Merry Christmas to you all! May we all count ourselves blessed during this season as we remember that God himself, in love, set aside His glory and chose to live among us that we might experience the light of life. I miss you all and think about you often, especially during this time of year. I want to thank all of you who have reached out recently to us as it has been a huge encouragement to me and my family. I was also very excited to hear about plans to bring a team from Calvary Chapel Sonora to work alongside us here next October! I can't wait to receive all of you who are able to come and to minister with us here! Your help is very needed and deeply appreciated!
We are still in the full rush of the Christmas season. In Japan, Christmas is an extremely popular holiday, though the meaning is unknown. And a lot of opportunities have been afforded to us to share and reach out. As I write you, I am preparing for Funky Friday Nights kids program this Saturday at the Myanmar church in central Tokyo(which looks to have about 40~50 children in attendance) and also the Horizon Christmas Program/Outreach that is coming up on Sunday. Please pray for both of these events.
We kicked off on the first of December with our Sunday School Christmas. I want to thank
you for continuing to pray for God to open hearts here, because the response for this year was bigger than ever before. Because of VBS this summer, word spread through many of the mothers in the Shine program and also at Daisy and Caleb's Kindergarten. Also church members invited their non christian family and we ended up having 46 children come to the event. More than came to Machida VBS this summer. We are praying of about making the event as big as our VBS program next year.
Thank you all for praying about the Funky Friday Night College Group. Taking leadership of this group has been a very stretching experience for me. In all honesty it has revealed more areas where I need repent and grow than I care to count. But God has been faithful in walking me through the process. As it says in 2 Corinthians 4:16 "we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." I am starting to understand that verse better and better. And God, in his mercy, has been blessing the ministry. We continue our study through Hebrews and have just started working through chapter 11. The conversations have been very good and have been getting deeper as time goes on. We also have kept up having a dinner night with guest Testimony every month. Last month we had a big Thanksgiving dinner night with both the Funky Friday Night and the old Alive members and had 42 people come. And a week ago, we had a street ministry night with the international members that was awesome. In addition, last summer we were visited by Second Level Ministry, a group who is doing ministry to Japanese exchange students in Atlanta. And in the mysterious way that God works, we are now in planning with them for their mission trip next year as they are seeking to connect the students they have ministered to in the past with our church. So please pray for the group as we are going into this new season. Please pray for some of our members who are just starting out their walk with Jesus and some who are still seeking who have been visiting us frequently.
As for the Shine English Language School, we continue in patient ministry to our 37 students in Machida and our 23 students in Setagaya. We are starting to see some changes as some of our adult students recently visited Sunday Service for the first time, but it is still one small step at a time. Please pray for a patient and unselfish heart for us as we love on them and serve them.
Thank you also for your prayers about my new role teaching at the Horizon Bible College (HBC). This semester went very well and even though everything was all in English, I think the class was a powerful time for the students and myself as well. I am now preparing for my class next semester on the book of Ezra which will be a 7 week course.
Lastly, please pray for my wife and family. More and more, my wife Tomoko has been given opportunities to minister to the mothers at our kids kindergarten. They have come over to our house multiple times and are always full of questions about our faith. They even came to the international service a few weeks back. She also is continuing on with her mother's group here at the church and God has been blessing the time powerfully.
We thank you very much for all your prayers and support! We love you all and can't wait to welcome all who come with the team next October!
Grace and Peace,
Alex, Tomoko, Daisy, Caleb, and Hazel Robinson
P.S. The kids are doing great. Daisy and Caleb love their school and though we were a bit worried at first, Caleb is taking to his all Japanese school like a fish to water. Hazel is a very happy girl, and though she is not crawling yet, she has been dragging herself around the house at quite a fast pace.