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Ministry during COVID-19: A missed funeral leads to new life
May 2020

By Bruce Harris in Japan — Last year, when Mrs. Tanaka found out her husband’s cancer was incurable, she asked the members of two Japanese churches to pray for him. She asked for prayer for his healing, but she was most concerned for his soul. He had not put his faith in Jesus.  

Fast-forward some months, when COVID-19 started to change the way the world celebrates, worships, and mourns. Sadly, Mrs. Tanaka's elder sister, a Christian lady in another region of Japan, died.  

Because of COVID-19 restrictions coupled with Mr. Tanaka’s health, Mrs. Tanaka was not able to attend her sister’s funeral. Instead, she wrote out the testimony of how she came to Christ 21 years ago in a letter to be read to the family who could attend the funeral. She asked her husband to listen to the testimony of her salvation before she dropped the letter in the mail. As Mr. Tanaka listened, the Lord opened his heart and he believed the gospel that his wife shared in that letter! 

Japanese man prays with his pastor during COVID-19.
Mrs. Tanaka’s pastor came a few days later and shared the gospel again with Mr. Tanaka. Without hesitation, he confessed his faith in Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and was baptized in his home. 

As terminal cancer and COVID-19 do not touch the soul, these are powerless to destroy Mr. Tanaka’s new life and hope in Christ.

“And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved and your household.’ And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.” Acts 16:31-32

In these days of global pandemic, life and ministry require daily adaptation. Your donation to SEND’s Crisis Response Fund will help us respond to needs that arise because of the COVID-19 virus. Click here to give.



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