Winter (December 202l, January and February 2022)

Dear Friend in Christ,


First, I want to catch up with additional news from Summer and Autumn of 2021. On 27 July, 3 lady “missionaries” from Italy (living and ministering in Japan) came into the Rescue Mission, took much printed literature, including copies of Vanity of Vanities (the prayer book) to send into a prison in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. They are not allowed to go inside the prison to minister in person. But I am most thankful they have obtained permission to send in literature. Pray with me, that God will spread my literature widely in prisons in Japan, resulting in them asking for more from me. Call on God to stir up prisoners to earnestly pray those prayers. Several of you have prayed as I requested, for an opening to prisons. Thank you for praying, and the Gospel literature going in, is a definite answer to your prayers, I do believe.

As I regularly preach in public in Japan, seldom does anyone stop to question me or to listen. So, I am most pleased the few, rare times this happens. Saturday night 7 August, after closing the Rescue Mission, I was singing hymns at the edge of a supermarket parking lot where I regularly refurbish my grubstake. A sullen face guy about 20 years old walking past me stops and asks me what I was doing (his attitude precisely neutral between rude and friendly). ‘I’m singing praise to your Creator God.’ I was surprised that he then “parked” himself beside me to listen. I soon gave him my calling card, asking him to view the prayers on my web site. I told him he’ll exist forever, and the most important thing for him to do while on earth is to trust in Christ, to avoid Hell and to enter Heaven. He listened silently, soon went into the supermarket, came back out in 5 minutes or so, to again “park” beside me (praise God for drawing him) to listen to more of my singing. I picked the next song accordingly and spoke briefly to him between verses. He soon left in silence. As best I recall, he spoke nothing after his initial question. Save him, Lord, we all plead in agreement.!’.

Since Summer 2014, God has enabled me to rent a “Summer Rescue Mission” store space in Karuizawa. A few days after I first opened in 2014, a Japanese mother came in with her 3 children, 2 girls (the oldest was 5) and a tiny baby boy. They live in Tokyo but spend weeks of hot summers here in cool Karuizawa, in the Mother’s parents’ large house, I think. The Mother is quiet and soft spoken, but her 3 children are the opposite. The 5-year-old girl talked to me bossy-like. They have come faithfully each year, to buy the dirt-cheap used trinkets & such. The 3 kids commonly speak to me in a most rude manner, and are prone to mess with most everything in the small store space, their quiet mother almost never rebuking their rudeness. I steadily became stricter with them, rebuking them for rudeness. I spoke of Christ and salvation. I have become increasingly stern with them, thinking it will cause them to stay away, but they like my prices. The saving Gospel flows into their ears from my mouth, cassette tapes, and CDs.

Each summer, they faithfully show up to “vex” me with their rudeness (similar to bulls in a china shop). For the past 3 summers or so, their aunt and her 3 polite children (cousins of the rude ones) have come with them. One cousin is a boy now about 14 years old. He is most polite, looks carefully over the Gospel in print and often takes 1 book, tract, or placard prayer or such, each time. Pray for our Lord to save him, and all this extended family.

On Sunday 22 August, I preached to the 5 souls attending the church in Takasaki City (3 of them being the pastor’s family). Please pray with me for our Lord to revive the pastor and the members, and bring in more souls to attend on Sundays.

Thru out summer this year (2021), Covid steadily increased in Japan. Far above average rainfall steadily fell on much of this tiny nation, causing death, injury & loss of dwelling & possessions. Lack of sunshine & too much rain decreased crop yields. Lost Japanese around me are gloomy, fearful of death, but most of them are still just as stubbornly set against God their Creator. I strive more than ever to make my daily preaching in public more straight and pointed: ‘Come to the Saviour to be eternally saved & blessed. Refuse Christ & you will burn in Hell fire forever without remedy or release.’ Please intercede with me for their salvation.

On 24 August, a Buddhist monk came into the Rescue Mission, greeting me most friendly and telling me right off that he was a Buddhist monk. Most all Buddhist monks that walk past the rescue mission fiercely avoid it with a passion, upon seeing the wonderful prayer on the large billboard overhead the doorway. I was kind to him. He looked at my Christian literature and such and took a tape of Gospel singing in Japanese. He chose the tape of songs to his liking & soon left. ‘Lord Jesus, Mercy upon him please, to save him out the devil’s religion!’

