Hope you all had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank you for your partnership with us for Jesus and Japan!
It’s time for our latest newsletter, so please follow this link to read, download or print:
Robin (& Yoko)
As mentioned in our previous prayer letter, we are relocating to Ishikawa Prefecture as we begin a new missionary term here in Japan. Since then we’ve found an apartment in Hakusan City and have started to get moved in. Of course, most of our stuff has been in storage in Nagoya since last summer when we returned to Canada. So this past week we paid a visit to Nagoya.
Visiting Nagoya gave us a good opportunity to catch up with people there, and to finally see the new building in person. We were encouraged to see how God has been working at Immanuel Nagoya Church, not only through their building project, but also in that even in a year when they can’t do outreach events due to Covid, new people are connecting with the church and coming to faith in Christ. In fact, this Sunday while we were there, they held their first baptism in the new building!
Praise God that He’s not limited by the things the challenges we’re facing in 2020, and that He’s still at work in Japan and around the world!
Thank you for being a part of what God is doing here in Japan through your prayers and giving!
End of year giving:
If you’re looking to do some end of year giving, we’d really appreciate you remembering the mission here in Japan! If you’ve been unable to make an ongoing commitment, but would like to make a one-time donation (or if you’re already a partner but would like to give an extra gift) please consider giving to our Drawbridge Creations start-up fund. Click HERE for more info or to give online.
Thank you again for your partnership! We pray that no matter what you’re going through in this challenging year, you will experience God’s blessings this Christmas season.
Robin (and Yoko)
Thank you for praying for our trip! Yoko and I arrived back in Japan on the evening of October 17 and spent our first two weeks self-quarantining at the Wesleyan Mission House in Yokohama. In spite of being stuck in one place, we have enjoyed the time it has allowed us to not only rest but also plan and prep for what’s next. This week we’re still in Yokohama connecting with fellow missionaries and getting some work done before moving on.
Speaking of moving on… We have been praying for some time about the possibility of relocating. Since our new ministry is not going to be limited to a specific location, in light of Yoko’s father’s passing, we are moving to Ishikawa Prefecture. This will allow us to be closer to Yoko’s mother, as well as give us a fresh start in a new place as we begin a new chapter of life and ministry together. It turns out there are fewer missionaries in that area, too, so there is definitely a need.
Please pray for God to provide the housing and ministry space we need; for God to lead us to the right home church and local ministries; and for God to lead our next steps toward launching our new online outreach, Drawbridge Creations.
Financial Partnership Update:
Good news! We are now at about 95% of our faith promise goal! Getting to 100% would really help us shift our focus to the ministry here in Japan. Please pray we’ll get there soon!
If you’re not already a financial partner, please consider clicking HERE to make a faith promise.
End of year gifts: If you’re unable to make an ongoing commitment, but would like to make a donation (or if you’re already a partner but would like to give an extra gift) please consider giving to our Drawbridge Creations start-up fund. Click HERE for more info or to give online.
Thank you again for all your prayers, giving and encouragement!
Robin (& Yoko)
I’m not usually an early adopter. But when the original iPad was released, I was so excited that I rushed out to buy one right away. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest tech. But like most digital tech, that iPad was not cutting edge for very long. The operating system needed to be updated several times, but eventually, in order to use the latest apps, I had to buy a new device.
If Jesus were physically on earth today, maybe that’s the kind of image He would have used instead of wine and wineskins…
In Mark 2:22, Jesus said that “no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” In this passage, Jesus was answering questions about why His disciples weren’t taking part in some of the religious customs of the day. Through Jesus’ ministry, God was doing a new thing. And that new thing was not compatible with the religious rituals and systems of the time.
Today, too, God wants to do new things in Christians, ministries and churches. But if we’re too hung up on our old ways of thinking, there’s a danger we could miss out.
Right now, Yoko and I have just returned to Japan for a new missionary term. For us, Drawbridge Creations, our new online manga outreach, is one these new wineskins. Married life on the mission field is, too.
