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Yokosuka Baptist Church
A Soul-Saving Station
By Mike Pinson
A person’s last words are usually very important. These words tend to stay with us. We naturally want
to carry out the final request of a friend or loved one. Some of the last spoken words of our Savior
before He ascended to heaven are found in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature.” This passage is commonly known as the Great Commission. At Yokosuka Baptist
Church, we try to carry out this final command of our Savior. Weekly, we have several opportunities
for soul winning and visitation. One of our ministries is standing on the street in front of the main gate
to Yokosuka Naval Base and passing out tracts. Our tracts are bilingual, English and Japanese. We have seen results from this ministry.
Some have visited our church, and a few have trusted Christ as Savior. Praise the Lord! Often, we stand and offer tract after tract and we
are rejected. Sometimes we are ignored; sometimes people are rude, and sometimes people will curse and make a scene; however, the
command remains the same. We are to share the Good News. It is up to God to give the increase.
Recently, the naval base hosted a Japanese-American Festival. We tried to obtain permission to set up a booth on the base and we were
denied. We filed for a street permit with the Japanese Police Department and that was approved. We were able to stand outside the base
at the gate entrance to the festival and pass out tracts—thousands and thousands of tracts. Most people gladly accepted them on this day;
perhaps they assumed the tract had something to do with the Festival. We were just glad they accepted them! Our church members worked
in shifts and passed out tracts all day long! At one point, Tonda, my wife, counted that she gave out 700 tracts in 45 minutes; we could barely
keep up with the demand. What a blessing to be able to get the Gospel to so many people!
We have been busy sharing the Gospel and God has been busy sending people our way who are searching for the truth. One soul whom
God sent our way was a self-proclaimed “Mormon/Catholic/Buddhist.” Melva is from Columbia visiting her sister for three months. One
Sunday morning while I was giving the invitation, she looked up and motioned for me to come to her seat. I turned off the lapel mic and
went to her. She said, “I want Jesus!” She was gloriously saved that Sunday morning with the help of a Spanish interpreter. God brought
her all the way from Columbia to Japan to hear this hillbilly preacher tell her how to get saved. I love the way God works! Two weeks later,
she followed Christ in baptism. She gave testimony that she had been watching the change God had made in her sister and she wanted the
same. Praise the Lord!
Sabrina, a ten-year-old girl from the Philippines, was in Japan visiting her aunt. The original plan was for her to stay here three months.
She loved coming to church; her only regret was that she could not attend every day of the week. She had many questions about Jesus and
how to get to heaven. After about one month of attending our Sunday school and Patch the Pirate Club, she finally understood that she was
a sinner and needed to trust Christ, which she did during Sunday school. Unexpectedly, she had to leave the very next day, two months
early. We are rejoicing that God brought her to Himself.
A few weeks ago on a Friday evening, one of our Peruvian ladies was cleaning the church. She heard someone beating on the door. She
answered the door to find a 70-year-old Japanese woman wanting to speak to someone about God. The cleaning lady, Karin, does not speak
Japanese well enough to hold a conversation. She gave the woman a Japanese tract and told her to return on Sunday. The woman would not
leave. She insisted she needed to speak to someone. Karin told her again that she could not speak Japanese. Finally, the woman looked at
Karin and asked in Spanish, “Do you speak Spanish?” Spanish is Karin’s first language. Who would have ever guessed this Japanese woman
could speak Spanish? To make a long story short, Tonda and I arrived at the church while Karin was in the middle of the Roman’s Road.
She asked Tonda to help her a little, and a few minutes later Harumi was gloriously saved! Karin led her first soul to the Lord that night.
Harumi’s friend in Florida had been witnessing to Harumi for a long time. Harumi had decided she was done with Buddhism but did not
know what to do next. Her friend went online, found five churches in the area and told Harumi to go to one of them and try to get help.
What are the chances of Harumi choosing our church and of her choosing to come at the exact time a Spanish-speaking lady would be
there? I love how God works out every little detail! The story does not end there. The next Sunday Harumi brought her 98-year-old mother
to church. Two weeks later, her mother trusted Christ! Praise the Lord! Harumi is planning to follow Christ in baptism.
God has always gone to great lengths “to seek
and to save that which was lost.” We are so
humbled and thankful that God would allow us
the opportunity to have a small part in His great
work. It is our prayer that Yokosuka Baptist
Church would always be available to be a “soul-
saving station.” We want to follow His command
to go into the world and preach the Gospel, and
we also pray that God would continue to send
people our way so that we might share the Good
News of salvation.