Here we come!

Hello Friends,
Well, the cold of the Tokyo winter is just starting to melt away and we are beginning to feel the first warm breezes of spring.  And as we are heading into a new season, it is a blessing to stop and reflect on God's faithfulness this last winter.

Last time I wrote you all I told you about the new Bilingual fellowship "ALIVE" that we had started up on Saturdays. I want to thank you so much for your prayers. We have now reached the half year mark since we started the service and it has been a very blessed time. Last year we started the service studying in the book of James. By God's grace, we have finished James and and we are about to finish the book of Jonah. We have recently made a blog for this service and have started to post the messages from the service as well. Please give it a look when you have the time.

http://horizonalive.blogspot.jp

Also thank you for praying for the fellowship time for this service. It has been a amazing time for us and I look forward to it every week. It has been great to hear some of the conversations that have been going on in the fellowship and to see new friendships made with members of the different services. Pray that God would continue his work of unity in the service.  Also please pray for the next
steps of this service. Now that we have started the service, we want it to more and more become a welcoming space for Non christians who are wanting to study English as well. And while we have had a couple of my English students attend the service since we started, please pray for wisdom in inviting people and ways to open doors to minister to those we are teaching English too through the ALIVE service. Also please continue to pray for our translators and worship leader as they grow in their service.

God has also opened a new door for the ministry here at Tokyo Horizon Chapel. A pastor from central Tokyo has recently opened up his church for us to use on Sunday nights in the city of Hiroo. This new service will  be the start of a new church campus for us. It will be the fifth service we have on Sunday between our two main campuses. It is also been decided that it will be a bilingual service and I have been given the opportunity to act in a supporting role in the service and give the teaching when Pastor Hirano is not able to. There are many foreigners in the area as well as Japanese interested in international culture. So please pray that God would use this new church plant to minister to the people of central Tokyo and many would come to know Jesus.

Thank you for your prayers for Shine Kids and the Shine English program. The Shine Kids in Setagaya is continuing to grow. So much so that we had to start a new class on that day, which brings Thursdays to 3 classes of 12. Our Classes in Machida remain steady and more and more, the children have been coming to the church events that we have been putting on. Another blessing happened recently with the graduating children. For many years, we have had the problem of Children who aged out of Shine Kids. We would then loose contact with them soon after making the window for ministering to them very short. Some in the past entered the Shine English language school, but most didn't. This year as kids are graduating in April, for the first time our whole advanced class that would have been finishing Shine Kids is going to be joining the Shine English Language school. Not one of them will be leaving. We praise God for the continued opportunity to serve them and their families. Please pray that God would continue to use us to speak into their lives and hearts.

Last but not least, as you all know, we are gearing up for our trip to Sonora at the end of this month. We will be bringing our team of 12 from our church to homestay with CC Sonora Families. All of the team, especially the kids we will be bringing, are all very excited. Being as the church body in Japan is so small, you don't know what an encouragement it is for the Japanese Christians to spend time with their extended family overseas and see that God is at work all over the world. I want to thank you all personally for the opportunity. There has never been a time back in Sonora that I have not come away encouraged and rekindled for the work here in Japan. I pray the same for this team on this trip.

I can't wait to see you all soon.

Much Love,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Caleb Robinson

P.S. Daisy and Caleb are doing great. Daisy is going to be entering kindergarten next month and Caleb is running around like crazy and toting around his toy guitar wherever he goes. And as is obvious by the picture, they both love to sing.

ALIVE comes alive!

Dear friends,
It is good to be writing you all again. A lot has been happening since the last time that I wrote to you after the EPIC team left that I would like to share with you all.

The biggest thing I wanted to share about was ALIVE. Thank you all for praying for the new bilingual service that we were about to start the last time that I wrote to you. By the grace of God, we were able to start this new service from the first saturday of September. At Horizon we have many different services that meet at different times throughout the week. In this way, Horizon is able to minister to many different types of people. We are able to serve English speakers and Internationals, Japanese people, and we even have a Filipino service that during the week. However, because they all meet at separate times and are in separate languages,  there is very little crossover between the services. So we started Alive, a completely bilingual service where many different kinds of people can meet in one place and one time, and through exposure and interaction with many kinds of christians, can grow and learn. Also because we are a bilingual service, we are able to reach out to to unsaved Japanese people that are trying to learn English.

As this service has been forming, God has blessed us with many different amazing servants who have come alongside me as we have been starting out in this new direction. My friend Fumitaka has blessed us by taking on the role of worship leader for this service. And God has brought together an awesome worship team (seen practicing here) that come from many different services and even different church campuses at Horizon.

