July/August Prayer Letter
Dear Praying Friends,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28
When we last wrote we were going to be seeing a specialist about Ken’s back to find out what was causing the pain he was constantly experiencing. The long and short of that is that they found out through various tests that he had two kidney stones, one in each kidney. Both were about 1 inch in diameter but the right side was causing some damage and the extreme pain so they decided to take out that one first. This was all done in a hospital 3½ hours from Teshio in a larger hospital. He was hospitalized for two weeks beginning the last two days of July. Much of July was in going back and forth to Asahikawa for various tests. The verse in Matthew gives the offer of comfort and help from God Almighty. This is one of the verses that Ken passed out to doctors, nurses, patients and visitors. Each day he used a different verse card and gave them especially to the doctors and nurses. Ken used it to thank them for their help and assure them that he and many others were praying for wisdom and strength for them to do their best for the patients they cared for. There was much appreciation and witnessing opportunities as a result of the simple act of giving a word of encouragement from the Word of God. One nurse responded that the words from the Bible were profound in depth of meaning and in power of action. Amen! We appreciate your continued prayer for the two weeks ministry Ken had while in the hospital that God would bring forth fruit from that time.
In the midst of all the witnessing he was able to do, there were two people who stand out and we ask your prayers for them. One was a patient and one was his anesthesiologist!! Ken was put in a four-person room for the first four days of his hospitalization. Then after surgery on a Monday they moved him to a semi-private room. Ken and two others were in the first room.. One of the men, Mr. Minoshima (he asked Ken to call him ‘Mino-san’ and he called Ken- “Ken-san”) was very talkative. After Ken had to move to the other room, Mino-san would visit Ken’s room at least once a day to see how Ken was doing. Over the two week’s period Mr. Minoshima started opening up to spiritual subjects and would even ask Ken questions. Ken has exchanged email addresses with him and we trust that Ken can keep witnessing to him through this avenue. Mr. Minoshima lives 7 hours way from Teshio on the southeastern side of Hokkaido. We trust he will eventually seek service from a Japanese Baptist church in the area.
Beings Ken was in a university hospital there are around 30 anesthesiologists–God chose Nao Nishino to be his so that she could hear the Gospel and be friends with us and so we would be helped by her English ability!! Just seven months ago she was finishing an exchange study time in Canada where she improved her English speaking ability. This opportunity also gave her an understanding of Western openness that made her unique in the relationship she chose to take with us. She took time to visit Ken’s room several times even when one time she only had 30 minutes and she was also on a 24 hour shift!! She also came several times after a long shift day and stay for just a few minutes. Ken was able to give her a Japanese Bible and some study materials as well as the daily verse cards. The last couple times Ken was able to see her, she specifically asked if they could study the Bible together. She continues to be open. She also allowed us to pray with her each time she visited. We had several items to give her one day when she came so Ken was able to share with her, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” and use the gifts we gave her as an example….she didn’t earn them, we were giving them to her. In the same way, we can’t earn God’s love or salvation but He freely gives it! We have given her contact information to fellow laborers in Asahikawa with her permission. Doctors and nurses’ schedules in Japan in the hospital system are quite challenging but she seems to be eager to continue study in both English and the Bible.
While waiting to be admitted to the hospital, we were taking a walk here in Teshio one afternoon and were able to spend about 30 minutes talking to Mr. and Mrs. Honda while they worked outside their home. We have been trying to set up the introductory six-week Bible study with this couple for some time and have mentioned them in our prayer letters. He is the previous mayor. They finally agreed if they could start some time this month. We are going to contact them again now that Ken has pretty much recovered so that we can get this study started.
Vicki joined Ken in Asahikawa for all but 3 days of the two weeks he was in the hospital. She took the chance to get a couple health issues addressed as well while she had the opportunity to be at a larger hospital. One of those is the lingering herpes eye infection which began 1 year ago this month. The doctor said that stress and life in general and can have an effect on the body that make it difficult for this type of virus to heal. We know God is able and continue to ask for it. Fellow missionaries, Dean and Sue Zemke graciously gave of their hospitality to put Vicki up in their home while Ken was in the hospital. What a blessing this was.
Prayer requests continue to be the same as last month but please also add salvation of Mr. Minoshima “me-know-she-ma” and Dr. Nao Nishino “naw-oh knee-she-no” to your list.
Serving Christ Together,
Ken and Vicki Mansell
*Remember-Just A Prayer At Night (your night is our day!)