Dear Friends and Family,
Let me take this moment to thank each of you for your faithful prayer and giving in 2017. The fruits of our labors together as I have traveled across the USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea this year have been so numerous! I could fill many pages with testimonies of salvation, healings, and absolute miracles in our precious Lord's interventions as I look back on the year and think about what our walks have been exposed to from January through February in Okinawa's Islands among the people of many beliefs and customs. Then onto Osaka at Antioch Seminary and Taiwan, and Korea in March. We had many meetings and prayer walks throughout the United States and Canada in the Spring and Summer months. I went back to Taiwan at the end of September through mid-October and ended back in Japan through mid-November. As I write this letter, we have just finished our Thanksgiving season where we gave thanks for an abundant harvest.
The year will start in its lunar new year in February, celebrating the dragon. How my heart yearns to reach the dear ones with the truth found in Jesus! They don't understand how they are so pressed under the fear of the curse if they don't practice the many demands of their religion. Fear of the curse is always there, and so many break down every year in mental sickness and suicide.
Each of their four major festivals focus on their religion. "New Year" parading the dragon and bringing all the trinkets , prayer banners, and very expensive decorations from their homes, businesses, and government offices to be burned in a celebration of hopeful prosperity, safety, and health for the past year, only to go to the temple to purchase new ones for the next year. I have prayed over so many of these large bins full of these items to be burned, representing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost to the worshipers. I've stood in the ash pile where it's all burned, mixed with brass bells and many symbols of blessings promised for the previous year where it was all "put to the fire". This again and again brings me to 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 "...If any one's labors endure the test of fire, they shall be saved." Oh, how desperately we need more and ore heavenly visitations to loosen these dear people from their many bondages all focused on death and the curse!
Think with me back a moment on the assignment of Moses to lead his people out of Egypt's bondage and slavery. If his words would have been all he had with Pharaoh, nothing would have changed, and the Hebrews would have continued in the same realm of captivity from generation to generation. The longer I am in ministry I realize the absolute need for the miraculous manifestations of God's power to loose the people from the bondage of their lives. Religion and social pressures have attached to them as leeches, sucking the very life's blood out of them.
Miracles must accompany our message, or there will be no good fruit to sustain and give the people what they need to go on in life victoriously. Consider how Jesus, Who endured such continual contradiction of sinners, embraced the cross, despised the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, ever living, makes intercession to the Father for us. If His life here in just 3 1/2 years of teaching His disciples, would have consisted of His Words alone, would that have continued to this day? No! A thousand times no, even as precious as His words are! You see, Moses and Elijah would have failed without the miracles that shook nations and provided a better way to freedom and liberty in spirit, soul, and body. Jesus said, "Those things you have HEARD AND SEEN IN ME, go and do the same, manifesting the power I give you in all nations." So, in our lives, we must have the miraculous following our ministry to be the evidence needed to cause the message to take root and grow strong in every Believer.
Each year as I travel in mid-November, it has been my experience to see and feel the noticeable change in every nation as they celebrate the spirit of giving, and I don't attribute this to Santa Claus, Father Christmas, or Saint Nicholas, but to the Christ child, born in a manger. As we walked in Japan, my heart was, and is always, filled with gratitude for the songs and voices heard growing up in the 1950s here in the USA. These songs are playing in the restaurants, stores, and malls: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, Away In A Manger, and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. These songs are playing all across Asia, sounding the salvation message across the earth to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward men. All of this, calling the nations to remember God's gift to mankind.
Each year we look back to review the results of a life lived for another year, and our hearts are filled with praise and thanksgiving for all that our precious Savior has freely given us in each day and season. Our lives in Jesus with Joyful Sound Ministries have witnessed one of the most fruitful years I personally have ever experienced! Overflowing with the awesome increase in God's presence as we walk and pray with teams, minister the Word, pray for the sick and hurting, and bring love and encouragement to the many ministries and churches as well as missionaries arising in the youth, so open, excited and full of vision for the challenge set before them; ready and willing to serve in whatever is needed to rise up in their generation for our labors these many years. I see a new church arising!! And my heart is full with joy and expectation for what 2018 will bring.
Many thanks for a wonderful year in standing with us at Joyful Sound Ministries. Merry Christmas and a double portion blessing to all in 2018!!
Sincerely and Humbly in Him,
Henry and Judith Gruver & Family