GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Prayer in July

July 5th, 2015 by John

GOD ANSWERED

  1. Thank you for your prayers for the new home and guest house building project in Higashi Kurume. Planning and work is proceeding well. Pray for safety as the old house is torn down this month.
  2. Thanks for your prayers for our new missionary family the Rob Wrights. Their visa approvals came on time, they are at 100% support! Pray for their remaining outgoing expenses to come in and for their many preparations.
  3. John completed the first stage of his major writing project. Continue to pray for his writing on missions in Japan.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. On July 9th for the first time John will be meeting with the church planting project team for Japan Congress on Evangelism. Ask God for vision and unity.
  2. Continue to pray for the preparations and registration for the CPI National Conference, November 11-13.
  3. Saito and her mother Mrs. Tohama stay at our home July 9-10 for a retreat. This is the first time since Mrs. Tohama’s husbands passing.
  4. We will be on a trip to the US from 7/17 which is half work and half vacation. We will be visiting some churches, doing personal business, and spending time with our family. Ask God for effective visits to Sawyer Church 7/26 and West Hills St Louis 8/2.
  5. Ask God to raise up volunteers for the CPI National Conference Support Team. Each conference many make the biennial journey to work with the Children’s Ministry Program, work on the media team, or just do office and administration work. Already over 25 have applied and several have been accepted. Hopefully a team of 40-50 will be developed by this fall. Why don’t you pray about joining them?

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FAQ – Natural Disasters and Japan

July 5th, 2015 by John

In Japan earthquakes and other disasters are a constant possibility (over 700 per year) and lead to much preparedness by the Japanese. For us, people from the Midwest, earthquake was a new concept when we arrived in Japan about 30 years ago. We cannot say we have gotten used to them but maybe we I have learned to live with earthquakes. Over the last several months there has been much seismic activity. We had a 6.8 and 8.5 magnitude quake and several over 5.0. The great earthquake in on March 11, 2011 was 9.0, one of the top five earthquakes ever in history. We certainly don’t know when they’re going to occur and whether we will be at home or somewhere else. When the big earthquake in 2011 hit Elaine was home and John was on the road, which caused a lot of concern for the two of us. There has also been much volcanic activity in Japan lately. One volcano on Kyushu recently erupted and Hakone Mountain, where the CPI National Conference was held many times, had some volcanic activity, raising one area to Level 3 (out of five). Even Mt. Fuji has spasmodic volcanic activity. But we are fairly out of range of any possible volcanic ash clouds.

Many of our partners, especially in North America, hear on the national news about earthquakes and volcanos in Japan, and some reports raise a bit of concern. Be assured that we are as prepared as we can be. Our cell phones warn us of any earthquake over 5.0. We have food, water and other supplies in case of an emergency. If you hear of any disaster in Japan we encourage you not to worry but to pray for us and those around us. If we have electrical power and working Internet we can get instant information to you on Facebook and our website about what is going on. We just don’t want people unfamiliar with the situation in Japan to worry needlessly. Thanks for caring for us.

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Technology and Disaster

July 5th, 2015 by John

On June 30th, we along with Japan was shocked again about another tragedy in this technological savvy country. John was talking to a pastor by phone and was asked if he had heard the news from yesterday. A man from Tokyo committed suicide on the bullet train by dosing himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. We both ride this same train many times as year making it hard to believe. This is the first death on the Shinkansen since it opened in 1964, shutting down the train for two hours. Technology was solid but society failed.

We are reminded of several realities of modern Japan. 1) Japan may be high-tech but its superior technology cannot prevent a tragedy like this. This is a soul problem. 2) This is a country with lots of suicides, 30,000 a year. That is nearly 100 per day! The experiment of the Japanese society is failing. 3) There are too many people lonely, broken, and hurting in Japan. Japan is full of human disasters just waiting to happen. This may increase as the number of aged people increases.

