Update From Kagoshima With Rob Wunderlich
Did you enjoy this teaching?
Let others know!
All right, well good evening everybody. I'm so used to saying good morning everybody you know usually Sunday mornings but I don't teach Wednesday nights at the Calvary Chapel in Kagoshima so I I was worried I was going to make a mistake and say good morning. You know, everyone told awarding so good evening and it's so good to see a lot. Of familiar faces. And new faces. Praise the Lord. Man, it's been nine years. Years since I've been back nine years so. If I forget some English forgive me, I'm always around Japanese people or if I stop and I look like a deer in the headlights. It's 'cause I'm waiting for my translator to translate, so we have translators and so usually what we'll do is I'll. I'll speak in English and then my translator will will speak in Japanese. And so it kind of gives you time to think a little bit. I I really like it. I really enjoy it. I'm able to kind of look at my notes and kind of gather my thoughts and then you know it's kind of pretty cool, so I don't know how Jerry does it every Sunday morning, you know, but he's been doing it for a long time. Right? But just briefly, just a little background, for maybe you that don't know me or first time seeing me, or you've just heard them missionary in Japan, I pass through the church and Calvary Chapel Kagoshima, so that is the southernmost island. If you look at Japan, you look at the whole, you know island. I guess you could say the whole land of Japan. Whole nation on the very bottom there is an island, it's called Kyushu, Kyushu Island, and we're like the very bottom, so it's Kagoshima at the very bottom, and it's kind of like the bottom of a barrel. I call it or like you know, like a bottle. We're right on the bottom 'cause there's really no outlet, there's no. Airport on the bottom there airports kind of further up and and a lot of people don't know, but it's like the hidden jewel of Japan. So next time you want to come to Japan, come visit me, right? So I usually people you think of Tokyo sake and maybe Fukuoka, right? Kagoshima is a very beautiful place. And we have an active volcano, right? No one else has an active volcano, but we have one seriously sometime in the middle of the night. It might go off, you might. Hear a Doo Doo Doo Doo on your phone you know it just. Really freaks you out. And oh, the volcano blew up. So if you're on the island, some people live on the island on the volcano. If you're on the island, they say, evacuate immediately, but we're kind of far away, but you can see the smoke and you can see you know the lava come out. Sometimes it's yeah, it's pretty wild. So, so we're I've been pastoring there for about. This is my 8th year and many of you know that I was with Pastor Tom for 10 years in Okinawa and so that was a blast. I I saw Rick just in 2018 when Zach got married so that was fun. He was singing at the wedding and you know he sounds like Frank Sinatra. I call him. He's got a great voice so it was really cool. And so I've been, you know, over there for a while and in Kagoshima and just really loving it and really blessed so. I had the. Opportunity to come here. I will head to Arizona on Friday morning. And then I'm going to drive to Colorado and see some of my grandparents. Grandparents are sick. So my my sister recommended that this would be a good time to come out and see my grandparents. Maybe for the last time, you know, hug them, say goodbye. My grandmother is very sick. She has severe dementia, so I don't think she's going to Remember Me, but I was really close with her. She came to my wedding. She came all the way out to Japan to to come to my wedding. And so you know, I'd do that and see some family. And I didn't bring my beautiful wife and my cute kids. I mean, they're like probably the cutest kids. Half Japanese, half you know, American. They're so cute they're the only kids in school with blonde hair. You know what I mean? They don't have blue eyes but Blonde hair, and so the all the other kids come like yellow hair and hey, there's a yellow hair kid you know he told Leonan and Louis. And so I did some kind of funny. My name is Rob. I married a gal named Rica, so that's an R right RR and then I named my kids rihito like burrito, right? Rito Burrito and. Richard, right, like Richard Wright, Rihito Richard, that was my. My second was going to Richard or reheat though, so I went to eat though and then leom and then Louis. But it's all within our, so you might think like, OK, the heat, though actually sounds like an L in Japanese lehe to if you want to print correct pronunciation, right? And then lay on kind of like Leon but Layonne and then Lassen. Louis, kind of like Louis like you know, like Louis Armstrong or something. But it's our UI. Louis, and so he's three years old and. And I'm only 25, still right? So it's hard to have kids. You know, I'm 40, right? So I'm 40 years old I got 3 year old and you know he kind of keeps me on my toes. And my wife as well. 'cause we're in our 40s so it's really cool. It's really great to have the kids, but they didn't come this time too difficult for them. So I came and of course anytime I come, where do I go? I gotta come to church, right? Gotta come to living water and so you know this evening I'm not really going to teach a message per say, you know? I'm not going to be getting into the scriptures, and, you know? You know, expository teaching or any. Thing, but the Lord put upon something my heart, I wanted to share with you kind. Of more of a. Deep dive of what is going on in Kagoshima, Japan. Now at the Calvary Chapel, now many of you might think like, OK, well it's an update, right? Well, you know these days. We have social media so you can go on Facebook and see what time or you can even watch our YouTube channel and see me teach. Well, be careful, right? I'm on there and then also our assistant pastor is on there. He teaches Wednesday. Sites and you can go on there you can see what you know what we do and the ministries, but I want to share with you something even further. Something even deeper, I've never shared this openly like you know, in a message with anybody I've told some friends about it and and some of us kind of know about it. But it's really about a message of salvation, which is pretty cool, right? In our church and it's two stories and it has to do. With two people. Now first, you know, I was thinking about what would be, you know, my kind of my theme here and my theme for it is really that God is. Working OK, and so there's many things that God is doing right. God is working miracles. God is working his purpose out. OK, we know that God is working on me. He's working on you. God is working it out for our good. God is working behind the scenes. OK, God is always working his purpose out. We know that. God is working even right now, right in your. Lives and God is specifically working in you, so I had this on my heart. It's about what God is doing. God is doing a work and so I want to share this with you and I'm not going to give you, you know, like the surface, you know, like all codes. So this person got saved and this is how it's happening, but I want. To kind of give you more of an in depth. Deep dive understanding of what has happened in the last two years. So really, my timeframe for this is from 2020 to 2022. But really, my purpose my main purpose for