|This scripture hit me square in the face this week. I have been teaching a women’s English Bible study near Tokyo every month and it has been a blessing to have new women come each time to learn about the Bible. About 1/3 of the women are not Christians, but they are eager to know what the Bible is all about and they have so many questions about the God we believe in. (Japan has 8 million gods, literally).
The mother of one of my non-christian students just died of cancer and my heart was grieved as I realized that her mother is lost for all eternity, not because she refused to believe in Jesus, but because she had never even heard the gospel. Japan is still less than 1% evangelized. There are workers here, but they are few.
Japan is not a third world country. The high cost of living and the difficulty in learning the language are only two of the many obstacles that keep missionaries from coming or remaining in Japan. But God is able to overcome these obstacles and more. The Japanese are materially rich, but spiritually destitute. Please pray the Lord of the harvest to send more workers to Japan and pray for those of us who are here to be able to reach as many as possible with the gospel.
But even as there are losses, there are also gains. Naoko, a woman who started attending our Home Fellowship on the air force base, was one of three women who raised her hand to receive Christ at our Easter Sunday service. The next Sunday her husband came to church with her and he has been coming with her since. Pray that Naoko will continue to grow in her faith. I don’t know if her husband is a believer, but he says he enjoys coming and listening to the messages on Sunday.
In my youth class on Wednesday nights, one of the girls, Lena, shared that she had just became a child of God. I took the opportunity to have each of the five other girls who were Christians share their testimonies. The next week Lena’s twin sister, Julia, shared that she, too, had become a child of God.
So there is fruit, even in this hard ground of Japan, but again, the harvest is ripe, but the workers are few. Pray!
Beginning in April the church has hired a Japanese teacher, Teruko Smith, for all of us missionaries to learn Japanese. Teruko has been teaching us individually twice a week and we are so thankful for her patience as each of us are at different levels of learning. Please pray that we can take full advantage of the teaching time each week and that we would make good progress in learning this difficult language.
Thank you for your partnership and prayers as we work together to bring the gospel to the people of Japan!
Gift of Grace, Japan
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