This whole tragic event is a heartbreak to us. We love the Japanese people and their society but we also see the futility of basing a society on impermanent and material things. What we saw after the triple disaster in Tohoku was the incredible hope given by Christ. What Japan needs is scores of Christian communities that seek out and welcome people like this man from Tokyo, and love them and give them hope. Pray with us to fulfill God’s calling for our lives to help people meet, know, and follow Jesus by starting and strengthening churches in Japan and worldwide.

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Pray in June

June 10th, 2015 by John

GOD ANSWERED
1. Elaine had a good trip to Kansai Christian School board meeting last month and helped Lori Harms pack up a bit for Home Assignment.
2. We are nearing the end of the planning phase for the new home and guest house in Higashi Kurume. Pray as these plans go to the city and the builder gears up to begin work in August. In preparation we are having a mission workday there on 6/27. Pray for wisdom and safety.
3. Thanks for praying for John’s preaching at Nerima church on 5/31. John had a major bronchial cold the week before but was able to preach in both services.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS
1. Continue to pray that the visa approval for our new missionaries the Rob Wright family will not be delayed. We expect them very soon.
2. Continue to pray as we round out our key leadership positions for the CPI Conference this November. John will be meeting with a potential part-time bookkeeper this week.
3. John will be spending some time with our new missionary Ian Smith on June 17th.
4. The CPI registration system is up and running. Pray for the many hours needed to work on the websites. An Evangelical Free Church team will be helping this month.
5. Pray for John as he completes a major writing proposal this month.

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Core Values

June 10th, 2015 by John

Ministry is vision directed but values driven. Vision is like the steering wheel, determining the direction. But our ministry values, what we believe strongly, passionately, and deeply, is the propulsion. Many ministries do not have much drive because they are not sure what is truly important to them and what is less important. Currently John has been mentoring several church planters who have been honing down their core value statements. The effect oozes out in their preaching and overall leadership. Their core values include developing lay people for ministry and reproducing workers that will grow and plant churches. One day two church planters shared with John the struggle they were having in their church with people with conflicting values. Another worker overheard one conversation and asked for help in that area. And John just completed walking an entire mission agency through discovering their core values for their new church planting network. At the CPI Conference this fall, John will lead a seminar on discovering your ministry core values. Continue to pray as we mentor and inspire leaders to be more focused for church planting and renewal. Along with church planting we both continue to mentor leaders in the core values of gospel-centered living and ministry.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

May 10th, 2015 by John

Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are

 

Who Do You Think You Are?

Maybe you have watched the television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” It’s a show about genealogy and about your ancestors and where you came from. They follow famous people back to learn of their ancestors. They are all interesting stories.

In my family, my two grandfathers came from farming families in East Prussia and in Scotland. My one grandfather was a first generation American and other one a second-generation American. From those grandparents grew quite an interesting group of people with various occupations none which were related to farming.

From those two grandparents grew clan of many and for me to grandparents and uncles which were educators, physicians, scientists and ministers. Mainly they were professionals. I’m glad that my kids are following in those footsteps as well. We are not farmers but we sure love them. We know our roots (and where our food comes from).

Maybe later Elaine will blog about her family which includes 2 US presidents, a civil war hero, more professionals, and farmers too.

 

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Death and Life

May 4th, 2015 by John

We had the most unusual Easter ever. We spent the day at a funeral. Normally Easter is upbeat and full of celebration. The hope of life after death is really something to cheer about, and cheer about every day. But this year a father of a dear Japanese Christian friend was dying in the hospital during Holy Week. Also in the US our dear friend and former mission leader, John Marrs, had been in a terrible car accident and also lay dying in the hospital. Both these events tempered and gave new meaning to the anticipation of Easter. The funeral for our friend’s father was scheduled for Easter Sunday morning. Knowing it was the right thing to do we planned to attend. The entire family was so overjoyed by our presence and we were able to comfort the wife, daughter, granddaughter and others of their family. After we left them we knew we did the right thing. They were surprised, blessed, and strengthened by our coming. When we arrived back at home, we heard that John Marrs had gone to be with the Lord. Holy Week and Easter reminded us that our lives and ministries are a matter of life and death. We are so glad we can be in Japan to serve Japanese with the message of eternal life.

