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MTW medical volunteer Cornelia (left) poses with Armando (center) and his new prosthetic.

Story Shorts: Japan & Mexico

By Staff, May 21, 2024

Editor's Note: "Story Shorts" are snippets of stories of lives transformed from MTW fields around the globe. 

Buddhist Family Comes to Faith in Japan

An MTW Japan missionary agreed to have a difficult conversation with a Buddhist man with less than a year to live. The man’s Christian daughter told him she could not hold a Japanese Buddhist funeral for him, so she asked her father to meet with her pastor about making arrangements for a Christian funeral.

The missionary pastor explained the gospel to the man and his wife, highlighting the differences between Christian and Buddhist funerals. At the end of their conversation, the man asked: “So I don’t have to be a Christian to have a Christian-based funeral?”

“No, sir! We would never want you to believe something you don’t want to,” the missionary answered.

“Well,” he paused. “I might as well become Christian.”

His daughter and the missionary stared at him in astonishment. The missionary quickly said, “Oh sir, there is really no pressure to ...”

To their surprise the father explained, “I may not look like it, but I am a very prideful man. But when you face death, there is no longer a need to hold on to pride. I listened to your explanation,” he said, pointing at the scribbles that explained the gospel, “and it sounds right. I would like to enter into your faith.”

Still skeptical, the missionary asked, “Does this mean you want to get baptized?”

“Yes. With my wife as well.”

His wife was surprised but nodded in agreement. After a few Bible studies and a baptism interview, the 70-year-old couple got baptized in front of their Christian daughter.

Story Shorts - Japan/Mexico

A Prosthetic Gift in Mexico

Months before they left the U.S., an MTW medical team to Saltillo, Mexico, began praying for God to provide someone in need of a prosthetic limb because they had some available for that visit. The two Mexican churches planning to host the clinic didn’t know of anyone, but in faith the team continued to pray and brought the prosthetics. After arriving in Saltillo in the fall of 2023, they met Armando.

Armando lost his hand in a work-related machine accident four years ago, costing him both his hand and his job. Armando had come to the clinic for high blood pressure but once he arrived the team asked if he’d like to be fitted for a new hand. When he met with the occupational therapist on the team his first question was, “How much does it cost? I’m a poor man, and I have no money.”

Cornelia, the OT, answered, “Nothing! We’re here to share the love of Jesus and help with physical and spiritual wounds.”

Armando asked, “What kind of God do you serve that you’d come from the U.S. to our mountains and offer me an artificial limb that I had never hoped to own?”

“A mighty and loving God!” Cornelia replied. “In my church our pastor says, “It’s for you Christ came, for you He died, and for you He will come again!”

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Give thanks and pray for a couple in Japan who recently came to faith as they faced the last days of the husband's life.

Pray for those in Turkey continuing to rebuild from last year's earthquake, and for continuation of the spiritual growth seen as a result.

Pray for the pastors/national partners ministering in the Ukrainian church amid the ongoing war. Pray too for MTW missionaries who serve the church both in-country and from afar.

Pray for missionary women seeking to juggle ministry and family life in a cross-cultural setting.

Give thanks to God for the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who have come to faith over the last two decades. Pray for God to protect believers and draw more to Himself. 

Pray that the global church, including the PCA in the U.S., would make evangelism a priority, and share the truth with those around them. 

Pray that God would draw many PCA church members, pastors, students, and those passionate about global missions to the GMC conference in November.

Pray for Freedom Ministries arm of MTW's work in Cambodia, providing a home for girls and young women rescued from trafficking. Pray that the girls who don't yet know Christ come to know Him.

Pray for God's grace for missionaries as they seek to be an example of love and hospitality to their neighbors while facing ongoing stressors of life.

Pray that missionaries would feel cared for while on the field. Pray, too, for our Member Care Department staff as they seek to care for missionaries well.

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