English Class Visitors (Continued)
In our last prayer letter, I mentioned several English class ladies, who had started to come to our Sunday afternoon Bible class. I am happy to say that Mieko, Sumie, Yoshiko, and Yuechin have been continuing to come faithfully, studying God’s Word, and learning more and more about who God is. Thank you so much for your prayers over them. There is still a long road ahead of them as they continue to learn more fully their need for salvation, and the gift of redemption offered to them by Christ Jesus. So please continue to keep them in your prayers!
The “Blizzard of 2014”
In February, we experienced similar weather to what many of you back in the States are “enjoying.” In Tokyo, there is very little snowfall. We usually get a few inches of snow in February or March, which clears up after a few days. But this year, in mid-February we were hit with the biggest snowfall in 45 years which accumulated over a foot of snow on one weekend, followed by the biggest snowfall EVER RECORDED (over a foot and a half) the next weekend! Our area shut down for several days because traffic just couldn’t get anywhere. It took us a while just to drive out of our neighborhood, simply because the streets are so narrow that there was no place to shovel the snow to clear a path wide enough to fit a car! But again, God used this time for His glory, in that as our whole neighborhood was out shoveling snow, God gave us the chance to meet and get to know several people that we had never met before, as well as continue developing and strengthening our relationship with Norio and Mieko (see the December 2013 prayer letter) as we got together to help out different areas of our neighborhood.
Sanae’s Sweet Salvation
Sane Nakahara started coming to church in October of 2009. Through the years, she has come faithfully, many times asking questions about the Bible, God, and the necessity for salvation. The questions haven’t always been easy. 🙂 But over the years, her heart has been tenderly drawn by the Holy Spirit to a desire to become a follower of Jesus. At the end of February, we had supporting pastor Darrell Hurst and his wife Grace come visit us for a few days, and during the midweek service, Pastor Hurst gave his testimony. While our church folks were fellowshipping afterwards, Sanae said to me, “Steve, I want to have that passion to serve Jesus like Mary Magdalene and Mary, Martha’s sister did.” I replied, “That’s a good desire to have, but you need to understand WHY they had that passion to serve Jesus. They didn’t serve Jesus because they wanted to be accepted by Him, but rather, Jesus had already accepted them in their sinful condition, and they were responding to the forgiveness He gave them, by serving Him out of thankfulness. There’s nothing that you can do in your own strength to be accepted by Jesus. But He WILL accept you the way you are, and then you too can serve Him out of thankfulness.” She thought about the answer I gave her for a few minutes, and then asked for everyone’s attention. “All right, everyone. I’m going to ask Jesus to save me!” So we prayed there at the table, asking Jesus to save her as she was, surrounded by her newly joined brothers and sisters in Christ! Sweet tears of joy flowed that evening as another precious soul joined our family in Christ!
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