Japan Newsletter- Dec 29, 2009


Hello dear friends,

It is wonderful to be writing you all again. This Christmas season has been a very full time for me. Then again, it always is here at Horizon Chapel. We had many large events recently and not one of them was disappointing. In fact, all were filled with the fruit of God's labours here and were all so very encouraging to me.

Firstly, there was our big Christmas program on the 23rd. We had invited our shine kids to attend and also to perform in the program. Also we invited the Horizon Language School students. And so many of them came! It was great. They were able to listen to christmas songs and plays, and in the end the gospel was preached. Just a great feeling to see the work God has me doing open up opportunities for people to hear about Him. The funny thing about the night for me though was that in the program, the various groups and fellowships each did some kind of performance in the program. And because I am invloved with so many of them, I performed with quite a few of them which had me going on and off the stage all night. Which wouldn't really be a problem if all the different groups didn't have distinct outfits for their performances. So along with jumping on and off the stage, I also was always running to the bathroom to change between sets ^_^. Anyway, it was a great night. Lots happened and I am excited to see what fruits come of it.

Another big event was our Lady's Elegant Christmas. It is an outreach to the women we minister to in our various programs, English classes, and fellwoships, as well as an oportunity for women in our church to invite their friends to a church event. It was really kind of a hectic day. I was on the cooking team, which accounted for most of the hustle and bustle I experienced. Lot of cooking and soups and baking and this is burned and this needs salt. But it was fun in its own way and it was really worth it considering all the great things I got to see that night. Some mother's from my Shine Kids program in Setagaya came with their children which was just a huge thrill for me. They have been attending more and more church events and have in turn been hearing more and more about Jesus. Please pray for their hearts and that the seeds that are being planted would bloom. I know it is going to take alot of time but I am excited for how things are growing.

And then there were alot of other smaller events like the candle light christmas eve service, and the Funky Friday Bonen Kai (end of year party), that were really blessings and saw some people that have been searching and we haven't seen in a while return to us. Pray that those who have returned to us would remain and continue to search for God with us and that our relationships would be blessed.

But anyway, I am on the other side of all these things now and I praise God for the blessings He gave to me this christmas. Now I am able to look forward to some good times with friends and loved ones before I ramp up for the new year. I am so ready for what God has for me next! HYAAAH ^_^!!!

Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson.

Japan Newsletter Nov 17, 2009

Dear Friends,
I apologies for my tardiness in writing this letter. My return to this place has been full of blessing, encouragement, new developements, difficulties, battling, failure, and countless diplays of God's love towards me. And in the midst of all that has been happening, putting pen to paper or fingures to keyboard has been an issue. To be truthful to you I am feeling a bit road weary. Like I am covered with traveling dirt. But I thank you for your time, that you care enough to spend it on reading this. So I will try my best to relate to you my experiences as clearly as I possibley can.

Firstly, the gospel cafe is being blessed. I don't remember how much I told you about it. But it is a small cafe not far from here that was started by members of this church. As the name suggests, the purpose of the cafe is to be a point of outreach, serving people, talking with people, etc. There are alot of lonely people in Japan, looking for somewhere safe to go and kind people offering good company. I think that is what they find at the cafe. My time there has always been amazing, but even more so lately. It seems like not a day goes by when I serve there that I don't have a two to three hour conversation with someone. Naturally, this is something I crave when I am here. Just being able to talk and love on the people God has made so dear to me. Also, Akari (who runs the cafe with her husband), has made alot of good friendships with the owners of shops close to us. And she dicovered that most of the shops needed one kind of help or another but could not afford it. So lately, along with volunteering at the cafe, I have been working shoulder to shoulder with these local shop owners, offering them whatever service I can offer for free. It has been an amazing time for me and spending time with them has been wonderful. But also, there are needs at the cafe. Even though ministry is strong, the buisness side of the cafe isn't going so well. Please pray that God will provide what we need. It is going to be the only way we we will make it.

The Shine Kids Program that I run in Setagaya has been blessed as well. I thought that maybe their would be difficulties in restarting the classes, but their were none. Everyone who came in the first place returned and then even more came. So many that we are seeking better ways of running the classes so that we can best teach the kids and not loose them in the crowd. But it is really a great problem to have. And the relationships are being blessed as well. There is a closeness and a trust that just wasn't there before. And it was made very evident to me when we invited the children and their families to a church festival we had last Saturday. We had invited them to such things before, however the response was minimal. But on Saturday, six of my children came, along with their mothers, their fathers (whom I had never met before), and their brothers and sisters. The church is becoming a place of love and safety to them, and I and the church family, their family. Though their is a long way to go and many obstacles in the way, God is leading in the right direction, gently. Unfortunately, I really don't feel the same way about Machida's shine kids. But maybe it's a personal thing. I don't know, it just seems like in Setagaya, the relationships where built up between me and the families, and that it where it started from. In Machida, these where all people Jeremiah knew through his children's schooling, and I came in long after. So it seems like I am always playing catch up, and it is difficult. Pray for me in this. With Jeremiah leaving so soon, and me taking over the ministry in his place, I need God's help greatly...

...Recently God has been speaking to me alot. I don't know why, but we have been a lot closer lately, I have been able to hear His voice more clearly and He has been speaking to me alot. About the right now, but also he has been speaking to me alot about my future. No dates or anything, but He has been talking to me about what's coming down the line. Truthfully, I don't think I have ever experienced this kind of thing before. He has spoken to me alot about what I should do, but He only revealed to me a little at a time. Maybe because that was all I could handle. And then to have so much revealed to me... It was amazing and wonderous and I am still in awe of what He has done... but... I am scared to death. Not so much because He is speaking to me, but because of what He wants me to become. And in fact, what I struggled with was as to why He revealed it to me now, at this time. I am still not exactly sure, but I believe it's because He wants me to know that I still have a long way to go before I am a man that is ready for what He has for me. That I should begin to persue Him now with fervor that He would grow me into something more.

I have to go. I am sorry if this has been a bit unclear. But I am still a bit confused. Please pray for me. I love you. I miss you.

Alex

I made it!


Hey everyone,

Just wanted to write you all a quick note to tell you that I am fine and that I made it to japan safely and that I am pleased as punch to be here ^_^. I really have hit the ground running. The night I arrived was the children's ministries annual sleepover event. It was really great to see all my students again so soon after my arrival and we all had a wonderful time. Stayed up til' about midnight eating yaki soba (a delicious form of pan fried noodles with veggies), bowling, and watching movies. The next day, I woke up (unfortunately) and the bright and early hour of 4:30 thanks to my close and personal friend jet lag. So I walked around Machida a little and reaquainted myself with my city before the kids woke up. Although it was a weekday, monday was a national holiday for us. So once the children got up, we started the day off with devotions and pancakes and then were quickly off, going to the annual church picnic, which annually follows the annual children's sleepover... annual ^_^. I had a great time and got to see alot of my friends from the english service. So much fun. Spent the whole day talking, eating, playing soccer, feeding coi, and living it up ^_~! So anyway, now I am here. It is tuesday morning, there is shine kids today, and aside from a slight fatigue, the day is really looking up. Please pray for my Japanese though. Not speaking it for a month did more damage to me than I expected. Tough to get back into it.


Anyway, must dash. Love you all and miss you already.


Because He lives,


Alex J. Robinson

update



Dear friends,

Really glad to be writting you all again. Granted it has been a little while since my last letter, but forgiveness is a beautiful thing. as for what is up with me, I am coming back to the states this next thursday and will be staying until probably the beginning of october. I'll be speaking at Calvary Chapel Sonora and affiliated home fellowships. But more than that, I am just kind of looking forward to hanging out with you guys, sharing a cup of coffee, a meal, whatever. Just chillin' out and swapping stories and stuff. So anyway, drop me a line while I am stateside. Hope to see you guys soon.

-Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newsletter- Jun 30


Dear friends,
I am so happy to be writting you all again. Within this all too brief month, God has been at work. People are being saved, ministries prospering, new stuff happening, the Spirit is speaking to the hearts of people... isn't God beautiful ^_^!!! I love Him so much. I love this place. The longer I stay here, the more deeply I fall in love with this country and these people. And the presence of God that I have felt here makes it home for me. But anyway, let's get down to it.

Firstly, praises. People have been coming to Jesus. God has been working in strange ways, and sometimes it doesn't make since, but it is awesome. In the counceling groups in the last month, three people that we have been praying for since I got here accepted Jesus. Also, pray for two kids from my sunday school who recently accepted Jesus as well. One is a regular at the class, and one was a visitor. Please pray that God would continually grow these precious hearts and they would live a life rooted in His love and mercy.

