by Dave Dugan

LAWTON, Okla. (BNc)- The Yokota, Japan, congregation is nearing the end of its fund-raising for a new building.

The Eighth and Lee congregation in Lawton considered support for this great mission effort June 8.

It came to us in an unusual way. Gary Perry, a brother well known to the congregation, brought the request to helpĀ  build a new meeting place for the Yokota church near Tokyo, Japan.

The elders, Jeff Nickle, Ron Ward and Bill Ward, and deacons had previously reviewed the request and watched with the Eighth and Lee brthren a descriptive video of the need.

A fellow Oklahoman, Paul Crouch, who had been on active duty and stationed at Yokota, had made the video.

It touched the hearts of the brethren and especially their gospel preacher Dave Dugan. Dave had been a young airman and worshipped with this congregation in 1963-66 while stationed at Tachikawa AFB, just a few miles from Yokota.

At the June 8th service Paul and Janet Crouch and Gary and Claudia Perry were able to attend the worship that day, when the video was shown just after the morning worship hour. Paul was able to answer questions and give a short talk.

The Eighth and Lee congregation to date has received contributions of $1,580 and will give a total of $3,000 to help the Yokota congregation.

The Eighth and Lee congregation has some military families in it, some on active duty, and others who have served in the military. The preacher Dave Dugan is a retired military member.

Dave wrote to his Eight and Lee brethren, “You hold a special place in your heart for congregations that are near military bases throughout the world. As a young, newly married brother in Christ it was truly special to have the church members to help in one’s life. My years in Japan and worshipping with members of the body from all over the U.S. shaped much of my future life in Christ, for that was where we had our children and where I began preaching the gospel, being helped and guided by men of the church.”

The need of the Yokota congregation is for a new building from which to worship and work from. Their present building was built in 1957 and has many problems which are beyond reasonable repair. The congregation has been raising funds to erect a new building for about three years.

They need $400,000 to construct a basic building and have raised about $260,000.

They are pressing for the remainder due to a pledge of $50,000, that will be given to the congregation if they begin construction by the end of 2008. With the pledge only $90,000 remains.

For further information, visit the Yokota web site or contact Paul Crouch at (405) 214-5512 or the Eighth and Lee church of Christ at (580) 355-1779.