Spring 2023 (March, April, May)

Dear Friend in Christ,


March 4th, I headed back northeast from southern Japan where I had been since 20 December. God gave me many days of good weather in that mild climate. That (along with a burning desire to let the Light of God shine into darkened hearts) fired me up to do much outdoor evangelism, abiding with my Lord without the camp. In the past, devilish opposition has always been strong on that southern island of Kyushu. But this time it was furious, stronger than ever before, I think. “Having done all, stand.”

And as I stood in their adamant faces, (“Be not dismayed at their faces.”), I was so blessed to clearly see the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of several children, a few teens, and a scant few adults. Please intercede for the following adults, captives of Satan.

The chain-smoker man: Weekdays, he commutes by train to Nigatsuden Station, next to my house. As soon as he alights from the train, he is getting out a cigarette as he walks out from the small station building, & he lights up & starts smoking it right in front of the entrance to my property. I have watched him do that for about 4 years now, slowly committing suicide by inhaling that poison.

I often come out of my house at that time to sing hymns to the good number of souls alighting from that train, or boarding it. At first, he showed an angry face at me singing wonderful hymns so close to him, tho I was on my own private property (onto which he was blowing stinking smoke). And he would angrily stalk on out the street a ways, stop & smoke there, still within hearing of my singing. He never greeted me for 2 years or so. (Please keep in mind that I am there less than 3 months each year.)

But a year ago, he began to greet me genuinely friendly, continuing to do so this year. May Christ save him.

The demonic screaming pacer: He commutes from this station. When he daily departs in the morning, he arrives there on his bicycle more than 5 minutes before the train arrives. If I am there singing praises to God, he immediately starts pacing up & down the station platform, nervous-like, and angry. At times, he will scream out most furiously. The other Japanese there who hear that screaming, simply ignore him. Likely they know it is the devil in him. Intercede for God to set this captive free from devils & all evil forces, I beg.

The woman who hides her face: With her hat or umbrella, this woman commuter hides her face from most everyone around her, but especially from me. Afternoons, if I come out to start singing, often she is sitting on the short bench next to the station building, on the side nearest to my house. When she sees or hears me, she angrily gets up & stalks further away, while badmouthing me somewhat loudly. I have strained mine ears to catch her words, but have not yet understood one word. She is speaking so fast & furiously. And the words might not be Japanese, but rather another language spoken by devils inside her. Pray for her. These 3 eternal souls are somewhat typical of my daily encounters with the human race around me, as I let the Light shine. I am so ever blessed!

I thank each & every one of you who intercede for these souls, & who pray for my welfare also. Possibly some of them try to call on demons to harm me.

“Thank Thee, my Lord Jesus, for Thy Protecting Blood, & for angels around us to guard us children of Thine. Amen.”

On Saturday March 4th, I rode 4 trains northeast to Mino Mission’s Tomidahama Bible Church to again lodge in their prophet chamber in the small church loft. The following morning, I went by train to Missionary Pastor Jeff Brigham’s church in Anjo City to preach in the morning service there, and to fellowship a while after with the church people before returning to Tomidahama church to preach in the 7 PM service. Then Wednesday 7:30 PM in this church, and Thursday 7 PM in Oogaki Bible Church, to depart Mino Mission and return to my “main” house in Matsuida Town, Gunma Prefecture, where it feels most good to return to, in the Spring, just at lovely springtime when much plant life is blossoming and blooming .

From then on, I did much outdoor evangelism at that time, to gaze upon the numerous trees, bushes & flowers blooming out around me in rural central Japan. To me, outdoor preaching, singing & leaving printed Gospel from house to house, is Joy Unspeakable & Full of Glory. Please intercede with me for strong conviction & Holy Ghost Power upon the hearers & readers of the Gospel I get out. Let’s pray for Christ to break each & every bond that Satan is using to keep these Japanese idol worshippers from Christ. Peer pressure is a strong bond for the kids & teenagers. Parents & schoolteachers are strong bonds that bind grammar school kids. Adults are firmly set in their stubborn hard hearts and to allegiance to their family’s religion. Praise their Creator, nothing is impossible for Him!

When I first started interacting with Japanese children and teenagers in early 1974, just about all of them would flock to me, the little one climbing onto my lap when I sat, or climbed onto my back when I was standing. Presently, most of them scoot away from me in public when they approach me or when I approach them, keeping distant from me.

“Well, Old Man Richard, that’s because you were a young handsome man 50 years ago. But now you are a rugged-looking old codger.”

Likely, that is a small part of it. But it is mainly due to adults in charge of them warning them that I am a terrible person, to be avoided. And due to the little ones and young ones constantly staring at numerous likenesses of devils on every kind of glowing screen imaginable ever since they were 1 year old or so, bringing them under the control of those devils, which bring great fear upon the kids under 12 years old, when they sight me. I am referring mainly to cartoon characters, animated characters, in comic books and on moving picture screens. Most all of these that are not likenesses of human beings, are likenesses of demons. The same is true of the cartoon characters that your children in US of A stare at hypnotically. 

