June in Japan — Our Latest Prayer Letter

May Highlights:

1. We took a week’s staycation, which included an afternoon in the mountains, as seen in the photo above.

2. On May 30, our visit to Immanuel Kanazawa Church ended up being online rather than in person. This meant pre-recording our music and message last week and sending the video to the pastor there. It was a lot of work to get it all together in time, but we’re thankful God could use us in this way, even while the church is not meeting. Being the week after Pentecost, we encouraged the church to pray and seek God for a spiritual revival and awakening in Japan.

3. We are continuing to make good progress moving ahead with Drawbridge Creations, as we work with four different artists to produce stories for our first online manga series… which we’ve finally chosen a name for! Introducing…

The countdown has begun at WAYPOINTS.JP
This is where our first manga series will be serialized.

June Prayer Points:

1. Please pray that God will give us the wisdom and strength we need as we continue to work toward launching this online ministry platform.

2. Please pray for God to supply our Drawbridge Creations start-up fund (more info here).

3. Pray for us as we take part in the Global Partners Asia-Pacific online conference, June 17-18.

4. Please pray, too, for revival in the Japanese Church, and for an awakening to the Gospel in Japan.

Thank you as always for your partnership and prayers!

Our May Prayer Letter

Thank you for your continuing prayers! Here’s a quick update for May:

1. Last week we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We took the day off and spent some time outside, as you can see in the photo above.

2. We’ve recently started attending Komatsu Immanuel Church. Please pray for us as we get to know our new church family.

3. We are scheduled to minister at Kanazawa Immanuel Church on May 30. Because of the recent rise in Covid cases, this church has not been meeting in person, but they are hoping to be by then. Please pray for us as we prepare to either do something online or in person with them.

4. Things are really starting to move as we work toward launching our first online manga series at Drawbridge Creationsthis summer. Check out our latest Drawbridge Dispatch for more!

5. And just in you missed it, please check out our spring newsletter HERE for more about our life and ministry in Japan in the first few months of 2021.

Thank you again for your partnership!

Marching Forward With Prayer (March Prayer Letter)

Thank you for your prayers over the past month. Here is a quick update:

1. Drawbridge Creations — Things are moving forward as we prepare to launch this new creative outreach ministry. For details, check out the latest Drawbridge Dispatch newsletter HERE, and let us know if you’d like to subscribe to that mailing list.

2. The Japanese Church — Our partner denomination in Japan, Immanuel General Mission, held their General Conference recently (online) and have elected new leaders. Their Annual Conference, which is a larger gather for all the pastors and leaders, when pastors receive their new assignments, is happening on March 25 (also online). Please pray for the Japanese church during these challenging times!

3. Japan — As you may have heard, in February a large earthquake struck northeastern Japan, the same area hit by the 3/11 disaster ten years ago. Fortunately there was no tsunami this time so the death toll has been low, but as you can imagine it is a difficult time for those in the affected area. Meanwhile, Japan is still dealing with COVID-19 and vaccinations are just beginning. Please pray for Japan!

Thank you again for your prayers and partnership!

Video Update

This month’s update is in video form. Take a look! Thanks as always for your giving and prayers!

From Nagoya to Hakusan (December Prayer Letter)

Hi everyone,

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)

Hello from Yokohama! (November Prayer Letter)

Hi everyone,

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.

Next Steps:

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.

Prayer Points:

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!

Many blessings,

Robin (& Yoko)

Time for an Upgrade?

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?