Archive

November 2018

Three brothers in Christ and members of Japan Bible Mission came from Singapore last month. They passed out over one-thousand tracts and flyers to the local neighbors.  They were a blessing to us and an answer to prayer. We are praying for our direct neighbors, those within a five-minute drive, to come to the church. So far we have not yet had any visitors, but we continue to pray and trust the Lord.

“Put out into the deep water” is our theme for this year, so we went outside of Yokote city to pass out tracts and visit the local homes. We went to Kakumagawamachi of Daisen city, about a twenty-minute drive, and Misato town hall, about a half-hour away. I gave out some New Testaments to the people I met there.

  • Pray for those who receive a track to be open to reading and understanding the message.
  • Pray for the people who received a New Testament Bible that they would be eager to read and learn more.
  • Pray for the workers who are reaching out to the non-believers, for their courage and perseverance in continuing to share the gospel.

We had four children, and three mothers come to the YY kids. We are hoping for this program to be an effective channel of outreach to the community. The mothers were interested in Christianity along with the children. We had fun playing the handbells, and the guests enjoyed the picture story show presenting the gospel.

  • Pray for the YY kids program to draw more children and their mothers.

Yumiko came for the welcoming service. She is still shy around people and usually leaves immediately after the service. She is in her thirties. Our prayer is for her to come to an understanding of salvation and make a profession of faith.

  • Pray for Yumiko to continue to attend and to be saved.

We have a board we post scripture verses on so the people passing by on the street can read the verses. We just purchased a new and bigger board. We are hoping more people will be able to read it from further away. We have a rack of tracts that says, “free to take,” and I think the local people are reading the copies. We also started a blog and are praying for it to be an effective way to reach out to people.

  • Pray for the outreach efforts of Pastor Saito to be effective in drawing people closer to God.

Yukiko had been away from the church community for about fifteen years. She is now in her forties, single, and has restored her faith. She comes to our worship service and a mid-week prayer meeting. I understand that she attends a Sunday worship service in her area. We would like to remember Yukiko and support her in growing in her faith.

  • Pray for Yukiko to stand firm and grow in her faith.

My wife joined the Civic Symphony orchestra, and I have joined the City Chorus group. We are praying for the members in these groups to be saved. Because of the fall season, we have regular concerts and recitals which means we interact with the other members quite often. Pray especially for Ms. Takahashi and Ms. Oumi; they are both members of the Symphony group.

  • Pray for Pastor Saito and Emiko as they engage people in their community and for their witness in the two music groups.
  • Pray for Pastor Saito’s health and healing, after an episode of food poisoning, he had some left shoulder pain and is praying for a full recovery before the snowy winter.
  • Pray for Emiko, Pastor Saito’s wife, she is doing better health-wise but is still sleeping only a few hours at night as she cares for her son Yuki.

My son, Yuki’s health, is improving, he senses that he is over the hump. My wife and I feel the same for we are less involved in caring for him and he can do more on his own. He is praying for God’s wisdom for the future and complete healing by next spring. He is writing a blog to share about God’s love and striving to reach out to the unsaved through this blog.

  • Pray for Yuki’s health to continue to improve.
  • Pray for the blog to reach others with the gospel message and for people to be saved.

Masato, my younger son, is a first-year graduate level seminary students at Tokyo Christian University. He is facing academic challenges as he works hard to keep up with the pace of the courses he is taking. He is getting discouraged, but his friends see his academic growth despite also seeing his stress. He is continuing his ministry training at a local church and will be dispatched from this church to serve at another church in the Aisu area in Fukushima as a leader. He is going to be visiting each local neighbor in the community.

  • Pray for Masato’s health as he studies hard and for him to persist in his academics.
  • Pray for Masato’s ministries in the church to be blessed and to refresh his spirit.

October 2018

Akita prefecture ranks as number one in the highest number of barber shops and hairdressers per ten-thousand people in all of Japan. As I passed out tracts in one of the villages, there were four barber shops within one block. Akita people are very conscious about their appearance. People try to avoid embarrassment or appearing different from others. To keep harmony within the cultural code, people also would not like to appear as outstanding. We see the same faces and the same people everywhere. They seldom expose their feelings or thoughts to others, especially to the public. It takes some time for people outside the community to be accepted or honestly talked to. I often feel the need to be able to read people’s minds. I conclude that this specific characteristic of the people in Akita could be a real challenge for evangelism.

  • Pray for the people in Akita to be willing, to be honest in their conversations with Pastor Saito and the believers as they witness in their community.
  • Pray for the believers, to be honest with other believers as they learn from God’s Word together.

We had a first time visitor for our YY kids. Yuki is in first grade and came with her mother.

  • Pray for Yuki and her mother to come again.

The team of “Reaching out to the unreached in North Tohoku and in Hokkaido” came to visit with one pastor, two missionaries from China and two seminary students, one student was my son. We visited a new location, where I had not yet gone, to the north called Misato town. Two of the households responded well to the gospel message and I intend to visit them again.

  • Pray for an opportunity to visit the two households again and for the families to be willing to listen to the gospel message. Pray for their salvation.

There was a severe earthquake in Hokkaido and due to this disaster, Kyoko left her residence in Hokkaido and traveled by car to talk with me. I shared about her in previous reports, we were communicating online, and my pastor friend led her in a prayer to accept Christ this past summer. During our face to face conversation, I observed Kyoko had many new-age patterns of thought. She tries to gain much from mysterious mystic experiences. She claims to say she is a child of Lucifer and when I objected to what she was saying, she got outraged and lost control of herself. I calmed her down by sharing quite a few spiritual verses. She said she knows God loves her and that Jesus Christ is her Savior. She said Satan can use our wrong thoughts and that human self-centered interpretations of the Bible could be dangerous. Before we said goodbye, I told her not to focus on feelings and non-Biblical spiritual experiences but to trust the Bible as her basis for life. Kyoko has no siblings or relatives close by. She is still settling in Honshu  Island (Japan main), this is where she wishes to settle. She is thinking about Yokote as one of her options but other elements, such as her job, may affect her decision. We will continue to pray for her.

  • Pray for Kyoko’s faith to become stronger, for her to read her Bible and let its truth influence her thoughts, and for her to find a place for regular fellowship with believers.

In my previous report, I shared about Shizuko who was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. She accepted Jesus Christ in her heart this past summer and recently went to heaven. Her daughter, Koyuki was very thankful for God’s grace and being able to spend some precious time together with her mother as Christians.

  • Pray for Koyuki as she adjusts to the new phase of life and grieves her mother’s death despite her joy over her mother’s salvation.

Hideko was ninety-two when she went to be with the Lord and I conducted the funeral for the family.  Hideko had not attended any church for over fifteen years but then she saw the tracts I handed out. We are thankful that she restored her faith, even after so many years, before she went to heaven.

  • Pray for the family of Hideko.