But I’m feeling challenged to be open to even newer things. We may have our own plans, but God may have some surprises for us, too. Am I open to what He wants to teach me? To Him using me in some way I don’t have planned? To new opportunities that don’t fit within my vision?
What about you? 2020 has been a wake-up call for many Believers and churches. Our comfortable routines have been taken away, at least temporarily. We’ve been forced to re-think what faith, church and ministry look like. But perhaps God is using the these challenges to help us recognize what we’ve needed all along — new wine skins. Perhaps God is ready and waiting to bless us, revive us and use us in powerful new ways.
But when the COVID crisis is behind us, will we just go back to the way things were? Or will we be ready, new wine skins in hand, for the gift He’s been preparing to pour out for us?
It might be time for an upgrade. Are we ready for it?
Thank you for your prayers this past month! This month’s news is in the form of our latest quarterly newsletter, so please follow the link below to read/download/print:
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short version: Yoko and I are on our way back to Japan on October 16! Thank you to all of you who have helped to make this happen. Please pray for us as go through this time of transition.
It’s been a long Partnership Development… but we are in the homestretch now! Thank you to all who have prayed, given and made faith promises to help us get this far!
We have been talking to GP and have made some budget adjustments that, in addition to the healthy cash balance in our ministry fund, will allow us to return to Japan soon — if we can reach $6600 in our faith promise total. Here’s the breakdown:
New target = $7590/month (US)
Current total = about $6328
September goal = at least $6600
So that is this month’s goal! We are aiming to go back to Japan in October, but we need at least $272/month (US) in new faith promises first. Would you consider helping us reach this goal?
Please pray! And if you’re not already partnering with us, we’d appreciate your consideration!
Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers and giving, to build spiritual bridges in Japan!
Robin (and Yoko)
As I mentioned in our summer newsletter, Yoko and I are finally getting some in-person ministry opportunities after months of doing everything online. It’s a nice change!
This past Sunday, we visited Saint John First Wesleyan, where we were interviewed instead of doing our usual presentation. It was fun to connect with the church in a new way and share our story with both the small crowd gathered there as well as those watching online. SJ1 is doing a great job figuring out how to do church gatherings with the current limitations.
This coming Sunday we’re worshiping with River Valley Wesleyan in what is, I believe, their first in-person service since March. We’ll be gathering outside at a local beachfront park, which should make for another fun and fresh ministry opportunity.
Please pray for Sunday’s gathering, for our visit to Hartland Wesleyan on August 30, and for more opportunities to connect with churches in our region. We’d also appreciate your continued prayers for our partnership needs to be met. And please pray too for Yoko’s application to extend her stay in Canada to be approved.
Thank you for your prayers!
Robin (and Yoko)
Here’s our summer newsletter! I’m trying something new with our quarterly newsletter, posting them as images in our emails and on the blog. For the usual print-friendly PDF format, please click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/191-zCG5zpTkA6p9QTJg-BRlIJQrVmw4c/view?usp=sharing. Read on for the web version…
Here in Atlantic Canada, COVID-19 related restrictions are being reduced, many churches are starting to meet in person again, and the Maritime provinces are opening their borders to each other. For us, this means the opportunity to visit and minister at churches in the area for the first time since March, which we’re grateful for.
Please pray with us about the following…
1. Partnership Development — Please pray for wisdom, protection and provision as we start scheduling, planning and travelling again over the summer.
2. Financial Partnerships — Please pray for the summer to bring some much-needed new connections and financial partners. Things are in flux, but by my calculations we are currently at about 74% of our Faith Promise goal.
3. Yoko’s Status — Yoko is currently in Canada as a visitor, and her current permission runs out at the end of August. Since we may not be finished PD by then, we have applied to extend her stay. Please pray for God to give us favour with Immigration so that she will get approval.
4. Future — As we look ahead to the Fall, we are thinking about our next steps in Japan. Please pray for us and our team in Japan as we discuss our partnerships, roles and goals there.
Thank you so much for your partnership in the mission through your prayers and giving! Please let us know how we can pray for you!
– Robin (&Yoko)