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They That Sat in Darkness
An Account of Rescue Work in Japan in the Words of the Rev. Yoshimichi Sugiura

New York: Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, [1912]

Chapter III. Some of My Present Difficulties.

The society of our country has as yet no sympathy for my work. So now, since almost empty-handed I am facing the lowest stratum of society and its darkest side and have well begun the battle, the difficulties seem more than I can tell. Yet I believe that God is with me and ever miraculously sustains me. I am carrying on the work without one penny, and yet the results are comparatively great and beautiful. As I have mentioned already, the absolutely essential thing for my work is workers. I thank God that it is that, rather than money or furnishing. He has given the Union the very men it needs. Among them I can count Messrs. T. Gonda and T. Kikuchi, who are the early converts of the Union, and Messrs. K. Majima and N. Wada, who are earnest Christians and rendered their help to me in every possible way. Then there is Mr. H. Hatano, who is a writer of a large magazine in this city, The Jitsugyo no Nihon, has [16/17] joined us to render assistance with his mighty pen. He wrote in his magazine Mr. Numari's history, to show forth to the people God's miraculous power, which had just begun to work in the Union, in its numbers of June and July, 1909.

I wish to mention in passing about Mr. M. Numari. In November, 1907, he had called on me and asked me very earnestly to give him my assistance, confessing all his past sins and crimes. He told me that he had spent his life in committing dreadful crimes, having been sentenced at least twenty times to imprisonment, after he had run away from his father's house when he was but thirteen years of age--1895. He was released from the last term a month before he came to me, and went to his native town, where he found no one who had love or sympathy to receive him--even his own father had refused to take him into his house, telling him that if he stayed any longer in the town the father must commit suicide, for he could not endure to be called the father of such wicked fellow by his townsmen. So he reluctantly came out again to this dangerous city, where his old companions were waiting to receive him into [17/18] their bands. Fortunately, however, he was introduced to me by a deacon, Rev. S. Tsuchida, who was working in the town, and fell into my hands. I gave him work immediately, and treated him most carefully, and committed him to Mr. Wada, who volunteered to take him into his house to enable him to escape from the dangerous environment. He was so much moved by the kindness of Mr. Wada that he burst into a loud cry one day, and told a friend that if he cannot be saved this time there is no way to go in this world but only death. By the kind help of Mr. Wada he studied the Bible with the utmost zeal, and his bad character was thoroughly subdued by the amazing power of the Holy Spirit. The change was so great that the police authorities of this city, who at first doubted the repentance of such a famous thief, and even cautioned me for my safety, had thanked us for his complete reform. After a few months I took him from Mr. Wada's hand and made him live with other members in the boarding house. After his conversion he began to work with hunger to convert his old friends, and many of them were moved and repented.

[19] Indeed, the essential for this work of the Union is the workers God had thus far given. On these men the work, the very existence, of the Union depends.

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