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Far East A Trophy of God's Grace By David Harris The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). I met Mr. Yamashita in a locked ward of a mental hospital. His plight was depression and he was heavily sedated. A large portion of one side of his head was shaved and a half moon incision with stitches revealed the doctor's work to relieve pressure from his brain. He had jumped from an open window of the same hospital attempting suicide. It was his fifth attempt. When I visited the hospital that day to speak with a young man who had visited our church, the room designated as the visitation room was filled with men who wanted to talk to the foreigner. Everyone had a story and everyone wanted to talk. As I talked with everyone at the same time, the Lord surprisingly seemed to single out this young man and urge me to love him. I argued with the Lord. “He will never be able to come to church.” “I can hardly understand him.” “He is in a locked ward of a mental hospital.” These were some of the thoughts that were going through my mind; yet, the Lord strongly spoke to my heart and challenged me to love him. After praying and asking the Lord what He wanted me to do, I gave the young man a New Testament. I suggested he begin reading the book of Mark. When we met the next week, I was surprised to learn he had read the whole book. He devoured Bible studies and our allotted visitation time of thirty minutes would often turn into two and three hours. It seemed the doctors and nurses did not mind. There was not much to do other than their normal rounds. When we first met, the recurring themes I heard from him were of his highly successful father who sometimes would mistreat him due to alcohol. He spoke of his fear of situations in the world such as wars. His life was full of fear. He spoke of being a top student in the highest level high school in Aomori before going to college in Tokyo. It was there the disappointments of life began. A failed relationship caused his first suicide attempt. One day he pulled up his shirt to reveal scars on his stomach from another failed attempt. That one was what is called hara-kiri (ha-da-kee-dee [“r”s in Japanese have a soft “d” sound like in the name Eddie]). Hara is the word for stomach. Kiri is the verb meaning to cut. I am sure one would be familiar with this term some call “hari-kari.” 16