was confused and angry. I pushed the accelerator to the floor as I
drove along the winding country road. "God, if you are real, keep this
car on the road" I prayed. Was it a real prayer? Was God real? I didn't
care much because my life was falling apart.|
Just minutes before
I had been arguing with my wife Edith. She had been staying in a
psychiatric hospital for the last few weeks trying to sort out her life
too. We both knew we had a problem, but we always finished up arguing
about the answer. It seemed that our marriage was finished. Divorce was
the inevitable solution.
The road led through a small town, and
as I passed the local bar, I resisted the urge to stop and drown my
sorrows there. Another town, another bar, but again I kept on driving
back to the city. I even drove past our own home because I did not want
to be on my own yet. Where could I go to be with people but be alone
with my hurting thoughts? I remembered that Edith had some Christian
friends who had a prayer meeting that evening. So I drove to their
Perhaps it was the unconditional acceptance and love I
felt from the people that night, or perhaps the peacefulness in the
house that started me thinking more about God. Two days later I was
home alone, and began recalling the past seven years.
and I had married young, and had struggled to get ahead in life in New
Zealand. She had contracted polio as a baby and walked with a leg brace
and a stick. Much of her childhood had been spent in hospitals.
grew up with a lack of self-confidence, always being pushed to achieve
but never really being able to be successful. Now I was facing the
prospect of failing again in our marriage. As I reflected all through
the night, I began to write a letter to Edith telling her how sorry I
was that I had failed her as a husband. I finished it, and before I
crawled into bed I knelt down and prayed again. "God, if you are real,
please help me. I have made a mess of my life, can you do anything for
As I drifted off to sleep I was wondering how to get this
letter to Edith. It was Saturday, and to mail it would take several
days before she would receive it. If I went out to the hospital, then
we would probably just argue again. Yet I felt it was urgent to let her
know my heart.
At the same time as our marriage problems, and
partly the cause of them, I was having problems with my job as an
Electronics Engineer. I was in responsible for the installation and
repairs of X-ray equipment in hospitals in about eight cities. I often
spent hours driving to fix a machine late at night, and arrive home in
the small hours of the morning. This job was at first a great
challenge, but finally became a cruel, driving master.
realized too late that it was affecting my marriage, but I had resigned
anyway. Other companies would be eager to employ me with all my
talents, I thought. But it was not so. No new doors opened to me.
ringing of the telephone dragged me out of the deep sleep I had fallen
into. The man on the phone, a former customer, asked me if I was still
looking for a job. "Yes? Come and see me on Monday morning."
I hung up the phone, something in my heart began to say "See, God does
care for you." But I was still tired and drifted off to sleep again.
hours later I heard a noise. The door opened and Edith came into the
bedroom. It seemed to me that God was answering more of my prayers. I
sat up in the bed, and handed her the letter that I had spent so much
time in writing the previous night. I burst into tears, tears of
repentance, as I experienced a cleansing feeling go right through my
very being. It was as if my life was wiped clean and I was given a new
start. Jesus became very real to me at that moment.
At the same
time the Lord gave me a promise. The words we had spoken at our
wedding: "What God has joined together, let no man take apart." The
promise was assuring me that the pending divorce would not happen and
that our marriage would be repaired.
Together we began to walk
with the Lord. It wasn't easy, but little by little Jesus changed our
lives and helped us learn to love each other. After a few months, Edith
was delivered from the Valium and other pills she had been dependent on.
experienced my own deliverance too. I had smoked cigarettes since I was
at high school, and couldn't seem to break the habit. One night at the
prayer meeting (the same one I had gone to before I knew Jesus) I
mentioned that I was going to try to give up smoking again. The men
there knew the power of the Holy Spirit, and they gathered around me,
laid their hands on me and prayed. After the prayer, I gave them my
pack of cigarettes and lighter. In the 27 years since then I have never
even had the desire to smoke a cigarette again. The Lord did for me
something that was far beyond my own power to accomplish, He set me
As my hunger for more of Jesus grew, so did my desire to
know more of His Word. My new job was the Lord's way for me to be
discipled. I was in a workshop with several other Christians, and we
talked about Jesus and the Bible all day as we worked. One of them
suggested that I should go to Bible School, so the following year I
gave up my job, rented out our house and together we enrolled at Faith
fine day during a class break, all the students were sitting in the sun
drinking tea and chatting. Someone asked where we would like to go if
we were going to be missionaries. Some brave people mentioned Africa or
Papua-New Guinea. Others wanted to be called to easier territory like
Hawaii or Surfers' Paradise! I heard my wife say that she wanted to go
to Japan, and I began to laugh. "Bring me back a new tape-recorder when
you return" I told her. To me it was a great joke.
