John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for March, 2009

Learn how to minister to Japanese, online

March 29th, 2009 by John

Reaching Japanese for Christ Academy is again offering the popular Japan 101, an on-line course which will begin April 20th.  Here is what Naoko Brown, Japan 101 co-leader, says, “Do you ever wonder why your Japanese friends act in certain ways?  This 8 week class will help you figure out some of the answers to your questions.  Through weekly reading assignments, you will learn about the history, social structure, cultural elements and spiritual aspects of Japan.  Weekly reports are due at the end of each week.  By reading and commenting on each others’ reports online, you will learn even more and be inspired to reach out to Japanese for Christ.”  If you are interested go to www.rjcnetwork.org.

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Between Two Places: Looking Back/Looking Ahead

March 18th, 2009 by John

Since the beginning of the year we have been on Home Assignment in the US touring 20 of our partnering churches in the six months from January to June.

Home Assignment is always a good time to look back over the years of ministry and to look ahead to the years to come.  While visiting one of our partnering churches we were asked how our view of missions had changed over our 23 years of ministry in Japan. Wow! Where do you start?

When we went to Japan the Japanese people were a target people that we were sent to bring into the Kingdom. Their language, culture, and way of thinking were un-familiar to us. Now they are our friends and neighbors who need to know the truth of the Gospel. Our hearts are softer now and we see their need from hearts of compassion. This change has come as we have gotten to know people as well as culture.  Missions isn’t just about sharing the right words in a culturally appropriate way. It is sharing our lives and hearts with another person incarnationally. It is about caring about their soul more than they do and then sharing our own souls with them.

As John says while on Home Assignment he feels like he lives two lives, in two cultures, and two jobs.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Everyone in Japan Struggles with Japanese

March 5th, 2009 by John

We have worked in Japan for a long time continually learning Japanese.  We have gotten pretty effective in the language doing public speaking (sermons, devotions), leading group discussions (Bible studies), and various person conversations including the telephone.  We freely admit that Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn.  The other day someone asked how long did it take you to learn it.  My response was 50 years!  It may take 100 years!

Recently we have noticed how even Japanese struggle with their own language.  Often Japanese need an open dictionary when they are writing a personal letter.  Also few can write with confidence apart from the tools on their computer. Then we saw this headline: “Japan PM’s reading blunders spark study spree.”  This is an amusing article on how even the Japanese Prime Minister goofs up in the language.  The article also highlights the difficult of the Japanese language even for Japanese people.  It also shows how shameful it is when you do goof.  So pray for us that we may not look as bad.To read the copyrighted article please click here. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/03/04/asia/AS-Japan-Reading-Japanese.php

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