Good to be writing you all again. This summer has has been bustling time filled with many of God's blessings and I can't wait to tell you all what has been happening.
Firstly, we were blessed to have a team of college students from Anaheim Free Methodist Church come and visit us this summer. They were a team of 10 and almost all of them were 100% Japanese Americans. Many were 3rd and forth generation Japanese, and though most of them weren't able to speak much Japanese, they threw themselves into talking with people and serving at the church which was a real encouragement to me. Even reminded me of the first time that I came to Japan with the team from the Calvary Chapel Sonora back in 2005, and helped to give me a bit of perspective on the ministry I am doing now. The time I spent with them stoked up my fire and God used them to start some fires up in the church members here as well. They spent two weeks with us here and working with them, by the grace of God and his powerful hand, we were able to put on some events that blew the roof off anyone's expectations.
When we found out there was a team coming from America, we decided that we wanted to put on a VBS. For this VBS, we wanted to invite kids from the Japanese and English Sunday schools as well as inviting the non christian kids from Shine Kids and Kids Brown. From the start, this program was a full of firsts. First time that I have seen the Japanese and English services plan a VBS together, having the Japanese Sunday school team heavily involved in the preparations. First big event to have the Japanese and English services working and serving together. First time for me to go about planning and preparing for a event like this without Pastor Jeremiah here. First time to invite this group of Shine kids and Kids Brown to a event were the bible would be taught without a focus on English. Honestly, there was a lot of opportunity for miscommunication and problems.
And we didn't expect too many kids. Our hopes were that, Lord willing, 30 kids would come. So we started praying, and started doing our preparations. But it is always amazing the way that Lord could answer our prayers at times. "Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20) 3 weeks before the event, we started to get calls from kids who wanted to come. Not only Sunday school kids, but their friends. And not only did all the Shine Kids come but they brought their friends, and friends of friends. In the end, we ended up with over 60 kids signed up for both days of the program. It got to the point were we almost had to turn some kids away because we just didn't have the space to fit them all. But It ended up being just enough to fit. But of course this lead us to a knew problem of staff. With so many children, we did not have enough people to take care of all of them. So we started praying again, and started talking with the Japanese and English services about the need to serve. And God blessed us with so many workers. In the end, including the team from Anaheim, we had 43 staff members that volunteered. In the end it was a amazing and blessed time. A time when seeds could be planted and relationships made.And what was wonderful too was the interaction between the Japanese and English speaking Christians. The fellowship that happened through serving was a beautiful thing to see. And hearing the meeting of the staff we had after the program was over, The renewed passion I heard in the voices of the Japanese people, passion to serve, it was like music.
The next week we had the family camp, where all the different church plants of Horizon got together. I was able to lead the kids program there along with the Anaheim team and it was a great time. Now that we have finished with these two events and the team has gone home, We are going to be planning next a overnight for the Sunday School Kids and a international festival to continue in the outreach to families that have already been started. Please pray for us in this. Also, our next semester of Shine kids will be starting from next month, so please pray for this as well. Though many of my helpers have been moving on to other things. A new helper from another church will be getting involved with the program, so praise God for that. Please pray for additional helpers as the program continues to grow.
Thank you all for praying for my little girl, Daisy Grace Robinson. She is a month and a half old now and has been eating and sleeping well. She has already gained 4.2 pounds since she was born and her one month check up went well. Unfortunately, from last week, she developed a cough and a runny nose. Going to the hospital, we found out that she had contracted the RS virus, which can be serious if not treated, especially in a child so young. She is in the hospital now and we ask you to pray for her quick recovery. She has been getting better little by little, but she is not out of the forest yet.
Thank you again for you love, prayers and support. We are working on the video from the VBS and hope to send it to you soon.
Alex, Tomoko, and Daisy Robinson