Our relatives, the Kogauchi family, live in Chiba prefecture. They are Christians and came to visit us recently. They are members of a church called Inzai Makinohara Christ Church. The pastor there is Namakami who received support in the past from White Fields to be a church planter.  We are praying for more of our family and relatives to be saved.

  • Pray for Yuki, my son, as he continues to recover from his illness.
  • Pray for Emiko, my wife, as she cares for Yuki and for her good health.
  • Pray for Masato, my younger son, who is a seminary student at Tokyo Christian University.

We are planning to increase our efforts to visit the local community and pass out tracts. Our theme verse for this year is to “Put Out Into Deep Water” from Luke 5 and we plan to visit the neighboring Misato town and Daisen city. The missions team from Singapore, ‘Japan Bible Mission’ will be joining us.

  • Pray for our evangelism to the neighboring areas to be positive and well-accepted. Pray for more people to come to an understanding of salvation through faith.

September 2018

Pastor Kazuhiko Saito is the pastor of the Yakote Bible Yasuragi Church.

The Akita prefecture is top with the largest plots in the category of the average land size of each household. This means when we visit the neighborhood to pass out tracts, they have a long walk. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by the distance from the gate of the house to the door. Due to the size of their yards, many homes have space for a small or large shrine next to the house. We sense dark demonic influences in the region and many people never seem tire of temples or shrines on the streets, in the yards, or in their houses.

Akita has an interesting element that puzzles me, the local people never seem to lock their house. Even when they are not home, their doors are not locked. Akita is also known as having the fewest burglaries which might be why the doors are never locked. The majority of people here are very laid-back and sometimes that concerns me too. On the other hand, it does make home visits easier. Even though their hearts are not always ready to accept Jesus Christ, their house doors are open, they welcome us and are curious about what we have to say.

When I pass out tracts, I often come across a small truck with a microphone reminding and warning the locals to watch out for bears. We try to be super careful when we go into the mountainous area and watch for bears.

Give thanks for the open doors and pray for open hearts for the message of the gospel.

  • Pray for positive and substantial conversations about the gospel that causes the people to contemplate upon the words spoken. Pray for God to reach their hearts and minds for Himself.
  • Pray for the wisdom and boldness of Pastor Kazuhiko Saito as he reaches out to the community.

An evangelism team visited the new location of Misato Town, next to our city. I joined the team from Keisen Christ Church’s Saikyo Nazomi Chapel in Toda city of Saitama. Keisen means “Fountain of Grace” and Nozomi means “Hope”. The team’s purpose was to reach the unreached in North Tohoku and in Hokkaido. I joined the team to visit Misato Town, the team consisted of another pastor, two missionaries from China, and two seminary students including my son. We divided into pairs, like in Luke 10:1 “After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go (ESV).”  Two of the households in Misato Town responded well, and I intend to visit them again.

The team spent eighteen days passing out tracts to the local communities and visiting each house of the locals one by one.  They worked in partnership with local churches in the surrounding areas, to visit the communities in between where there were no Christian churches. Many of the households refused to listen to the team but there were some families that were open to the message.

Give thanks for the team working together to reach the non-believers.

  • Pray for the team to be encouraged by those who listened and to continue praying for those who were not willing to listen to the gospel.
  • Pray for the two households in Misato Town who responded positively and for their salvation.

Kyoko who I mentioned in previous reports, lives in Hokkaido. She learned about us through our website and we were corresponding through email. Pastor Hari, from our team, evangelizes in this area, so he contacted Kyoko. They met in the town of Niseko. A God touching moment occurred when Pastor Hari lead Kyoko in a prayer to accept Jesus Christ into her heart.  Kyoko and I  continue to email, and I have been encouraging her to stay in Jesus and stand firm in her faith, so she is not swayed by spiritual attacks. I introduced her to Niseko Christ Church of Japan which is not too far from her house.

  • Continue praying for Mrs. Kyoko and for her to grow in her understanding of salvation, to only follow Jesus and to connect with a local church.

Koyuki and her mother Shizuko were also in my last report. Koyuki lives in Daisen and her mother is in her 80’s and lives in Ishikawa. Shizuko was undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. She refused to become a Christian, but recently, she was hospitalized again, and when her daughter Koyuki visited her, Shizuko prayed and accepted Christ into her heart. Hallelujah! We are planning to connect her to Kitakami Bible Baptist Church.

Give thanks for the answer to our prayers for Shizuko’s salvation.

  • Pray for Shizuko to grow in her knowledge of God and understanding of the gospel.

Taeko, who was hospitalized in my last report for appendicitis, had surgery and was released from the hospital. There were some concerns about infection in the surrounding area, but everything healed great.

Give thanks for the success of the surgery.

Aki, a 3rd-grade girl, came to the YY Kids event with her mother and seemed to enjoy herself. We passed out scripture verse cards to the kids. We are praying for the words of the Bible to touch the hearts of the kids and for them to come to faith in God.

  • Pray for the kids who attended the YY Kids event for their hearts to be open to the gospel and to contemplate the meaning of the words of the scripture verse cards.

We had many hot days over the summer with a record high of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. I am grateful for God answering my prayers about staying healthy despite the heat. I remind myself of Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. We are praying for God’s leading and guidance for our church’s growth.

Give thanks for the good health of Pastor Kazuhiko Saito.

  • Pray with the pastor and church leaders as they see God’s guidance.
  • Continue praying for Yuki, my son who is still recovering from his illness. When he feels better, he is drawing and practicing the recorder and organ.
  • Continue praying for my wife, Emiko, to stay in good health as she faithfully cares for my son. Pray for her to sleep restfully the whole night.
  • Pray for Masato, my son, who is a graduate-level seminary student at Tokyo Christian University as he studies to gain a solid education in Bible and theology.

Give thanks for his role on the evangelism team.

August 2018

Yokote Bible Yasaguri Church is in the Akita prefecture (state) with a population of one million people.

Overlooking a bend in the river in the city of Yokote. From this vantage point, you can be reminded to pray for all the people who need to hear about the love of Jesus.

Yasaguri means contentment, ease, and sanctuary. Yokote city is famous for apples, grapes and cherry farming.  Our prefecture is an agricultural state with the largest rice fields of all the prefectures.  We have the highest ratio of people over sixty-five years old, the highest number of rainy days in the year and the lowest amount of daylight hours. Unemployment is high, and the average income is the lowest in Japan. Alcoholism, depression, and suicide are common. Possibly due to the climate with the long, cold and snowy winter, people in this area are usually quiet, very introverted and reserved. The rate of hikikomori, meaning social isolation from gatherings including churches, is high and a serious matter. The gospel is needed in this region and we pray that God will use us to bring the hope and joy found only through his Son Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for the wisdom of Pastor Kazuhiko Saito as he ministers to the people in his region.
  • Pray for the spread of the gospel and for outreach opportunities of the church to the primarily sixty-five and older population.
  • Pray for open and curious hearts to come to an understanding of salvation.

