FROM THE DESK OF DAVID ABBOTT
35 Years in Japan
Hanging In And Not Giving Up
I am thrilled to say that this trip has, like the other ones, been brilliant and different. I have been going to Japan for thirty-five years making thirty-seven visit and meetings have always very been small. But right back from the beginning to now I have always believed that one day I would have big meetings in Japan. Now praise God I am beginning to see it, the children’s and youth day meetings had the biggest attendance ever. It has been a long time of hanging in and not giving up to now see God is doing it.
Small But Hungry
We began with a series of very small meetings that were not in my usual age group, but everyone was so hungry. I had two meetings ministering to a handful of elderly ladies who are being taken through the basics of salvation and two Bible study meetings and they were like children soaking up every word. One small church which is right out in the rice fields, it takes three hours and three different trains to get there for a ten o’clock meeting. They tell me that I am the only guest speaker they ever get so they look at my message as God giving them direction for the year. I can only say, that I am humbled to think they give me such an honour. They have seven children who when I first went were well under my age group but now are well inside it. They all including children want prayer and ministry after the teaching.
Joey’s Sad Story
The first Sunday was in a church that took an hour’s drive away. The pastor I have known since he was fifteen and now he is married with twelve children. While we were waiting for the service to start a boy called Joey, an American/Japanese sat beside me and began to open up his heart to me. After the meeting, his second older sister asked for prayer and ministry. Later in the week, I had an afternoon in the Christian School connected with the church and Joey was there. He used to attend the school but doesn’t now, he was there that day for his protection. He lives with his father, grandparents and two older sisters. (Grandparents are the ones who make him go to a regular Japanese school). His mother is in the USA suffering with mental problems. The night before I was in school his mother turned up at his home unannounced where his grandparents refused to let her enter. She did this before and kidnapped the children taking them back to the States and hopping from motel to motel avoiding the police for six months. The police caught up with her because a friend found the children alone in the motel room while their mother spent a night on the town. The friend saw a flyer on the table that the pastor in Japan had circulated in the States which had his phone on. The friend rang the number and was told to call the police immediately while he put their father on the next plane to the States. Fearing she might try the same thing again and could easily intercept the children in their regular school so dad sent them to the Christian School where the pastor could protect them. In God’s planning, I was there that day and Joey responded for prayer, so input to him continued. All four children and their father attended the children’s/youth day, so I was able to minister and pray for them altogether and pass onto them a prophetic word a friend of mine in England had sent me. My friend had no idea what it was about, but I knew immediately and who it was for. I feel so honoured that God put me in the right place at the right time to help serve that family in need.
The school has twenty-four pupils ranging in age from pre-school to high school. One five-year-old who is very hyperactive was kept out while all the others sat spellbound including one autistic boy who usually doesn’t sit still. At the end, only two didn’t respond for prayer and one of those is a handicapped downs syndrome.
The Children’s/Youth Day
There were over fifty who were with us all three meetings and then others who came to just one or two meetings. Over the whole day we touched over seventy lives and having that number in Japan is equivalent to having hundreds anywhere else. Five churches were represented and not all were active spirit-filled churches, but everyone was so hungry for more that they, as it were, soaked up every word like dry sponges at a desert oasis. Some of the teaching times were long but they didn’t notice I believe that they would have taken more given a chance. It was two hours after we finished the final meeting before the last ones left they wanted to soak up the atmosphere. I felt to have invitations for prayer after the first and last meetings after the first about three quarters stood and the final one only two or three didn’t respond. Then when I finished not one had sat down they just continued to stand, soaking in the presence of God, eventually, I told them to sit down.
Icing On The Cake
Sunday family service in my host church, the children on the front row were taking notes, drawing my drawings. At the end, it wasn’t a big response, but the needs were deep-rooted. The church has a lunch together every week and it takes time to clear the chairs and to set up to eat. I didn’t finish ministering and praying for the last one until well after the others had started eating. They were all adults except for a nine-year-old boy called Yu who was adopted when he was two and a half. Those first years he spent with a mother who had physically abused him. I noted him before the meeting being rebellious and with violent actions of his hands and arms towards anyone who told him or tried to get him to do anything. His mother tried to get him to sit at the front, but he was not going to sit anywhere except on a chair on its own behind the back row. There he sat perfectly still and listened to every word. (I was told that was a miracle, normally his attention span is only five or so minutes) His mother dragged him to me at the end and while explaining his background he was fighting her to get away. To pray for him like that would have achieved little but even with the rebellion I had seen and was seeing I felt strongly to get him to sit. I gently took hold of his arms my hands weren’t closed so he could pull away easily if he wanted. He didn’t resist but let me sit him down, I then laid my hands on his head. He sat there completely peaceful without moving the whole time I was praying; his mother was in tears the way he was responding to the spirit of God. He will need a lot of ministry and help but I believe that he literally experienced the love of God in those moments.
Time Of Testing
Onwards to Malaysia and a mixed bag. I was asked to speak at a children’s church on the Holy Spirit and tongues but not told the leaders expected me to do it by puppet’s and clowning. You know me that is not in my ability neither is it the way I believe I should teach the word of God. There were forty in my age group and ten four and five-year-olds I allowed to sit at the back with their teachers. At the end, the leaders all marvelled at how everyone sat so quiet and still the whole time including the little ones. Of the forty thirty responded but most said they were not sure if they were Christian’s so we dealt with that first then onto the Holy Spirit. Almost all spoke in tongues, by now I was running twenty minutes late. I did feel I had a word from God for one child but thought the better of trying to say it so handed back to the leader. She said a few things then turned to me and said are you sure that you have said all you want to say. God was having His way, so I shared with the child. Now in spite of all of that later that leader said but God was not in that meeting. Clearly, God only turns up when we entertain!!
The brilliant bit, in a different church I had an in-house day of seminars for children’s leaders. Fifteen very hungry and open leaders came and took every word even though some was very new to them. They asked very honest questions and though admitting that some that this was scary they wanted to go ahead and do it with their children. The next day I was speaking in their children’s church and again given the subject the Holy Spirit. There were about thirty very live wires before the meeting but while I spoke you could hear a pin drop including one hyperactive boy who had been climbing up the wall earlier sat still. Then later when prayed for he burst out in a beautiful tongue, nothing is impossible to God. All but one responded for prayer and most spoke in tongues very quickly. The leaders were bouncing around like rubber balls afterwards and excited to take the children on from here.
Thanks for your support, as always!
Much love ~ David