Last week was amazing! We started off driving to Milan, Tn for a missions conference at Immanuel Baptist Church. Pastor Howell was a blessing to us, and let us stay in their ministry retreat cabin. It was also a joy to be there with the Marks Family, who are friends of ours as well as missionaries to Japan! It’s been a while since I’ve sat in the audience and heard someone else pour out their heart for Japan. It stirred up a greater passion in me to get to Japan with the Gospel!
After the Conference we drove up to New York, and on the way where able to make a pit stop and Rebel’s Parents house. New York is a long way, so it was very nice to be able to stay with them. Thanks always for opening your home to us!
A Pastor friend of mine, David Poston got married in New York, and we are glad we could be there with him. David has been a dear friend of mine, and has done much for us in getting to Japan. We are blessed to have him and his wife Emily, as our friends.
Sunday we had two meetings in PA. Sunday morning was at Grace Bible Baptist with Pastor Hain. We were encouraged by preaching and singing of this wonderful church!
Sunday night we were with Pastor Hogue at Community Baptist in Curwensville, PA. Thank you Pastor Hogue for the opportunity to preach and for opening your home to us for the night. We greatly enjoyed the fellowship and will be missing you guys!
On the way home our car overheated, but fortunately we were stopped where I could get some coolant. It was a gallon low! I’m thankful to the Lord our car made the 2,379 mile trip with no other problems!
Chikushino is a rapidly growing city not far from Fukuoka, Japan, which is the largest city on Kyushu Island. Over the past decade, its continual development has caused the population to soar to 101,621 with a density of about 3,000 people per a square mile!
Futsukaichi Onsen is a popular hot spring on the outskirts of Chikushino City. This Onsen (hot spring) is believed to heal the diseases of all those that enter. Its original name Yakushi-no-Yu (meaning hot water able to cure all ill) Came from a legend about a Buddhist monk who built Buzo-ji Temple in the middle of the nearby mountain (Mt. Tenpai). His daughter suffered from a terrible skin disease and offered prayers for her healing. One night he had a dream in which a Buddha told him to dig for a hot spring in the nearby field, and to have her bathe in it. He followed the advice and she recovered completely, according to the legend.
There are many other legends about the origins of hot springs that involves advice by Buddha, and that they would heal diseases. All this Reminded me of John 5 “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” At the same pool lay a diseased man that had been waiting to be healed for 38 years. I’d imagine he had searched many places for a cure to his disease. Its hard to think of the despair he must have faced, never finding that which would make him whole, always struggling and never arriving at the pool in time. That is, until Jesus came! Jesus cured the man, making him whole!
Can you see it? Can you see the great multitude of impotent folk? The Blind? The Halt and Withered?
Those that are doomed in their sins, never finding the cure, always struggling and never arriving? How large a multitude! They fill the world! They turn to Buddha, Shinto, or nature for relief from their disease, yet neverfinding lasting satisfaction! There is one hope for them! Only one! Jesus! When is the last time you told someone about Him?
The Lord has continuously been good to us on the road! Our meetings this past Sunday and Wednesday were short in distance and great in kindness!
Wednesday we visited Jefferson Lighthouse Baptist Church, and what a blessing to see a church still shining the Light of the Gospel! Pastor Whitman preached on taking the Gospel into all the world! What a joy it was to hear his passion for missions! I especially enjoyed the Lighthouse, in front of the church, that served as a constant reminder of our purpose to shine the Light into a dark world!
I had met Pastor Whitman and his family before in a revival meeting, and it was great to see this loving family again. He invited us back to present our ministry in August. We ask that you would pray that the meeting would go well!
Sunday Morning we went to Pond Fork Baptist, and got to hear Pastor Johnny Knight preach about the Ethiopian Eunuch. What an encouragement to remember how God can put us in the right place at the right time to be a witness for Him!
Sunday Evening we had the opportunity to be with Pastor Bill Manus at Ridgeway Baptist. When I was raising support as a student missionary to Peru, this church helped me get there. It was a blessing to be back with them again. Mike and Hope Holden, who are some old friends of ours, are now members there, and it was funny to see their faces as we walked through the door! We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, and it was a joy to see them again!
Pastor Manus had me share our burden for Japan, took up a love offering, and invited me back to preach! We look forward to being with you guys again!