We had a 60th-anniversary celebration of our mother church Yuzawa Bible Baptist Church with a gathering of over ninety people. All seven of the conservative Baptist churches within Akita prefecture were represented.

  • Pray for the growth of our mother church and its outreach to the community.
  • Pray for their Pastor Yasuhiro Ishida.
  • Give thanks for the 60th-anniversary celebration and the founders of the church.

We have some new non-believers who have shown an interest in God but not yet committed to following Jesus Christ. Please pray for these prospective people and for them to come to an understanding of salvation. Some of them have family members who are continuing to share the gospel with them. During our welcoming worship service, we asked Michiko to share her testimony. She lives in Tokyo but visits her parents in Yakote half of the month. Her father, Atsushi, used to be the local school headmaster. It was his first time stepping into a church for the worship. He is being treated for cancer and multiple myeloma. Michiko says she and her father read the Bible together every day.

  • Pray for Atsushi to gain an understanding of salvation and accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Yumiko, a single woman, also attended the welcoming worship service. She is not yet a believer but has shown an interest.

  • Pray for her to continue attending the church and to accept the gospel.

Koyuki recently was able to visit her mother, Shizuko, twice and shared with her the gospel. Shizuko is being treated for multiple myeloma and does not yet believe in God.

  • Pray for Shizuko’s salvation and for Koyuki to have more opportunities to visit her mother.

Taeko, an older woman, was hospitalized for appendicitis this summer and probably is going to have surgery soon.  Pray for her healing and for continued spiritual growth.

We have had two new contacts through our church web page. In my previous reports, I mentioned Ms. O. who was heavily involved in new age stuff and supernatural experiences. Through our correspondence, she has come to understand that everything related to the new age was wrong and now claims that the Bible is the only truth. Pray for her to come to a complete understanding of salvation. She lives in Hokkaido and is not yet connected to a church in her area. She also carries trauma for her past experiences.

Mr. N lives in central Japan, in the Nagano prefecture. He became a Christian as a young boy but shared with me that he has not been walking with the Lord lately. He has struggled with addiction. We suggested he attend a church nearby and we are praying that he gets involved there.

  • Pray for Mr. N to overcome his addiction through the name of Jesus Christ and to get connected with a local church.

My son Yuki is focusing on his recuperation and we are hoping his symptoms of adrenal dysfunction will be cleared by the fall. We are praying for his inner thoughts to be Christ-reflecting and strengthened by the Lord. Pray also for my wife as she faithfully continues to care for him.

Spring 2018

The Obu family moved from Osaka to our area a few years ago. We learned Toru used to attend church service occasionally in their old town. Since the Obu family moved to our area, Toru has visited our church several times. Toru described himself as a person who believed in God 80 % of the time. When Toru and Taeko went back to Osaka to visit, they met with their old pastor, and after their conversation, Toru decided to dedicate his life to Christ 100%. Now that they are back I feel responsible for helping him grow spiritually. We have handed Toru some bible material to study. However, we decided it has not been beneficial. Please pray that God will give me wisdom on how to communicate God’s word in a way that Toru will understand. One major challenge that the couple faces is their living situation. They live in a community that has about 20 houses. In that neighborhood, they maintain a tradition that includes maintaining a straw-made statue of 4 meters high which symbolizes Kashima-Sama (a saint of God that protects the community from any harm). This community also has a strong Buddhist influence. This kind of symbol used to be very common in our Akita region, but these traditions are gradually disappearing. One of the major problems the Obu family is facing is the location of their home; they live right next to the place where the statue sits typically. Because the Obu family is relatively new in town, it is a community tradition that the new families oversee the community events and one of the traditions is to get together and recreate the statue with fresh straw. Taeko, Toru’s wife, is having an issue and is concerned that the local custom appears to reflect an idolatry symbol.

(2) Toru is an 80-year-old man who has asked to be baptized. We will start our class preparations in April. (Toru is photographed with Pastor Saito and the women.) Please continue to pray for Toru, that the Lord will continue to grow him in his walk with Christ. This winter has been very challenging in many aspects. It is hard to keep bible studies because of the snow in our region. National broadcasting showed images of our area because of the snow. A two-hour snow plowing is the norm right now before church service. Please pray for me and my physical health. The heavy labor is affecting my shoulders, elbows, knees and lower back. I am still able to walk and can carry out my daily task, but I do not want my body to get worse.

In the coming month, we will be giving away tracts and flyers for people to read. Please help us pray that people will take the time to read God’s Word and plan for salvation. God showed me this Bible verse Luke 5:4; “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” I am hoping to live through this verse.

I’ve been meditating on the passage from Luke 5:4 (ESV)
“And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” The theme for the new calendar year (Japanese calendar year starts in April).

I am praying for God’s leading for the ministry plan for this year and His provision for every need. I am thankful for my health; it has stabilized since last month, and even though we have had hard weather outside I am grateful for the time I have spent with the Lord. Recently, God has shown me my limit, sin, and lack of faith. I’ve repented, prayed, and continually seek God’s guidance and His power to be evident in my life. Please help us pray for our church and family as we continue to do God’s work.

The snow continues to fall, and our church attendance has suffered because of the extreme weather. Because of the storm and blizzards, many people are not able to go outside and attend church during the heavy snow days. Please pray for my family and me during this time; there is a lot of plowing and roof shoveling during this time.

I attended a funeral this past month, and I was touched to hear the life and testimony of Mitsu, a 92-year-old woman who lived a life praising God even through her suffering of illness. In her diary, the words thank and praise appeared many times. This brings great joy to know how much she loved the Lord. I am hoping to see more believers like Mitsu to have a real-life testimony of having all our praise go to Jesus.

(3) My wife Emiko is a member of Yuzawa Civic Symphony; she plays the clarinet. Emiko and three other members usually practice before a concert, but because of my son Yuki’s health situation, they often come to our church to practice the tunes. It opens the door for them to talk about Christianity. Nobuo he is a gentle guy although he talks about Christianity with a bit of sarcasm. He used to be a community hall member, and before that, he was a city official. Jun is an Administrative Scrivener (a similar position as Para-Legal, Public Writer in America). Both he and his wife used to attend the Yokote Bible Baptist Church which does not exist anymore. However, they have not walked with Christ for a long time. Yayoi works in City Hall. She has read the Bible and various novels by Ayako-Miura. She sends her child to a Catholic kindergarten. My wife gave Yayoi a gift recently. It was a Genealogy of Christ. Please pray for Salvation of the three souls.

We are preparing for baptism, and one of the people who is getting ready for that day is Toru (80 yrs old), he currently has back problems due to our winter storms and the snow plowing he did during that time. I visit him at home once a week to talk and pray to God.