‘Lord Jesus, set them all free from all satanic power that binds them.’

One afternoon, I went out to the corner near my house, where the jr hi school is catty-corner on the opposite side of the intersection, set out my stand with a small basket of packets of “Prayer Balloons”, and sang hymns as jr hi kids filed past, hoofing it away from school after 3:30 PM.

On the stand with the packets of balloons, I’d fixed a sign saying: “Please take a packet of Jesus Balloons.” As I have told you readers before, on one side of each balloon is a “confession” such as “Lord Jesus Christ, Thou art Love”. On the opposite side of the balloon is printed a “plea”, “Lord Jesus, please fill my heart with God’s Pure, Upright Love.”

(I have 12 various such prayers printed on balloons, one prayer per balloon, of course, and I put an assortment in each bag.) There are 11 different colors of balloons, most colorful! While singing hymns as these teens file by, I earnestly plead for the Holy Spirit to draw them to take a packet of balloons. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zec. 4:6) This day, more than a dozen teens took a packet, of their own free will, in spite of peer pressure & schoolteacher pressure against them doing so. Abba Father, do not let a one of them perish!” Intercessor Friend, join me in that prayer for them, please!

On Saturday 29 April, as is my annual custom, I reopened the Rescue Mission in the mountain resort town of Karuizawa, having closed it down for the winter back on 3 Nov. From 29 April thru 6 May or so, is known as Golden Week in Japan, because during those 8 days, there are 4 Japanese holidays, making for a golden week of opportunities for Japanese idol worshippers to chase after the things of the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life).

This year, that vain rushing to and fro, chasing after those vain things that perish, was somewhat more boisterous than usual, because of recent lifting of several restrictions that had been imposed due to Covid. The multitude of eternal souls coming my way was large, and the weather was good. A good number of souls came into the Rescue Mission, mainly to buy the recycle goods I put out. But, while in my place, they hear & see much Saving Gospel, praise God.

A young Chinese lady (early 20s?) came in to look around & soon began talking to me friendly. I soon told her that I am a missionary, teaching about Jesus Christ. I asked her if she knew about Jesus. She smiled and said a favorite aunt of hers and also 1 good friend of hers back in China are Christians. She indicated that she was impressed by the good life each of them lived. I told her that those 2 people who are dear to her, would rejoice if she trusted in Christ.

She & I are talking in Japanese, tho she is Chinese. Most Bible literature I put out to be taken free is written in Japanese. But I have 1 pamphlet in Chinese. I showed it to her, telling her I would like her to have it, if she desired it. (Overly zealous fishers of men, in such cases, thrust that literature upon the person. I do not think that is pleasing to God, and in most cases, it’s not pleasing to the person it is thrust upon.) She took it quite eagerly, thank God. Her heart was open to what I said. Pray for her salvation, please.

Another day, a young Japanese lady (about 30?) came in, saying her Christian friend (a Japanese woman) had told her that she should become a Christian. So, “Do you have a book that is an introduction to Christianity?” She asked me. Of course, she needs to be introduced to her Creator God and soon-coming Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ. Typically, a Japanese who asks for a book that introduces Christianity, has in mind a book that gives the history of the religion and the man-made rules & regulations that a follower of that religion is to follow. I strove to gently tell her that she needs to call upon the Name of Jesus Christ to reveal Himself to her, and to read the Holy Bible, and this book of prayers, as I held up my book of prayers titled. Vanity Of Vanities. She took the book (& chose and took 1 or 2 tracts, I think). Pray for God to shine His Light into her dark heart.

These 2 ladies didn’t tell me their names. Also, I don’t give names in this worldwide newsletter. God will know for whom you are praying.

Try to keep in mind that I live in Matsuida Town, at the foot of this mountain range where cooler Karuizawa Town (location of the summer rescue mission) sets atop the mountains.

Please pray that God will enable me to lease the vacant lot behind Matsuida Post Office, if that be His Will. I desire to use it for soul winning. It is on the narrow back street that runs behind the PO. The location of this vacant lot is highly visible, making it ideal for billboard prayers, and other “missionary” uses I have in mind. I hope to request the owner to lease it to me in late October this year, Lord willing. Pray for God to prepare the owner’s heart.

May our Lord richly bless you for praying, for giving generously, and for caring for me & for the lost Buddhist souls to whom I preach Christ. Time remaining is ever so short!

Daily, these perilous times are growing more perilous. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” May each of us faithfully occupy until Christ comes for us. Rich blessings be upon you!

Christ’s servant in Japan,   

Richard Yerby


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