From the beginning, one of the biggest issues we had in starting this new service and our biggest
prayer request was finding translators. Without them, we would not be able to have this kind of service. But God is good. And He brought together a team of translators from some of the most unlikely places. As of now, we are blessed to have 8 translators on weekly rotation for this service. As for me, I have been blessed with being able to share from the Word weekly at the ALIVE service. We have been working our way through the book of James, and are starting chapter 4 this week.

As for our fellowship time, we have been trying to mix it up a bit. Of course we have coffee time on the first floor of our church two weeks out of the month. But also once a month we all go out to eat together and one Saturday of each month we have been having some sort of activity night. Last Saturday we all went out to Karaoke and are planning out different activities for the future. Please pray for this new fellowship that it would be used as a blessing in the church as well as a tool to reach outside of the church.

Thank you also for praying for the Shine kids program. Machida Shine kids continues to be blessed with more students. We are up to eight students per class for our beginners and advanced classes. Setagaya continues to have around 25 kids a week coming to learn English. Our adult English school continues to be blessed with new students as well as time goes on. Last Saturday we had another pancake breakfast and it was really a blessed time, with people coming not only from our English classes, but outside as well. Even some people from the hair salon my
wife goes to came as well. Please pray that God would continue to expand these ministries and used them to build relationships. Also please pray that those studying English would come to the Alive service and hear the Word of God.

Coming up in november is our Horizon Cafe, a little fall festival that we put on to reach out to the people that live around the church. Please pray that many would come into the church and for blessed conversations.  Also keep us in prayer as we head into the Christmas season and all the outreaches that are to come. Pray for our wisdom and for God to work through Horizon to minister to the people of Machida.

I think that is it for now. Thank you all for your ongoing prayers and support. You are in our prayers.

Because He lives,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Caleb Robinson

P.S. Daisy and Caleb are doing great. Caleb as always, rarely stops smiling and is starting to speak some Japanese and English words. Daisy never stops talking all day long and will be starting Kindergarten from next year (they start early here). We have a interview coming up for her Kindergarten, so please pray that it goes well.





Epic Team and Something New

Hi Everyone,
It is good to be writing you all again.

I wanted to start out by thanking you all for sending us the EPIC team last month. Their time hear was a huge blessing to us. From start to finish, this was one of the best teams that I have ever had the privilege of working.  I remember setting up decorations for the VBS program on their first day here, and even though they should have been jet-lagged and out of it, they were ready to go for everything that I had for them to do. Honestly, they were like that for the whole trip, always ready to go, ready to jump on every opportunity that was given to them.

The next day was the VBS. It was a great
program. This year we were able to have the VBS in two locations, our Machida and Setagaya branch, simultaneously. It was something that we had never tried before, but by the grace of God it went really well. Last year we had struggled to get kids to come, but this year God blessed the sign ups at both locations. All of the kids involved had a great time and all the staff were blessed to be involved. Please keep praying for the doors that have been opened through the VBS to be used by God to reach to the local kids and their parents.

That night (like the day hadn't been long enough already), we had a concert with the members of our church as well as the Epic worship team with a message by Justin. Though the whole team was exhausted by that point, they always were smiling and so enthusiastic. They were a huge encouragement to all involved that night and I was able to see such joy on the faces of the Japanese members. The spirit moved and God spoke powerfully through Justin as well that night. It was honestly one of the most powerful worship concerts I have experienced at Horizon.

The next day the team split again to help in the church sunday schools at both Setagaya and Machida,  helping out at both the Japanese and English Services. That night, they were able to home stay with members of the church in addition to Shine Kids families who are not christian. In the Japanese culture, being invited to someone's house is a very big deal. Honestly it does not happen much. But God made a way and the team was able to go and minister in the homes of people where even I have never been allowed in. It was huge. And I am so grateful to the team for coming and being used by God to minister in ways that I have not been able to. Pray that God would bless the seeds they have planted in these difficult to reach places, in the homes that they stayed in.

The next day we were off to the Tohoku region where we volunteered helping out fisherman whose businesses are still struggling after the tsunami. The people who have been working with these men and women have often had difficulty sharing with them. They have been reluctant to hear the gospel and even to be prayed for. But God brought a lot of those walls down, and members of the team were able to share their faith and to pray for the fishermen that were there. Many seeds were planted and we were blessed to see God doing the impossible things through the team.

Then a few quick sightseeing days after that it was sunday again. And before I knew it I was seeing them off in front of the security at the airport. It just went by so quick and I really didn't want to let them go, but I am grateful for them and to all that made their trip to Japan possible. I was so blessed to have been able to work with the EPIC team and hope they will return to us soon.  

Soon after they left, we were back into the swing of things and we had our Shine pancake breakfast again for all of our English students. It was a great time of conversation and food. We were also blessed to meet some Dads of our Shine kids that we have not had the opportunity to meet and talk with before. Please pray for these mornings and for other activities to do with our English students.