being here tonight is is really thanking you for. All the prayers. And this is the part where I. Kind of get teary eyed, right? My purpose is thanking you for all the prayers. And you might think I've only been in Japan for a short time. Been there for 18 years. I think the only person had been there longer than me is Tommy. He's this he's in his 19th year Pastor Tom. You guys in the Tommy and Tim now he's been there for 100 years, right? Tim, yeah, something like that right now. I think he's been there for about 21 years. He's like the R he's like. Or Elder elder Tim right, you know he's young. To me, but man, that's my purpose is just coming here and thanking you for all the prayer. All the support. But I mean #1 without your prayers, where would we be, you know? I mean, what would I be doing without you guys lifting myself up, lifting up the you know people, and you know what I do is I always tell the people at the church that there are people praying for you and they're like. You know Japanese people are always like who's praying for us. You know? I mean, no one's praying for us. We're just here in Japan I go. Calvary Chapel living Waters praying for you. They're like who are they? And I tell us my home church, you know some other churches. Maybe you know Pastor Tom Holman Church. They they pray for us and then ginowan Pastor Tommy and Ginowan. And when you tell people that then they get really encouraged because I know I'm encouraged because I know you guys pray for me so living water. Is my home church. It's the best church in the world so don't think I forgot about you guys. Don't think I forget it's the best church in the world living waters my home. Church will always be. And so this evening I really want to share two stories with you, two different people, and how God saved them. OK, so I mean really, just the you know, prepare your hearts I'm I'm kind of a little bit of a storyteller I guess. Yeah, I mean I. I talked a lot. They say I keep talking but from. I believe it was January 2020 until today. This is the timeframe. So two years so just kind of a perspective of what? Happen from my side of the story. I'm sure you have your Side Story. You know with COVID and everything in the last few years, right here in in California. But from the beginning of this whole COVID thing from the very beginning we started probably January of 2020, and then it started really hitting probably, you know, like all the you know, shutdowns, and you know. Everyone scared and everything, and they're pushing it probably March, so beginning in March of 2020. And Japan, what they did is they put so much pressure upon the people to follow the government. We call him recommendations. I was speaking with Pastor John about it that its recommendations tuiti OK now Japanese people. We know that they are kind of like A1 type kind of people, right? So for example in Japan there are less than a million foreigners there, so a million of guys like me, right? You might think no, no, no. A million of maybe Chinese. Indonesian Southeast Asian those are foreigners. Korean, I'm like, I'm very rare. I'll walk into a store and they'll look at me and they'll just like and I'll speak Japanese to them. You know, like Oh yeah, yeah no go oh you, you card coddle, you know point card, right? I go. Oh yeah, I have a point card in Japanese and. They kind of. You want you bag bag bag. I said Oh no, I don't need a bag. You know Japanese 'cause I lived there forever. You know you used to it and then they just like. They shocked that I speak in Japanese, but then they still go OK. You not not #2 #2, you'll pay, right? And I go OK and I, you know, it's telling. Thank you how to get this on my side and they're like well what's going on is and so the whole thing is, it's once a foreigner, always a foreigner in Japan because I'm rare. I'm different looking right? I can't pass right? Can I maybe one of these days? I'll look Japanese ain't gonna happen right? Never gonna happen. So during that time, during the kovid time beginning, there was nothing ever placed in law. So you know, coming from I would call it the horses mouth, which is me. I just know Japan never put anything in law, no mandates for nothing. I mean you don't have to wear a mask. I know in here you had to a short time and you know other states, but in Japan they never put in law. There was no mandates, there was nothing, no fines, no suspensions, no you know, you get kicked out of your work, or you get in. Sounds nice, right? Hey, it sounds pretty good. Japan was pretty good, but the problem is remember since Japanese people are one type of people right there. One type of. They're all Japanese. What happens is the government or even your family will shame you for not following the recommendations. So everyone wearing a mask, everyone following the social distancing and of course, same thing. No one going to church, right? So in March of 2020 I remember a few people they actually formed myself or my wife and. They said, hey, we're not coming to church because you know this COVID we're not coming. OK, fine, no problem, they're not going to attend in person no problem. I remember one lady who went to our church for a long time. Very supported. You know, you know you just were family, right? You just love this lady so much older lady and she was so wonderful and she just told us. Sorry, I work at the pharmacy. I work in the medical industry and I'm not coming because I don't want to give you. You know the virus, right so? We're like, OK? And then over time she just complain. Pletely just disappeared, said I'm not going to go anymore. You know, I'm not going to do that, and I you know, I didn't do. I didn't tell people they had to wear masks or anything. I just said hey, whatever you want to do so people come with masks, people did it and and then she was the number one lady was a little upset about that. Well, you don't. You know help where at mass so I can't come to church anymore. And so you know, sometimes those things that you know, it's hard 'cause they're like family, right? It's like your family member. Just leaves. At the same time that we have a state media main news station, many of you might know it's called NHK, right? And I mean, I'm a little critical about it. I'm a little funny about it in each K. 