Also, HUGE PRAISES FROM SHINE KIDS ^_^!!!!!! As you know the last semester of shine kids in Setagaya ended this last month for a two week break. During those two weeks I went out into the community and to the schools, talked with mothers and children, handed out flyers, made friends with some local kids, etc. It was a really great time and was a real blessing to me. Then, I showed up for the day of the new semester, expecting only 2 children or so, and EIGHT SHOWED UP!!! WAAAAHOOOOOOO!!!! and then last week another TWO SHOWED UP!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!! God took the school from two to ten. Just awesome! Naturally be praying for the safe return of all of them to the school. Alot were coming for just a trial run. But God is faithful. Please also continue in prayer that God would use this school as a bridge to share His love with people.

Also thank you for praying for my friends in the church that have not yet come to Jesus. I have been seeing some very dynamic work in their lives recently. Honestly it has been absolutely amazing. God is really touching their heart and the changes that are happening in them are so visible. Please pray for the continued work of God within their lives and that they would come to Jesus as soon as possible. God has been teaching me patient love. BUT THEY NEED JESUS NOW!!!!

Also please be praying about my tuesdays. Up until now, my tuesdays have been entirely taken up by the Machida shine kids class. But the shine kids here in Machida is going on break until the end of august. So in the time between then and now, I am praying about what the best way would be to spend my tuesdays. I have been praying strongly about being involved in the Gospel Cafe. Some friends of mine from the church are going to be starting what they call "The Gospel Cafe". It is going to be a small cafe not too far from here that they want to use as a platform for outreach. I really like the idea and really want to be a part of it. So be praying about guidance for me please ^_^.

Anway, that's all from this end. God's awesome and does the coolest stuff ever in our lives. Jesus changes lives. Love effects the world in a real way. It's all good ^_~!


Much love to ya,

Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newsletter- May 28, 2009


Dear Friends,
I praise God to be writing you on the other side of a amazing month. It is so true that within the kingdom of God, all things are possible. The further I go into Japanese society, the more amazed I am with it's intricacy and depth. I have said many times that Japan is a country of masks. A country that can never be taken at face value. But the truth of all these things goes far deeper than I could imagine. I have been hear eight months and have learned so much, but I know that I have not even scratched the surface of the heart of Japan. And the more time I spend here the more I realize that this is not a place that one can simply walk into and walk out of casually. At least not if you want to be used to make a difference. This is a life time. A lifetime of patiently learning, patiently loving, and patiently revealing the wonder and glory of Jesus to the Japanese people. Tenderly and carefully ministering to hearts as if caring for a precious plant. Not with a spirit of timidity mind you, for God did not call us to such things. But with a meekness. With a strength controlled. Just like Jesus ^_^! It is like being a farmer, planting seed many seeds and being used by God to patiently tend the crop as He does beautiful and amazing things. And when He gives harvest, it is sweet.

I want to start with the praises. Firstly I thank you for your continuing prayer for my unsaved friends who God has brought into the church. I am filled with joy to say that one of my friends came to Jesus two weeks ago at the end of a sunday service. Praise God from whom al mercies flow ^_^!!! Continue to keep him in your prayers as he currently takes his first newborn steps in his new life with Jesus. Also please continue to pray for the miraculous to happen in the hearts of the rest of my unsaved friends in the church. I see so clearly now that everything is possible for the children of God. He is good and truly a lover of souls. Pray that my other friends would draw near to Him soon.

Also thank you for praying for the homeless ministry. I guess it is just God pouring out His blessings, because one of my friends that I talk with at the homeless ministry also was saved one week ago. He was baptised last wednesday in a fountain at the park ^_^. It is great news. Please be praying for him as he follows Jesus. He is also looking for a job, so pray for that too. But there is also some bad news in this area as well. In tokyo's effort to be the sight for the next olympic games (it is a candidate), the Japanese government is cracking down hard on the asthetics of public areas. This includes parks. They have begun sytematically getting the homeless out of public parks. This coming at a time when homeless numbers are greater than ever before due to the current economic downturn. This is really effecting the homeless ministry and it is entirely possible that we will be shut down in Yoyogi like we were in Shinjuku. Please pray against this happening and that we will be able to continue this ministry.

Great things have been happening in Japanese as well. The Sunday school lesson that I asked you to pray for went really well and I have done a couple more since. Lessons are getting easier and easier and my teaching in Japanese is becoming alot more fluid, praises to God. I did my testimony again with hardly any notes and God really blessed it as well. He's awesome. But one of the main things I have to ask you all to pray for is in my listening abilities. I can speak fairly quickly and my vocabulary is increasing daily. However, it is still very small compared to all that I need to know. Also, my vocabulary is very specialized in some areas and laking in others because of what I usually talk about. I know words like covenent, born again, and substitutiary death, but fumble over words like street, office, and duck simply because I don't use them in most of my conversation. Also in Japan, there are casual words you use with friends that indicate closeness, and formal words that you use to show respect. Because I never like distance in relationships, I rarely use the polite words and often go with more informal speach. While this works to my advantage in some cases, it also limits my listening skills when people are trying to be formal. Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), I just want God to pour out his knowledge upon me so I can be a better tool.

Anway I better be on my way, I have more Japanese to study. I love you guys and as always want to say that my door is open to anyone who wants to come and serve. I pray for blessings on you all. OH, and there is another missionary about my age who is working in southern Japan. He wrote a really great post recently about Japanese religion and culture and how it affects our ministry here. Really great writing. Check it out at http://allkaiser.blogspot.com/. Talk to you all soon hopefully.

Yours in our Lord,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newletter May 2, 2009


Hello Dear Friends,
This morning finds me well and very joyful. Things are have been really good recently and God’s mercies are just leaving me in amazement. I opened up my bible this morning and found a really amazing verse. I have been reading through Isaiah recently and today made it to the end. There it was talking about the people to whom He has shown his glory going out to the nations. Then it said in 66:19 that they would be sent "to the distant islands that have not heard of My fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim My glory among the nations". I thought about it for a bit and I was like, "Dude, that’s Japan!" And I was given a sense of God’s grace once more. Even in the time of Isaiah, God had a plan to save all of us and even in the time of Isaiah, God loved Japan. And in His grace, He made me a part of that plan. He made me a part of His love story with this world that is older than time itself. You just have to be blown away by that. God is amazing. His love is truly an inclusive love and not an exclusive one. He never loves somebody and dismisses somebody else. When we accept His love, it doesn’t stop there but instead it is the beginning of Him loving others through that person. He loved me and then because of His love, He sent me to Japan that through me He could love Japan. And the grace of Him using a dork like me to do that… it couldn’t be more clear if it was a baseball bat upside my head. It’s just so cool and I am really excited about it. Thank you to those who have been praying for direction and perspective on all I am doing. I really needed it.

Lots has happened lately. Thank you for your continued prayer about my language abilities. This last Sunday I shared my testimony in its entirety for this first time in Japanese. Before this I have talked about my testimony in Japanese in conversation, but this is the first time I made a continuous speech for an extended period of time. About twenty minutes! But it went really great and God really blessed my words and everything flowed very smoothly. I thank God for the progress He has given me in language. Continue to pray for me. Next week I am going to be leading my first bible lesson in Japanese to the Japanese Fellowship’s Sunday School. I am going to be teaching on Moses. Pray that in the months to come, God would continue to add to my language ability and make me into a better tool for His ministry here.

Shine Kids continues on. But I never imagined what doing multiple lessons in two locations would be like. I ping pong back and forth between the Setagaya fellowship and here so much I wish they had something like frequent flier miles for the train systems. Of course the work is good. I love the kids I am teaching and I love the time I get to spend talking with their parents. My time is just a little fuller than I am used to. Perhaps it is Gods way of stretching me, it has helped me to grow a lot, but it would still be so great if I could get some more help with the classes (HINT HINT! NUDGE NUDGE! COME AND VISIT ME!!!! Please!). But anyway, praises to God for blessing the ministries so much. Please continue to pray for growth and that God would use them to touch as many lives as possible. But also please pray that God would continue to give me a sense of clarity about everything. The more full one’s time gets, the easier it is to loose track of God’s will and purpose in all that He is having one do. Please pray that God would give me His eyes during my time here.

Also thank you for praying about my involvement in the Horizon Language School. I have been doing the training for becoming a teacher and a few snags aside, things have going well. Lately I have had so much access to students of HLS and the opportunities have been so many. I look forward to the future of my time in the school and to the face time I will get with even more students at the school. Also, please pray for students of my own.

