This past week, we were invited to attend two funerals, people connected with Iriso Christ Church, where we were privileged to serve for eleven years in the eighties and nineties. One was for a former church member, a Christian, who was influenced greatly by the ministry of missionaries Fred and Evelyn Hersey. It was a joyous time of singing and celebration as we mourned, but also had the assurance of seeing this dear friend again in eternity! The service was one of praise and uplifting, and our prayer is that through the testimonies and sharing by the pastor and family members, many will turn to Christ to receive the gift of eternal life! This was the case of two people in the late nineties when a “senior” woman, Mrs. Takaso, attended a Christian funeral held at Iriso Church, and was amazed at the contrast between Buddhist and Christian funerals as the message of hope and promise was shared with the congregation. She told us that she now wanted a joyful Christian funeral! After attending worship services for several months, she accepted Christ, and then asked for a Bible Study to be held in her home for her ill husband. He also soon came to Christ, and we had another Christian funeral when he passed away a few months later! Mrs. Takaso joined our Iriso choir in front of the congregation, singing praises to God at her husband’s funeral! She joined her husband in the heavenly choir in 2015, a few days before my dear mother also made the journey Home. In stark contrast was a Buddhist service we attended earlier this week for the mother of a Christian church member. Please pray for the dear Japanese believers who live in this spiritually dark society every day and struggle to be a witness for Christ! Pray for our Japanese leadership to be strong in the face of adversity and evil!
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