This autumn (2021), a quiet Japanese man (appears to be in mid-twenties) has come into the Rescue Mission 2 or more times. He takes his time looking thru the Christian literature, audio & Bibles. Then he selects 1 or 2 items from those, to take with him. The 2nd or 3rd time he came, I spoke to him of the necessity and simplicity of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ, also saying that I believe that the end of the world is near, and that perils of life will steadily keep increasing till Christ raptures out believers. He listened well. I asked him where he lived and invited him to come hear me preach at the church I preach in, closest to his house. I do not know his name. So, please pray for the quiet young man to yield to his Creator & do His Will.

Of the few passersby brave enough to step into the rescue mission; most do so to buy from the “wares” I have for sale. I have a sign posted out front, “please bring me your unneeded items”. Affluent Japanese around here bring much, mainly clothes, chinaware (dishes of all kinds), various other home appliances, stationery items & writing materials, and toys and other children’s items. I price them from 10 cents on up, the price I put on most items being less than 10% of what the item cost new.

My friend reading this, some folks who hate Christ, but just can’t resist such a bargain price, just about grit their teeth, as they force themselves to come in to get the bargain. Some who are walking by with a few friends, will pass their coins to a friend as they stand in the street in front of my place, tell the friend what to buy, have the brave (actually less of a Christ-hater) friend come in, quickly make the purchase, flee my presence, and pass the goods on to the Christ-hater out front who paid for them. O Sinful rebels.

Most of the few people who come inside will not tolerate much speech from me. Thus I keep my speech short and “meaty”. One day, a mother came in looking at ladies’ clothes. Her daughter with her (appeared to be 15 years-old or so) had no real interest in anything here, but to pass time waiting for her mom, she went to my broad Christian literature display, picked up a tract & began looking at it. Glory!

I was about 7 feet from her. I knew not to approach her because my presence was likely to be disgusting to her. So from that distance, in a quiet (non-pushy) voice, I said ‘You are welcome to take any of the literature with you, for free’. My speech caused her to put down the tract in a flash, and not pick up any more literature. In most cases, any friendly words from me have such a negative effect instead of the positive effect I so desired. The devil has their souls in such a rebellious mess.

‘Lord, save these precious proud souls, I plead.’ You praying friends who intercede for their eternal welfare, thanks so much. 

By God’s Great Grace, I manned the rescue mission in Karuizawa thru November 3rd, and then closed down for the winter, as planned. I had presented salvation in Jesus Christ to a wide variety of souls. May the Holy Spirit convict. May our Lord save many. More poor folks are coming in to buy used, dirt-cheap chinaware, clothes, etc., as their purse strings tighten due to Covid & such. May they trust in Christ Jesus!

You well know that sin-loving, money-loving people turn the loveliest spots of creation into exceedingly sinful places for people who flock there for FUN. I first came to Karuizawa in March 1975 to study Japanese in the missionary language school here. Elderly Brother Suzuki was one of my teachers in that school. Years before I arrived, he had successfully petitioned town hall to not allow bars, pachinko parlors and “love hotels” to operate in this town. Even before he died in his mid nineties, back about the turn of the century, already town hall and mammon loving merchants were increasingly ignoring those town rules (that were more or less laws), and the number of bars was steadily increasing till now this town is drowning in strong drink.

The most active “hub” area of this tourist town has much foot traffic, as is common of tourist traps. Now, “front window” service of a small hut bar is a common site, pedestrians not going 2 steps off their paths to order a “shot”, down it, and walk on more drunken than before. Delivery vans are made into mobile bars. The owner drives his mobile liquor store and parks it where sales are promising. “Lord God, stop it!”

That mobile bartender and a planet full of rebellious sinners are soon to be most shocked when death overtakes each of them, and they find themselves engulfed in the flames of Hell, desiring (as the rich man in Luke 16) just one drop of water to cool their tongues “for I am tormented in this flame”. Never, forever, will they get that one-drop of water. How gravely it behooves us who know that truth to do all we possibly can, in warning them not to go to Hell.