Anyway, I have to be going. I love you and I pray that all is well with you. Please feel free to write me, or call, or skype, or email, or use carrier pigeon, smoke signals, or whatever ^_^. Eager to hear from you, talk with you, and sharpen one another in the faith. My door is always open to anyone who the Lord has called.

Yours lovingly and affectionately in the grace God has given us,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newsletter- April 2, 2009


Dearest friends,
I thank you so much for praying for me. I thank you so much for being patient with me. And I thank you for loving me. The mercy of God is beautiful. That He has put me where I do not deserve to be, doing a work I am unfit to do, and that He has made it that I would be prayed for and loved by you... It is beyond my understanding. But He is good. I understand that. And I will keep working from this undertanding. Things with me have been good. This week has been a bit quieter than most with the shine kids programs being on break along with the Bible College, and Jeremiah being out of town. So have mostly been studying the bible, studying language and catching up on my writings. So let me talk about what has been happening recently.

Firstly, thank you very much for your prayer about the Shinekids program in Setagaya. God has been blessing the ministry with new students and a lot of good relationships. In the next semester we will be having about 9 students both of kindergarten and elementary age students with a seperate classes in advanced reading and writing which a couple families in the community have asked me to do. Please be praying for direction and guidance in this ministry for me. For wisdom in loving these children and their families and sharing Jesus with them. It is always very difficult for me to act in patience. As I have said before I love Japan and I love Japanese people and I want them know the love of Jesus right now. But God continues to teach me that out of my love for Him and them I need to be patient and continue to unceasingly share and love. Jesus said in Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." That those who submit their power to His authority will be blessed and will be given this world. I always said that I believed this, but I have come to realize that I rarely lived it because it made me feel weak. And in truth, I do feel powerless in this patient love, but I realize now that I was never supposed to have the power to begin with. That it is God who I am serving and nothing is done of myself. Please pray for my eyes to continue to open in these areas as God patiently teaches me as well.

Also, I want to talk a bit about Funky Friday. I haven't written about it in a while as there was not alot to write. But the group of believers and non believers that meets there has become very close to one another. But know the group will be taking a new direction. We will be hitting the streets. Daichi and I have been praying about how best to outreach more effectively to the youth in the area. We thought about flyers for funky firday and that sort of thing. But I think God brought us to the understanding that the best thing would to be just to take Funky Friday to them. We'll be hanging out in Parks which is one of the most popular places for teenagers to hang out and we'll do everything there. I am really looking forward to it. We saw a pretty popular basket ball court last week so we'll be going there this friday. Be praying for the new style of this outreach and be praying that God would bring good conversations and the people He wants us to talk to.

Also, I spoke briefly in previous letters about the Horizon Language School. It is a kind of a tent making ministry functioning out of the church where people from the church teach students english one on one. It is really a great opportunity to have access to Japanese people and talk with them face to face. Of course it is not exactly straight evangelism but more by a relationship like most evangelism here. I will going with the school to the cherry blossom viewing this Saturday. Please be praying about my time in the school and that God would make it fruitful. Also, please be praying about the possibility of a home stay involving students from the school to Sonora. We all have been kicking the idea of it around and think it would be a great way to further minister to the students. But we need to pray about it a bit more.

Anyway, I should probably be letting you go. But as a last prayer request to you all. Pray about Japan. Pray about it's people, it's ways and culture. Pray that the country would come to know Jesus. Pray about those who are spreading His word and love here. And pray as to whether it is something you also are called to. I thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I love you all
and look forward to seeing you all again someday soon. But not too soon ^_^.

Because He lives and because He loves,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newsletter - Feb 17, 2009


Hello and many greeting to you all.
I thank you for being patient for the coming of this letter. I haven't been able to really have some quality writing time in a while and am glad to finally be able to do so. Again, I am at a loss for words to describe the glories of God in the country of Japan. However, I want to tell you about a few things that happened since I spoke to you all last.

One exciting thing that happened this month was being able to go to a Japanese orphanage for the first time. A couple weeks ago about seven members of the church and I spent time in a Catholic orphanage about and hour away from here. We spent hours playing with the children, talking with them, and teaching them. It was truly an amazing time for me and for the people who went. Also, in speaking to the staff there, they were very interested in having us return. Keep us in your prayers about this. Jeremiah and I have talked about making this a monthly event for the congregation here. I think it is a great idea and a great way to reach out to the kids, so please be praying that this would all come together in God's timing and in God's way and that it would be a blessing to all involved.

This was also the month which marks the start of our Shine Kids Program over in Setagaya. While we have been running the Shine Kids Winter Semester since last month here in Machida, I really felt lead to start another Shine Kids Class in our sister church in Setagaya. So, I prepared all the materials and started on the friday of last week. To my surprise, the children that came to this new program were far younger than those that came to Machida. While the youngest here in Machida are of a kindergarten age, the children in Setagaya where all about three years old. But, with a few quick alterations and the grace of God, the class still went very well and both the children and the mothers had a really good time. It was not exactly how I pictured things working out, but then again I have really come to love God's beautiful little surprises. They make life so much richer. Please be praying that the school would continue to grow and flourish in God's time and by His will. And that He would use this contact with the families and children to bring more people into His saving Grace and love.

Also, there have been some new developements at the Homeless ministry in Yoyogi Park. Because of the current financial crisis, the numbers of homeless people have increased at a alarming rate. When I first arrived here, the Homeless ministry served about 100 people. In this last month alone, this number has tripled. Evertime I go to the homless ministry, I am seeing many new faces. And unfortunately, because of the large numbers of people, it is fairly difficult to find people you have talked with previously which is essential to the ministry, consistant contact. Naturally, I can see how God is using the current economy for good in that more people are having a chance to be exposed to the gospel. But I have a feeling we are going to have to change the way in which we minister to these men and women a bit in order to meet the need and feed hearts as well as stomachs. Please be praying for direction in this ministry.
Lastly, please be praying for the unsaved that attend church services and ministries. There are now serveral people who are coming to the English services here to practice there English. I have been blessed by being able to spend time with these people, talking with them, and being able to share the gospel with them. I have become good friends with most of them and love them very much. But please pray for wisdom and discernment in my relationships with them. With my love for them naturally comes also great concern and great passion for them to come to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus. But, indeed I must be careful that this passion does not turn into a zealousness that could damage what God is seeking to do through this relationship. I want to minister to them and indeed share the gospel with them, but with the loving patience that God has given to me. Please pray that God would continue to work in me this loving patience and of course please pray that these people would run to the arms of Jesus soon if not right now.


I love you all and miss you all and wish you were here with me. Please write me if you find you have the time. I would love to hear from you.

Yours lovingly in our merciful Lord,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Japan Newsletter - Jan 8, 2009



Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Happy new year!!! I pray that all of you are well and that your Christmas season was truly a joyful one. My December was quite an eventful time for me, full of Christmas outreaches, wonderful ministries, and of course so many blessings from God. Truly, His faithfulness just leaves me awestruck sometimes. Were should I start?
Well firstly, I would like to thank you all for your prayers about my language abilities. I think God has brought me to a bit of a "clicking" point when it comes to Japanese. It is hard to describe it, but some of my Japanese friends who learned English had similar experiences. It's kind of like it just flows out you without having to translate what you are saying into English in your head. Like you are talking from another part of your brain. Anyway, it's pretty cool and I am grateful to God for getting me this far.
Also, thank you for praying for the big outreaches that I mentioned in the last letter. The Women's Christmas Outreach, the Christmas Program. The Christmas Eve Candle Light Service all went very well. All were great and everyone had opportunities to invite unsaved family and friends. And surprisingly, a lot of those invited came. We had a packed house every time. Some have even visited services after the fact which is always a blessing. Please pray for the unsaved currently attending services, pray for good relationships to be formed and for the spirit to be working in their hearts. But I think my favorite outreach in the last month would have to be the Children's English Christmas program in Saitama. Saitama Horizon has a English school functioning out of it and they invited me to put on a Christmas Program for their students. It was an amazing time. We sang Christmas carols, made cloth angels, and I was able to share about gospel to them through talking about the meaning of Christmas. The kids enjoyed themselves and all of them wanted me to come back soon and I hope to be much more involved in this ministry in the future.
Anyway, as for prayer requests, naturally I have quite a few. But the mainstay of them are about the ministries in this new year. Please be praying for the next semester of Shine Kids that will be coming up soon and also for the Shine Kids Program that I am feeling led to start in our sister church in Setagaya. Please be praying for lots of kids, great relationships with families, and that God's will would be done. Also be praying about my possible involvement in the Horizon Language School in this next year. It would be a great opportunity to come in contact with Japanese people I wouldn't ordinarily meet. However, my involvement still remains in question. Also please be praying for Funky Friday. There have been some difficulties in the ministry lately.
God bless you all. I will be praying for you. Please drop me a line if you have the time.
Yours in our Lord,
Alex J. Robinson