“Put out into deep water” Luke 5:4 this has been my focused bible verse, I have been meditating on it to prepare for the new calendar year (Japanese calendar year starts in April). I am praying for God’s leading on the ministry for the coming year. I am focused on the bible writing down verses, their context, and what it means to me personally. I desire to listen to God’s provision and guidance on this and be a faithful servant of God.

Yuki continues to live with us as he recuperates from his illness. He desires to go back to Tokyo so that he can go back to teaching. Recently, Yuki was happy to hear news about one of his friends who is doing well and who he evangelized when he was in Tokyo, his friend became a believer and was baptized. Continue to pray for both Yuki and Emiko.

I completed my responsibility as the town’s block leader. I was not able to attend a recent meeting, so my wife went for me. During the meeting, there were two Buddhist priests and their families. My wife heard the dialogue among the Buddhist priests and their discussion of the similarity between Christianity and Buddhism. Although my wife did not confront them about what they were discussing, we are praying that by our presence in this community God’s Truth will spread upon the locals. Two youth from this block are faithfully attending to YY kids group at our church.

Masato, my younger son, is entering the graduate level course at Tokyo Christian University in April. We know he is now assigned to Keisen (means ‘Fountain of Grace’) Christ Church’s Saikyo Nozomi (means ‘Hope’) Chapel in Saitama City. He goes there Saturdays and Sundays, staying overnight each time. Please pray for Masato’s academics and spiritual growth.

(4) Kazuhito and Koyuki live in Daisen city with their mother Seiko who is 80 years old. Seiko came to our Easter Service in April. It was the very first time in Seiko’s entire life that she visited a church. Seiko often amazes us by sending us flowers, goodies, and hot dishes of food. Seiko is open to church activities. Please pray for Koyuki so that she is a good witness of God’s love to her mother-in-law.

We have been meeting every Wednesday with Tory who is 80 years old to prepare him for his baptism. He professed his faith, and we confirmed his assurance of salvation. Pray for Toru’s spiritual growth. We were able to hear from Toru about his first encounter with a Christian. When Toru was in the 4th grade through 6th grade, he often attended Sunday school in a nearby church which was started by an American missionary Martin Mosser Smyser. We are thankful to know that part of the history of the local Christian church. I would like to share here a little of Smyser because I think it was very touching.

Martin Mosser Smyser (1875-1955), came from Pennsylvania and was invited by a local Middle School to be an English teacher back in 1914. He began the evangelistic work in the southern area of Akita by starting an English Bible class for the neighborhood youth. Smyser, during WWⅡ, remained in the area while his wife and his daughter had gone back home. The unique characteristic of Smyser’s evangelistic work was his non-affiliation with any denominational body in his later days. He lived in poverty while he continued his work as a missionary, receiving financial support from his friends in his homeland. He became ‘a kernel of wheat’ that falls to the ground and devoted his life to reaching out to the unsaved and to establish churches in the area of Akita. His former residence is kept as a historical museum in Yokote City, and we are located only a 3 minute drive from there.

After service on Sunday, I discovered that my throat was bleeding. I had the flu for the very first time in my life, and it was severe. I am not entirely recovered from it yet and am still taking medication. It has something to do with the joint between the esophagus and the Bronchial tube. I had difficulty speaking and had pain as well. Please pray for my complete recovery.

Yuki my son still lives with us and is focused on recuperation. Yuki is gradually getting better these days. He is back to practicing playing the recorder. There were occasions when I heard Yuki groaning; the pain is excruciating on his skin. Yuki describes that he is on a third-time attack as the doctor had advised him previously that there should not have been a fourth-time relapse. We all expect everything will be all over before the summer. Please also remember my wife Emiko who has been faithfully attending and taking good care of Yuki.

Masato, my son, is serving at Keisen (means ‘Fountain of Grace’) Christ Church’s Saikyo Nozomi (means ‘Hope’) Chapel in Toda city of Saitama. He goes there Saturdays and Sundays, staying overnight each time. He and his fellow student form a church planning team targeting a new area called Kita-Toda. I believe to some degree the idea of letting the two seminary students plant a church might be overwhelming for them. But I trust they will get quality experiences, and I am hoping that they witness, and, in the process, someone is led to believe in Christ.

Summer 2018

(5) Last month we passed out tracts and our church flyers to nearby farms. We were blessed with the opportunity to meet people that were from other regions. Shota and Asami (a couple who are in their 30’s) found our church on their way home to Ishikawa from their trip from the Miyagi Region. They found the church on the internet and stopped by and joined us. When we started talking with them, we found out that Asami was seriously thinking of committing suicide the day before. We told them about God’s Love. They said there was no church near their home. So, we encouraged them to read the Bible together every day we also gave them some books to read. Please pray for this young couple, that they will continue to seek God through their troubled time.

We received mail and a phone call from Kyoko who saw our church web-page. Kyoko was very involved in the New Age religion. She was repeatedly going through spiritual experiences. Kyoko desired to leave New Age teachings entirely and recently learned that all those teachings were wrong. In our correspondence, Kyoko expressed her desire to repent and come to the Lord Christ and accept salvation. I introduced her to several true churches we knew in her nearby area in Hokkaido. Please pray that she will visit the churches that we recommended.

Ryosuke saw our church webpage, and we had several correspondences with him online. We recently heard that Ryosuke professed faith and was planning to get baptized in June. This news of Ryosuke reminded us that we are living in an era of technology.

Keiko is at a group home in Yokote City run by a local sanatorium. We reported last August that Keiko had come to Christ. Michiko is her daughter and visits her mother often even though she lives in Toyko. The last time she saw her mother she was very concerned because her mother had an ashen and expressionless face. Michiko suspected that the medical team was giving Keiko excessive medication. Please pray for God’s grace upon her mother. Also, pray for Michiko as she continues to communicate with the group home about her concerns.

(6) Thank you for your prayer for Toru. Toru’s baptism was held in June, as planned. His daughter Izumi who is not a believer came to his baptism as well. During our Sunday service before the baptism, I preached on Matthew 11:28-30 a message God gave Toru in May. We pray and hope that his daughter Izumi will hear and believe God’s word. We have been amazed at how Toru has changed since he became a Christian. Toru’s wife never stopped praying for her husband who was a very stubborn man, but we have witnessed how the Holy Spirit worked in and through his life.

Michiko came to talk to us after one of our services in June; she shared that her father Atsushi (88 years old) is undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. Michiko shared that her father was close to believing in Jesus Christ, even though he’s never come to church. His only concern is that he might dishonor his ancestors, and other family members such as his brothers by surrendering his life to Christ.