'cause Japan is a democracy, right? It's not a Republic like America, which is democracy and he is free. It's a first world country. Everything is pretty good, but in each case. Is like I call it the like North Korea state-run media. It's like the same but we're not communism right? And they just come out there and. They're like dum dum dum dum dum. And if you're in a room with people doing, they just have these illustrations and mini doc. I mean they were doing it on the TV, many docu series of showing how you can get sick and how it's 100 times. I mean, it scared people, it was really. It was really bad and so of course you know people stopped going to church and and the pressure began to build up actually. For me to shut down the church and remember there's no, there's no mandates, and so I remember Pastor Tommy. We had a big meeting like a you know like. Not a zoom call. But we you know we we recorded each other and we told what was going on. And every single one of the guys in Okinawa and myself 'cause we were all together. You know, we all stick together. We just said we're not going to shut down. We're going to keep going forward. We know they're just rules or regulations or they're not rules or regulations. They're just recommendations, right? And so Tommy kind of said something. Hey, if the government comes and says. You guys gotta shut down. What are we going to do? You know we'll shut down and we'll do some online services or something, but we had online services anyway. We just wanted people to come. But we continued as usual, right? And then it just felt you know the world. Everything felt like it was falling apart, so I kept going with the church and this is the first story I'm getting into it right now. And remember there are two people, so this first person, her name is madico KMARIKO. So in in the. English pronunciation you call a Marico right Marico, but in Japanese called my. Like oh OK, so matiko is the first person so you guys remember her 'cause you. Guys are going to like this, this lady. So the following Sunday OK after the corona virus thing hit, people didn't come the following Sunday. An older lady close to 70 walks into the church for the very first time. You know, you know, Lady walks in and she sits down wearing a mask. I don't no idea who she is. Never seen her before she sat through the entire message. And it was probably. A great message. I had a great jokes and it was always wonderful. You know, I'm. Sure it was right, right? Well, after the message I said Amen and she got. Up and she walked right out the door. So I thought. Yeah, I'll never see her again, she. Didn't like my jokes or she didn't. Like me, I don't know, and obviously I don't know she was a believer. I don't know if she's a nonbeliever well afterwards. Later, my wife informed me that she had a friend who was going to the church. One of the ladies that was going to the church and she wanted to come to church because. She heard that this lady changed her life right? They were friends growing up and this lady was different. She goes man, there's something different about you. You're like you know, different right you're like good or something. And I want to know why you're different, so can I like go to wherever you're going so the lady said yeah come to church I go to Christian Church. OK, I'm going to come and that's why she came because of the witness of 1 her friends so I. Thought OK, that's cool. Well, about a you know, I was pretty optimistic, but not really that she would return to. The church, but when I heard about. What happened, I thought she's going to come back the next week, and sure enough, she did. She kept coming and she kept coming. You know what she did? She would do the same thing. She'd sit there, and then she'd listen. And I didn't know, you know, when the mask. I don't know she's you know she's smiling or I don't know what she's doing. I just as I always do, or teaching through the word I think we were in Corinthians, first Corinthians or something taught through the word. Everything was going really good and she just get. Up and she walked out. She did. For about four weeks straight. Well, our Easter service came up, you know April came around and you know Easter service and it was like I don't know there's no such thing as a as a bad Easter service. But I felt like it was like a worst Easter service. We always had, tons of people. Unbelievers came, our English students came. We preach the gospel about Jesus and resurrection. Then afterwards we had this big. You know potluck and we eat with great people. I loved it. There was about three people there. I mean like and you know us missionaries who was there, but this lady Matiko she she was there. So I went. Well, it's worth it. You know first time she ever heard the full gospel about Jesus dying and resurrecting. So I you know I I went ahead to the Easter message and I remember after the the. The message. But we we didn't have our lunch afterwards because of the COVID thing, right? We didn't eat so same thing. She got up and she left, so I was kind of thinking, you know, hey, does she know that there's you know? Recommendations by the government not to attend these closed meetings. And like I was think I was almost like thinking in my head. Does this lady know that it's not safe to? Be here, I don't know why so stupid. Right, hey don't you know that, uh, you know. The NHK is saying that you can get COVID, you get sick and die, and I but I just OK. Keeps keep coming right. I didn't say anything, but I thought. Well, maybe she just really likes my. Jokes, but probably not. So she kept coming back and she kept coming back see. So I started asking the Lord this question I said God, what are you doing? So the following Sunday was actually the first time OK following Sunday. After this she comes to church and after a service she gets up and she doesn't walk out. She walks towards me. And she says, and they say, like Sensei, right? Like, you know, like like teacher. But she says, hey, I, I want to talk to you. So I go OK, no problem. So she starts telling me, you know, hey, you know I. I believe I believe in Jesus, so I said alright, I said, well, hey, how about this let me pray for you and so I grabbed my wife and we prayed with her and that's where she talked a little bit but she just she still wasn't sure right but she was believing in Jesus like I believe in Jesus but she's kind of like all right and then that was it and then she left. And then I thought. OK well great. I prayed with her and then you said she believed in Jesus she wasn't like really I didn't lead her to the Lord yet it wasn't like she's like I want to believe in Jesus. You know, lead me to the Lord. So I just share with her a little bit and then she. Left and literally about few weeks later she finally comes to me a little bit more emphatic. A little bit happy and she just says Pastor. I want to I want to follow Jesus. So I went OK great so you know I got my wife. I said hey, let's pray for her. You know she wants to follow Jesus, you know, pray with. Her, you know, she says she believe in Jesus. And she accepted the Lord in her heart. And so here's this like 70. And she was almost seven years old. His Japanese lady, who never gone to church her whole life, I'm leading her to the Lord, and I didn't do anything. I don't even. I don't even know her. You know I didn't talk to her for for months she would just get up and leave. All he did was continue to preach the word of God to her. So then I had the privilege to lead her to Jesus Christ now. Remember this lady never stayed in fellowship. The Member should get up and she'd walk away every time. Well after she got saved. Well, you know of course all of us were like, well, did she really get saved? Does she really understand it? It says, you know, it's the doubts in our in our heads, but. After that next Sunday, she came she fellowshipped. She stayed and she was talking to some of the ladies. Uh, maybe about 5 minutes, but you should get up and she walked out and then over time, you know every Sunday as as you know, this Sunday went by she would stay longer and longer and so I remember I wanted my wife and I say hey, yeah you see how long she stayed. You know, after church. Yeah it was. Like 11 minutes man, that's awesome man. And you know us we're there until like you know, ends at 12 where there till 2:00 o'clock and drinking coffee and talking like crazy. The fellowships always great. You know, Calvary Chapel so. This is what