For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matt. 13:15
Eyes, ears, and hearts are essential in how people respond as we tell them about God. This verse comes right after Jesus tells the parable of the sower. Jesus was explaining to his disciples why people do not respond to the truth in the parables he was teaching. People need to be healed. They need their sins forgiven and to obey and walk in the light of His truth. However, three obstacles hinder many people. Hearts that have hardened through repeated rejection of truth, ears that are unwilling to hear because they think they know better and eyes that are willingly closed because they prefer Darkness to Light. These hindrances in men did not stop Jesus from continuing to give out the gospel. He knew that many would have these conditions. However, Jesus knew that there would be some that would be willing to open their eyes, hear with their ears and receive the truth with an obedient heart! We too, must first make sure our eyes, ears, and hearts are open and obedient to the Lord, then go forth and continue to pray, live and proclaim the Lord Jesus to those around us. We thank you for continuing to pray for the Japanese around us here in Hokkaido that as we give out the gospel in various ways, that many will have open eyes, ears, and hearts.
Working amongst the Japanese, especially for Ken in the schools, came to a screeching halt after Hokkaido’s medical state of emergency went back up and precautions were taken. Even in our small community, they will follow the prefecture’s guidelines. So we are still having services but no gatherings for meals and Ken cannot go into the schools. Only one parent is allowed at a school event and precautions and distancing are taken there. This level was adjusted to last through June 20th so we trust it will have improved the situation concerning covid in Hokkaido and life will return to its semi-normal routine or new normal. People ages 65 and above are still being vaccinated and most Japanese all feel that this is the best route to go.
The other main event of the month was Ken’s cataract surgeries. This took place in a city 3 ½ hours away from us. We were able to get an Airbnb house and stayed just outside the city in a rural area and drove into the city each day. Monday we were at the ophthalmology clinic hospital all day and then rested back at the house the rest of the evening. Tuesday we went back in the morning and they did the second eye. Then back to the house for the rest of the day. It had been raining but eventually quit so while Ken rested, Vicki went out and did some photography sightseeing around the general area in the back fields of the countryside. It’s so beautiful right now and just what she needed. We went back to the clinic the first thing in the morning again on Wednesday to be checked and the Dr. said everything looked great. After getting Ken settled back at the house, Vicki met a sister in Christ she hadn’t seen in two years at a beautifully run English-style garden farm and they walked, fellowshipped and Vicki had the opportunity for great photography of the flowers. Thursday morning, there was one more check with instructions for the week to follow before we drove back to Teshio. One week later we went back to the city to have his check-up and order his prescription glasses. Beings we had this extended opportunity to be at the clinic, Vicki had her eyes extensively checked for any problems as well as her vision. The vision had changed a great deal in her right eye where there is scar tissue after a long severe bout of herpes simplex in that eye just before and after we came to Japan. She has had several flare-ups since then, but eye drops keep it at bay now. The right eyesight can’t be corrected completely but thankful it can be upgraded. So we took our new prescriptions to the eyeglasses place we have been dealing with for many years. This is also where Ken got introduced to the type of hearing aids we were able to get via a company actually in the States. They were amazed to hear that people we know and care for us had provided for a pair of the exact kind he desired. The eyeglass company will be happy to provide needed maintenance and sell parts whenever Ken finds the need for local help. This was an answer to prayer. While being fitted for our glasses, we were able to witness to the head of the shop. He was amazed to hear that Vicki would praise God for her eyesight even though not the best. Vicki explained that she could have been blind and deaf because she was born almost 3 months prematurely back when extra steps weren’t taken beyond an incubator for such little ones. Ken was able to then witness deeper to the man and the other staff listening. Ken’s glasses will come shortly & we will pick up Vicki’s at the end of June. Prayer requests:
- Ken will be back in schools team teaching. For daily strength and the witnessing opportunities, it brings. People’s hearts to be open to the Gospel.
- The salvation of believers’ husbands and families.
- Vicki is still involved in a town support group as well as 3 clubs altho those are on hold right now.
Serving Christ Together, Ken & Vicki Just A Prayer At Night – Your evening is our daytime!