I request your prayers today for an incredible ministry opportunity. The mother of a church elder died on Sunday night and the funeral will be this afternoon. Mrs. Yonemoto was an elderly lady who trusted in Christ and was baptized just a few weeks ago. As Elder Yonemoto holds a high position with the Japanese public television company, we are expecting perhaps 130-200 unsaved guests today at Honda Chapel for her funeral. Many of these people have never been to a church or heard any part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Dan Iverson, our team leader, will be conducting the service and will share the joy that is our's for eternal life in Christ. The choir will sing, and God's family will be there to worship and sing praises to Him.
I have had several of my English students share with me previously that they have attended Christian funerals and found them to be so different from their own Buddhist ceremonies -- so joyous, in comparison. One of my students who is a Christian also spoke of her experience attending Buddhist ceremonies for unsaved family members and how she was able to share her own sure hope at that time.
Please pray that the funeral guests will see the love that the church members have for one another, that they will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ with not just their ears but with their hearts, and that they will respond in faith -- or that the seeds of faith will be planted. God's Word tells us:
Please pray that God will purpose for His Word to bring new life to many who hear His Word today! And please pray for the Yonemoto family as they mourn the loss of their mother and grandmother, but rejoice that she trusted in Jesus Christ during her final days!For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).
The funeral will be held at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, which is 2:30 am on Wednesday for those of you in the Central time zone. There will be a second service at the crematorium at 12:30 pm on Thursday, 10:30 pm on Wednesday Central time. Your prayers are not limited by time zones. You do not need to pray at these specific times. God is not limited by time zones or "after the fact" prayers!
On Friday morning, there will be another funeral for another church member's father. He was not a Christian, but Dan Iverson has been asked to lead the second service at the crematorium. The church member has not been attending for some time. Please pray that God will work in and through this funeral service as well.
Thank you for your prayers!