But to God it
wasn't a joke. Over the next few months He began to get my attention.
The name JAPAN would come up in the teaching, or in conversation. Every
time I heard that word it was as if a nail was pounded into my heart. I
would pick up some item, and marked on it were the words MADE IN JAPAN.
Everywhere I turned, there was JAPAN. God got my attention, and finally
I said "Yes. Lord, I will go."
Until this time I don't even
remember having met any Japanese people. Then we attended a FGBMFI
Convention in Rotorua. We were told at the Hotel that our room needed
to share bathroom facilities with another room. Did we mind, because
the people in the other room were Japanese?
This was like the
Lord's final confirmation for us. The Japanese were two businessmen
from Osaka, not Christians but the first we were to meet. Also Osaka
was the place in Japan we had chosen to go to. Now we knew even more
surely that this was God's will for our lives.
Morris family in Osaka 1974
November 28th 1973 we arrived at Osaka Airport. We came to join the
YWAM team in Osaka, but soon the Holy Spirit began to show me a more
specific need that would eventually become our ministry in Japan. The
leader shared with me the verse from Nehemiah Chapter 8: ".. and send
portions to them for whom nothing has been prepared." The "portions"
were cassette tapes carrying the teaching of God's Word, and soon the
work of FAITH TAPES began.
It started in a small way, recording
messages in Japanese in the YWAM meetings, and at seminars and church
services. At first most of the tapes were borrowed by other Christians,
as this was just after the Oil Crisis and not many could afford to buy
them. Sometimes I would take a box of the latest messages with me to
meetings and lend them out. Sometimes people would crowd into our small
bedroom that was also the tape library to borrow them.
Tape Library in 1976
we moved to Takarazuka in 1974 and published a catalog, we began
sending out tapes by post. At first we copied the tapes from one deck
to another. Later I built a duplicator from spare parts, and used it
until we could afford to buy a cassette duplicator.
days there was not much attempt to make good recordings of the sermons
in the churches. Usually they used small portable recorders while
sitting in the front row. We pioneered the need for good microphones
near the preacher to make good quality recordings.
This was also
the era of the "Holy Spirit Seminars" which Rev. Les Pritchard and Rev
Marvin Fast set up to bring excellent Bible Teachers to Japan. I was
involved in the recording of many of these seminars all over Japan.
1977 we had moved to Ikoma to live, and about this time we began to
experiment with video. Using borrowed or rented cameras we made our
first videotapes. Little by little new equipment was added, and our
productions improved. Still, video was much more complex than audio,
and so it required a lot more time and equipment to produce.
Videotaping in 1985
turning point occurred in 1988 with the visit to Japan of Charles and
Frances Hunter. I was the contact person for their meetings in the
Osaka area, and the first stage was to have their book "How to Heal the
Sick" translated and published. It was in great demand, and we soon
sold the first printing of 10,000 copies.
Then came the seminars
and "Healing Explosion." Both events were far more popular than anyone
expected. For the seminars we rented a hall seating 400, but eventually
we had to rent extra rooms, and even had 200 people sitting in the
lobby of the building watching on TV.
For the "Healing
Explosion" we had ordered a hall that seated 1100. The local pastors
thought it would never be filled. On the day we squeezed 1300 inside,
another 200 outside the doors watching on TV, and another 600 in an
adjacent cafeteria also watching on TV.
For Faith Tapes, these
meetings began a ministry of publishing other books, and also started
the popularity of "Ministry Videos".
FGBMFI team from Seattle. Osaka 1985
1981 I had tried to start a chapter of FGBMFI in Osaka. It had been
tried several times before in Japan, but with limited success. I found
also that it was very difficult to attract men to expensive dinner
meetings. Frustrated, I gave everything to the Lord. It seemed that it
was not yet the right time.
Later that year Mel Tari came to
Japan, and there was an opportunity for me to set up a meeting for him.
Although it was advertised as a FGBMFI meeting, I decided on a
different style of meeting. No meal, not only men, and a time for
ministry and prayer. Over 100 people crammed into the room at the Osaka
Christian Center to attend the first FGBMFI OPEN MEETING. This is where
the name "Open Meeting" originated.