was happening and she got saved right? So soon enough she actually came up to me very quickly and she said, hey, a pastor. I need to talk. To you again says sure what's going on. She just said. I want to get baptized. So I'm going like, OK, great, let's do it. You know so anyway, this kind of a side note in our church we don't have a baptism ministry and no one has a Baptist minister. I don't think unless you're John the Baptist, but not John. I'm not rob the Baptist. OK, I never ever tell people like, hey, you get baptize Jesus will get baptized. I I just not my thing, it's not my ministry. But ever since I've been in Kagoshima every summer, we've always had a baptism. Sometimes two people, one time, three people. Yeah, yeah, you baptize people. Sometimes they stick around for a while and then they move to a different church, or you know. Or they you know they leave and it happens happen. The majority of the ladies. And the guys that got baptized, they've stuck around in the church. So she came to me and she said she won't be baptizing. I remember when we were out in the water and, uh, she's Japanese lady. She don't speak English and so I gotta do it all in Japanese. And so I'm remembering, you know my Japanese. OK OK, alright, I got in the name of the father son Holy Spirit that ones easy alright I got that one I got that one you know but I now baptize you so I don't want to mess. Up the word. I now throw you in the water or something like that. I gotta. I gotta say the right word for baptism. You know what I mean. So I'm asking my wife, how do you say? How do you say and she's like you know she's saying it, you know and I'm like so I'm like butchering it in my head. I go OK Lord, you know, but you know you gotta practice it right. Practicing, practicing, sorry. Just remember it was me and that we have assistant pastor and he's Brian Young. Your guy and I said, OK, we're gonna bat but he don't speak very much Japanese, so she came in there and I just said Matiko, do you believe that Jesus is Lord and she just went like this? Yes, in English, and I went whoa wow, pretty cool using Japanese. Just kind of go. High, you know. So I was like wow, this lady really wants to be baptized and I said alright. I I'm going to baptize you in the Father, son, and Holy Spirit. She was just like excited and like you know, when you big get baptized you don't know the feeling. I mean, we've all been baptized, right? And you go down, you come up and it's just like wow, it's the coolest thing in the whole world. And she loved it. And then afterwards, you know the Holy Spirit. It's like it literally was like Holy Spirit just started filling her up. And doing things and it was really cool. So all I did, I just taught the word every Sunday and God the Holy Spirit just drew this her to the Lord right through to the Lord. But then the Lord wasn't done. OK, there's more to the story. OK, so you see Monaco, right? We know matiko she became not just a member of the church. She became like this 70 year old evangelist to her family. It was like we it was kind of weird. Yeah, I wasn't used to. It you know I was. Like you know, usually they come and they're young. Christians and they you know when you're young believer, you kind of have strange theology 'cause you don't know everything. And you gotta be taught, you know. But she just was like had this mission. I didn't know about it, she would just come and you know, and sit in the message and fellowship and I didn't talk to her too much. But she started to bring her son to church, right? And she started bring her sister. Now her sister was probably a little younger than her, but he's she was at least still in her 60s and her son was in his. 30's right about 3334 and you know the son, he never got saved. Of course we were able to meet him and share with him and talk with him. He never got saved, but the sister later got saved and was baptized just recently in September, so it's pretty cool this year. Here, but the Lord wasn't done yet. OK, so this story it's still connected. This one amazes me the most. This one just, I mean of all the years of even living water. Calvary Chapel ginowan Okinawa. In Kagoshima, all the stuff we ever done this one just kind of blows me away because there's nothing that. I did. Nothing that I did and still this day this person I'm going to talk to you about has never set foot in the church and I'm still blown away. So matiko she she had been coming to me earlier this year matiko she had been coming to me and she's been telling me hey, my 94 year old mother got saved. And so I was a little skeptical like. Oh yeah, grandma or mother got saved. Yeah 94. OK, you know what I mean? Yeah, alright so she tells. Me, my mom wants to get baptized then I'm kind. Of like well. I don't never met her. I don't know what's going on. I have no idea, but for some reason Madico started telling her mom about Jesus. So Mom is this 94 old lady. She has a slight Alzheimer's, I mean, but maybe she's like me forget. Things you know, sometimes, right, so she's very very. You know I talked to her. She's really good. Later on I talked to her but I never met her during this time and Monica was telling her mom about Jesus. Can you imagine go home? You're taking care of your 94 year old mother. I mean mother. I mean she's at the door of eternity, right? 94 years old, it's old, it's older, she's older lady and she has slight Alzheimer's and she starts telling her about Jesus and Mom got saved. Mom did just get saved, right? Like yeah, I believe I believe it. Mom started reading the Bible. She read the Bible every morning and she read the Bible every night and she was doing it every day every day. I mean like I was like wow incredible right. New believer. And then she started praying for her daughters just praying for them all time. So Madico starts telling me all this stuff. Like you know Mom reading her Bible before she goes to bed in the morning and she's praying for us and I'm going wow, what is this lady? She's a prophetess or something? What's going? On this is great. And then she came to me and said, hey. Could you come to my house and, you know, baptize my mom? So, because I heard all these things, you know I was a little skeptical at first, but I heard these things. The Holy Spirit, said Rob, you need to go baptize mom 'cause mom never gonna come to church, right? Mom's old, she's sick and she's just serving the Lord in her house, right? And I'm not gonna be the one but like. No, no, no. 