Finally, I have one last prayer request. Since I arrived in Japan, I have been attending the Japanese Saturday night worship service. The teaching and fellowship there have always been a blessing to me. Recently, the pastors have decided that they are going to be changing the service to a bilingual format and they have asked me to lead the service. We are going to be starting this new fellowship from next month. Please pray for the planning and blessed preparation for us as we are getting ready for this big change. Pray that this new service would be used to minister to people and that more and more people would come. We will be calling this new fellowship "Alive".

Thank you all for you prayers and support. We remember you in our prayers and look forward to when we can see you all again. 

Because He lives,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Caleb Robinson

P.S. Daisy and Caleb are doing great and growing up fast. Daisy is talking up a storm in English and
Japanese and Caleb is standing up (holding on to things) and is starting to stand up on his own.

Fall Fun and Christmas Events

Hi Everyone,
I hope you all had a great Christmas season and a very happy new year. The time here has been a lot of fun.

We finished up our Fall semester of Shine Kids on the 8th of December. This semester marked our tenth semester since we restarted Shine Kids after after I returned from Okinawa. And we were blessed to have all our old students with us this semester plus a few new faces. Above we see the kids learning their new song for this semester which they would perform at the Horizon Cafe and Bazaar the week after this picture was taken. All the kids had a great time this Semester and are looking forward to the winter semester of Shine Kids starting on the 19th of this month. Please pray that God would open up hearts more and more through this program and especially that the relationships we build through the program would lead to a deeper and deeper connection to God and his people.

Thank you for praying for the Shine English Language School as well. We have been blessed to have 24 students regularly attending classes on a weekly or bi weekly basis during this fall and winter season. God has been blessing the ministry so much that we thought it would be good make special events and times to get together with all of our students from this ministry and bless them by cooking a meal for them all. We keep it very casual and have the students come whenever they like between our starting and ending time, eat as much as they like, and leave whenever they want. We then started inviting members our church to help out with the cooking and serving as well as having some come just as guests to hang out and talk with our students. All of our students really like the events and we see this as a new opportunity to get people from our community to hang out with people in the church in a casual setting. The conversations I have overheard and taken part in during these event are awesome and God is at work in it. Seen here are pictures from our last Pancake Breakfast we had last month. Please pray for us as we continue this new form of outreach.

In addition, we were able to have our Horizon picnic during this fall as well. We invited the Japanese and English services from both Setagaya and Machida as well as the Shine Kids to come and have a picnic with games and even a pinata that I scraped together myself. It was a great time of
fellowship and even though we were unable to get the Shine Kids Members to come out with us this time, we are going to continue to do outdoor events this coming year. Lord willing, the more of these events we do, the more our Shine Kids and Shine ELS students will come out to join us and hang out with members of the church. Please pray for us as we plan for having new sporting events this year and other activities to get everyone together.


This Christmas season was also a blast with many opportunities. We started off the month with our Kids Christmas parties in both Machida and Setagaya with games , cake, crafts, and of course the Christmas message. Here you see the kids making their craft. We were blessed to have a lot of helpers from our college group. We also had our annual Christmas program and Candle Light Christmas eve service. Like last year we were able to hit the streets of Machida before the event to hand out flyers. We also went around asking people what they think about Christmas and what Christmas means to them, and sharing about what it really means. It was a blessed time and blessed events, and in everything we got to share the hope to be found in Christmas.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the end of March of this year when our family comes back to visit Sonora and we look forward to having the Epic Japan Team this Summer. We are praying that you would have a very blessed new year.

Sincerely,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Caleb Robinson










P.S. Our son, Caleb Alexander Robinson was born on September 9, 2015. He is a very happy baby and smiles a lot. Please pray for his blessing and our wisdom as we start out life as a family of four.


VBS 2015!!!

Hello Everyone,
I want to say sorry ahead of time as this blog is going to be a little picture heavy.

Soon after my last blog, the team from Anaheim arrived in Tokyo.
The first full day that they were here, they worked alongside Daniel and I and the rest of the Japanese members to finish decorating the church for the VBS the following day.

It was a blast to see the Japanese members and the Anaheim team working together to get everything done. Everyone really jumped in and when everything was said and done, the place looked great.



Then, the next day, the VBS began. Thank you for your prayers as many kids came to the event. We all met together in the beginning of the program, learn some English, sang some song, did a little skit (seen on the top left) and then split up into groups for the different activities.




We had a really amazing message time prepared by our friends Daichi, Hayato and Nobu. As the theme for this year's VBS was science, they used science experiments to help illustrate their messages. The first day they taught about the wind and how powerful it is even though you don't see it. The did a experiment showing the use of fans to balance over a tightrope and told the kids about how powerful God is even though we cannot see Him. The Second day they showed how Jesus makes us clean, using an experiment with liquids that change color. The kids loved it!

