It is a blessing to be writing you all again. Firstly, I want to thank you all so much for our time spent with you in America. To fellowship with you all again and to hear what God is doing in and through Calvary Chapel Sonora was such an encouragement to my wife and I. Spending time with you all is always just such a grace filled experience. I am
grateful that my family was able to experience the amazing community there and to be reminded of how faithful God is through the fellowship with you all.
Upon our return to Japan, we really hit the ground running. The week after we arrived, we had a week long Shine Kids Summer School in Machida. It was good to see all of the kids again and a blessing spend time with them on a daily basis instead of the usual once a week. And my wife was able to spend every day talking with the moms which was a great opportunity to talk and share.
The same week that the Machida summer school started, the Setagaya Shine Kids summer event
started as well. Once a week for three weeks, we had a three hour program for the Shine Kids in Setagaya. Seventeen kids came to the event in all including five new kids. First we had a hour long Shine Kids English program with the kids. Then we all had lunch together and talked and played and hung out. And then for the last hour we did a big craft project with them all, one time even making a big balloon out of plastic garbage bags that the kids could walk around in! The kids had a great time, and on the last day when we painted pictures of the best thing that happened on summer break, five of the kids painted pictures of the Shine Kids Summer School. It was a blessing to spend time with the kids, to eat lunch with them and talk with them and I am grateful to God for the opportunity. Praying that the new kids come back and join in with regular classes.
Then, a week after the first Shine Kids Setagaya Event, we had the Horizon VBS. It was really amazing! We held the VBS for two days and each day we had 50 kids come. We were also blessed to have a team of nine people visiting from the Seritos Baptist Church. Amazing to see the ways God worked in the VBS, kids from the Sunday school of the International and Japanese service came, many bringing with them Non Christian friends from school. The Shine Kids from both Machida and Setagaya came as well. They sang worship songs, did crafts played games, listened to bible stories. It was great to see all the kids that I teach in Shine kids being taught bible stories and to see them asking questions and learning. But was also great about this year was that the whole event was lead by Japanese people. In past years when we have done a VBS, the whole thing has been lead by Americans. A team will come in and do the whole VBS and the Japanese Members of the church would come alongside and help out. Which is great. But this year, the Japanese church members and staff took the lead. They planned out the event, they prepared the games, the crafts, they prepared the bible stories. In the past, the bible stories were all taught in English and then translated into Japanese. But this year, the messages were all taught in Japanese by Japanese people and translated into English for the American team who came along side to help. And it was a beautiful thing to see. To see Japanese people reaching out to Japanese people and Christians from other nations coming along side to assist and help them do so... It is a beautiful thing. I look forward to see what God will do through the Japanese believers here at the church in the future and pray that Japanese Christians would become bolder and bolder in outreaching to their people. It is so exciting to see! Praise God!
The week after the VBS was our Horizon Family Camp, a time for all the Horizon churches to come together and fellowship. We were blessed to have some of the kids from the VBS also come to the Family camp. And also to have our neighbor come. My wife has become friends with our neighbor, a single mother. We have invited her to church many times and she has not been very responsive to our invitations, but God did a special work in her heart and she was very interested in attending the Family camp with her little girl. It was a blessed time. Her little girl had a lot of fun running around and playing with the other kids and I. And as the family camp went on, our neighbor was more and more interested in the messages that were being taught. We are praying for our neighbor that the seed planted in her heart will, by the Holy Spirit, continue to grow.
The Fall semester of Shine Kids starts next week. Please pray for many kids to come and for the blessing of the time we spend with them. Also please be praying for the planning of other events in the near future. We want to do a three hour program on a Saturday in October connected with the VBS.
Thank you all for your prayers and support. I am praying for you all.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
Alex, Tomoko, and Daisy Robinson
P.S. My marriage visa extension was approved. 1 more year until I have to apply again.