'cause you know nothing biblical by you gotta come to church First Baptist or anything. So I'm like I'm gonna go so there's this one afternoon I actually had a wedding. I actually had a few weddings and so I dress up real nice. You know, like right now I don't really dress nice, right? But I actually have a suit and a tie and I gotta wear when I do the wedding. This and I dressed nice on that day and I said, hey after the service, the wedding service I'm going to come and will do the baptism. So of course afterwards I came. I had the white, you know, the right long, you know, shirt dress shirt and I had my my white tie and I put my phone in my pocket and then I had black pants and and I thought, oh Lord, I hope she doesn't think. I'm a Mormon. Or anything you know? I mean, oh man was the Mormons that were evangelizing to you, right? So I was like OK, you know. So I kind of took my white tie off and. Tried to look kind of like a little little. Messy and I I walked in there and I'll never forget it. I I went into this old Japanese home. Now today there's a lot of modern homes in Japan, right? They try to get all American style and make it all monitor and you're like, hey, we're like in America, but everything is so tight. But in Japanese modern just. Or not, a modern Japanese style old house, right? Has the tatami mats you know, like the kind of like bamboo wood you know to Tom. You guys in at the time. And that's and it has really low ceiling. OK, so and the door frame too. So what do you think happen, right? Yeah, I'm going under everything and you gotta be careful you can hit your head pastor hatred yeah yeah yeah yeah, that's just how I'm used to it so yeah I'm ducking. And I remember I walked in the area and I got to the the living room and. Her mother was sitting just away from me, so you know she's sitting away from me in the chair just waiting for me and I didn't know how she's gonna react like. Oh no, it's. A monster I don't even. I had no idea what she's going to think about me and I walk in there. I'm this big guy and I remember I came around and I looked at her and then it was like she looked at me. And she just said. He's here and I'm just like what's going on, you know. I mean, she's just like she starts kind of wiping her hands and she's like. You're here for my baptism, right? And I'm like. Yes, does anyone else want to do this? I don't know if I deserve to do this, you know. And then the pastor, assistant pastor, came with me. And she just was so excited. She was telling Madico He really came. He's really here. He's going to baptize me and I'm just like, oh, my goodness, this isn't this is incredible, you know. I mean, I never had the experience like that in. My life so. I I've never seen someone so excited and anticipating, you know this American monster guy come in right. And all my life. And I never met this woman before, So what I figured or what I, you know, kind of came to understand is that her daughter, you know really spoke highly of me. You know, I mean, so she kind of liked me. I guess he liked my jokes or she liked the message. I guess right? And you know, I remember later on she told me one time she actually came up to Madico along, you know, like after I did the baptism but she came with me, she said. Pastor Rob, thank you so much. Little pastor and I was like, well, what's a fake pastor. I know what's going on. And you know, it's just you. Know or a real pastor, sister servant of the Lord. You know you just go and serve the Lord and serve the people. So the Holy Spirit really in this 94 year old Japanese lady at not like a. 94 year old, you know. Maybe like my great grandma Southern Baptist who's raised in the church, this lady. It was evident that Jesus Christ saved the Holy Spirit right and she had never stepped into church and she still didn't go to our church, you know, and she just reads the Bible in the morning and at night. And then she prays. And so I was thinking at that moment I was kind of wondering. You know why? Me Lord of all the people. In the world, why me why? Do I get to? Be here, you know. Someone insignificant like me. That was my thinking so I don't know if you ever did a baptism with an older person. You don't go and dip them in the water right? And so it's kind of like you don't go to the beach or anything. They just you know. I think she was having a hard time walking. Too, so I know I've done it before with an older person in their 90s where you get a bowl of water, you know. I mean, usually you get some of the water and kind of pressing on their head, right? I did it one time where the lady was really sick. She had cancer and she actually passed away, but I was able to baptize her like a month before she she passed. And I remember I, you know I did that and I still remember Pastor Brian. He's young, about 30. He's assistant pastor at the church and coach him. He's sitting in front of the mom and I'm on the side and I had this I I had this big bucket of water and I thought to myself, and the Lord said, Rob. Don't just give her the hey right. It's a little bit. Give her a lot. Give her the experience. And I'm like. Ah, but I don't want to do that. You know, that's kind of messy. I'm kind of like that. I'm weird. I'm kind of like, oh, we got. To clean it and the Holy Spirit said no, go for it. So I I prayed with her. I said do you believe in Jesus? There's a Lord and same thing she was like. She literally was like this. Yes, you know what I mean. And I'm like in the name of the father and. The Holy Spirit Baptize you, and I actually got the bucket, and I started pouring it on her head and it was falling down and hit right here and she wasn't like all freaked out or was cold. She just was like I didn't. It wasn't that much, but when I poured it and it was cone on her head, it was. Probably the most one. Of the most beautiful thing I ever saw. And I looked over Pastor Brian. He was. Just like what are you doing? You're crazy, you're right, it's. Getting everywhere and I remember I was laughing 'cause afterwards I told that story to Pastor Tom and. He laughed it. So I did that and it was just the greatest feeling. It reminded me of, kind of like in the Bible. I guess the closest thing where they said, like with Aaron Beard and when the oil runs over, you know. I mean, I kind of felt it was like Aaron Beard, but then the water was running over. She didn't care. She was trying to wipe it off. Shoes is loving it and it was probably just for me. And I want to give you the experience 'cause you never hear about it, right? I didn't put on Facebook, I didn't tell anybody, but I remember I left there and I told my wife about it and I just kept it to myself and Pastor Brian. Was there and he still talks. About you put so. Much water on her head. You know it's so. Funny, but just the. The experience was worth it, you know. I mean, it was worth it just to be there. So you know after after that after after that experience. You know today you know, Mom. She continues to you know, read the Scriptures every morning, every night until she's going to pass. You know, I mean, and I think it's really cool because I'm not much. I'm not into the funerals. I like doing the weddings, and I've done one funeral in Japan and it and I don't like it. But I told my wife I said, you know what we're going to have to do is we're going to prepare for these Christian funerals. Now when these people get saved, they have. These they're Buddhist funerals, right? And they're ugly. It's like this big, scary looking like wooden thing. There's no no flower, it's called the boots adone rights this big old like Buddhist, just ugly would thing. It's just not. It's huge and they just do. You know they're dead and that's it. I mean, they do the Buddhist stuff. They have a Buddhist priest comedy does the smoke. I'll give you a little hint, right? Let's say Jonathan or Jonathan, or or no. It's so stupid. And they do all that stuff. But that's just what they do. You know, that's the Buddhist wedding called the book Gill Wedding? Or forgive me not wedding a funeral bookeo funeral. And so, but I did a Christian, this lady. She passed. And so the funeral place called me and said hey, she's a Christian rice yeah, so we need a Christian guy so I said get rid of all that that Buddhist stuff. Just move it out of the. Way it's