While we were with Michiko, I received a call from Masashi who is a member of Yuzawa Bible Baptist Church. Masashi shared about an incident that morning. It was about his father Tetsuji who is 89 years old. Masashi told me that his father was in the hospital for prostate treatment. According to Masashi, Tetsuji nodded in response to Masashi’s conversation about Christianity and a question about the profession of faith. We have known through Masashi that his father was a farmer, Japanese conservative, and a very stubborn man. He never listened to his son Masashi’s invitation attend church or any outreach activities, he never joined us. But we were telling Masashi not to lose the opportunity to reach his father. During the same day in the evening, I visited Tetsuji at the hospital. He was not able to carry out a conversation very well. But he could at least nod to what I was saying. We could confirm Tetsuji’s confession of his faith. Two days later in the morning, Tetsuji went to heaven. We held a Christian funeral for Tetsuji.

The Akita region is known for having the highest elderly population in Japan. I affirmed that outreach to the older adults is one of the top missions of my ministry in Akita. Yumiko joined us for a Welcoming Worship Service outreach event this month. She is such a delicate and gentle woman. I am praying that God will open her heart in His timing. Yumiko agrees to the basics we covered in our study of Christianity so far. I have been taking the medication for the infection surrounding the joint between the esophagus and the Bronchial tube. I recently came back to the rehearsal civic choir group after explaining my health update to the leaders there. During Japan’s summer heat my health was affected, last year during the same time I was also very sick. Please continue to pray for my health. Yuki, my older son, still lives with us and is focusing on his recuperation. Even Yuki is gradually getting better these days but still has difficulty going out. One morning Yuki
said, “I feel I could go out.” So, Yuki went out to Tokyo; my wife went with him because his driver’s license is canceled, and he is not able to drive.

Please remember my wife Emiko who has been faithfully attending and taking good care of Yuki. I am amazed that she still stays healthy, after having many days with a lack of sleep. I help by doing the grocery shopping for the household. Yuki was planning to go back to Tokyo to continue his activities as a performer. Yuki has graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts (the only national institution for the music in Japan) at the top of his class and won the top award for international music. Somehow in a way Yuki is hoping to use his gift to touch the hearts of the people. These days, Yuki talks about remaining to Yokote, and when he gets much better, he will hold an outreach concert or open a piano and recording studio.

Masato, my younger son, is serving at Keisen (means Fountain of Grace) Christ Church’s Saikyo Nozomi (means ‘Hope’) Chapel in Toda city of Saitama. As mentioned at our previous report, Masato and his mates were sent to a new church planting ministry targeting a new area. They had the first gathering in Niizo of Toda city in May and the second gathering in July. It will be the very first outreach in the area targeting non-Christians. The area, according to my son is populated with many young people which is quite contrary to our area in Yokote where we have many older adults. I am praising God for His work, my son and I are both involved in church planting ministry. I would like to ask for prayer for Masato, so he does well in his academics, and at the same time focuses on local ministry.

Every year we have a music concert outreach, which has been a very effective ministry. However, because of the church finances, we had to give up this year. As we attempt to be more effective in our area, we heard that other churches in the area do an English conversation class, Art craft workshop, or Dance class. However, in our area, these things would not work because there are two community facilities which offer those activities to the people. We continue to pass out tracts. How can we be more effective and at the same time realistic? We have challenges in our everyday ministry in our location. Please pray for our group for a near future decision of new formats of outreach. We are hoping to live out and “pull out into deep water” which is our theme for this year.

Fall 2017

We continue to study the Book of Matthew. We meet every other Tuesday (instead of every Tuesday). Yumiko continues to read the Bible on her own. Yumiko also attended one of the Welcoming services. We sense that Yumiko is very close to understanding and professing faith.

Minori Komuro (Female) and Chihiro Suzuki (Female) are both single and kindergarten teachers in their 20’s. They visited our worship service, and we are praying they will join us again.

Michiko’s mother Keiko Terada is in her 80’s, is married, and has dementia. She lives in a home care in the next town over. She accepted Christ last month when we paid a visit to her. The family is concerned that Keiko might get worst and she does not see family often. They are looking for a home care place in the same town that they live in. As of now, they have brought Keiko back home. Her daughter Michiko has hired a caretaker to help care for her mother temporarily. Please pray for their family situation.

Mahoko came to the YY Kids for the first time last month. She has come back several times, and we are praying that Mahoko continues to attend even although her parents are atheists. Mahoko is in second grade, and the family relocated from Toyko. Please pray that the child would continue to attend and that the family will be curious to join their daughter.

Takeo is a member of Yuzawa Bible Baptist Church; however, he prefers to come to our group because of the proximity. Lately, he has been attending our church on a regular basis. Please remember to pray for Takeo’s spiritual growth.

My Bronchitis got better, and I can project my voice now when I preach. I was discouraged when I was not able to preach because of my voice, but now I am more focused and praying for complete healing.

In mid-November, I am visiting several relatives in Kitakata city in Fukushima. There I am expecting to be involved with farmland transfer contracts. Please pray for my trip.

Yuki is still living with us and is trying to focus on recuperation; recently he was very ill with a severe itchy skin condition on his entire body. Because of the adrenal crisis, he has Hypoglycemia. Yuki stays home lying down in bed most of the time during the day; then he hardly sleeps during the night because of the itch. He is not able to talk very well; his voice sounds very weak. He has not recovered from Tendonitis. I attempted to encourage Yuki by reminding him that right now he is at rest from his music at this stage during his illness. My son said to me “Well I’ve never been able to worship Him as much like I am now (I believe he means worshiping Him by heart).” I was very encouraged to hear his response. But he is in a lot of pain, and his endurance is tested continuously. My wife Emiko (61years old) continues to take care of Yuki every day. Winter is coming, and we are hoping that they do not catch a cold over the season. Please continue to pray for both my son Yuki and my wife, Emiko.

Please pray for Masato’s growth and life training opportunities. Also, pray for his future marriage; there is someone whom he has been dating and might consider marrying.

Pastor Saito

Yumiko continues to study the book of Matthew every Tuesday and as you may have gathered from our previous reports she usually gets emotional when she reads the Bible stories. Yumiko is excellent at taking the initiative and reading on her own and seems to understand the concept of the sin and her sinful nature. She is at a point and understanding where she knows she should avoid worshipping the Shinto “Kamidana” in her daily life. We see that she is focused on the one true God. Please continue to pray for Yumiko as she is drawn into relationship with our Lord.

During our caravan evangelism in September with the Conservative Baptist group, we visited the Sannai area of Yokote-city. We went house to house sharing the gospel and our testimonies. Some families invited our group into their homes, and we realized that this sort of outreach is useful among mountain villages like the Sannai area. One lady named Mrs. Fujii had a positive response to our ministry, and we are hoping to develop a relationship with her. Please pray with us that she will be open to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of our church members Michiko, had a difficult situation this month. Her mother (who has dementia) is 80 years old fell and broke her pelvis and was hospitalized. It is a difficult circumstance right now because the hospital has discharged her mother, but before they let her go, she must find a home care facility. Most home care facilities are full, but she did manage to find one in the next town of Misato-cho. Even though this situation is complicated, one blessing is that while her mother was hospitalized Michiko was able to share the gospel with her mother by storytelling using picture cards that she received from us. Please pray for Michiko and her mother, Keiko. Also, for her mother’s husband who is 86 years old and is dealing with prostate cancer.

