Kamizono Church

Kamizono Church
The Kamizono congregation is in Nishinomiya near Kobe, and about an hour’s drive from our home. I am into my seventh year of preaching there once a month.

The pastor of the congregation, Brother Saito, a graduate of Emmanuel Seminary in Tennessee, passed on to the Lord’s Presence several years ago from cancer. While hospitalized, he asked the doctor if he could go back to his congregation and preach one last time, and the doctor allowed him to do so. Brother Saito died just a couple of days after preaching that Lord’s Day. 

At the request of the congregation, his wife Reiko, a graduate of OBS and Lincoln Bible Seminary, was ordained and continued the ministry, preaching every Lord’s Day for a time. Both Brother and Sister Saito were retired professors of OBS. She is in her mid-80s now and preaches once or twice a month. I have been asked to preach once a month, with a more recent graduate of OBS also preaching regularly. 

I have a wonderful translator, Brother Motobayashi, who is the third generation owner (CEO) of a large international trading company. He grew up in the Kamizono congregation and was an exchange student in the U.S.A. for a year during high school. He accepted the Lord into his life there and has remained a solid believer. He lives in the Tokyo area, being discipled over the years by one of our major Tokyo congregations. 

In 2015 he invited Mrs. Saito to an open house for his company. He suggested he would be available to translate for me and has joined me faithfully in ministering to this congregation since then! Brother Motobayashi and I are like “book ends” to the ministry which I helped Missionary Exie Fultz begin in the 1950s when I was a teen-ager and where he later grew up in the Lord.