“We come for the Bible message”
After the 2011 tsunami, Mrs Ansai, a 75-year-old church member who lived in a country area south of Sendai, was zealous to evangelise her friends—so she invited them to a simple lunch followed by a Bible message which I gave. She called it “the Hallelujah meeting”. As we continued to meet, it grew to 35 people. We moved to a bigger venue and other Christians came to help us.
We have a Japanese “obento” (boxed lunch) followed by cakes made by my wife Glenda, lots of hymn singing, an evangelistic talk, and closing with games led by a lively Japanese housewife. Most of the attendees are in their 80s. Another missionary couple has moved into the area and started Sunday services in the same venue and we are cooperating in the new church plant.
Mrs Ansai has now gone on to heaven, but this story shows what can happen when an old lady who loves the Lord teams up with a missionary who loves his Bible. Jesus builds his church! The Hallelujah meeting is continuing and is always lively and enjoyable despite the average age.
Last year as we prepared to go on home assignment, we said goodbye to the cheerful group and said things like, “See you in a few months.” One little old lady came up afterward, grasped me by the hand and said intensely, “We come for the Bible message.” Her friend repeated the same thing, “We come for the Bible message.” Not the food, or the fun with friends, but the good news of Jesus! What a joy for a missionary to hear that.
I have dedicated my life to teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in Japanese—clearly, evangelistically, and in dependence on the Holy Spirit’s power. My prayer is that someone who reads this, will do the same. Peter said, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4 RSV). Why not make this your priority in life too?
By Rod Thomas, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that God would bring forth many Japanese Christians who are keen to tell their friends about Jesus.
- Pray for good partnerships between Japanese Christians and missionaries such as we’ve read about here.
- Pray that many elderly Japanese people (more than ¼ of the population) will hear the gospel and believe.