Japan Newsletter- Dec 3, 2008



Dear brothers and sisters,
Hello and many greetings to you. I am sorry to have taken so much time to write you again. My days have been full lately and God continues to move and work in this land. But not a day has gone by that my heart hasn't found you one way or another. I have so very much to tell you. Firstly, thank you for praying for the events that were coming up the last time I wrote you. The Classical Concert, The Horizon Café, The Setagaya Fall festival all went better than we had hoped and many from the surrounding communities came. Please pray that the strengthening of these relationships would continue and the church would grow to be more and more a place of safety and love in the eyes of the community.
The Homeless Ministry continues on and has been going well. Recently we held the Homeless Thanksgiving in Yoyogi Park not far from where we usually do ministry. We brought a lot of food and clothing and praised be to God, over a hundred and fifty homeless people came for it. Unfortunately, even though the goods we gave to the people there were very much needed (especially with the winter coming upon us so quickly here), we did not have time to talk with anyone as we had to pack everything up quickly before the police arrived. You see, before we had the homeless ministry in Yoyogi, there was another ministry in Shinjuku that was very good and that I was able to serve at in previous trips. However it got very big. And after a while the police shut it down under the heading of park health. They don't like the homeless congregating in large groups because it doesn't make the park look good. And they have started to eyeball us over in Yoyogi as well. So we have to make a fast exit when the police are about to go on patrol. Please be praying about this situation. I have just started to develop relationships with the people that hang out in Yoyogi and know many by name and know their stories. I don't want to have to loose that and start over somewhere else.
The other ministries have been good. Funky Friday, the youth and co-worker outreach over in Setagaya is about to have a big launching event to get us into the community and church eye again. Pray that it will go well. We continue to hope and pray that it will be a way to speak to the large youth community in Setagaya, a place lacking many other churches to do so. The English class over in Setagaya that we teach through the bible hasn't grown, but relationships are being made stronger. Pray for the unsaved within the class. Also, since pastor Jeremiah left, I have been put in charge of leading the International Wednesday Night Bible Study. Things have been going well and God continues to work in the hearts of people in it. Pray for the unsaved that have started attending recently. Pray that they would see God through this study and through the saved that they now spend time with. Please continue to pray for all the ministries, that God would bless them.
And lastly, please be praying for me. Pray for wisdom and that God would continue to grow me into who he wants me to be. Sometimes I step back from the work that I am involved in and say to myself "I am probably the worst choice for this work". My youth and my inexperience in these things often cross my mind. But, God is good and merciful. He uses the least of us to work His wonders. So I am not really worried. Just grateful. But still, growing is good and I still have a long way to go.
Thank you again for your prayer in all this. Come and join me any time you like. The workers are few here.

Lovingly and Gratefully yours,
Alex J. Robinson
P.S. Photos and hopefully video of Shine Kids Club to come.

Japan Newsletter Oct 14, 2008


Hello and many greetings to you my spiritual family!
This is Alex Robinson again writing from Tokyo and pleased as punch to be doing so ^_^. Things here have been going very well but very fast. It seems as soon as I get my head out of the water to catch my breath, another two weeks has gone by and I am writing you again. Sometimes it is hard to believe how busy it can get over here. Everybody on staff is going all out all the time and it seems as though I am doing the same ^_^. You see, because there are so few people really a part of ministry here, everyone has to take on many different roles. Pastors are counselors, teachers, administrators, janitors, repairmen, cooks, English teachers, worship leaders, garbage men, and everything in between. And the rest of staff fills in the gaps as best they can. Sometimes stepping back from the whole situation, it's weird to see how uneven everything is. There is so much opportunity for ministry and evangelism here, so many places that even I, with my limited perspective of this place, can see such need. But there are almost no workers for this harvest… I guess it's the same in every ministry. But here, with the heart God has given me for Japan, it hurts so much. I want to do so much more than I am, but I don't think I can… not at the same time. Please pray for me in this. Pray that God would give me perspective and guidance as to which ministries He wants me to take part in now, which ones he wants me to take part in later, and which ones he doesn't want me to be in at all. Also, please pray for the church here. Pray that more workers would come and that God would begin to work His wonders through them. I thank you for your prayers already in these things and for me. Please know that even now, I have been truly blessed by the prayer cover from the saints there. God has been working all around me, through me, and within me to make me into the man and servant I should be for this mission. And has even been giving me more patience when it comes to missions work here, which is essential for missionary survival in Japan ^_^!
Speaking of ministry opportunities, there are a few in particular that I would really like you to pray about. Recently, my schedule changed a little bit. I am now spending the entirety of my Fridays over in Setagaya. If you don't remember from my last letter, Setagaya Horizon Chapel is our small sister church that was started a little less than two years ago in a very unreached area about thirty minutes by train from here. Not too much has been happening in the way of outreach there so far, but the church there has been growing in both the English and the Japanese Fellowships. Fortunately for me, there are two outreaches there that just are just starting or are about to start that I am can be a part of. The First is an Bible English Class.
Now you may be thinking "Al, you got it wrong. It's an English Bible Class." But they are a bit different. A Bible English class is one in which we offer an English Class to those that want to learn. But instead of using some kind of text book we use the bible. We read the bible, translate the bible, discuss the bible, and then teach English through the bible. We simply talk about what words mean and how sentences in English work, and don't directly evangelize because it might scare off students. However, as we all know, "the Word of God is living and active… Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow." (Hebrews 4:12) Eventually the students have questions about what they are reading. And this gives great opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them. The class is just starting, so it is a bit small still. Please be praying for this ministry, that God will open up more and more opportunities through this class. But the other outreach, which God Has on my mind most often, is a ministry called Funky Friday.
When I came here last year, Funky Friday was already in full swing. I believe they have this outreach back in the states somewhere. But here, it was sort of just a night of fun things to do where people could invite their co-workers and friends. It was really a awesome night and God used me in it a lot the last time I was here. However, the Bible College student who was running it, Sho San, left and is now a pastor in Los Angeles. This left my friend Daichi in charge of it. However, he didn't understand the concept that well and soon it turned into a small Christian Fellowship time. This is fine, but Daichi has told me that he wants to re-make Funky Friday to be an outreach again. So we prayed about it a lot and think we know a bit more what it should look like. We are going to be starting it all up in November and I will keep you up to date with everything that is happening there.
Anyway, there is a lot happening in children's ministries and Shine Kids here. But I'll have to save that for another time. I pray that you are all well and hope to hear from you when you get the chance that I may know what to pray for there.

Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>
P.S. Also, we have several big outreach events coming up this month. It is amazing how many people in our church are classically trained in music. So we are having two concerts that are coming up fast. Also we are having a horizon Café. It's going to be kind of like a festival in the Church and everyone in the Community is invited. And Lastly we are having a masquerade party for kids in the area at the end of the month. Please bathe these events in prayer that the Lord would use them how He wishes for His kingdom. Thank you.

