GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Tokyo Story

October 9th, 2014 by John

Tokyo_Story_posterToday on my day off I watched  an old Japanese classic movie Tokyo Story by Yasujirō Ozu. This film was made before I was born in 1953 but it one of the greats. It has received the highest reviews. Not sure how I found out about it but probably reading about Japanese cinema and directors.

Yes, it is plodding but that is the point. About an older couple from the country visiting their grown kids in Tokyo but they do not have time for them.  (I know my kids will treat me better when I am older.)  There is some awesome dialogue about children, parents, grandparents and in-laws. I think the lesson from the film is that people are important to all of us but our family we often take for granted. Our opportunities to touch people’s lives is limited but we can make a strong impact because of our closeness. The widowed daughter-in-law Noriko is a saint. We would all love to have her in our lives.

The Japanese is not hard in the movie but there is a lot of Kansai dialect (unless it is western Japan dialect).  Most of the vocabulary is standard today.  Only a few words I have not heard. You may be able to catch it on YouTube with subtitles.

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Harvest Workers

October 2nd, 2014 by John

14-09-01 Tokyo Mission Team and Mas

Japan Tokyo Team: (Front to Back, Left to Right) Jane Fischer, Elaine, Mary Lou and Tom Ellison, John, Ian Smith, and Mas Kobayashi

Two new workers arrived a few weeks ago to join the Japan team. One came for 6 weeks; one for a career. We are excited to have a new career missionary, one who felt the call to be sent, Ian Smith. Ian has a great passion for planting multiplying churches in Japan. Right now he is in full-time Japanese language studies, essential for in-depth ministry in Japan. Pray as he builds relationships with Japanese and our team and adjusts to his new home in Chiba Tokyo. His vision is to catalyze multiple gospel-driven church planting movements in Japan.

Mas Kobayashi is no stranger to Japan. He was born here but has lived over 20 years in Canada. We have lost count how many times he has come to work as a short-term worker. Thank you to our partner BGC Canada for sending him, again. In past trips he worked at the CPI Conference as a translator, served on two tsunami disaster teams, and helped Rengo churches. The last several times his focus has been strengthening pastoral leaders and churches. In Rengo churches a few are without regular pastors, some pastors have health struggles, and others pastors are just overworked without any sabbatical. Mas blesses these churches by taking the load off for a week or two so these pastors and churches can take a breath. Mas leaves Japan on October 16th after 6 weeks of ministry. Mas will probably return next year. Hopefully some of you would have joined him.

These two personally illustrate what Converge Worldwide Japan is all about: Starting and strengthening churches. We need more Harvest Workers in Japan. We need many more people just like Ian and Mas, both short-term and career. Converge Worldwide Japan is looking for ministry teams, interns for CPI, school teachers, music teams, child care teams, outreach ministry teams, performance teams and IT people for 1-2 weeks, 1-3 months and 1-2 years. Maybe you know someone who could come serve in the 2nd largest unreached people in the world and a strategic world nation. Maybe that someone is you! Please contact us for more information, info@gospelrest.com.

Category: For Prayer, Quake Relief, Short Term, Tidbits, Updates/News | No Comments »

Prayer in October

October 2nd, 2014 by John

Converge church label

 

GOD ANSWERED

  1. Thank you for the many people that responded to our financial appeals last month. Several increased their regular giving and many others sent in a one-time gift. We figure this will make up at least 1/3 of our deficit. More information is at GospelRest.com/give.
  2. The SOMA Seminar last month was great. Several are already applying the concepts.
  3. At John’s visit to Kansai (9/11) more showed up than expected. Things worked out in a miraculous way.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. Pray for Love Japan 10/11-13 John Piper (see my post http://www.gospelrest.com/john-piper-and-japan/ ) and other key speakers will be coming. Pray that God would encourage and embolden his people.
  2. We are both mentoring a total of 6 people. We have never mentored so many at one time. Things are going well but pray as we adjust to this highly personal ministry.
  3. On October 29-30 about 60-100 key leaders all committed to multiplying the church in Japan will gather for a Church Multiplication Vision Festival. Pray that God may speak to each leader about bold risk-taking faith and we would be great listeners to the Spirit and each other. Many exciting things could come from this watershed meeting.
  4. We are very busy preparing for the CPI Super Seminars Nov 10-12. The Church Planting training and Gospel Renewal training we did earlier this year we will do at one time and in one location. Registration is now open and we are working on curriculum, various speaking situations, and coordination. Pray that God would bless all preparations.

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Typhoons

September 24th, 2014 by John

Normally in Japan they start numbering typhoons (hurricane, cyclones) at the beginning of the season. In the Caribbean they give them names like Hugo and Katrina Well this year I never started counting. Either we were gone for most of them, ignored them, or there just were not too many typhoons this year. Tonight a typhoon downgraded to a tropical storm will wend its way pass Tokyo up north. At most we will have 20-30 mph winds and rain. Grateful we have not had to batten down the hatches many times in our lives in Japan. But all our windows have serious storm shutters.

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John Piper and Japan

September 20th, 2014 by John

Many of you probably know him by his writings and Desiring God ministry. John Piper is probably the most widely known pastor in our Converge Worldwide association of churches. He has served on our mission board. He is a Biblical scholar, a mission’s statesman, and a pastor of an exemplary missional church. After the tsunami his church Bethlehem Baptist church sent several teams to work with us in Ishinomaki among disaster victims.

