Today (Saturday the 6th) we celebrate 25 years as missionaries in Japan. Tonight we will go out to one of our favorite restaurants and quietly celebrate. Here is most of what I wrote in our latest prayer letter about it: On Saturday we will be celebrating 25 years on the mission field of Japan. We arrived at Haneda airport on a China Airlines flight on May 6, 1980. During these 25 years we have been on the other side of the world from loved ones and friends when they suffered and died. We have each had surgery and sickness over the years. Patty once came close to death after surgery. I have developed rosacea and had my vision harmed in one eye through ocular rosacea, a disease few Japanese doctors know about. We survived the dollar going down from 260 yen per dollar when we first came to about 114 per dollar nowadays, with one rough time when it went down to less than 79 yen. I say these things only so I can say that Christ's promise in the Great Commission has been proven abundantly true in our lives and ministry, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!" The blessings of serving Jesus as a missionary in Japan far outweigh the trials. We are humbled and thrilled that we have seen the salvation of many Japanese over these years. In those first two years of language study in Tokyo while living in Saitama Prefecture and working with Dr. Jim Norton, we saw folks saved even before we learned the language! Brother Abe, who later started a church on the other side of Tokyo, comes to memory. Then, from our 13 years in Yokohama, we remember some special believers and how they got saved or grew in the Lord: the Wakamatsu family, the Ishihara family and many others. Mr. Togo from those years is now in Heaven, and the Furukawa family are in Tottori Prefecture, where Katsuyuki pastors a house church. (You may remember that his wife was a schizophrenic girl I counseled and baptized.) My students from the Grace Baptist Bible School in Tokyo are scattered around Japan pastoring and otherwise serving the Lord. If one reads this who is wavering about answering God's call to be a missionary or serve Him in some other way, let us encourage you to say a heartfelt "Yes!" to God's call. He will always be with you in a special way, just as He promised. You will learn, as we have, what my father, Rev. Charles A. Himes, preached over and over again during his 60 years as a preacher of the Gospel: "It pays to serve Jesus!"