Children and young people are sometimes tempted to feel there is little they can do for Christ and the salvation of souls. Here is an account of what one child did, after someone else had passed a little tract to her. Read how God used them all.
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none;
but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
I WOULD LIKE to tell you the story of a little girl in Japan who had been for two years in a tubercular sanitarium. Her body had wasted away so much that she could hardly move in bed. One day when a group of Gospel workers were visiting the hospitals, they left a Christian tract with her. She was not able to hold it, but had the nurse prop it on a stand above her head, and turn the pages, one by one so she could read them.
As she read and re-read that simple Gospel message, it gripped her heart. She prayed, asking the nurse to help her by standing by to hear her voice in prayer. God reached through, and she prayed for forgiveness of sin and she had a wonderful experience of salvation.
As many do, when they are first saved, this girl wanted to share the joy the Lord had given to her. One day she read in the newspaper of a wicked man who had been condemned to death for murder.
She decided she must write him, and tell him about Jesus. It took her three days, but she finally was able to use her little strength and movement to get a letter finished, and with it she sent the tract which had meant so much to her.
When he received it he was indignant, but later as he re-read the letter he realized how much this little one-page letter had really meant to the little girl who had mailed it to him. His heart was touched in thinking that someone would care enough for him to write him a letter at such cost.
He began to read the tract. Over and over he read, until the truth grasped his heart and he believed it. God came into that Tokyo prison and saved that brutal murderer through the witness of an almost helpless little girl in the tubercular sanitarium across the city.
Later the murderer was taken to another prison, more than a thousand miles away, where he was placed in the “death row” as his final place before his execution.
One day he was singing a Gospel hymn which he had learned from Christian workers who held services in the prison. As his lonely cell echoed with the praises of God, he heard a voice call through the “peep hole” to the next cell. It was a man named Uchida, who had also found Christ as his Saviour. What a joy when the two were able to share their faith together!
Mr. Iwata, for that was the prisoner's name, and Mr. Uchida began to pray and work for the salvation of the other men in death row. The warden gave them permission to share their testimony with other prisoners when they were all together at mealtime.
In the two years that Mr. lwata was in death row, 41 condemned prisoners were won to Christ. The warden permitted the baptism of the Christians in the prison bathtub, and he stated that the whole atmosphere of death row had changed from frenzy and fright to Christian joy and peace. As the guards made their rounds along the cells they could hear Gospel hymns coming from the cells.
The time finally came for Mr. lwata to die for his sin. He was permitted his last request that he might be taken to the tubercular sanitarium to see the little girl who had written him the one-page letter and sent him the Gospel tract.
Standing beside her bed, the converted murderer told her the story of what the letter and tract had done for him and his friends through the saving power of Jesus Christ. Tears poured from the girl's eyes as she heard the story of what God had done.
Before leaving her, Mr. lwata was moved to lay his hand upon her head and pray a prayer of faith for healing. He then returned to the prison, and was soon executed for his crime, but he went to God whom he knew and trusted and loved.
The power of the living Word of God, which had transformed him and the 41 men of death row, now came into the dying body, of the little girl in the sanitarium. Within weeks she was completely healed of her illness by the power of God, and she walked from the sanitarium and returned to a normal life.
What a wonderful work of God this was! It all started because one helpless little girl who could not do much, did the little she could do, and because a condemned murderer, imprisoned in death row, did not give up, but did what he could to tell others of his Lord.
-By P. L. Rounds, Missionary to Japan
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”