But it was still not God's
time for FGBMFI, and the next year the Lord spoke to me to begin
monthly "Open Meetings" for ministry and intercession for Osaka. For
the next 5 years the Lord provided us a man or woman of God as a guest
speaker, and hundreds of Christians received the baptism in the Holy
Spirit, were healed and delivered from various bondages, and many were
also called into full-time ministry for the Lord.
In 1986 we
began receiving visits from FGBMFI members from Seattle led by Bob
Bignold, and from Canada led by Jack DeLong. Soon it became obvious
that the Lord wanted to start the FGBMFI work in Japan again. I became
the coordinator for the Kansai area, setting up the schedules for
airlift teams coming from Seattle and Canada, and arranging all the
Banquet and church meetings. At first we invited Bob and the FGBMFI
members to share at our "Open Meetings". Then it became necessary for
FGBMFI to have their own monthly meeting, and because many of the same
men were involved in both meetings, we decided that FGBMFI should take
over "Open Meeting" as their regular meeting.
After this the
concept of FGBMFI began to spread throughout Japan and I went out with
teams of American and Japanese members on outreach trips. The first of
such trips consisted of "Open Meetings" in Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Hiroshima
and Okayama on consecutive evenings. This not only made an impact on
those cities, but particularly on the Japanese members who went. Most
of them are now the leaders in the Fellowship.
1991 I felt that the Lord wanted me to resign from my responsibility
with FGBMFI. I had been in charge of the FGBMFI National Office, and we
had started having National Conventions. So it was time for Japanese
men to do the work I had been doing. When I resigned, I did not then
have anything else to do, and I even felt a little empty - like a
parent does when their child leaves home.
God had another plan,
and at the beginning of 1992 He gave me a vision in my heart. This was
not like a movie picture, but a strong impression in my heart, that I
should go to Russia. I have always prayed for Russia since becoming a
Christian, and I had even tried unsuccessfully to go there in 1975. Now
I was instructed to take a van full of Bibles, Christian books and
tapes and take it to Russia along with some FGBMFI members. I was to
preach the Gospel, give out the literature, give the van to a pastor,
and then fly back to Japan.
The problem was that at that time I
had never heard about taking used cars to eastern Russia, I had no more
contacts in Russia, and I had no money for such a venture. In July 1992
at a FGBMFI meeting I heard missionary Reijo Blommendahl telling how he
was taking used cars, Bibles, clothing, and other aid to Eastern Russia
from Japan. My heart was excited, and I knew that I should be going
with this brother on his next trip.
With an International team in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, giving out New Testaments
in September I found myself on a Russian freight ship heading for the
Island of Sakhalin. We had seven vehicles filled with all kind of
supplies, a team of 6 people from different nations, and a camera crew
from CNN who wanted to document our journey. After an exciting journey
we arrived in Sakhalin, and as we were driving from the ship to our
first evangelistic meeting, I realized that I was driving a van, and
that it was carrying Bibles, books and tapes to distribute. We preached
the Gospel, gave out the Bibles, gave the van to a pastor, and I flew
back to Japan. And three of our team were FGBMFI members. What a
wonderful way the Lord fulfilled the vision He had given me. In
subsequent trips I often experienced this kind of supernatural leading,
where the Holy Spirit would tell what was going to happen, and then it
With staff and students of Faith in Action Bible School, 1997
this was really only the beginning. During this trip we saw many
hundreds of people turning to Jesus, but there were very few churches
and pastors to care for them. Again the Lord put another burden on my
heart, the need to start a Bible Training School to teach the Word of
God in Russia. As I continued to visit the Russian Far East, I met some
pastors who had a similar burden. So in April 1994 we started "Faith in
Action Bible School" in Vladivostok. Since that time we have trained
over 60 workers, who are in many kinds of Christian work now. I travel
to Vladivostok to teach in the school about 4 times each year, and
since that first trip in 1992 I have been over 30 times.
this is not just my own ministry because it is a wonderful way to give
the Japanese Christians a part of Missions. Several FGBMFI members have
gone to Russia with me to evangelize or see the Bible School. Much of
the money to run the Bible School comes from donations by Japanese
Christians. Russia is actually the closest foreign country to Japan,
and it is so important that the Japanese church reaches out to its
This November (1999) marks our 25 years in
Japan, and the things that give me greatest satisfaction are not so
much what I have done, but when I see others doing the work I have
pioneered for them, whether it is the Christians in churches in Japan,
the leaders in FGBMFI Japan, or the Bible School students in Far East
Russia. My desire has been to see those ministries multiplied, and the
Lord Jesus receiving so much more glory. It has all happened because of