Some of you who have been following with me on my journey home may remember the story of how I met the pastor of the Christian Church in Japan. My wife and I were visiting our son who works in Japan and we decided that we wanted the experience of worshiping with Christians in Japan. Since our daughter-in-law is Japanese, we asked her where we could find such a church. She is a Christian but has known Christianity through the Catholic Church, but she had a friend who did attend such a church that we were looking for. However, her friend had just moved back to the States but she called her anyways. Her friend called her back in about an hour or two and told her that she had already called the pastor who told her that they would pick us up so that we wouldn’t have trouble finding the church.
Sure enough, they were waiting for us and took us to the church. On the way, I remembered that gifting is big in Japan and I had not secured a gift so I silently offered up a prayer – God, HELP!! Then I remembered that I had an extra copy of my book, The Mystery Of Faith, and decided to give it to the pastor when we arrived.
As soon as we arrived we were escorted to the worship center and was met by the Pastor, who greeted us very graciously. I then presented him with my gift and wasn’t sure how it was received. Not being familiar with the customs, I was unprepared for his response. He got choked up and I thought he was going to cry. I quickly asked, did I do something wrong? He replied, NO, NO, you don’t understand. You see I have been praying for some months that God would send me someone to encourage me, and you are him. Then I got choked up as well and also felt some relief that I had not offended him. From that first encounter we have had a growing relationship that has lasted for three years already. He has made two trips to the USA and met with me on both occasions
He is also translating my book into Japanese and hopes to complete the translation this year. At one point he had another person helping with the translation and there was a great flood and all of their work was lost in the flood. On another occasion there was an earthquake that did damage to his home and I don’t know if he was able to get it repaired or not. The short version is that Satan has been working overtime to stop his work on the translation. Please pray for him to be encouraged and that Satan’s efforts be turned against him.
Several months ago the pastor shared with me his plan for a Bible Training Conference again this year. He has had such a conference several times but his concern was that the attendees had been coming to be entertained, rather than be trained. We discuss his dilemma and he wondered if I would be able to attend this year. I shared it with our mission pastor at our church and he suggested that we offer to provide the training for the conference this year as a help to focus on the training aspect. After the pastor prayed about it for several days he agreed and invited our church to be a part of the conference. I had no trouble getting a team together, in fact it happened immediately. We even had volunteers beyond our need and had to limit the team to four. The pastor from Japan made the trip to meet with the team from our church and we saw the Lord hand all along the way. It has been exciting to see the Lord bring it all together.
Today the mission team met to do the final planning for the Olivet Training Conference in Japan that is scheduled for the first week in October in Osaka, Japan. We received the final schedule this week and we are making final preparations for the trip. Everyone is excited and sensing the Lord’s involvement. I will be speaking twice. My first session I will be on the Operation Of Faith. It is so amazing to me that there are so few in the church who knows how faith works and why. The second session I will be addressing the Trial of Faith. We need to understand that the trials are not to put us down but to build us up in our faith. We are anticipating about 50-60 in attendance and the conference will be in three languages (English, Japanese and Chinese). The reason is that just over half of the attendees will be from China and just under half will be from Japan. We have an opportunity to touch the church leaders from two great nations who are presently facing great difficulty. Already they have made request for situations they are facing and are looking to us for Biblical answers.
When I returned home from the meeting with the mission team, I checked my website and found a comment from one of the attendees of the Olivet Bible Training Conference that we will be doing next month. I share his comment that you can rejoice with me. Dear Pastor Vernon
I am one of the attendees of the Bible Training Conference in Japan. I am very exited to find this place.
I am reading your book The Mystery Of Faith, and it really helps me know more about God and the truths of faith. Praise the Lord and thank you so much!
I don’t know how he found my website but I was really blessed that he would make such an effort to let me know how they were preparing for this time. It is my prayer that the Lord will be able to use us as His instruments to meet their needs. I have a saying that I use for such occasions. “It has God’s fingerprints all over it.”
May the Lord build you in your adventures of faith.