Epic Team and Something New

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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