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Blessed to Bless Others

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Speaking with the pastor of the United Church of Japan, Mr. Hirai, a Bible college graduate assigned to the pioneer work at Saijo, Japan, said, “God will have to work a miracle, Pastor Akaino, if our church is ever to have a building. We’re very small, but we’ve started a building fund anyway.”

One Saturday night Hirai answered a call from the door and returned with Mr. and Mrs. Ando, members of the United Church who had attended some evangelistic meetings the previous summer.

God was leading them to give their entire savings plus their year-end bonus, a total of 500,000 yen ($1,300 U.S.), to the Alliance building fund. But how was it that members of another church in town would give so much to our work? To answer this, we must go back to the years immediately following the end of World War II.

Akaino was repatriated to his homeland at the close of the war and began to do pioneer evangelism in Saijo. He engaged the large auditorium of the local rayon factory for evangelistic services and invited Alliance missionary Miss Mabel Francis to speak. That year Akaino baptized and received into membership 80 people, and thus a church was born.

Francis spoke a number of times, and the work continued to grow. During one of these meetings the Andos heard their first message on scriptural tithing and promised the Lord they would faithfully tithe. God blessed them abundantly; He also gave them two healthy children. Their material blessings continued to abound, and they were laying aside money for the future.

Following the conversation between Hirai and Akaino, people of United Church heard about our vision to build. Among them were some former Alliance members who had joined there before our work was started. They began to give regularly to the building fund. This deeply impressed the Andos.

When our summer evangelistic campaign was held, the Andos were so blessed and challenged by the Alliance message that God began a new work in their hearts. He spoke to them about the money they were saving for their children’s education. After talking it over they decided the Lord would have them give some to help in the building program.

Mrs. Ando felt God say to her, “Why don’t you give all your savings and your year-end bonus too?” She was willing to do this but hesitated to mention it to her husband. However, she had no peace in her heart and finally decided to tell him. His response startled her. “I’ve been feeling the same way! I’ve just been wondering how to tell you!”

Immediately they left their house and hurried over to tell us of their decision. How true are the words of Ecclesiastes 11:1—“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”

Adapted from The Alliance Witness July 31, 1968

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