Japan Newletter - Sept 28 2008


Greetings to you servants of the one true God,
This is Alex Robinson writing you for the very first time from Tokyo, Japan. Please excuse my tardiness in writing, but things have been very busy here since my arrival. Please know firstly that I am safe and well. The church family here has been very kind and has accepted me with open arms. Please praise God in this because even though the pastoral staff here know me well, I am not so well know in the church body, at least in the Japanese Fellowship here in Machida. However, Pastor Watanabe was able to put a insert in the church bulletin about my presence here and what God is calling me to do here. This was very well received and the church body seems to be behind me and the mission. This is wonderful and is important considering all the ministries I have been made a part of and will be a part of in the future. I will need all the support I can get. Speaking of which, I really want to tell you all about the ministries and what has happened in them thus far.
It has been only a little more than a week and yet so much has happened. I have been made a part of all the bible studies, home fellowships, and church fellowships (there are about four total running out of the church in Machida and in the small sister church in Setagaya). The pastoral staff believe that perhaps God can use me to help encourage the believers here and maybe fan the flames in their hearts towards evangelism and ministry. From talking to people from the church so far, I think big things may be happening soon in their lives. Many want to serve and are just trying to figure out where God wants them. This is a great place to be and I hope and pray to see big things and movements in the church and I hope and pray I can be a part of them.
Also, I have been put in charge of children ministries for the International Fellowship in Setagaya. It has grown so BIG!!! It used to be that we only had about six children at that fellowship. But now, because of all the families that have come, we now are working with twenty kids! Praise God! Working with them has been a joy far and we hope and pray that we would just keep growing. Along with this, the church has placed me in several outreaches and each one has just been amazing.
The first is Shine Kids. For those of you who don't know, Shine Kids is an English ministry that was started last year that we could reach out to children in the community and also to their families. You see, because of prejudice most Japanese people have against our faith, a church is not a trusted place. In fact, many fear it. But through the Shine Kids English club. We have been able to turn the church into a place of safety, peace, and love for the children in this area. And it has done the same for the parents. Many of the stay at home moms around here like to bring their kids and then just hang out. And we have tea and conversation with them. True this outreach is more of a bridge building nature and thus we can't talk about Jesus directly to the kids. But God has used it to open many doors to evangelism and many families have come to God because of it. This last week was our first for the fall season. We are working with about thirty kids at this point and perhaps more later on. It was really a great time and we had some great conversations with the kids and the parents. What was even better was that because it was a Japanese holiday that day, we were also able to meet many fathers which we usually aren't able to see because most work long hours. So, please pray for this ministry and the direction it is supposed to go. Pray that God would continue to work within the ministry.
Also there is the homeless ministry in Yoyogi Park. It happens on the first and third Thursday of every month and soon it will also be every Saturday morning as well. I have only been able to be there one time. However, that one time was really amazing. I spoke to this one homeless man for thirty minutes and somehow, by God's divine grace, I was able to understand most of what he said and also was able to share Jesus with him as well. He believed that Jesus was the god (little "g") of America. And that while He could work good there, here they had their own gods and because of it He could only work bad here. I told him that with the universe being so big, the creator of it would have to be bigger. And that a God that big would not care about nationalities. I said, or at least God said through me in Japanese, that we are all the same, all human, and had the same needs and the same problems. I told him that Jesus loves all of us and that He is here right now waiting to love you and save you from the things you've done. He thought about it, but in the end was just uncertain. However, for a man as confirmed in his beliefs as he was, I think that uncertainty is a good start. Please pray for him and for the ministry. We need a lot of guidance.
And best of all was the ministry in Negoya. In Negoya, there is a small house church and Pastor Hirano, the senior pastor, visits on a monthly basis to encourage the believers and to help with other ministries there and I have been asked to go with him during these times. So we got up there and I was able to share my testimony and Hirano Sensei spoke and the whole evening, you could feel the spirit moving. God was working in hearts. And after everything was over, three people asked to be prayed with to receive God's gift of salvation… Praise God and shout and sing for joy! God has called three more people into His kingdom! Three have been saved! It was so beautiful. Please pray for these believers as they start their journey in this harsh land and that God would surround them with Himself and with other believers that they would grow in Him.
Well, like I said, so much has gone on. It has been beautiful and amazing. And even now I am sitting in one of God's works, my apartment. It is a lovely place with everything one needs in a place to live. True, it isn't very big, especially by American standards, but it is comfortable and homey. And I couldn't have asked for a better roommate than my pal Hide. He's a great guy and I think I can learn a lot about the language from him. Oh, and the last big prayer request I have is in language. It took me a few days to be able to understand anything. English and Japanese sentence structure are so very different that you have to almost change your whole way of thinking to really pick up on it. And even though God is good and I have almost got my linguistic feet underneath me, I still have a long way to go. So please pray that God would continue to work with my mind and tongue and that he would train both in the Japanese language. Thank you all very much for your prayers and support, I will continue to write home on a regular basis and pray that you are all well and more in love with God than ever. Please don't hesitate to write. I would love to hear from you all and what is happening back home.
Because He lives,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Last Blog


Hey everyone,
Alex here again, just doing a quick check in with you before I leave. It is my last night here and I guess it is a fair night to have a last night on ^_^. The Modesto team is here and is wrapping up their trip just as I am. Honestly a good group all things considered. Had kind of a rough start and some hard times along the way, but they all pulled through and today was a very good day. The shine kids week long vbs style club has been awesome and has been very fruitful in the building of relationships with the community, and even in drawing people closer to God. I am not going to tell you every cool thing that happened this week. But I am going to say that there was a woman who brought her child on the first day of this week, that said she would not come back after she found out that this was a church. Then she saw the program we put on here and how passionate we all were about sharing our love with the kids. And she came the next day, and then the next, and then she came again today and approached Jeremiah with a bible, asking if it was a good one and saying she wanted to learn more about what we believe... I know that it doesn't seem like much, but in this country that is HUGE ^_^!!!!!!!!!!!! Just another one of God's blessings on this trip! Anway, I look forward to seeing you all soon and hope you are all well.

Bye for now but not for long ^_~
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo Blog 07 Blog 8


Hello everyone,
Sorry for missing the saturday blog time. It was very full and by the time I got home, it was about four hours before I had to get up to make it to Tokyo Horizon on time. So I decided to put it off until I had some free time, like now for instance ^_^. So let's see, where should I begin. Like I said in my previous blog, I did alot of running back and forth this week. The VBS in ... sorry, I forgot that place's name... was interesting. It was unfortunate that we didn't really get to help out alot. It was very well manned and well planned out and we rarely fit into that plan. However, the ideas we got from that place were Cho Iketeru(Very very good). You see, one of the main aspects of ministry that the church here is trying to start is childrens outreaches. Making Horizon a place that they can always feel safe to come and a place where they know they will be cared for and have great experiences. And most of all, a place where the children will be exposed to God's love on a weekly bases if not daily, either from the teachers, or the lessons or the people in the church. And also a place where their parents can feel the same thing. So we are brainstorming programs and other things mostly focusing on English, a subject that most people here hold very important. But anyway, like I was saying, the VBS gave us alot of ideas for this. Of course big ideas for Shine Kids, the door opening children's program here which we soon hope to expand into a two or three day a week language club. And also, ideas for other activities we can have for the kids in conjunction with Shine Kids, like maybe story telling after school. But not read out of a book story telling. At the VBS, for the lesson time, they set up the room to look like what they were talking about. The teacher dressed up in robes and other such things. They had sound effects going in the backround, they even projected sky on to the ceiling. They also had the kids participate in the story. One time during the lesson, there was a knock on the door and they said "It's the Roman soldiers!! Everyone hide!" And they through a blanket over them and had the gaurds come in, talk sternly, poke at the blanket a little, and walk out. And it made me think of perhaps an after school kind of thing. I mean we are within easy walking distance of three different schools here. And we could use bible stories which pretty much all of them haven't heard before. Dress up appropriately. Robes for peace and some kind of armor for war. And for the battle bible stories, we could have armies yelling in the backround if we could get a sound bite like that. So pray about these kind of ideas and the others for reaching out to the kids and their parents. It is a huge opportunity if we can only pull it off. And if the Lord wills it, we most certainly can.
And of course we had another shine kids program, both this mourning and last tuesday. It has been going extremely well and new kids are coming all the time. The parents are very pleased with the program thus far and say they are eagerly awaiting a time when this can become a after school program. This is all such a blessing to us. It has been opening up alot of doors and bringing in a lot of people who have never been in a church before and, in many cases, have never talked with a Christian before. And to be able to teach these kids and to show them the love Jesus has for them, through the love He has given me for them, is such a beautiful thing to be a part of even if I cannot speak to them directly about it right now.
Oh, but that reminds me of the best experience I had this week which was the teaching in Sayama. We started out the week with a huge English party for all the students that are have English Classes in Sayama Horizon Chapel. We had a great time of course and did the same kind of program we do for Shine Kids. But the major difference was that we were allowed to speak to them about God ^_^!!!! Keep in mind that these were not Christian kids for the most part, only children from the surrounding area. But for some reason that I am not quite sure of, the teachers there were given permission from the parents to use the bible to teach them English. I think it was just something the people at Sayama Horizon said upfront about the program. But because english programs are so rare here that don't cost a arm and a leg, they have about thirty students. And even though I love doing the Shine Kids Ministry in Machida, being able to open up my mouth about Jesus's undying love for those kids and how much He wants to be with them and have a relationship with them, even though we have all walked away from Him... it was absolutely amazing ^_^!!! And then I was able to continue to build on the first lesson in the classes I taught there throughout the week. Words cannot express how great it was. Opportunities like that are so rare here. Most ministry here comes little by little, like getting small drops of water on your tongue. And to have a experience like that was like having someone unleash a river on me ^_~! It was beautifully overwhelming ;D! Please pray for a opening up of that ministry and for a full time English speaker to be able to come to that church. It would so incredibly increase the amount of students.
But anyway, I should probably be letting you guys go now. Thank you so much for listening to what I have to say and my prayers requests. Your prayers are greatly felt here and appreciated beyond what words can describe.

Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Blog 7


Hello again everyone!
Alex J. Robinson checking in again with all of you back home and at all points unknown to me currently. Well, I must say that this has been a very full week for me. We finally had our first Shine Kids club (This is the name we have given our English outreach to the kids here in Machida). I think it went very well. We orginally had about 15 children sign up and ended up with about thirty. And more on the way now that word is getting out. Hmmm... I suppose I should probably explain exactly what we hope to achieve with this first club. To put it simply, this is a door opening outreach. The thing about the culture here is that the people grow up having a fear of churches and other religious places aside from buddist and shinto establishments engrained into them. We are trying to break through this fear by offering a good solid class for their children and being loving to both them and there kids in the process. This way, the people of machida will not be afraid to come through our doors. God will hopefully use this to aid in the other outreaches we plan to do. I really have a strong feeling that He will use this in this way. The only thing that has been difficult for me is that in trying to open up this window, we have had to make this a purely English class, meaning a lack of bible stories. This made me very frustrated at first, but then Jeremiah explained it to me. This is a ministry that is setting the ground for the others, most importantly the week long shine kids program that will be put on by the modesto team that will be telling the gospel. But until then we must be ourselves of course and be the servants that we are, but must be tactful about how we share the goodnews. For if we are not, we will do nothing but burn bridges. I am starting to see what Jeremiah meant when he said that a lot of the ministry here is through the relationships that you build. That you must be patient in all things, acting only when when God tells you to. Following Him always and not looking away. Otherwise, you will just fall into despair at not being able to do all that you want. I've always got to remember that it is not what I want, but what He wants. I can't let myself get distracted by selfish ambision. Pray for me in this, That my spirit would be humble and responsive to His leading in all things.
Also this week, I was able to attend the annual Megumi Challe Conference in Hokaido. A gathering of christian leaders of all kinds and those in training. I was a real blessing. I was able to talk with many of the different leaders about their ministries in Japan and gain a deeper understanding of this mission field. Along with this I was able to fellowship with them and also the people from tokyo horizon that I don't always get to spend time with. Over all, it was a great time of encouragment and was absolutely a God send to be in a room with such similarly called people. And as a added bonus, it allowed me to use and work with Japanese more than I ever have before. And again, thank you all for praying for me in the area of my language needs. God has been ever so faithful in this matter and has given me a better ear and a quicker toung than I have ever had. It is true, I have much to learn and am no where near fluency, but He has taken down the wall that was Japanese in my mind and replaced it with something that is fully possible with His power. I have also almost completely learned Hiragana, the most important and widely used alphabet and have started to memorize some kanji. Please continue to pray for me in this as well.
Anyway, my last prayer request lies in next week. Everyday, I am going to be in Ome in the mornings, helping out with a VBS there who have said they will donate their materials at the end of the week to the shine kids week that modesto will be involved in and getting ideas from them as to how to go about the whole thing. Then, during the evenings, I will be teaching at a English outreach in Saiama. A lot to do and all a blessing, but please pray for strength and vision for me in the middle of it all. And that I would be filled with His joy no matter what ^_^.
Anyway, early day tomorrow. Gotta get going. Oh, and sorry if this is not the most eliquent of my blogs. I am quite tired ^_^. But again, a blessing not to be idle.
Your'e in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Blog 6


Hello my dear friends,
How have you all been? As for me, the last couple weeks have been quite eventful. Of course, the big earth quake happened that you've all been hearing so much about in the news. No, it didn't happen here, but about 120 miles from here in a prefecture that I have never been to before. Here we really didn't feel much of anything, and though there was some talk about it in the media, it quited down quickly enough. It is really hard to imagine from how people act here that there are so many people suffering only that far away. When earth quakes happen back home in california this bad, you here all about it all the time in the news media. Rescue efforts, damage totals, stories about the victims on a individual basis, etc. But here, nothing. I guess it just speaks to the emotional isolation in this country. People are packed so close together, that the people start to make up emotional walls to compensate for physical space. And when events like this happen, it is just absorbed by the population, like sound on a snowy day. But do know that christians are begining to move and to form relief teams. Please pray for them and the difference God will use them to make. This culture is a culture of kindesses, and as such random acts of kindness are really not much of a witness here. However, this type of action goes above and beyond the kindness of this culture, and as such could make a huge difference. In fact, I would be one of the ones going if it wasn't for the fact that I damaged my tail bone in a minor accident on the H.I.S international school camping trip and am going to have to be using crutches for a couple weeks. Then again, nothing happens apart from Gods will. There is mention of the nuclear power plant in that prefecture and a minor leak. Of course that information has been ping-ponging between extremes whether it is the spilling of four hundred barrels of contaminated water or just a minor fire. I don't know what to believe really. So all I can go with is what God has been telling me. What has been so wonderful about being out here is that God has never stopped speaking to me since I got here. Or more likely, I just started listening. It has been undescribably wonderful how much He has poured His Spirit out upon me and given me the power to do His will beyond my means. I have felt His hand on the things around me so much lately, that I really feel like I have actually taken my hands off the wheel of my life, and to quote John Reuben, "it feels so good to be out of control". We are the wind, my brothers and sisters ^_^. We are not held by the chains of this world anymore. Nor are we bound to it's rules. For our Master created all this by his own hands. Our Master came up with it of His own invention. Our Master deals in imposibilities ^_^. For Him, five loaves and two fish become a meal for five thousand families. If He has given us wings, allow Him to use them. And He will move in a way that will destroy the box you have put Him in, as He has done with me. By His Hand, He brought to me during street evangelism in Shinjuku three people who spoke English and gave me the words to share His glory. By His hand, He brought a intellectual of history, what I was for so long, to an outreach that He would use me to speak to her about what He had done for her that surpassed human knowledge. By His hand, a teenager named Jun was saved at Tokyo Horizon Chapel. By His Hand, I am in contact with a family of missionaries in Russia that feel lead by God to plant Churches here. And indeed, by His hand I was injured. And I am unworthy of the love He is showing me in this chastening. For the Lord loves whom he chastens, as a father chastens the child in whom he delights. Just as I am unworthy of all He has been using me for. But he continues to use me and the believers here through His mercy. This is my Master, in whom I am satisfied ^_^. Please pray for me in this my resolution. Pray for my pride which stumbles me. Please pray for the direction of my life, because I have alot of decisions to make in the coming months. And please pray for the outreach to the children that is goin to be happening next tuesday. I will be praying for you as well, my friends, my family, and my home church. Your support has meant the world to me in this endevor. I pray that God will continue to move in your lives as He has been and even more so ^_^.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Blog 5


Hello dear friends!
Another week has gone by, and it has done so in the blink of a eye. And unfortunately, I have about that much time to tell you about it. I have to get to Machida soon, but I really didn't want to leave you guys in a lurch like I did the other week. So know that I am well. Know that my week has been full and that it has been wonderful. Know that God has been moving as He always has. And finally know that He is good and capable of all things. Whether it be in growing and maturing of young people, or in the relationships between people, or the changing of peoples hearts, or in speaking a 45 minute message through a young man that has had 10 minutes to prepare (me ^_^), or in the uplifting of His believers, or in the sharing of his gospel with those that don't know Him. Kami sama de zembu dekimas (I can do all things through the Lord God). Take this to heart as well as to mind.
So God bless you all as you continue in your ministries. I pray that He would bless your hearts with an abundance of His love this week. And that He would use that abundance to change the world.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Blog 4


