missionary) and certain things she did and said. He then asked if I prayed for her, adding he was sure I did. (It is the custom of people here to especially pray for those who have died who were very dear to them as an expression of love and respect.) I said ‘no’, because she was in Paradise where all is perfect and prayer is no longer needed. I told him the story of the dying thief who believed in Jesus and went to Paradise that very day though he was a condemned criminal. Because Mom believed in Jesus, she is certainly in Paradise.  Continue to pray for his salvation.”

Photo of the local mosque.

The Lord works in ways that we don’t always understand!  It isn’t always the way that we desire…

But He IS at work, transforming us into His image!

Craig & Debbie Borgard write about a lady they met in their ministry in an atheistic part of Germany.  “When we first met ‘A’, she told us that she did not have a ‘strong’ testimony as she thought other people did.  She came to understand and accept the gospel. Then she came to a point where she accepted what Jesus did for her on the cross and trusted in Jesus as her Lord and Savior!

Then ‘A’ realized that something was physically wrong.  She ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis.  Through her stay in the hospital, ‘A’ had a powerful testimony.  She gave glory to the Lord for all things including what was happening to her.  The Lord surrounded her with Christian friends during that time. The Lord, her friends, and her unbelieving husband with their two daughters were there for her when she needed them.”

The Borgards write, “We have seen ‘A’ grow tremendously from this time. She has attended a year of Bible school and has since joined the new Bible Church in Halle. Just recently she spoke up at the Bible study one evening as we were talking about suffering. ‘A’ shared that when she suffers in her daily life, she knows that she does not have the strength to do anything on her own, realizing that the Lord will sustain her through all things. We praise the Lord for how He is working in ‘A’s life.”