As The Winds Blow

Dear Friends,
I hope this letter finds you all safe and well. We continue to pray for you all who have been affected by the wildfires. Praying for protection and that the Lord would keep you all in his good grace. I miss you all and look forward to the day when I can see you again. 
John 3:8 says “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Many times the Spirit takes us on quite a ride. We don’t know where it is all going or even where some of the opportunities he presents us with have come from. All we can do is remain flexible and go with the wind. This last summer was a lot like that for me

It started during our annual VBS in July. The last time I wrote to
you all, I asked for prayer for a softening of heart for all those we minister to through our English outreach. And yours prayers impacted. I did nothing different, but the flood gates opened up and we had more kids from Shine outreaches come than ever before. But it was more than that, because suddenly people we never even invited started showing up. Shine kids we haven’t talked to in years suddenly started contacting us out of the blue and asking if there were any summer events this year. We mentioned it to one of the mothers at Daisy’s Kindergarten, and suddenly she is inviting all of her friends to come. And even though Daisy’s Kindergarten is a Christian school, most of the people who came to VBS where not christian and had never set foot inside a church before. Even a government worker who was assigned to check up on our youngest, Hazel, ended sending both of her kids as well. Never saw it coming. Between the two VBS events we had around 65 kids show up. And some kids had such a great time at the Machida VBS that they went all the way to Setagaya the following Saturday to attend VBS there too. 

Soon after, the pastors of our church came to me and asked me to take over leadership of Horizon’s college group, Funky Friday Night. I never saw it coming. Now, I had never written about this before, but the reason this is so amazing is that this group had been on my heart for years and actually (and Zach Wise can attest to this) I had been praying for a way to minister to this group for quite some time now. However, I could not due to certain cultural issues that had kept me at a respectful distance. But suddenly the wind blew in a new direction and now I am leading the group. I still can’t believe it. We have been studying through the book of Hebrews and are up to chapter 5 now in our bible study. The discussions that are going on are awesome to hear. And a week ago we had our second dinner night with guest testimony from my friend Hide who shared about how the word of God saved him out of depression and changed his life. So amazing to see. Pray for me as this is the first time I have lead a group entirely in Japanese and am still getting used to it. I have been feeling the limits of my Japanese especially, so please pray for my continued growth to meet the needs of the group. Also pray for the continued spiritual growth of the group itself.

Not long after that, the wind gave me another turn. One of the teachers here at the bible college decided that she wanted to retire. And with a spot open, the pastors came to me and asked to teach a class once a week here at the Horizon Bible college. And again, I was just in shock. I didn’t think I would ever be teaching at the bible college here. The class I was asked to teach is an English immersion class on the book of 1 John. We actually just had our first class today and it was a very blessed time. Often times seeing the Word in another language can often give us new perspectives on passages that we have become accustomed to, and I think it will will be a blessing for the student. For me also, the preparation for the class has been very powerful and simplifying 1 John to language an English beginner can understand gave me a new perspective.

Please pray for Shine Kids as this Fall semester will be starting from this week with around 27 students in Setagaya.  The Shine English language school started already from last week with 36 regular students. And pray for more children to come to the program in Setagaya and deeper relationships with those who are return students.

Thank you all always for your continued prayers and support. 

Grace and Peace,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, Caleb, and Hazel Robinson

P.S. Daisy and Caleb are doing great and now are both going to Japanese Kindergarten starting from last week. Hazel is doing very well and smiles, laughs, and squeals constantly.