Hello everyone!
It's Alex again, alive and kicking, here to write my fourth blog. I'm very sorry for having to skip writing you all last week. But actually I am not too sorry because it was awesome to be where I was ^_^. I was in Nagoya. It is a small city in the inaka (japanese for the countryside), about six hours out of Tokyo. It was this very first time that I have ever been outside Tokyo and it was an amazing experience. I never before could understand how the population here in Japan could be decreasing. Living here in Tokyo, you can't turn around without being surrounded by people. But when you go out into the country, you see the depopulation very clearly. You see, every year the farming communtities in Japan shrink smaller and smaller as more people flow into Tokyo and the other big cities. And, because the mainstay of the population does not want to get married and much prefers the dating/shacking up lifestyle, few babies are born to replace those in the countryside. Thus we gain the negative slop in population, while more and more villages become ghost towns. But there are some small cities that have maintained themselves so far in the inaka like Nagoya and this is where I found myself along with pastor Hirano and Hara kun (a friend that I have made from the bible college). Originally, I thought that this was going to be a outreach through the church into the community. In this I was mistaken and found that it was actually a trip to encourage a small house church there, one of the few in Nagoya. But, even though I was a little disappointed to not be working in a outreach, I feel that God used me there in a big way. I was able to share my testimony yet again with the small congregation, but this time was much different than the others. I felt a movement of the Holy Spirit in me that was very strong, so strong that the words that came out of my mouth were not mine, but His. Indeed, I have heard of this type of thing before with pastors and God has loosed my tounge and made it to speak eliquently as well. But this time, He spoke. It was amazing. He shared with me as much as with them the ways He has moved in my life. I was left in totall awe. And I really felt the spirit of the Lord move through that congregation and lift all of our hearts with His love, grace, and power. Please pray for this church. Pray that the Spirit would continue to move there and that God would open their mouths and their doors and that they would be His tool in that city. And for that matter, pray for the spirit to continue to move through out this nation. Something amazing is happening here and I have felt it ever since I got here. The Lord is beginning to move in huge ways. Workers for this field have been arriving more frequently then I have ever seen. Americans, Koreans, Russians. Some not even knowing why they are here, much like me. But something big is coming. I can feel it in my bones. The Spirit is moving to overturn the dark powers in this nation. A revival is coming, I just know it. God is going to claim this land. SO CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR JAPAN!! PLEASE!!! That the spirit would be poured out onto the churches and that with hearts full, His servants would take His love to the streets and the cities and in the inaka. And that He would continue use me in this purpose as well. Even now, as I am preparing for the outreaches to come and teaching the international school, the Lord blessed me with much opportunity. Even on the train tonight, He brought to me a man so passionate about America that he began a conversation with me sheerly because I was American. And through that foundation, I was able to share Jesus with him. It was so beautiful. God is so good. I even ended up giving Him my bible to him. Please pray for this man as well. Pray that the God would use that bible and the planted seeds to draw him to Himself. And please also pray for the street evangelism that is going to be happens every Saturday in Shinjuku that I am going to be a part of now and for the street evangelism that is going to be happening in Setagaia ^_^! The Setagaia outreach is wonderful news indeed! Setagaia is a relatively new sister church that horizon fellowship in Machida has. And the people there have been moved to do street evangelism for the very first time! They are all so passionate about it, it is beautiful! I told you the Spirit is working here ^_^!!!
Wow, what else should I tell you. Aside from the other things, I have many praises about the relationships that I have been making here. Early on, this weighed heavy on my heart. You see, it takes alot to have real friendships over here. I wanted to work with the college students, here there stories, encourage them, and help them in there ministries. But, unlike Americans, the Japanese guard themselves and their emotions so heavily, that it can take months or sometimes years for them to open up. But God has been answering my prayers in this. And has been blessing my relationships with them so much that many of them are very close to me now, sharing a wonderful brotherhood and sisterhood with me. Praises be to God. I cannot wait for what is going to come from knowing these people, they have blessed me so much already ^_^. And also I was able to fellowship with Russian missionaries that were here for a short time trying to open up relations between Japanese and Russian churches, just as strong relations have been made between South Korean Churches and Russia. In fact, Russians and South Koreans have been working together in many of the mission fields in Asia. The missionaries I talked to had actually been reacently in China, smuggling bibles ^_^!! Turns out that the Chinese are much less suspicious of Russians than they are of Americans ;D! And then last night I was able to meet with a team from Korea which was awesome too!
Anyway, I gotta sign off now and get some sleep. Tomorrow is sunday and I have to get up pretty early to make it over to Setagaia in time. Goodnight to you all and may the Lord bless your sleep and make it the sweetest of slumbers ^_^.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>
P.S. Just for fun, three hillarious Japanese societal sightings. First, a bit of Ingrish. Walking down the street, I found myself looking at a shop sign that took me quite aback ^_^. The clothing store "FAMOUS CRAP!" Interesting to say the least, but one of the most truthful descriptions of modern fasion I have ever come across ^_~. Second sighting, a little japanese dude with a three foot fro! No joke! And last but not least, I was able to observe a Dance Dance Revolution Titan. I have heard of them before, but never saw one. The people that play the game Dance Dance Revolution so much that the dance pad is second nature to them. Well I saw one in the arcade last week. A buisness man still in his suit with his jacket hanging over the back of the dance pad, working two dance pads with his feet the way a concert pianist works the keys with his fingers. Guy was so fast I couldn't keep track of him. He even brought his own sweat towel into the arcade to dry himself off between songs. How hardcore is that ^_^!

Hello everyone!
It's Alex again, alive and kicking, here to write my fourth blog. I'm very sorry for having to skip writing you all last week. But actually I am not too sorry because it was awesome to be where I was ^_^. I was in Nagoya. It is a small city in the inaka (japanese for the countryside), about six hours out of Tokyo. It was this very first time that I have ever been outside Tokyo and it was an amazing experience. I never before could understand how the population here in Japan could be decreasing. Living here in Tokyo, you can't turn around without being surrounded by people. But when you go out into the country, you see the depopulation very clearly. You see, every year the farming communtities in Japan shrink smaller and smaller as more people flow into Tokyo and the other big cities. And, because the mainstay of the population does not want to get married and much prefers the dating/shacking up lifestyle, few babies are born to replace those in the countryside. Thus we gain the negative slop in population, while more and more villages become ghost towns. But there are some small cities that have maintained themselves so far in the inaka like Nagoya and this is where I found myself along with pastor Hirano and Hara kun (a friend that I have made from the bible college). Originally, I thought that this was going to be a outreach through the church into the community. In this I was mistaken and found that it was actually a trip to encourage a small house church there, one of the few in Nagoya. But, even though I was a little disappointed to not be working in a outreach, I feel that God used me there in a big way. I was able to share my testimony yet again with the small congregation, but this time was much different than the others. I felt a movement of the Holy Spirit in me that was very strong, so strong that the words that came out of my mouth were not mine, but His. Indeed, I have heard of this type of thing before with pastors and God has loosed my tounge and made it to speak eliquently as well. But this time, He spoke. It was amazing. He shared with me as much as with them the ways He has moved in my life. I was left in totall awe. And I really felt the spirit of the Lord move through that congregation and lift all of our hearts with His love, grace, and power. Please pray for this church. Pray that the Spirit would continue to move there and that God would open their mouths and their doors and that they would be His tool in that city. And for that matter, pray for the spirit to continue to move through out this nation. Something amazing is happening here and I have felt it ever since I got here. The Lord is beginning to move in huge ways. Workers for this field have been arriving more frequently then I have ever seen. Americans, Koreans, Russians. Some not even knowing why they are here, much like me. But something big is coming. I can feel it in my bones. The Spirit is moving to overturn the dark powers in this nation. A revival is coming, I just know it. God is going to claim this land. SO CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR JAPAN!! PLEASE!!! That the spirit would be poured out onto the churches and that with hearts full, His servants would take His love to the streets and the cities and in the inaka. And that He would continue use me in this purpose as well. Even now, as I am preparing for the outreaches to come and teaching the international school, the Lord blessed me with much opportunity. Even on the train tonight, He brought to me a man so passionate about America that he began a conversation with me sheerly because I was American. And through that foundation, I was able to share Jesus with him. It was so beautiful. God is so good. I even ended up giving Him my bible to him. Please pray for this man as well. Pray that the God would use that bible and the planted seeds to draw him to Himself. And please also pray for the street evangelism that is going to be happens every Saturday in Shinjuku that I am going to be a part of now and for the street evangelism that is going to be happening in Setagaia ^_^! The Setagaia outreach is wonderful news indeed! Setagaia is a relatively new sister church that horizon fellowship in Machida has. And the people there have been moved to do street evangelism for the very first time! They are all so passionate about it, it is beautiful! I told you the Spirit is working here ^_^!!!
Wow, what else should I tell you. Aside from the other things, I have many praises about the relationships that I have been making here. Early on, this weighed heavy on my heart. You see, it takes alot to have real friendships over here. I wanted to work with the college students, here there stories, encourage them, and help them in there ministries. But, unlike Americans, the Japanese guard themselves and their emotions so heavily, that it can take months or sometimes years for them to open up. But God has been answering my prayers in this. And has been blessing my relationships with them so much that many of them are very close to me now, sharing a wonderful brotherhood and sisterhood with me. Praises be to God. I cannot wait for what is going to come from knowing these people, they have blessed me so much already ^_^. And also I was able to fellowship with Russian missionaries that were here for a short time trying to open up relations between Japanese and Russian churches, just as strong relations have been made between South Korean Churches and Russia. In fact, Russians and South Koreans have been working together in many of the mission fields in Asia. The missionaries I talked to had actually been reacently in China, smuggling bibles ^_^!! Turns out that the Chinese are much less suspicious of Russians than they are of Americans ;D! And then last night I was able to meet with a team from Korea which was awesome too!
Anyway, I gotta sign off now and get some sleep. Tomorrow is sunday and I have to get up pretty early to make it over to Setagaia in time. Goodnight to you all and may the Lord bless your sleep and make it the sweetest of slumbers ^_^.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>
P.S. Just for fun, three hillarious Japanese societal sightings. First, a bit of Ingrish. Walking down the street, I found myself looking at a shop sign that took me quite aback ^_^. The clothing store "FAMOUS CRAP!" Interesting to say the least, but one of the most truthful descriptions of modern fasion I have ever come across ^_~. Second sighting, a little japanese dude with a three foot fro! No joke! And last but not least, I was able to observe a Dance Dance Revolution Titan. I have heard of them before, but never saw one. The people that play the game Dance Dance Revolution so much that the dance pad is second nature to them. Well I saw one in the arcade last week. A buisness man still in his suit with his jacket hanging over the back of the dance pad, working two dance pads with his feet the way a concert pianist works the keys with his fingers. Guy was so fast I couldn't keep track of him. He even brought his own sweat towel into the arcade to dry himself off between songs. How hardcore is that ^_^!

