Brethren, I have had the priviledge of getting to know this dear brother(Tatsuo Akamine) who's email I decided to post below(with his permission) for encouragement and for the purpose of asking for prayer on his behalf. He is truly an inspiration in the Lord.
"FROM LOS ANGELES TO ILLINOIS
Praise be to His Holy Name!! The Lord God is doing mighty things in central Illinois. Kathy and I had just returned in late January from Los Angeles, after open-air preaching with a growing team of evangelists. Almost daily, we would preach, pass out gospel tracts and witness to people at DMV's, at high schools, and in large venues such as the Rose Bowl, Hollywood, & L.A. Staples Center where literally tens of thousands of people from all across the nation and the world would gather.
But here in the frigid mid-west, I faced a completely different scenario. Everyone is bundled up in thick winter gear and due to the cold, there is virtually no pedesterian traffic. Except for the Super Bowl Outreach in neighboring Indiana & the St. Patrick's Day Event in Chicago where the crowds were in the 100's of thousands, evangelism was extremely limited to holding my 7 ft. cross at intersections.
I prayed, "Lord, if you want me to go out and just hold the cross, I'll go. Just lead me where, and Lord, IF you hold back the extreme blizzards, I'll go out everyday." Well, the Lord kept His part of the deal. There has not been ONE major snow storm in Illinois since I made that commitment. People here have commented this is the mildest winter they have experienced in recent memory! I am convinced that it only shows how much our God wants the Gospel of His Son to be proclaimed to a dying world!! Since then, I have been going out Monday-Friday, hitting the morning rush hour traffic from 7-10 A.M. and out again for the afternoon rush hour traffic from 4-7 P.M.
Interstate 394 is the largest highway in our area. Daily, several thousand commuters take this road up to Chicago. Initially, I would play "Amazing Grace" from my portable, shoulder-strapped sound system loud enough so that entire intersection could hear, all the while holding my cross. On the front side of the horizontal beam are the words, "ARE YOU READY?" and on the back, "REPENT" OR "PERISH". The other cross says, "JUDGMENT DAY COMING!" and "HEAVEN" OR "HELL".
There would be mockers who drive by gesturing with vulgar hand signs; and then Christians, beaming with large grins, honking with approval and giving me the thumbs up! But most would just drive by, glancing long enough to read the cross then quickly turn away. That was long enough for the Holy Spirit to begin His work of conviction.
For two months, every day, regardless of how cold it would get (18 degrees was the lowest), or windy, or rainy, I went out. In the afternoons, I found other busy intersections, standing there with the cross. On Wednesday, I would drive to neighboring Indiana to the huge Route 30/41 intersection where a total of 18 lanes merge.
Then in March, a state trooper pulled over saying that I couldn't stand on the island of the intersection. Discouraged, I went over to the corner and then the Lord spoke to me. "Son, see that bench across the street? I want you to go over there starting tomorrow, stand on it and start preaching." Wow! Up until then, I never said one word. Now, the LORD said, "Go, Stand, and Speak!" Windows now began rolling down as I give short, yet powerful compact phrases or Scripture verses while the cars wait 2 1/2 min. for the light to turn green . The Lord is honoring His Word and the labor has not been in vain.
Almost daily now, people having been pulling along side the road and getting out of their cars inquiring about salvation or coming up to me saying, "Something told me to come and talk to you!" People are taking the gospel tracts willingly and even requesting them me! .Several pastors and youth pastors have been so moved that they are now feeling called to preach publicly on the streets!! We visited the Crete Reformed Church at the begining of May. After the service, we were surrounded with warm smiles and handshakes and people saying, "you're that guy with the cross!" I was invited to speak at the 6:30 A.M. men's bible study at their coffee shop in downtown Crete. I told them that I leave to preach at that time, but if they were willing to meet at 5:30 A.M., I'd be there. The small coffee shop was packed! Several of the elders came out; even the senior pastor attended! I was told that I was the topic of one of his recent Sunday A.M. messages. Before commencing, Steve, the leader, pointed out, "everyone here has seen you standing with the cross in various locations and have been impacted!" After sharing for almost 2 hrs., Pastor David with the whole hearted approval of the elders asked if I would like to address the whole congregation on a Sunday service.
These are unusual happenings. I believe the Holy Spirit is preparing for a major revival and awakening in this area. The finger print of God is clearly visible. In the out skirts of Chicago there are many Lutheran, Reformed, Baptist, Methodist, and Independent churches. But most lack a passion for God and for lost, hell-bound souls!! the Holy Spirit is poised to something phenomenal!! Please continue to pray for us for protection, boldness, anointing and more doors to open into the churches. Pray that holy fire would burn throughout the region reaching in all directions!! Oh, for the REVIVAL that we so desparately NEED!!
If you would like to contribute to this ministry, please write out your checks or money order to:
1262 Lincoln St.
Crete, IL 60417
Thank you very much!!!
FOR THE END TIME HARVEST,
Tatsuo & Kathy Akamine"