The Obu family joined us for Sunday service this month; we reported about this family last month. They suffered much during the heavy rains in July. We continuously pray for the salvation of the entire family.

The Harp concert performed by the missionary Catherine Porter was a success. It was such a wonderful concert for our local people, and several of our neighbors joined us.

Mahoko is a first grader who joined our YY kids program for the first time. The family recently moved from Tokyo and decided to visit our church. We are hoping that Mahoko will join us again and that the family will also come to church for one of our Sunday worship services.

  • Please pray for my health issues particularly for my Bronchitis. I feel the lack of physical strength and am in need of rejuvenation. Please pray that I can gain some weight.

Yuki my older son still lives with us and is focusing on his health and recuperation. Recently he had severe itching and, is still having difficulties over his skin conditions in his entire body. Because of the adrenal crisis, he has Hypoglycemia. Yuki describes his daily life as ‘such a painful life’; his faith in Christ is the only hope, he often listens to worship music to help him relax. My wife Emiko continues to take care of Yuki every day. They are both exhausted and do not sleep well. Emiko is losing weight these days, and lately, I do most of the errands such as grocery shopping, going to the post office, etc. Please continue to pray for both my son Yuki and my wife, Emiko.

  • Masato, my younger son, is praying about pursuing a graduate level study. Please pray for Masato’s growth and life training opportunities.

Thank you for giving to the Lord to expand the work of the ministry around the world!

Pastor Saito

Yumiko is a 34-year-old single woman who works at a local community center. We’ve been discipling Yumiko since last month by meeting with her on a weekly basis going through the Introductory Bible Study. Yumiko has a desire to continue studying the Bible, we have started the Book of Matthew, meeting each week. She says she often prays and seems to be growing in God’s written Word. Yumiko is the most vulnerable person I have met in my past 30-year pastoring experience. I’ve watched and observed her as she studies the word of God, and it seems that she is careful in fully letting God immerse her life. Yumiko has not professed her faith yet, but she has been bold to share her past and social solitude for many years. I don’t see her doubting God’s word but being careful of what her new life would look like in Jesus. Please help me pray for Yumiko, that she would surrender and trust her life to Jesus Christ, and that the Holy Spirit would confirm what she already knows in her heart and mind.

We had a visitor recently who asked for prayer for her brother who is not a Christian and resides in town. The lady who visited us lives in Saitama Prefecture (near Tokyo). She asked us to pray for her brother, who is not a Christian yet and lives in town, her brother’s name is Shinsuke. We received news from our visitor that her brother Shinsuke was working for a real estate company, and it just so happened that it was the same group who helped our church building’s deal. Unfortunately, Shinsuke works every Sunday, but we are hoping to establish a positive relationship with him since we are now connected through his sister as well as the real estate company. Please help us pray for Shinsuke and his salvation.

We will have our Welcoming Service in September, as well as a Harp performance from our missionaries from the U.K. A guest speaker from another church will lead our Sunday service. Another event we will have is the collaboration with our Conservative Baptist Caravan group which will have six additional people helping us pass out tracts to the local communities.

Please pray for my health issues particularly for my Bronchitis.
A few Sundays ago I was not feeling well because of a stomach ache and Bronchitis; but the Lord sustained and protected me during our worship services, praise God.

My son Yuki continues to live with us as he battles his illness. His skin condition over his entire body is still a great challenge. Because of the adrenal crisis, he has Hypoglycemia. He often loses his consciousness. Yuki describes his daily life as ‘such a painful life’; his faith in Christ is the only hope he has right now. My wife Emiko continues to take care of Yuki all day every day. They are both exhausted and are suffering from the lack of sleep. They manage to attend Sunday worship, but they have no energy left for attending other meetings during the week. Please pray for both my son Yuki and my wife Emiko, that the Lord would hear our prayers and my son and wife would have rest.

Masato was busy serving youth camps in August. He did a great job during each camp he visited. Masato had many opportunities to share short bible messages as well as his testimony.

Please pray for Masato’s spiritual growth so he will grow to be bold and take the Truth of God’s word into the world.

Prayer Request:

  • Please continue to pray for our guest members Taeko Obu and her family. Since our last report, they have had many challenges in getting back into a functioning home.
  • Please continue to pray for the healing of my son Yuki.
  • Please pray for my younger son Masato. He is a senior at Tokyo Christian University.

Pastor Saito

Summer 2017

Pastor Kazuhiko Saito
Yokote Bible Yasuragi Church (Japan Conservative Baptist Association)
[Yasuragi means contentment, ease, sanctuary etc.]

We reported last month that Yumiko discovered our bible study via the internet. We continue to meet with her on a weekly basis. Before attending our bible study, she was studying “new age doctrine,” however she has learned a lot about the bible since we started meeting with her. In August, we will focus on Salvation. Please continue to pray that Yumiko’s heart will be opened to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Thank you for your continuous prayers.

Taeko is a prep-school teacher who enjoys reading our hand-made tracts. Her heart seems to be softening, continue praying that she will continue to seek God’s word.

During the week we visited two women, they asked for a place where they can have a prayer workshop. We immediately found out that she was part of the new-age meditation and wanted to invite people to gather with her. Without hesitation, we let her know that we did not have a place for her prayer workshop. We are praying that these women will cut their relationship with Satan and that they would be awakened to the true gospel.

Our next Welcoming Service was held on August 6, and my wife Emiko shared her testimony. We are praying per our vision that 50 people will be the branches of our church.

On July 22nd and 23rd we had a regular one-month volume of rain within a 24-hour period, the area that was affected is Akita. We had many homes damaged, and over 40,000 people were told to evacuate their homes (1,872 homes were flooded). One of our guest members Taeko Obu had her home flooded above floor level. Her husband and daughter have had significant loss. Once the rain cleared, I helped the family clear the mud. They’ve been busy clearing out the damaged furniture. Taeko said it had been a good learning experience, and we are praying for the Obu family as we know that all things God works for His glory. They have reported that it will take a few months for the Obu family to recover from all the damages.

During our mid-July month, my health condition was not very stable because of the summer heat. Please pray that we persevere through the summer months and that I will serve with confidence and in good physical health during our church planning meetings.

At the end of July, my son Masato and I visited my relatives in my hometown in Fukushima. We attended some local festivities, but most of the time we visited relatives. It was such a great opportunity to share the gospel. Masato helps me with landscaping in the community, and I think it was a good witnessing opportunity.

My eldest son Yuki is still living with us. He is still battling a skin condition, and his fingers and hands are still disabled because of tenosynovitis. Yuki also has polyps on his throat because of Hypoglycemia so that he can hardly talk. He lies down most of the day but attends worship once a month. My wife takes care of Yuki all day every day. They’re both tired. Please pray for both my son Yuki and my wife Emiko (61-year old), that the Lord will strengthen them physically and spiritually as we go through this trial.

