Konnichiwa from Canada!

Thank you for your prayers during our transition to Canada! 

We arrived safely in New Brunswick, late at night on August 23, after a long journey from Japan. International travel is a bit more complicated these days, but thankfully things went pretty smoothly for us, and we’re both in good health, which is ananswer to prayer. After getting here, we enjoyed a nice week off catching up on sleep and catching up with family — that’s us with the senior Whites above.

This past Sunday (Aug. 4) we kicked off our short partnership development tour with a visit to Faith Baptist Church in New Maryland, NB, where we shared an update on our ministry and life in Japan. We’re thankful for a warm welcome and a good start to reconnecting with our Canadian partner churches.

Here’s our Schedule for the Fall:

  • 9/11 Crosspoint Church, Fredericton NB
  • 9/18 AM Brazil Lake Wesleyan, NS
  • 9/18 PM West Head Wesleyan, NS
  • 9/25 First Wesleyan, Saint John NB
  • 10/2 Perth-Andover Wesleyan, NB
  • 10/16 Trinity Wesleyan, Florenceville-Bristol NB
  • 10/22 Kingswood University, Sussex NB
  • 10/23 Encounter Church, Sussex NB
  • 10/30 Amherst Wesleyan, NS
  • 11/6 Browns Flat Wesleyan Fellowship, NB
  • 11/13 Blacks Harbour Wesleyan, NB
  • 11/20 Journey Church, Fredericton NB

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you along the way!

For those of you in churches or areas we can’t get to this time: We are on a 2-year cycle now, meaning more frequent but shorter returns to North America. We kept things close to our home base this time, but hope to get to more and farther places next time.

Thank you for your continuing prayers and partnership!

August Update

Thank you for being praying partners! Here are three things you can be praying specifically for:

1. Since our last update, we’ve visited another nearby church to share about our ministry with Drawbridge Creations. It was an encouraging time! Please keep praying that we can expand our network in Japan so that the ministry tools we create will go to good use.

2. As we shared in our summer newsletter, we’re scheduled for 3 months of midterm Partnership Development in Canada starting in September. Please pray for our preparations, safe travel, health and ministry opportunities.

3. As we also shared in our summer newsletter, we’re looking to expand our team at Drawbridge Creations, especially praying for a web developer to join us either remotely or in person. Ultimately we want to see more missionaries here in Japan. Please pray with us for more workers.

In case you missed it…

– Our summer newsletter
– Blog about workers we need
– The latest Waypoints manga (in English)

Thank you as always for your partnership with us for Jesus and Japan!

Cross-Cultural Opportunities for Christian Creatives

Cross-Cultural Opportunities for Christian Creatives

Drawbridge Creations is looking to expand our team! 

As we approach the one-year mark since launching our ministry with our first project, Waypoints, we have a lot to thank God for — our financial and prayer partners, the freelance artists we get to collaborate with, the amount of content we’ve been able to create and share, and the encouragement we’ve received along the way.

But this is only the beginning.

In order to build Drawbridge Creations into a more effective and fruitful ministry, we need more workers with various skills. Of course, some roles can be filled by volunteers working remotely. But our hearts’ desire is that Drawbridge can be a platform mobilizing more missionaries to Japan — where some 99% don’t know Jesus! 

As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38) 

Please join us in praying for more workers!

We currently have three positions we’re trying to fill, but there is some overlap and flexibility here. Please also note that our sending organization Global Partners has opportunities for both short and long-term workers, as well as support-raising or self-supported paths. And as mentioned, remote volunteering is also welcome certain roles.

If you feel like God might be calling YOU, please get in touch!

All Positions Require:

  • Willingness to engage in language and culture learning. 
  • Willingness to engage with the local Church as time, opportunity and skills allow.
  • Ability to work independently or with a team.

And here is a summary of those three job descriptions:

Web Developer

This is probably our biggest need right now, and it will be even more important as our ministry expands to multiple projects.

Summary of Job — Primarily, to help facilitate the ministry initiatives of Drawbridge Creations through website design, development and maintenance. Other tasks could include social media content creation and other communication.