John Piper will be coming to Japan in October for 3 days of speaking events (with many other speakers). We have been waiting for this to happen. Of the 2.6 billion unreached people on our planet the Japanese are the second largest group with 127 million. Missions exists in Japan because worship does not. Pray for Japan, pray for more harvest workers here, pray for these meetings October 11-13.

Category: For Prayer, Quake Relief, Short Term, Tidbits, Updates/News, Video | No Comments »

New Ministry Video

September 8th, 2014 by John

Did you blink? Then you probably missed us. We were in the US this summer for a working vacation visiting supporters, friends, family, and doing some personal business. We had a great time visiting both Elk Grove Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. You can hear or download both of US SHARING THE MESSAGE “Click Send”. We also dropped in to Meadows Baptist Church, our home church and saw some personal supporters.

Well if you missed us, OUR NEW MINISTRY VIDEO was just published on YouTube. Designed to be shown in small groups and worship services, this four minute video made in HD shows us in our ministry settings sharing our kaleidoscope of ministries. Please view or download from our YouTube channel.

Category: For Prayer, Tidbits, Updates/News, Video | 1 Comment »

Prayer in September

September 8th, 2014 by John

ANSWERED PRAYER
1. Our new career missionary Ian Smith has arrived. Along with some orientation, we have located him an apartment, and he begins full-time language study today. Continue to pray for his smooth adaptation to Japan.
2. Mas Kobayashi also arrived and is busy working with Rengo churches. Pray for more short-term workers like him.
3. The CPI endorsed Soma Seminar (9/4-5) was very well attended and very stimulating.
4. We have been blessed with unusually cooler weather this summer easier on our health and energy.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS
1. We continue spiritually mentoring two couples and 2 individuals. John is also now coaching with a key Japanese leader. Continue to pray that all of us may grow in grace together.
2. This Thursday, 9/11, John will be traveling to Osaka for a Kansai Regional Church Planting Network meeting. Pray it would be a blessing to everyone.
3. John will celebrate his 60th birthday on September 17th. In Japan the 60th birthday is a much honored one.
4. Pray as Elaine heads to Kansai Christian School board meeting on September 19th a long day of turn around travel.
5. The July 24th meeting of a group of Japan leaders planning a national strategy for church planting went very well. Continue to pray as we look forward to an October 29-30 larger Church Multiplication Vision Festival.

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MINISTRY PARTNER UPDATES

September 8th, 2014 by John

We are so grateful to you for your financial support to permit us to serve in Japan. Our days are busy sharing Christ, nurturing followers of Christ, developing transformational leaders, equipping others to establish new churches which will be transforming in their communities.

We were held back in the US in 2012 to get our support up to 100%. Last year we did pretty well. We were shocked with the first 3 months of this year. We were behind 3 months in a row. Now our support is around 89%. Please pray about this situation and also consider how you can help us catch up and get ahead.

WAYS TO FINANCIALLY PARTNER WITH JOHN AND ELAINE

ONLINE via the Internet (You can give online).
1. Go to the Converge John & Elaine Page
2. Select “Donation Amount”
3. Select “Donation Amount (Special Gift, Monthly, or Annual)
4. Click “Make a Donation”
5. Follow the other screens as you check out.

CHECK via Mail
So it is credited accurately, please include our:
1) Name
2) Account number #49651 with the check.

Checks can be sent to: Converge Worldwide (BGC) 2002 S. Arl. Hts. Rd. Arlington Heights, IL 60005

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Backyard Ministry

July 31st, 2014 by John

What do you do in your backyard? Well our backyard is only 8 feet deep but we turned it into an outside terrace and use it for outdoor barbecues. In June we had 10 men from the Crossroad church for a bratwurst fellowship. Then later in the month we had the Rengo National Evangelism Team for steaks while they brainstormed new goals for the Rengo’s future. And on July 6th we had an outreach barbecue party with Elaine’s Bible study and the Agape Kai with 12 enjoying Elaine’s cooking. Summer’s not over so when we get back to Japan we already have a barbecue planned with a local pastor and his wife. Want to come over? We will make room for you.

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August Prayer Highlights

July 31st, 2014 by John

ANSWERED PRAYER
1. John had a great time visiting the Nagoya CPI church planting network on 7/9. One church brought their new logo, vision, and values statement. The group will continue meeting regularly.
2. Thank you for your prayers for our trip to the US to visit supporters, friends, family, and do some personal business. We had a great time visiting both Elk Grove Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. You can hear or download both of us sharing the message “Click Send” at http://www.myegbc.com/media.php?pageID=58.
3. The July 24th meeting of a group of Japan leaders planning a national strategy for church planting went very well. Continue to pray as we look forward to an October larger meeting.

AUGUST PRAYER SPOTLIGHTS
1. The heat and humidity in August is quite oppressive. Pray for stamina through this hot period.
2. We are enjoying spiritually mentoring two couples and 2 individuals. Continue to pray that all of us may grow in grace.
3. John will be meeting with another mission agency considering working on some key CPI projects to help even more church planters. Ask God to bless this growing partnership.
4. Our new career missionary Ian Smith arrives in Japan on 8/26. He will be with us for orientation and we will help him get settled in and get off to a good start in his Japanese language studies. Pray for his smooth transition to Japan.
5. Mas Kobayashi, a repeat short-term worker, arrives 8/29 and will be staying with us on and off for 6 weeks. Ask God to equip him to meet the needs in many Japanese churches. Pray for more workers.
6. CPI has endorsed Soma Seminar on “Missional Communities” on September 4, 5. Pray for registration and preparations.

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