Masato, my younger son, began going to different youth camps and serving as a leader. He started with one junior high and one high school at Zion Kinshuko Lake in Iwate. In the same location, he also attended the elementary school and all grades near the Inzai-Makinohara Church campus in Chiba. Please pray for God’s protection over Masato.

Thank you for your prayers and support, Pastor Saito

Pastor Kazuhiko Saito Yokote Bible Yasuragi Church (Japan Conservative Baptist Association) (‘Yasuragi’ means contentment, ease, sanctuary etc.)

Yumiko is a lady who searched the internet and found our Introductory Bible study. Please remember Yumiko in your prayers, we started a bible study with her in July.

During the Father’s Day welcoming service in June, Kazuhito, and wife Koyuki who live in Daisen attended the service. We had prayed last month that they would attend. Thank you for the prayers, they were answered. We also had another couple Toru and his wife Obu who live in Omori attend the service. The preaching theme on that day was Creationism and the Cross. Toru attended service during Christmas, so this was his second time in his life to attend a church. Please pray for the salvation of both Kazuhito and Toru.

For YY Kids in June, Suzuna the 5th grade girl who lives nearby and Megumi the 2nd grader whose mother is a member of Jumonji church attended YY kids. We have been circulating flyers near schools and have placed posters in town, so please pray that more youth will be led to attend our group.

These last few days we noticed that people passing by take our New Testament tracts. We pray and hope that these resources are effectively used and that many people will be led to our church.

We heard an announcement from Japan’s Conservative Baptist Association that a team of 10 young people are being sent to our church on September 7th through September 9th. Praying for our good preparation.

Shige is the 83 years old lady who lived by herself in Yokote-shi. As mentioned last month, she was hospitalized and before being released they found a home care in the town of Jumonji. She seems to be very stable and satisfied living there. We were glad to hear about her update. She is planning to join worship service hopefully soon.

My health condition is not well this month. I am having issues with bronchitis and my stomach. Please pray for complete healing.

I am thankful for the opportunity to attend a Church Planting seminar held in Sendai city in July. I will also visit my hometown in Fukushima, and visit with my relatives. We will have a memorial event which involves some local Buddhist practices. I am praying that I can be a good witness there.

I am continuing my daily devotion focused on seeking His Will. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to come into our community and for the salvation of the people.

Yuki, our son is still living with us, and he is focused on recuperating from his skin conditions that has affected his entire body. Yuki has been battling this condition for so long that he is feeling emotionally tired. He has been under Hypoglycemic state so he must lie down most of the day. My wife takes good care of Yuki, but he often needs attention in the middle of the night, which make her very tired as well. Please pray for both, Yuki to recover from his illness and for my wife to be able to rest.

In mid-June, we received a call from Masato, our youngest son. He had requested prayer regarding some relationship issues. He said the issues have been resolved and the prayers were answered. Starting July 10, Masato will be a leader for the Summer Outreach Training group which will be held at the Shirahama Baptist Christ Church in Wakayama Prefecture. Then, he will have the opportunity to preach at Yuzawa Bible Baptist Church in Yuzawa city in Akita Prefecture. He will also serve at a youth camp in Sion KinshuLake, Iwate Prefecture. He will be a leader for children between elementary and high-schoolers. Masato could serve at a local camp near his school as well. The church is called Inzai Makinohara church. Please pray for Masato’ spiritual growth and for those serving opportunities during the summer.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Saito

Thank you for your prayers for our community.

Please pray for Taeko who continues to have a difficult time in her relationships at work as well as her home. She was planning to attend the church this month, but she did not attend, please pray that she may take all her concerns to God.

We recently had a local girl that is in 5th grade faithfully attend the YY Kids. Please pray that Suzana will make new friends at the church and would not feel alone.

Please pray for Shige who is 83 years old and lives by herself. Shige was hospitalized on March 22nd. She was scheduled to leave the hospital in May, however, the home care was not decent for her to move. Recently, they have found another home care nearby the church. The plan is to transfer her to the new location by the end of June. Shige will become a member of the church once she moves. This will be the same church where she started her walk of faith.

Please continue to pray for my health condition which seems to be getting better. I stopped taking the medication for my stomach from the doctor, and so far, I seem to wake up feeling well.  Pray for the complete healing of my body.

Yuki continues to have difficulties over his skin conditions. He is living with us to focus on recuperation. Because of his pain around his throat, he is having difficulty communicating verbally and communicates by writing to us. Please pray that the Lord will give him comfort during this difficult time with his skin condition.

Masato continues to attend school and has asked for prayer. He is having a difficult time with some relationships. Please pray for patience in his current situation.

Japan Conservative Baptist Association general assembly and the Akita Mission Band general assembly were held in May.  Both organizations decided to extend their financial support to our church for another year.

We are planning to have an outreach service on Fathers’ Day in June.  We are praying that God will lead the unsaved to this special service. We are praying that Kazuhito and Koyuki would attend the service.

We have been working on a couple of projects, such as creating a library of books and DVDs for our seekers to rent. We also have booklets available for the locals who are interested. Please pray that we will be inspired by God to have new ideas for the community.

The Lord has pressed these verses for the people in the church.

Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns” Jeremiah 4:3

And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains, pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Colossians 4:3-4

Please pray that the people will continue to seek God.

Keep the Faith, Pastor Kazuhiko

Summer 2016

I would like to share with you about a local lady named Hisako (she is single, in her fifties, and lives in Hirakamachi). We have had five sessions of Introductory Bible study with Hisako. Hisako says that she currently works as a New-age “counselor.” She shared with us about her multiple psychic experiences, which go back to her elementary-school student age. These days, Hisako says, “She has been misled by vicious ghosts.” She reads the Bible and is eager to study the words.

  • Please pray for Hisako, that she will become a believer in Christ, and cut off her connection to the satanic world. 
  • Please pray for our study of the Bible with Hisako.

A man in the community, by the name of Toru (he is 80 years old), takes his wife Taeko (she is from Omori and in her 70’s) to church every Sunday. The drive is about twenty-five minutes each way. However, recently, we learned that Toru has told Taeko not to bother inviting him to go into the church.

  • Please continue to pray for Toru, that his heart will be softened.  

We have received strange and harsh mail from someone that claims to be the COO of a local cab company in Yokote. The mail urged us not to get in touch with their company any longer. The strange thing is that we have never had any contact with this company or with its personnel. We have never used their services before. It is also strange as he says they are accusing us and will call the police; he is criticizing Christianity in his mail. We take this is a form of persecution, however, we have no idea why we received this mail. We are watching to see whether we will receive a second piece of mail from the same guy, or perhaps it will only be just the initial piece of mail. Typically, per our cultural code, we would not confront the other party in such a situation.

