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 ><>