I hope you are doing well, and that summer has found you wherever you are!
Yoko and I are currently in Thailand, where we have just spent the past few days with a number of other missionaries for the GP Asia-Pacific Area Conference. It has been a great time of worship, learning, praying and fellowship, and a great opportunity for Yoko to meet some of the GP tribe she’s joining me in. We’re truly thankful to have had the opportunity to be here this week; it’s been a much-needed time of refreshing and renewal during this busy time of transition.
Since our wedding at the end of April, Yoko and I have been spending a lot of time preparing to head to North America for Partnership Development. And as we’ve had time, we’ve been trying to spend time with friends in Nagoya before we leave. It’s been encouraging to hear the reactions of some non-Christian friends who either attended our wedding in person or watched the ceremony online. For some it was their first Christian wedding, and they were impressed by how joyful and meaningful it was. We’re thankful that our wedding was an opportunity to witness to our unsaved friends, and pray that our marriage itself will continue to show people Jesus’ love.
On June 21, Yoko and I are scheduled to fly to the US for a few days of meetings and training. Following that, on the 29th, we head to Canada to begin Partnership Development. We’re looking forward to connecting with many of you in person over the next several months, and would really appreciate your prayers as we continue through this transition period.
Thank you for your prayers and support for us as part of GP’s ministry in Japan!
– Robin (and Yoko)
Yoko and I are happy to announce that on April 30, we became husband and wife. We are so thankful for those who were able to celebrate with us; for our friends’ and families’ encouragement and prayers; and for God’s blessing on our wedding day. Despite the rain, it was a beautiful day.
Looking ahead, Yoko and I would appreciate your prayers for us as we go through this period of transition, especially for our preparations to return to Canada this summer, when Yoko will be joining me for Partnership Development, a time of re-connecting with ministry supporters in North America. Specifically, please pray for Yoko’s visa situation. As a Japanese citizen she is eligible to visit Canada for up to six months without a visa, but it is very likely we will need to stay longer this time. There are options, but we are still figuring out what’s best and how to proceed.
Thank you as always for your prayers and support! Yoko and I are looking forward to connecting with many of you in person this summer and fall.
Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here’s a link to the Spring newsletter I sent out last month:
And speaking of Spring, here’s a link to an article I wrote recently, titled Spring Has Come:http://www.japanlog.co/spring-has-come/
Thanks again, and God bless!
Recently I was asked to write an article for Kyoho, the monthly newsletter of Immanuel General Mission, the church denomination we work with here in Japan. They requested I bring greetings regarding my then-upcoming marriage as well as a short Easter message. Both Easter and our wedding have passed, but I thought I’d share the English version of the article here on my blog for those who might be interested.
First of all, thank you. I appreciate the fellowship, support and ministry partnership of IGM in my life and ministry in Japan. Most of you probably already know this by now, but in December I got engaged Yoko Katsuyama, a young lady from my church in Nagoya.
Yoko and I are planning to get married on April 30, return temporarily to Canada in the summer, and return to Japan to continue our ministry together next year. We look forward to continuing to partner with IGM churches in reaching Japan for Jesus, and would appreciate your prayers during this season of transition.
When I first told a certain Japanese friend about my relationship with Yoko, his response was, “Oh! Spring has come for Robin!” (Robin ni haru ga kita!) This was the first time I’d ever heard that expression. But it does make sense, especially for someone who has been single for as long me. I guess that makes it really appropriate that we are having our wedding in spring time as well.
When you think about Spring, you think about change, new life, new beginnings. And so it’s appropriate that we celebrate Easter in the Spring as well.
Into the long, dark “winter” of our world of sin, shame and pain, Jesus Christ came to be the light of the world: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5)
He showed us God’s heart of love for us, and pointed us toward a better way of living: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
More than this, He died for our sins, the ultimate expression of His love for us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
But death was not the end. Jesus rose to new life. And because of His life, we too can have new life. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
So remember, “Spring has come” is not just an expression of the season of year or a new relationship, but a reality we live in as followers of Christ. Though this world still seems dark and cold sometimes, for the Christian, Spring has come!
– Robin White (April 2019)