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May Prayer Items

May 4th, 2015 by John

GOD ANSWERED

  1. God continues to bless us and others in all our mentoring relationships. Continue to pray for these leaders as they grow in their spiritual life and ministry skills. Recently many of those we mentor have commented how much it has helped their marriage.
  2. The team working on the new missionary home and guest house (Elaine, John, and Jane Fischer) is going very smoothly. Pray for continued blessing of this major building project.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. Pray as Elaine has a key Kansai Christian School board meeting on May 8th. Then she helps Lori Harms pack up for Home Assignment.
  2. We found some part-time and volunteer staff but ask God to continue to fill key leadership positions for the CPI Conference this November and the need for a part-time bookkeeper.
  3. Pray for smooth development of the CPI website and conference registration systems.
  4. John has been asked to participate with a Japanese team developing national church planting goals for the Japan Congress on Evangelism held next year. Pray for vision, faith, and unity for the team.
  5. Pray that the visa approval for our new missionaries the Rob Wright family will not be delayed.
  6. John will be preaching again at the Nerima Baptist church on May 31st.

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Movies and Films

May 1st, 2015 by John

I don’t just watch movies, I study films.

Like most people I like movies. Though since I was young was always watching good old classic films. From high school I attended film festivals, took a course in film making, read movie reviews (before they were online) and films were a hobby.

Recently a friend asked me what my favorite top 3 movies were. That is too hard to say. On Facebook I have posted my favorite 15 and once you see the list you will know why it is hard to narrow to 3. 15 seems too short of a list. My list includes films from many genres and my two favorite genres. In no particular order.

  • True Grit (the original with John Wayne’s Oscar performance)
  • Citizen Kane (normally listed as the best film ever made)
  • Magnificent Seven (1960 – I heard it is being remade)
  • The Incredibles (animation)
  • Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Casablanca (1939) Go ahead watch the colorized version.
  • The Ipcress File (cool cold war British spy flick)
  • Usual Suspects (introduces probably the baddest bad guy ever)
  • Tokyo Story (1953 Japanese film) I blogged about this at http://www.gospelrest.com/tokyo-story/

John's Films

 

 

I really like Science Fiction films.

  • Forbidden Planet
  • Day the Earth Stood Still (original 1951)
  • Blade Runner

I have been a War film buff since I was a kid.

  • Pork Chop Hill
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • A Bridge too Far

 

You will notice that many of these films were made many years ago, many before I was born. Some are in black and white.

Once a leader from the US was traveling through and asked me many questions to get to know me. He asked what my favorite movies were. I gave him some from the list. His response is that maybe I should update my list. My response is I will add more recent movies when they make better movies.

People need to see some of these classics as they have shaped everything that came after. Have you seen these old classics? Maybe you should.

 

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April Prayer Items

March 31st, 2015 by John

GOD ANSWERED

  1. God answered prayer by blessing the 19 who came to the CPI Gospel Seminar in Japanese. The manual also underwent a major upgrade.
  2. John was able to preach with great freedom in the spirit at the meeting with the Philippine churches.
  3. Our Converge Worldwide had a great spring Field Council including the farewell party for the Ellisons, great sharing times, and beautiful snow.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. The mission has made a decision to rebuild the missionary home in Higashi Kurume. John, Elaine and Jane Fischer are the “staff” for this project. Pray for good relationships with the builders, workers, and neighbors.
  2. For God to bless our mission staff meeting with David Jahnke Home Office leader on 4/22.
  3. Elaine has an outreach card making craft class on 4/25. Pray for numbers and effectiveness.
  4. Ask God to bless our times in classes and mentoring many leaders each month.
  5. Pray for God to bless the KCS community as they wrap up another school year. Elaine is on the KCS school board.
  6. Beseech God to fill key leadership positions for the CPI Conference this fall and the need for a part-time bookkeeper.

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