like, well, what do we do? I said bring some flowers. So the the guy was, you know, probably running the funeral hall for his whole life. You know, I mean and he brought all the all the flowers in. But it's a little bit different 'cause they'll do it. Open casket and stuff and. Very Japanese style, so she was one of those ladies. She passed a while ago and she was there. And so I did. The that was my first funeral Robin. I got the Kagoshima did a funeral. So that that's another story for a different day, but she got saved and I baptized her. Well, I had the opportunity to baptize her, and then she died about a month later, and then we did the funeral. But we did a Christian funeral. And preach the gospel to the family you know was really cool. She was Chinese married to a Japanese guy. And so it's about 2015 when I first got there and so so you know, I told Rick, I said, hey, we got to really prepare when these these you know the these people in the church and they pass away. We gotta do you know a Christian memorial or something you know you can't just let the family. Do it, they'll just do a dark Buddhist wedding or not a wedding. I keep saying wedding, I got wedding on my head, sorry. I guess it's a wedding. How when you you're Christian you die. You graduate, right? You go to heaven. So a memorial or a funeral so you know, sometimes I actually joke, and I say about matiko. I say, I say, you know, matiko. She's a pastor. I always joke around, you know, and then people go. What do you mean, Pastor? Yeah, she's a like a pastor to her. Family, she's like their leader and she leads and guides them and tells them what to do. And he read the Bible and here go here and do that and serves them and wins them to the Lord. And I always say matiko yeah, I'm her pastor I guess. But she comes to church but really, models like the pastor to her family. You know, you know, ministering to them and doing cool things, and she's the one that's. Been leading them to Jesus. I'm just the guy that just shows up and just serves and helps something, I mean, so I've just been, you know, faithful with God has. Told me to. Do teach the words I teach the word so important, so that's the first story, and it was kind of big, right? And it dealt with three people in that story, right? And a family. So secondly. In our church, this is another miracle salvation and all this will be the last one of course. It's Max OK, so you might think Max is. That sounds like some guy from West Corona. You know Max right? Max is a Chinese guy, so in 2019 this strange, rather strange or I would say very strange. Young Chinese dude shows up on Wednesday night. At the church. Search he was an international student at the Kagoshima University, so is university there and they have a lot of international students. Chinese from Malaysia, Southeast Asia. A lot of places. He was rather peculiar. He was just a strange guy I. Mean like I was like. This guy straight young guy, 22 years old. Young guy. He didn't eat. Anything all he wanted was black coffee. Then we were talking to him like hey, what do you eat? You though I don't like fruits. I don't like vegetables. I don't eat nothing. I just drink black. Coffee man, you're gonna die. I kind of thought you know he's I don't want anything he just was very quiet and I thought OK, well after service after service is over we talked to him a little bit. I offered him a ride home, you know, Church fan here. Let's go. So I got all my family in the car. And we drove down, dropped him off not too far away, about 10 minutes away. And we dropped him off. My wife was talking to him a lot and he got the van and I said goodbye and I thought maybe I'll never see this guy again. So about a week later he contacted me and he said, hey, I want to come to church again. But I'm sick. I'm really sick. This is 2019. This is, you know pre COVID right? So he said I'm really sick and I'll I'll I'll come next week. So I kind of kept in contact with him. He said he got real busy and after that I didn't see him for two years. I just didn't see him anymore and I thought OK, he's gone so. Two years went by and September 2021. OK, I get this message in the Facebook post of the Calvary Chapel, Kagoshima right, and I see it, and it's like. You know, dear Calvary Chapel, he's very punctual. He's he's Chinese guys. English is really good. He's very kind. He don't speak like us. You know keronian's, whatever, right like hey, hey, my name is Rick and I want to come to church. You know he's very like hello my name is Max if you Remember Me. I am the Chinese man from Shanghai. I came to church very punctual. Very, you know, like completeness is explanation. So he wrote and he just said hi to whom it may concern. He didn't know who's running the the church, you know Facebook messaging site I was and I saw and he said hi my name is Max. I came to church and all this stuff and he goes. I remember there was this really kind man named Rob and he was like. This is just what he said he was like. He was the most kindest man I'd ever met. I well thank you. Thank you alright, I like this guy right and he goes and I really need to speak with him as soon as possible and then he continues on and he says. In a nutshell, basically he writes. I tried to kill myself two days ago and I didn't die and then I kind of was like reading the thing and I was like, well, this is kind of long message and I go whoa, you know and you know it was kind of hard for me. You know, just you know suicide is always difficult for anybody, and I said OK and I I. Kept reading it. And he's he's really punctual. He keeps talking, you know, keeps going into it. I I really like Marilyn Monroe and so I wanted to die like her and I wanted to take a bunch of sleeping pills and I was like, whoa, this guy is really telling me the truth. And so he this is, what happened? He took a bunch of. Sleeping pills. He took 50 sleeping pills. And he said goodbye world. And he went to sleep, passed out. We woke up with a bad stomach ache and he went. Oh man, I feel terrible. I gotta throw up. And so he went to the doctor and he tells the doctor I took 50 sleeping pills. Am I going to die and the doctor went? Oh no, no no no no in Japan they're they're like weak you know it takes like 5 sleeping. Pills is like you know, one American sleeping pill right? In America, they're really weak. They're real light. You gotta take a lot. And then you gotta take like you like I said like 200 if he's gonna something gonna happen to him. And it was a miracle 'cause he said, I said what happened or he was writing. Oh well. I I just got a upset stomach and the doctor told me go home and drink. Some water. So I'm like what in the world, so he goes home. He drinks water, he feels better then he goes. Someone told him to call his. His cousin was in Australia. She was a Christian. Chinese cousin in Australia calls his cousin his cousin leads into Jesus like just totally leaves him. Geez, hey you you tried? To commit suicide. Yeah, you need to believe in Jesus start, share with them and he breaks down crying. Then he contacts that kind guy rob right right here and I go wow great. So immediately you know he's following the Lord and he says, hey, I want to come to church is it come to church Sunday and we'll talk, the guy shows up a changed man. He walks in the door and. He's like, hello, I'm here I'm Max. He went before he was kind of like.