Upon closing the mission for this year, from 4 November on, again, I was most blessed to do much outdoor evangelism amidst lovely rural autumn scenery in Gunma Prefecture, where I live. I walked from door-to-door, leaving the saving Gospel in print. I stood singing praise to our God, most anywhere souls were within hearing. the humble shall hear…and be glad.” (Psalms 34:2.) The result was, that it didn’t surprise me at all that there were ever so few humble souls among the many around me. God bless you for supporting me to be here to exault Christ thus wise..

On Sunday 10 October, my friend (Missionary Pastor Dan) let me preach in his church in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture, 20 miles or so from my rescue mission in Karuizawa. Dan and family 1st arrived in Japan in 1984 Brother Dan’s faithfulness on this hard and plenty barren mission field is a blessing to me, and I strive to be a blessing and encouragement to his family. He rented an old house 20 years or so ago, renovated it, making it into an old fashioned looking, cozy little church. Peak attendance reached up to more than 30 people attending Sunday morning church years ago. But then Satan entered in the form of newcomers and tore up church, regretfully. This Sunday I preached in October 2021, three Japanese believers attended, along with Pastor Dan, wife, and their 1 daughter living in their house. (They have 5 adult children, 3 now living in USA and 2 in Japan.) I preached my heart out to those 6 souls and our Lord made it a blessing to us all. Pray for our Lord’s blessings on Brother Dan’s Missionary Family.

Thus far, I have shared news of summer and autumn of 2021. Now comes my news of the winter of 2021-2022.

On Saturday December 4, 2021, I traveled by train from my main house in Gunma Prefecture to Mino Mission in Mie Prefecture and the next day preached in 3 churches in that area at 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM & 7 PM. It was glorious! The following Wednesday night I taught Bible at the 7:30 PM service at Tomidahama Bible Church where I was lodging. The following night, I taught Bible at the Oogaki Bible Church.

On Saturday afternoon, December 11, I attended the Tomidahama church’s Christmas service for children. A good number of neighborhood children (who do not attend any church regularly) came. A few unsaved, unchurched mothers came with their child or children. Christmas season presents extra opportunities to preach of the Saviour to people who come at no other time.  

And on Sunday December 12, I preached at the 10:30 AM and 7 PM services at the Tomidahama church and departed for my place in southern Japan on Tuesday the 14th. During the 8 days I was there, I walked many crowded residential streets, putting that postcard size prayer into about 3,000 mailboxes. Please pray for those families to pray that wonderful prayer from their hearts to be saved.

About one year ago, in my news, I wrote of the Chinese lady living in this area who stopped and talked to me as I sang out front of Gifu Train Station. She came to Pastor Jeff’s church upon my invitation to hear me preach. She confesses to be a Christian. She attended Jeff’s church about 2 more times after I left that area in early March last year. When I returned there this past December, she agreed to meet me outside the train station near her house. We talked together and I prayed for her and for her family. She is in very poor health. Please pray for our Lord to heal her and to perfect her every way. 

Upon arriving at my southern place in Ibusuki City, Kagoshima Prefecture on December 14th, till 26 February, daily I broadcast the Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ just about to the fullest extent of my ability. I rejoiced to see that some hearts are warming up to Truth. I know your prayers for these lost Japanese are bringing Holy Ghost Power & Conviction down upon those who hear. God bless you for praying. I plead with you to keep it up. There in Ibusuki City, if any person of any age shows any interest in hearing about Jesus Christ, immense pressure comes down upon them from friends, classmates at school, school teachers, fellow workers, neighbors, and any other local Japanese the interested person is in touch with. Prayer Warrior, please pray for the Holy Ghost to draw souls to Christ & to give them boldness to stand against all persons and devils that fight to keep that person from trusting in the Saviour of all the earth.

Thank you for caring, for praying, for interceding, and for giving to help me. May our Lord richly bless you for it all.

Christ’s servant in Japan,     

Richard Yerby  



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