As I write this letter, I am preparing to travel to Japan for an evangelistic Crusade in Osaka, the country’s second-largest city. Japan is among the most unreached countries on earth, and we need your prayers for this challenging opportunity “to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12, NIV).
Although it is one of the world’s 10 largest nations by population, Japan has few churches, and average church attendance is under 100. Christians in Japan have remained a tiny minority for 450 years.
The economy is stagnating after decades of prosperity, and recent studies show that many Japanese people are becoming disillusioned over the emptiness of lives focused on materialism. An attitude of pessimism and hopelessness is increasing, especially among young people. Sadly, in one survey by the Gallup organization, 85 percent of Japanese teens said they wonder why they exist, and more than one in 10 wished they had never been born.
The Bible says we are made in God’s image. We are all unique, and God has a plan for each of our lives. The problem every human being faces is sin that brings separation from God–a separation that results in a deep loneliness, an emptiness, a void.
The churches in Osaka asked for our help in making known the truth of the Gospel that liberates mankind from despair. Christians have come together praying that the light of God’s truth will penetrate the darkness that hovers over the great country of Japan. Pray that the seed that is sown in the hearts of thousands will take root and a great harvest of souls will be won to the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul declared that when people receive the Word of God from those who faithfully preach, they accept it “not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). This is the reason we boldly preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It alone has the power to transform hearts of men, women, and children.
After our meetings in Japan we will travel to Latvia, a former Soviet bloc nation on the Baltic Sea, and have the same opportunity there to invest in the lives of those who need Christ. Will you pray with us that Christians will invite friends, neighbors, and loved ones to attend the Crusade?
Pray that the Holy Spirit will pierce hearts by the power of the Gospel. Prayer is the vital step in preparing the way for the work of God. Paul appealed to those who partnered with him in spreading the Gospel, asking them to join him in praying “that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored” (2 Thessalonians 3:1). Pray that hearts will be open to the truth that God loves them and sent His Son to earth to redeem mankind from sin.
While I am in Japan, my son Will is preaching at a Crusade near Montevideo, Uruguay. This is our third large outreach in that country in three years because “a great door for effective work has opened” (1 Corinthians 16:9).
The opportunities God gives us for evangelistic ministry continue to grow, and we are able to keep telling people about the hope found in Jesus because friends like you both pray and give.
We want to make “the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16). God honors faithfulness, and He will multiply the impact of sacrificial gifts from His people. If you can help us with a donation this month, know that giving to the work of the Lord has an effect that lasts for eternity.
May God bless you in all the things you do that make a difference for His kingdom.
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