Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 23, PAGE 5,10c

The Lord's Work In Japan

W. C. Hinton, Jr.

It is good to be able to pause again and bring you up to date concerning the happenings in our part of the world. The interval has been rather long, but we hope you bear with us in times such as these.

First concerning our health and situation: All seems much improved and on an "even-keel" again. First, David had the mumps, then Stevie had them again on the other side and I also had the mumps on one side for the first time in my life. Guess I wasn't immune after all!! Stevie fell at school and had to have a stitch in the back of his head. Nancy seems to have been the lucky one through this particular time. We are glad that it is all over and we are able to do things that we had to let go for a short while.

In our last report, as you remember, we told of the accident in which our neighbor's child was involved. Well, he came back home last week and seems to be well on the way to complete recovery. The skin grafting recently done seems to have taken, and he has through exercises regained the use of the damaged areas, though of course still weak from the time, loss, etc. The other boy had a leg bone bent which will require traction, casts, and possibly an operation to remove a clotted area in the joint, all of this will take about a year the doctors say, but at least he is alive, and has no bad brain damage which at first was thought.

The country here is socialized, therefore the government is to offer socialized medicine to all citizens. But in Japan the feeling and custom seems to be different. Although the insurance coverage was available to our neighbors, they chose rather not to use the benefit, which would only have required a token of money, thus thousands of yen went in payment for services rendered. Their thinking was to bring the doctor and hospital under a condition of "giri". GIRI is defined as justice, duty, honor, courtesy, and it involves each to the ultimate degree. By bringing someone under a "giri" condition, tremendous obligations and responsibilities are demanded and forced upon the person. Thus our neighbors by not using the government insurance benefits placed the hospital staff, doctors, and others involved, under the obligation of doing their very best, and even more, in providing for a complete cure. His feeling was that if he had used the Government Insurance that the people concerned would not have done their best nor the best kind of medicines been used to effect a complete recovery. This Japanese system of "giri" is one keenly felt and used often. The little help we were able to offer in their time of need, to them, placed them under obligation to us and thus a little while back brought a large expensive doll as an expression of gratitude and relieving them of their obligation; even though we tried to refuse it assuring them we helped merely out of a sincere desire to be of assistance, they explained that for their feelings it was necessary that we accept. Indeed. One must be careful what kind of gift is given at various occasions, due to the obligation placed, in the mind of the Japanese, even though not intended by the giver, upon the receiver. For instance, if a gift of fruit or flowers is given in a time of sickness, the receiver will try to determine the value and repay it with about half the value when he has recovered because he has been placed under a condition of "girl." Of course we try to teach the Christ-like attitude in helping out of love and not expecting the return, but centuries-old customs are not thrown off overnight.

The move to Nagoya has become more of a necessity, after considerable planning, praying, and thought concerning such. The brethren are anxious to have us come, as no full-time preacher has ever worked with the group, which means that they have thrived only on Sunday preaching for the most part. But in this, the third largest city in Japan, we have great hopes for tremendous success as concerning the church of the Lord. The brethren are planning with us how we can add living quarters to their proposed building with the least possible expense. We have offered some of the key-money deposit toward quarters for us, when the move is completed and our deposit is returned thus making almost $75 a month available for other things in that the quarters would be rent free. And, too, the quarters are being designed so that a Japanese family would feel "at home" when we leave the area and they secure a preacher to carry on, or one of the members there is so trained which is very possible. But the bad spot in the picture is that the land is not yet released for building due to a sale hold-up in the tract of land, thus the streets and various utilities cannot be installed. But possibly by the end of the year this will be all cleared up we have been told. That places us in the position as to whether it would be better to move over there immediately in a temporary house, or wait possibly six to eight months. These are good points on both sides, but it seems the good points of getting into the area as soon as possible outweigh the other considerations. At any rate, pray for us that we might be guided well into proper thoughts and plans, that above all, His ends will be realized regardless of other considerations.

Please do not consider that we are moving there for personal gain. or better personal conditions. The cost of living is higher there, we will lose the known shopping centers, many of which are wholesale, becoming adjusted to new and different surroundings, neighbors, and schools, are but a few of the things to be borne, not to mention the getting there, moving, etc. But we determined a long time ago, that where there was a need and we thought that we could in some measure fill it, we would try our best, and we only now hope that we can be of some help in advancing the cause of the Lord in that area that moves us so with 2,000,000 souls that know not their left hand from their right as pertaining to the knowledge of God and His place for them.

Through our Saturday evening Bible Class we were asked to hold a three day meeting at a local technical college, some of whose students attend our class. Bro. Nichols preached and we both answered questions after the lessons. The following Sunday two of the boys went to visit the Osaka church and one, Nagaisan, was baptized that same day. We are so happy! They are so interested that they have asked that another gospel meeting be held in October with me doing the preaching. We pray for more results in the Lord. In August, I am to hold a meeting for the Osaka church in which we hope much good will be done.

We appreciate your continued interest in our efforts and would like to hear from any of you caring to write. We are especially grateful to the HYDE PARK church in Tampa, Florida, for their $75. which is being reserved for the up-coming expenses in the move to Nagoya. Pray for us as we do for all of your efforts.

83, Wakayama - CHO Nishinomiya City, Japan