We also had a lot of fun making crafts prepared by Chikami, one of the Sunday school teachers here at the church. On the first day we made ice cream in a bag by shaking it like crazy. The second day we made a kaleidoscope. The kids had a great time writing their names with the stickers.


The kids had a great time with the game time and experiment time as well that the Anaheim team lead. The had fun with the wheel momentum experiments, the team explaining again that it was a force that you could not see, but could feel and moved you.



Over all, it was a great VBS. I was blessed to see all the Shine kids there just experiencing God's love through the Japanese and American Christian leaders at the event. I know that there were seeds planted and we will continue to pray that those seeds will grow and blossom in the years to come. It was a very encouraging time for me as well, to see everything that we have been preparing for be blessed by God is such a big way. I look forward to all that God is going to do through this year's VBS. And can't wait to see what God will do through next year's team as well (wink wink EPIC! Lord willing.) Please be praying as we continue to minister to the kids and families in the wake of the VBS.

The next week, the Anaheim team, along with Daniel and myself, repainted the Sunday school room which was in bad need some repairs and a new coat of paint. We worked all morning on it and got it done in time to do a little sightseeing.

The next day was the day of our three day Horizon Family Camp. The Anaheim team lead the kids program for the three day, while I translated along side them. I was even given the opportunity to share at one of the devotional times which was a real privilege. It was a great time of fellowship as well, staying up late, hanging out with the Anaheim team and the Japanese college kids.

On the day we got back from the camp, I bid farewell to the Anaheim team as they would be flying
out the next day. We will miss them and hope that they come back soon. They were a huge encouragement and a blessing to spend time with

We spent the weekend with Daniel and even got to introduce him to Tomoko's family as they were all getting together that Saturday. He talked computers with my programmer brother-in-law and spoke English with my other brother-in-law who is studying it in college and they enjoyed their time with him very much.

Then, this last Monday morning, we said goodbye to our friend Daniel Britt as he caught the 7:00 bus to Narita Airport. He spent four weeks with us and hung in their through a bit of a crazy schedule. We were blessed to have him serve with us in all the different events and are thankful for his willingness to jump into a lot of different roles while he was here. The college students and kids he taught will miss him, not to mention my little girl Daisy who is crazy about her Uncle Daniel.
Thank you for sending him to us.

Well, I think that is all for now. Please be praying for us as the doctors say that our little boy could be born at any time now.  Thank you always for you prayer and support. We love you and are praying for you guys.

Blessings,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Baby Robinson

VBS Promotional Video #2

video
This is the second VBS promotional video that Daniel and I put together. It was a lot of fun!

Summer Events and Welcome Guests

video

Dear Friends,
It is good to be writing you all again. Here we are experiencing a very hot and humid Japanese Summer. And it is typhoon season as well. We already had one last week and we hear tell that two more are on the way. But despite the weather, we are still very blessed to be here in the land of the rising sun.

The Shine Kids program has wrapped up for the summer and the Shine English Language school finished just last Friday. Thank you all so much for praying for students for the two English Programs. The Machida Shine Kids semester finished with about 10 students when we started with 5 this semester. And the Shine English Language school now has 20 students that are taking lessons every week or every other week. And now that the two programs are on summer break, we are gearing up for the series of summer events here at Horizon.

Already we have had one Shine Kids summer program in Setagaya that was a great time. We had one student that we have not seen in two years come by with four of her friends. It was a blessing to see her again and to meet her friends. They will be coming to our Setagaya program again next week, so please pray for a blessed time.

Also, we have been blessed to have our friend Daniel Britt finally arrive in Tokyo. He has only been here for a few days but already have put him to work, helping out with our Shine Kids Machida Summer Program which finished up  today. And tomorrow, he will be teaching five English lessons at the Shine English language School Summer Event! He has been a big help already and will a blessing to have around in the weeks to come.

Next week, Daniel and I are going to go on the church retreat and helping out for three days with the kids program there. And then the next week a group of 12 will be coming out from Anaheim for the VBS event. The staff here are all working feverishly to get done with everything before their arrival. Please be praying for attendance for the VBS which has been a little slower coming in this year than it has been in the past. Pray for 50 kids to
come each day and for God to bless the event. Also pray that God would give us wisdom in getting the word out to people to come. 

Our International Fellowship Pastor, Pastor Rich and his family has headed back to America for a summer vacation. So, we at the International Fellowship are going to be blessed to have some guest speakers come and share at our service. Even I will be able to share a message a couple times next month as well. Please pray for this time, that God would bless this time of guest speakers and that Pastor Rich and his family would have a refreshing time stateside. 

I think that is all for now. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We love you all and are praying for your. And please know that for those who would like to come and visit us like our friend Daniel , our doors are always open to you! We would love to have you!

Blessings,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, and Baby Robinson