Qualifications

  • Web development (coding, database, UI, SEO, WordPress) and graphic design skills. 
  • Asset: ability to handle social media content creation and management. 

Social Media and Marketing Expert

This is also a hugely important role as we look to expand and interact with a larger audience in order to share Jesus with them, as well as promote our ministry to the Church in Japan and abroad.

Summary of Job — To help facilitate and promote the ministries of Drawbridge Creations through social media content creation, managing multiple social media accounts, and engaging in marketing and other communications. 

Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of social media platforms and software such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Buffer, etc, along with skills in writing and design for social media. 
  • Assets: Marketing or PR training and experience. 


Manga Project Collaborators (Artist, writer, designer)

This is probably the first thing people think of when the think about working on a manga ministry. We list it last no because it’s not important, but because the above needs are more urgent at the moment. However, as we expand Drawbridge’s ministries into more and varied projects, we will want not only freelance collaborators but on-site staff to help us up our creative game. Know anyone who fits the bill?

Summary of Job — Collaborating with other Christian creatives in writing, art and design, to produce manga, blog posts, and other artistic content for digital and print-based ministry, as well as for the marketing and promotion of Drawbridge Creations. 

Qualifications:

  • One or more of the following creative skills: writing, illustration, or graphic design skills. 
  • Assets: Working knowledge of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, WordPress, etc.

Please pray with us about these team-building needs!

And if you feel like you might be a good fit, please don’t hesitate to contact either Drawbridge or GP. 

June in Japan (prayer letter)

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your prayers this past month. Can you believe it’s June already? In Japan that means the rainy season is coming, though it hasn’t quite hit us yet.

As we mentioned in our previous prayer letter, in May we had a ministry opportunity at Immanuel Komatsu Church. We both gave testimonies and shared about the vision for Drawbridge Creations, and I (Robin) preached. It was great to get out and do some in-person “tag team” ministry after such a long time. We’re thankful for the opportunity, and for the church’s responsiveness and encouragement.

June Prayer Points:

1. We are hoping to have more opportunities like the one above. Please pray for open doors to share the Drawbridge vision in-person over the summer months. For this ministry to succeed, we feel it’s important to get buy-in from the Japanese Church.

2. Please continue praying for our work on Waypoints. Our tenth manga (previewed in the image above) hits the website this month, and the next six months of manga are in various stages of development. Please pray for us and our collaborators as we continue with this project.

3. Please pray with us about the next steps for Drawbridge Creations. We need God’s wisdom as we figure out how to go from an exclusively online ministry to one that also does print publishing. We also want to plan ahead for what comes next after Waypoints.

Thank you again for your partnership with us for Jesus and Japan!

May’s Missions Menu (our latest prayer letter)

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your continuing prayers! Yoko and I are just back from a few days’ vacation and celebrating our third wedding anniversary. The picture above is from the Takaoka Art Museum, where we got to see original art by Fujiko F. Fujio, the creator of Doraemon, a popular Japanese manga. We enjoyed our getaway to Toyama, and are grateful for the time off and for God’s blessing on our marriage. 

Here are some prayer points for May:

1. This Friday, May 6, Waypoints season two begins at Waypoints.jp. A new story, “The Well,” will be posted in its entirety that day. Please pray that the manga we share over the next few months will help us connect with new readers and point people to Jesus.

2. On May 22 we are scheduled to speak at Immanuel Komatsu Church, having the opportunity to share about our ministry Drawbridge Creations. I (Robin) will also be preaching that morning. Please pray for God’s direction and blessing on our preparation and ministry.

3. Also at the Komatsu Church, a couple of members there are starting a new English outreach for kids. Please pray for this new ministry, which begins in May, and pray that we can be a blessing and encouragement through our involvement.

Thank you again for your prayers! We are grateful for your partnership!

