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While serving as a U.S. Marine in Iwakuni, Japan I had an experience that I thought I would share. The date was Friday, Nov 1st, 2002. Just to set the stage, that means it was a payday Friday compounded by the fact that military promotions occur on the 1st, so there were many Marines of all ranks promoted that day who wished to celebrate. A real recipe for trouble.

There is a local mission church in Iwakuni (Assembly of God) that the Lord has situated right in the center of a block where all the local bars are. Since all the bars (there are a couple of dozen plus) are within a 200 yard stretch of road less than a quarter mile from the front gate of the base, many Marines walk from bar to bar drinking and carousing. There are hundreds of people in the street on weekend nights, about half of which are local Japanese citizens. There is much alcohol abuse and fights often break out. Things don’t really even get going until after midnight and they go strong until about 4 a.m.

This church sets a table up in front of their door right on the sidewalk where literally everyone walks by all night long. They provide food and coffee to the people along with Gospel tracts, New Testaments, etc in both English and Japanese. Several young Marines who are members of the church stand on the sidewalk witnessing to both Marines and Japanese who stop for food. It is a great ministry opportunity. I have made it my habit to join them on Friday nights.

Last night a VERY drunk older Japanese woman (50ish) staggered up in front of us and spit a couple of times on the sidewalk in front of the table with food, Gospel tracts, Bibles, etc on it, then shoved most of her hand down her throat to make herself vomit. In between gagging she would look up at us and say "FOR YOU!". Then she finally vomited a couple of times on the sidewalk. One of the young Marines with us came out and offered her a glass of water. I immediately thought of the Scripture where Jesus says "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

Of course to watch that played out in person in front of my eyes made me realize that only Jesus can prompt such an action. Therefore the reality of the matter is that it is really Jesus giving the glass of water to Himself, and we are just the vessel He uses to deliver it. In our human weakness, we could never think of such a thing, but when Jesus is a part of us, we can think of nothing else.

By the way, the woman accepted the water and moved on. Jesus 1, Satan 0.

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