Tokyo 07 Blog 3

Hello my dear friends ^_^!
Wow, I cannot believe it has already been almost a week since I wrote you last. It has gone faster than a jack rabbit being chased by a mutated monster carrot out for revenge... Wow, I am deffinatley going to have to work on my similies. But anyway, like I said, fast ^_^. And alot has been happening. Firstly, I want to thank you all so much for praying for my language skills! I have been excelling at a very pleasing rate and can now conjegate my verbs. True, I need to work on how many verbs I know, but the number is growing all the time, praises be to our Lord. Also, I thank you for praying for me about ministries opening up. Even now, many have surfaced. I am now going to be involved in a ministry called "funky friday" which is a musical outreach in the church in Setagaia that happens every friday ( as the name suggests ^_~). Anyway along with that, I might be starting my first English class outreach soon. It will also be in Setagaia and will be an outreach to children in the area. Do pray for guidance about this. I have never headed up a English class before and am not quite sure exactly how to go about it. But no worries ^_^. Like they say here at tokyo horizon chapel, "Kami sama de zembu dekimas!" (Through God I can do all things ^_^). And of course I will be continuing to work at the school here (Which is really going wonderfully too. Along with English, I have also been able to teach their chapel time and work with them in music class!) until it is out and continue working with the evening sunday school here in Machida and possibly starting to work with the morning sunday school in Setagaia. But please pray about this as well. Sunday morning is officially the only sermon during the week that I can hear in English and as Jeremiah puts it "Recieve instead of give". Personally I am anxious to give until I am blure in the face and just listen to podcast sermons. But then again, he might have a point. So yeah pray for guidance in that. And also please pray for me learning the drums. Yep, that's right, the drums. You see, the morning service in Setagaia has no drums for worship. And while I love to sing, they have enough singers. So I guess this is just one of those "see a need, fill a need" situations. So I have been practicing on the drum set and on the Kahone (probably not how you spell it ^^). True, I understand that I won't be able to do anything fancy, but I can at least keep a basic beat for the song. So please keep this in mind when you pray for me.
Oh, I almost forgot. I am going to be going with some other college students to a church in Negoya this next friday. We are going to spend both firday and saturday just encouraging the church there and also evangelizing in the area. Please pray that God would just lay the ground work in peoples heart there, that when we get there, they would just be ready and open to the message we have for them.
But anyway, many praises here ^_^! I have been having a great time and have seen many things. Actually I was able to see the Meiji shrine when the kids visited there on a field trip. But I must say that even now, I remain quit ambivelant about the experience. While the part of me that has been facinated with Japan for all these year and has learned so much about it was overjoyed to see what I saw, the other part of me felt great sadness at the specticle knowing how hollow it really is. But then my mind was also wrestling with something else. I once read a book on Japanese missions in which the author said that a problem with the missionaries in Japan is that along with sharing Jesus, they also try to transplant the western ideal of a chruch. And that it would be best if they would let them worship the one true God in their own way. Not to compromise christianity with shinto beliefs, but to create new church culture instead of trying to copy western traditions. Looking at the church here in machida, I kinda see his point. Indeed, apart from a few small differences, church here is very similar to that in the United States. But as to what it would look like, I am not quite sure. Perhaps it would be a temple, paterned after that of ancient israel. Maybe instead of a shinto priest blessing people in the little blessing area, there would be a man praying for the people that would come all day long. Maybe instead of the inner shrine ceremonies, the bible would be read and interpreted to the masses. Perhaps instead of the sacred drums, there would be a courtyard dedicated to singing and worshiping the most high. Then again, that sounds like a mimick as well. Oh well, such things are not for me to decide. God will move how he will move and we are not to question but only to follow.
I pray that all things are going well were you are, where ever that may be, and that you would just be blessed in your daily walk with Him.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>

Tokyo 07 Blog 2


Hey everyone,
This is Alex Robinson blogging after my first week in Japan. Can't say that is is the easiest week I ever had, but I must say that it has been well worth it ^_^. Where to even start is kinda hard to figure out. Well, a big portion of my week has been spent in teaching and the international school that I mentioned in my first blog. It has been really great working with the kids here and being able to play such a big role in so many of their classes. The school really doesn't have alot of teachers and so I really feel that teaching these kids is going to be a large part of what God wants me to do here. In fact, looking at the schedule of events and camps that are going to be happening here, within the church and as outreach, It seems I am going to be working with kids alot. Which is really fine by me ^_^. Children have always amazed me. There simplicity of motives and purity of emotion along with there almost complete lack of pretense and psychological walls. I don't think there is going to be anyone more receptive to the news that I have than kids here in Japan. Anyway, I have come to find out that alot of the kids in the school are actually not enitrely japanese, but have one parent of another nationality. And this is in fact one of the reasons why they are here. They are outcasts. At least they would be if they had been put into normal Japanese education. It turns out that here in Japan, being only partly Japanese is quite a insurmountable stigma. And even today, children of mixed ethnicity usually are shunned by peers, teachers, other parents, etc. Hard to believe that such sentiments are still so vibrant in the world, especially here. Then again, the world apart from God is a world of hate and fear, so I guess here is where it makes the most sense. Please pray that I can be able to show God's love to these kids and be able to show them that they are His precious children, not worthless freaks like they have been made to feel. And most of all, continue to pray for a upheval in Japan. That God would pour out His spirit on the Churches here and that through them, He would change this country. It is so dark here.
Let me see, what else... Oh, thank you all for praying for me about the language barrier here. This last week, I have been able, thanks be to our Lord, to makes some good steps in the write direction when it comes to japanese. I am learning very much each day and have even been able to make a good stab at the world of Hirigana, one of the most widley used alphabets here. I really think that knowledge of the written world will open alot of doors for me, so I will continue to persue it as far as I can go. It's still been kinda tough though. I never realized how much a language can seperate people. Makes you kinda lonely. But nothing that God, in His love, hasn't prepared me for. And He is my constant companion as well, so I don't have any right to complain ^_^. But do keep praying for me in this. That He would continue to break down barriers and build bridges.
But, the time I have spent with the church has been wonderful. I have been able to fellowship here, help with Bible studies, pray with the college students, hang out with some awesome people, hear their stories, and even was able to share my testimony twice ^_^. God is so good ^_^. I am always in awe of all that He does. In my life and in others. Please pray for more opportunities like this to happen. And, as always, continue to pray for ministry opportunities to open up, for chances to witness, and for guidance in general this summer. Just that He would have His finger prints all over this summer and that His will would be done, not our's.
And lastly, I really ask you guys to start praying about the missions team that is coming from Calvery Chapel Modesto for the last nine days of this trip. Pray that their hearts would be prepared for this type of missions work. It is much different to serve here than to serve in places like Mexico and Kenya. The physical need that is there just isn't present here. There are no churches to build. No foundations to be poured. Nothing to look at with the eye or touch with the hand and say "I did this". No. Instead, it is spiritual poverty that God uses you for here. To share His love and good news of salvation is the only goal. Not to say it is not the goal in Mexico and Kenya, but it must be shared by other means. Means that we in the western world sometimes fail to see as important. This type of sentiment really disheartened the last team that came here from California, I don't want to see it happen again. True service is rarely supposed to be glamorous, but it is always important and needed.
Yours in our Lord with all sincerity,
Alex J. Robinson ><>
P.S. Please pray for my energy levels. Toyko living can sure tucker you out ^_~.