Seasonal Changes and Challenges (April Prayer Letter)

Spring has sprung! In Japan, spring means the end of one school/business/church year, and the beginning of a new one. It’s a time of transition and change for many people. For us, while there are no huge transitions this year, here are some of the changes and challenges we’re praying about now…

Church Life: Multiple waves of Covid have made it difficult for churches in Japan to do ministry as usual, especially with limited space to begin with. So for us as missionaries, in-person ministries have been few and far between this past year and a half. But as things slowly become more open, we are praying about a potential ongoing ministry at our church in Komatsu. Please pray with us for direction about this and other ministry opportunities that may come our way in the coming months.

Drawbridge Creations: In March we finished our first season of serialized manga at Waypoints. We’re taking a break from posting new content in April, in order to work ahead on season two, which starts in May. If you want to catch up, there are eight full stories on the site now. We’re thankful for your prayers and support, and for the excellent artists we get to collaborate with. Please pray that we can reach a wider audience in the months to come, and point our readers to the hope we have in Jesus.

We recently had 10,000 of these cards printed as promotional items for Waypoints. We hope to take or send them to churches and ministries all around Japan so Christians can give them to friends they want to share their faith with. Let’s pray that these cards will all find a good home!

Thank you for partnering with us!

Growing Connections (March Prayer Letter)

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your prayers over the past month! Here are some recent highlights and prayer points.

1. February was a month of many online meetings, as we connected with artist collaborators as well as fellow missionaries both GP and other. Yoko and I both attended the annual JEMA meetings via Zoom as well. JEMA is a network that most evangelical missions in Japan are a part of, and is a great resource and connection point to the wider missionary community here.

2. I also had the opportunity to be a part of an online English outreach with English Connect, where I got to share about Waypoints and talk about manga in general. I’m doing it again on March 12, so please pray for this to be a good chance both to promote our ministry and share God’s love.

3. Our Japanese church partners, Immanuel General Mission, are having their annual conference this month, on March 23 & 24. These meetings will be online as well. Please pray for God’s guidance as important issues are discussed and pastors’ assignments are handed out for the coming year.

Yoko and I are thankful for all of these connections, especially during a time when connecting in person has been so difficult. Thank you for staying connected with us as well. We truly appreciate your ongoing partnership with us!

Robin (& Yoko)

2+2= Our February Update

Two Praise Points: 

1. Our church in Komatsu celebrated two baptisms on January 23, as a couple who have been connected with our church since last year were baptized together. Praise God for changed lives.

2. We finally raised 100% of our start-up funding goal for Drawbridge Creations! We’re thankful for everyone’s giving and for God’s provision, and look forward to focusing more on the ministry itself this year.

2 Prayer Points:

1. Our goals for Drawbridge Creations in 2022 are to (1) Increase our readership, (2) build our network, and (3) expand our team. (Details on the Drawbridge blog HERE.) Please pray with us for God to enable us to reach these goals and ultimately reach more people for Jesus!

2. Japan is currently experiencing a huge wave of COVID-19 infections. We feel pretty safe here in Ishikawa, but this will continue to limit our in-person ministry opportunities, and for at least a few weeks we’ll be worshiping remotely too. Please pray for Japan, and pray for us to make the most of this time, even with its limitations.

Thank you as always for your prayers and partnership!

Good News for the New Year (January Prayer Letter)

Hi everyone,

We hope you had a merry Christmas, and that your new year is off to a good start. After a busy end of the year, we were able to have some much-needed rest over the holidays, and looking forward with expectation for what God has in store in 2022.

The good news is that our Drawbridge Creations funding campaign finished the year on a high note, with some very generous donations bringing our total to almost 94% — a HUGE jump from the 61% we reported in December! Praise God for providing, and thank you to all who have prayed and given! We’re confident this fund will be fully raised soon.

Please pray for us as we set plans and goals for this year, and take the next steps in growing our digital manga ministry. Pray, too, for wisdom and direction for how to approach in-person ministries and travel this year, as Covid continues to make the coming months unclear. 

We hope and pray for 2022 to bring you many blessings, even in these challenging days. Thank you again for your partnership with us for Jesus in Japan!

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