I hate food.
I only like coffee. I was like Max. You look great you know. I mean and he's like how you doing Rob thank you. He was just the nicest guy I remember. The first service I taught the message and afterwards usually everyone gets up and goes home or fellowships didn't say anything. So I'm like in Jesus name, Amen. Well, you know go ahead and everyone fellowship and there's you know coffee and they translated it. He stands up, he's clapping. That was the greatest message I ever heard. Oh man touched my heart and was looking. I'm like this guy is crazy I'm going. I don't know what to say. I'm like, hey, praise the Lord brother you. Know I. Mean so he would show up just. You know, on fire for the Lord, it was really, really cool. And by the grace of God, I was able to disciple him. Take him. Out, you know, do things. And you know later on he was baptized. He was just baptized recently on his birthday, September. That was he wanted to get baptized. But just like any Christian, you know what happens, right? New new believer. He starts to doubt starts creeping in. Satan starts giving you know like you know the. The seeds of doubt and you know his foundation was kind of getting a little bit. You know, Satan was kind of going after his foundation, so I remember one of our meetings. He came to me, says hey, I'm I'm having really really big. I doubt I said what's going on. And he goes. It's it's a biblical question. I said, what is it? What is it? Come on, man, I could call Pastor Jerry. He knows everything Pastor Jerry tell. You the answer right now. And he goes, yeah, I don't know if I'm gonna get the answer I'm I have a hard time I can't sleep I said what is it he goes? How did Noah get all those animals on the ark? And I'm like, oh man. Yeah, that's a easy one. He goes well. There's like thousands. He's really smart. There's thousands of species, and and elephants are pretty big. And, you know, giraffes are pretty long. That is possible to build a boat that big. And I said. Well, you know, we know that Noah took, you know, one of each kind male and female and he goes. Yeah, yeah, that's even worse. That's so much, I said. I think they were babies man and he goes. He like little like little elephants. Yeah or like little dogs, yeah. And then we got next. We explained about, you know macroevolution and microevolution. How you know there's one dog? But there's different species, right? So I'm sure you know you know no, it just took one baby dog and one baby. Cat right or whatever, and I never seen a man. So like satisfy that answer. Ah, this guy is just a genius 'cause you you cannot be dumb and go to International School in Japan, right? So it's like Max. You're smarter than all of us 'cause we're not smart, you know. I mean, you know, right? And that was it. That was enough. And he said thanks Rob. And then of course afterwards I gave him bunch of videos right like? It's, you know, evidence to help you believe you know. So you went home and he watched all those cool videos. You know the guys made and he came back and said, you know? Master, I'll never doubt again. I said, you know what? Max you will. That's normal, that's the normal Christian life. And so I remember we were just I was disciple Ng this guy you know here I am disciple Ng this Chinese young kid in Japan. And that ironic isn't that strange. As the four year old American guy and we're sitting in his coffee shop with all these Japanese people around. And I'm just going through this Warren Wiersbe book and we're just, yeah, disciple. You asking questions. And I mean it's just incredible and I, you know, one thing I taught him, he's having these nightmares and he come to me and he say he passed from having these nightmares. I can't sleep and I said, hey man, I did. The Tom Reese. Hey man, you gotta. Just cast out Satan, you know? I mean, you. Gotta cast out those demons and he was like. Really, I mean the other day he was like it was pretty intense. That's heavy. I mean it's different for like maybe you and I, but like him being Chinese under Communist rule all his life and he got saved. Satan is doing Saints flickering the lights at night. In his room.
You know blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Right?
Whoa, why is it lights flicker and I said you need to cast out Satan so you know he started doing that and he's all hey Pastor Rob. Thanks man, I've been casting out Satan and I've been having no nightmares and those lights are flickering anymore and I'm going hey praise alerces learning spiritual warfare at such a young, you know age or you know that's such a young believer. So anyway. Uhm, I had some other, you know, funny stuff on here, but uh. Max just really really is growing in the Lord. And you know what you guys would love this guy. This guy is incredible and he's only 23 years old and so you know God has really changed his life. I mean, he was pretty pretty much dead. I mean like he, he just wanted to kill himself and and he was drinking. He was smoking and then I I used to tell him on his birthday. I took him out to karaoke. You know karaoke. We've you know some of us been there, right in Japan. And yeah, karaoke karaoke in Japan is just when I was 22 years old it was great and I'm 40 years old. I'm. I'm like, oh you're ready to go you know who's who's singing next song? I'm singing next song and I'm singing all these old songs and all the young people are like never heard of it you never heard of guns and roses you know I mean you know this this trailer song is, uh, whoa can't believe it and afterwards I told Max I said Max. How was your birthday and he said it was the best birthday ever had in my life. Bro and I went Oh my goodness, what did you do last year in your birthday is all I went to the bar and I drank and smoked. And I went, yeah, it's. It must be a pretty good birthday and you know, of course we paid for him. And we blessed them and. And you know, lastly, as I kind of close here, but you got to remember something that really spoke to my heart is Max is from communism. And you know, we live in such a free country, right? I mean, man, we're so free and I remember I went to Max and I said when the COVID thing was happening, he Max you call your, you know I do the Tom Resalat Hey Max you. Call your dad and talk about what's going on with this COVID thing and he goes. No, like well when. I you tell your dad what. Do you say I say hi, dad? How's work OK? Bye dad. You don't talk about politics. No, we don't talk about politics, can't, why? 