  • Please pray for this situation and the persecuting mail.

Shige (a single lady who is a believer and in her 80’s) has a prayer request about finding a sublet parking renter. The landlord decided not to rent out the space for parking to someone else. Shige still lives in the same place, and is thinking ahead about how well she could hang on to the situation during the winter.

  • Please pray for Shige and the sublet parking renter situation.

There is a couple, Mr. K. and Mrs. I., that often attend the worship at our group. They are officially members of another church, however, they have some relationship issues there. They are wondering if they should continue to come to our church or not.

  • Please pray for a wise decision on this, pray for the discernment on we should go about leading this couple. 

I am continuing to dwell on the verse “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some” – John 21:6. I think about what it means in the context of my own local mission “Peace to this House” almost every day. We will soon be attending a seminar about personal evangelism held in Sendai. We are also visiting brothers, relatives, and other friends in my hometown in the Fukushima region.

In June, I experienced severe eyestrain, I could hardly read anything else but the Bible; we did not know why. It is getting better, but now I have other health concerns too.

  • Please pray for my health, for my upper back, head, stomach, and for my bronchitis. 
  • Please pray for the ministry, pray for more local children to be lead to our YY Kids held on one Saturday a month.

Yuki (my older son who is 25 years old, is a professional recorder player, and lives in Tokyo) is continuing on his steroid withdrawal therapy. The situation is the same as previous reported after he had his second rebound of symptoms. His adrenal gland hypofunction causes Yuki to feel tired and he still has a skin problem. He has a difficult time walking because of the pain on his skin.

  • Please pray for Yuki, for healing and his mental welfare. Pray for God’s wisdom to be shown to him.
March 2016

Because of the snow and weather, February was a very difficult month for many people to attend church. We praise the Lord that the second removal of snow from the roof of the worship hall this past winter was done safely. We did not have any accidents related to the snow.

I would like to share with you about a few people that are in our community as well as some who attend our church.

Keiko, who is a married woman in her 80s, has been having great difficulties, even in just writing her name. She doesn’t know the Lord yet, but we are really hoping and praying that this year, she will come to know Christ.

  • Please pray for Keiko, for her salvation and for her difficulties to be eased.

Another elderly women, who is a non-believer and lives in a nearby town, visited our church confidentially away from her husband. She exhibits having a basic concept of God. She shared with us about their serious problem as a couple.

  • Please pray for the anonymous women, for her salvation, and an answer to the serious problem in their marriage. 

Emiko, a 60-year-old woman who is a believer, was asked to play the recorder, in a concert, by a local group (Those Who Love Nature). The sheet music is entitled “Enjoy Bach with the Recorder.” She also will be speaking there too.

  • Pray that the Holy Spirit leads Emiko during this event.

Tomoko is a 39-year-old woman who had Hepatitis B and was hospitalized. She is set to be released soon. She has two children, one under the age of 1 and the other one is 3.

  • Please pray for Tomoko, her health, and for her family.

We have invited people amongst the Conservative Baptist Alliance churches, nearby in the prefectures of Yamagata and Akita, to come to our church to form a team of local “Evangelism Caravans.” We have received a free gift of multiple tracts from EHC, a group known for “Christian vision family support” publishers. We are hoping that this team of 15 people will assist us in circulating an informational flyer of our church and outreach events, as well as distribute tracts to the local community in the town of Omori, between March 31 and April 2. There are 2,200 households in this town.

We have received the result of the 2015 poll. This poll is held once every four years. In our prefecture of Akita, we recorded the highest decreasing rate of population for the fourth consecutive time since 2000. This past year, our population was 1,022,839.

  • Please pray for God’s Wisdom to come upon us in preparing for the new term as we are entering into a new Japanese calendar year (April 2016-March 2017).
  • Please pray continuously for my wife and I to meet more new people.
  • Please continue to pray for my sons: Yuki (eldest son who is 25), he is a professional recorder player, and Masato (he is 22); he is a sophomore at the Tokyo Christian University.

Thank you for your prayers! My health has improved and I have been feeling better, but recently, I have had some problems with my hand. It is a rheumatism-like symptom. I am going to see a doctor soon for testing. When I was a child, I had rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Please continue to pray for my health and my hand.
February 2016

We continue to distribute tracts about our church throughout Hirakamachi town and Yokote city.

  • Please pray with us that the Lord will use our church to lead the lost to Himself

Keiko, an 80-year-old woman, came to our worship service twice last month. She has dementia, so I’m not sure exactly how much she is able to understand.

  • Please pray for her to come as often as she is able and that the Word will take root in her heart

Taeko continues to attend our church and we have a good relationship with her. However, she is the one whom we told you about last month who is having trouble with one of our church members. Come to find out, she has issues at work and at home. We had the opportunity to share some verses from the Bible with her when she came over for dinner recently.

  • Pray our relationship will continue to grow and that Taeko will respond positively to the gospel
  • Pray for wisdom as we counsel her regarding relationships

We are grateful to the Lord for bringing three children to our YY Kids club, which is held once a month on a Saturday. They are Kazuho (5th grade), Suzuna (3rd grade), and Rio (3rd grade). Other than these three, there are no other children who are interested in joining us. Either there is no interest or the parents are forbidding them to come.

  • Pray the Lord will continue to lead this ministry 

I have a non-Christian friend with whom I’ve been meeting monthly. His name is Katsunori and he is 53 years old.

  • Pray for Katsunori’s salvation

There are others for whom we wish you to pray:

Koyuki had eye surgery last month and still feels very weak; however, she managed to attend worship services.

Tomoko is a visitor who is due to give birth some time this month. This is her second child.

Junko Terui came to our fellowship on September 20. This was the first time I had seen her in 15 years. She is a non-active member of Yokote Bible Baptist Church. She said she would be happy to visit us again, but that she works many Sundays. Another surprise visitor was a man named Atsushi. My wife met him at the local orchestra meeting.

  • Pray each of these people will return to hear the word of the Lord

We had the opportunity to report about our church-planting efforts in the Yokote area at the regional conservative Baptist group gathering last month. Two hundred-fifty people were there and heard how the Lord is at work in the ministry.

Although I am still on medication, I give thanks and praise to God because I am almost completely healed. In other news regarding my family, my wife Emiko is still active in a local music group, playing the clarinet. I am participating in a local choral group and discovered that one of the soprano singers is a Christian. My son Yuki continues to struggle physically because of his severe atopic dermatitis. He has unbearable sores and because of the physical pain, he is struggling mentally, too. Please pray for his complete healing. He hopes that this will be gone so that he can study abroad next year. Pray he will trust in God.

Pastor Kazuhiko

Overlooking a bend in the river in the city of Yokote. From this vantage point you can be reminded to pray for all the people who need to hear about the love of Jesus.

Overlooking a bend in the river in the city of Yokote. From this vantage point you can be reminded to pray for all the people who need to hear about the love of Jesus.