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)
One of an increasing number of skyscrapers in Nagoya, shot on film with a Holga camera, May 2017.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” ( Is. 43:19)
Just after starting our new “stay home“ life, God encouraged me with this scripture. I started to expect like others that we would return to normal life around Easter Sunday. But actually in the middle of April, not only in Canada but also all over the world, this pandemic had not reached its peak yet.
In Japan, many plants start to spring up and show colourful scenes in March, so I can feel “spring has come” through the spring colour. But here, even around Easter, the scenery had not changed yet and it was 0 degrees celsius in the morning. So sometimes I couldn’t imagine that we would see beautiful green and flowers. But Isaiah 35 reminded me of God’s promise about the recovery and colourful view again. One verse especially stayed in my heart:
“The ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Is. 35:10)
Around the middle of May, finally many kinds of plants sprouted and our landscape totally changed to a real spring at once. Now we are surrounded by really a colourful and beautiful spring! I’ve never seen these quick changes before. I’m amazed that God’s work is really dynamic and powerful! Nature itself seems to be praising God, like this:
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.“ (Is. 35:1-2)
Now many of us are walking in each recovery step. It might be a long way but the spring life tells us the power of God and God’s good plan!
1. Financial update — We appreciate your prayer and financial partnership! Our faith promise total is now at 68%. Thankfully we have some new partnerships every week! God willing, we are praying that we can go back to Japan late this summer, but before that we need 100%.
Please pray for God to provide the rest of the partners we need, and let us know if you’d like to become one yourself.
2. Partnership Development — In May, we worked at home and had various chances to do Partnership Development — making videos, doing interviews and taking part in online meetings with GP, etc. Some churches will start gathering again soon, but we will need to continue partnership development mainly online.
Please pray for God to give us abundant wisdom and chances for building better partnerships.
3. Japan — The number of patients was going down, but for the past week, some areas are having a second wave. From March till the end of May, many churches stopped gathering and now many of them have restarted. Most of them have small rooms for Sunday worship, so a lot of challenges continue.
Please pray for God to encourage church leaders.
Thank you so much for your continuous and faithful prayer!!! Please let us know how we can pray for you!
– Yoko (& Robin) White