'cause they're listening to us on the phone? They get in trouble. It's communism and I never met a guy. A Chinese man who just he doesn't like. He he'll tell you, I said, what was it like living in China? He'll go. It's horrible. The Communist Chinese party is horrible. It's horrible. And I don't understand. I'm from America, you know. I mean land in the home, the free and the brave. We do whatever we want, right? We're so free. I said, OK, well, what do you like so much about America? And I thought he was going to say like. Oh the pizza. Or oh, the the cool people. Or you know, the fun that you can do, you know, he said freedom, you're free and I and I just, you know, I kind of woo. He kind of really shocked my heart, 'cause even in Japan were free and he's from China and here he is talking about how great America is because. We're free. And so I I thought was kind of cool. You know how God kind of led him to us and and you know, still had the opportunity to disciple him and just love on the guy. So in a nutshell, those are just two stories of what God is doing in Kagoshima 2 stories in two years from 2020 to 2022 in the height. Of the COVID Thing when no one wanted to come anymore some of. The really good Christians. Were like now we're to stay home. Unbelievers show up and they get saved, you know, and I kind of thought. I'm so glad I listened to the Lord and I just kept going and kept the church going and we're going to meet 'cause these people came and they got saved. And I think if I wouldn't have, maybe they when they came, and then you know, lastly, of course. Same thing for you guys. You know I'm so thankful for your prayers. I think your prayers help Max 'cause I told maxi people praying for you and he doesn't understand who's paying for me. I don't know them. I said living waters praying for you all the time. And and these guys are praying for you and they just like no one ever prayed for me before. I'm so used to getting prayed for, you know, I mean I kind of take it for granted, but for these guys they're really, really blessed to receive the prayers. So really, you know, I'm just so glad that I can kind of give you guys, not just the teaching, you know, like a biblical teaching it more of a deep dive of really what's going on and said I didn't want to get into the surface. I don't be like, Oh yeah, sure, it's great people come yeah, people can say baptisms. You can go on Facebook and find all that you know. I'm sure you guys are. You know that, but these are really kind of the deep things that you not very people know, and I think in kind of in conclusion it's really just about God's work. God is doing a work. Whether you see me or you don't see me or I'm not posting on social media man God still working and I really believe is that. That's enough to encourage you. It encourages me. And that knowing that God is still doing his work and he's remember there's nothing that I did. Nothing that I still do. I just teach in the word, let the word of God go out and God just brings people. God saves people. And of course, you know your prayers and your support. It it doesn't only lift them up, but it lifts me up 'cause you know that I taught. Lastly, I taught there's a pastors conference. And Tokyo and it's kind of a big deal. It's been a big deal, but like over the years, it kind of, you know it. Kind of went down. A little bit 'cause some guys weren't coming. And and you know Bud Stonebraker, Bill Stonebraker and his son used to come out and it was pretty cool. And so last year they didn't come. And so Pastor Travis told us out. Because know Pastor Travis takamiya. He emails me and says hey Rob, we want you to teach the last session and then. I'm going like me. I'm no, I'm nobody. I get to teach that thing, you know it's always like bigwigs go down there and teach that you know, I think Rory's taught that the in that that conference before. And I'm like, oh man, what am I gonna teach about? And the first thing the Lord said was you need to teach those pastors not to give up. So it was like in like I think First Timothy Chapter 4 and it was all about the end. For you know Paul he was he was closing shop and he knew he's going to go to. 77 and I just really encourage these guys. Hey, we can't give up. I know it's a hard time. We can't give up. We gotta keep going because the next generation depends upon you. 'cause there's new people that need to get saved and you guys can't give up. And I and I don't know. I kind of felt from my heart that maybe Lord willing, I was able to speak some of these. You know, older pastors. 'cause I know that some of these guys that get so older in the ministry and it's the same thing. You know people, some people getting saved. It's like kind of difficult, specially in Japan. It's not a Christian nation. I think they get really discouraged, but then you get this kind of younger guy even though I'm 40, but I'm it was a little bit. I was 39 last time right. Last year I saw was a little younger. Here and I just was able to share with them. You know all these guys. You got Pastor Rick was there and Pastor Masada and Naha Santo? You know all those guys? You guys know some of those guys and I just was bold and I was just talking about not giving up, you know and it really encouraged me to not to give up and so same thing for all of us. Here you know your prayers your support has lifted me up in my family to not. You know, sometimes we want to give up, but we just keep going, and thankfully, by the grace of God, you know I didn't quit and if I would have quit that, maybe Mad Max would have got saved some other way. Or Matiko and her family who got saved, but I would have never been a part of it, so I I really thank you from the bottom of my heart. And really, that's the purpose of why I came. Up to here tonight I was gonna come anyway and hang out with you right? But I told Pastor Jerry so. Hey I want to share you know he goes reassured I see yeah I got jet lagged but I I want to share, you know? I mean 'cause I just got. Here, right, but anyway so. So what I want to do is when I end I want to pray for you right now. That's OK. I want to pray for you. So let's bow our hearts and let's pray, Lord. Lord, I thank you number one that I can be here with my brothers and sisters, Lord the best church. Lord in the world. Calvary Chapel living water. All the men and women you've sent out here. All the teachings and encouragements that you've given on this pulpit right on this stage and the beautiful worship that you lead us in adoration. To you, Lord. God, I thank you, but right now I just pray really for every single person here in this room that you would end well in them. Your power to live this Christian life to not give up when things get tough. When the rules and regulations coming down our shoulders and Lord when we feel like maybe. It's time to throw in the towel and you know, sit on the bench. Although I pray that my prayer for everyone here is that they'd be encouraged by just my little simple story of two people that got saved. Lord, my little church out there in Kagoshima of no more than 15 people or but God, you're doing a work you're working and lower. May everyone be encouraged that it's not only the work. That you're doing on the outside, but you're also doing a work in each and every one of our hearts. So Lord, Ignite that fire again for those of us who feel kind of worn out. Phil burnout. Lord, I pray. Ignite our fire again for you. May we not give up and Lord may we also know that there are other people, other churches, other Christians all over the world who are praying for us right now. Lord us personally and they know about the things that we're going through, and they are also lifting us up. And prayers and support. So Lord again man, what a what? A blessing to be here. I'm just. I'm thrilled. And I thank you for this. This body in this congregation, but more, I thank you for my family. So Lord bless them, pour your Holy Spirit upon them and continue to do, uh, work on this corner of railroad and Lincoln Lord. So Father, we thank you and we look forward to the great things that you're going to do. The great work that you're going to do, Lord in Jesus name, we pray.