GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for November, 2009

Christmas is a Time of Sharing, Especially in Japan

November 30th, 2009 by John

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of a baby but not just any baby. This was the Son of God being born in a lowly stable. Because He was willing to humble Himself, He lived a perfect life and became the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Christmas in Japan is a mixture of attention given to the surface and ignoring the truth of the depth beneath. The stores are filled with decorations and Christmas songs which include hymns such as Silent Night and What Child is This. Shopping areas are decorated with Christmas lights and draw hundreds if not thousands to see the “illumination”. In the midst of all this “Christmas” the real reason for celebration is completely missed. The fact that December 25 is a work day as any other is a perfect reflection of what Christmas means to our neighbors and friends.
When Japanese were asked what Christmas meant, the answers ranged from Santa’s birthday to a time for partying with friends. Although few Japanese know the true meaning of Christmas, at this time of year they are very interested in listening or taking tracts or CD’s. It will take a work of God to touch the hearts of the Japanese but God is a miracle worker so we can be encouraged.
Please join us in praying that God’s Kingdom will come for many Japanese this Christmas season. Pray not only for those in Japan but for Japanese living around the world. This is the best time to witness for Christ so please pray for boldness shared in love for each of us and receptive hearts for those with whom we are sharing.

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CPI CONFERENCE UPDATE

November 29th, 2009 by John

Thank you so much for praying for last month’s CPI National Conference.  A participant said, “The CPI National Conference at Fuji Hakone last week was truly a big blessing. It brought spiritual renewal, vision, fellowship, ministry training, among other things, to the participants” In spite of the economy and other factors about 300 adults and 85 children gathered this year to enlarge their Kingdom Vision for church multiplication and experience Gospel Renewal.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Church Planting Institute Highlights

November 24th, 2009 by John

There are always several highlights at the CPI Conference. This time I was able to work it out to train in two sessions for missionaries in their first stages of church planting.  Normally running the conference I have no energy or time for this.  But God opened some opportunities and I love equipping and training church planters.

I had two sessions with 12-15 people each time.  They were from nearly everywhere in Japan from Sendai in the north to Yamaguchi in the south and everywhere in between like Nagano, Nagoya, Tokyo.  There were also 5 people from a Filipino church in Tokyo!  One was still in Japanese language school.  We discussed vision, calling, target group, philosophy and strategy.

What an opportunity to teach others what I have learned so they will not repeat my mistakes.  So many church planters do not even know where to begin so we help them with solid training.  We did receive some feedback on an evaluation form which is so encouraging to me. “John has done it and so he knows it.  It is obvious John loves Jesus, the church and helping equip people…. John is passionate and pours out in what he shares.  I am thankful ~ he shares content naturally.”  Well I cannot wait to train the next batch.  Several have asked me for coaching along the way.  How exciting!

An entire seminary attended the conference.  The president told me at the end of the conference they were all going home changed.  They are considering making CPI part of their curriculum.

I talked to one Rengo pastor who attended and was trained and encouraged.  He asked if he had to wait 2 years for the next conference.  I said “no way” as we hope to bring more regional training to him.

The post conference, regional training in Tokyo was extremely effective with 5 tracks offered during the day.  The training on the gospel renewal was very effective.  Some Japanese commented, “Why hadn’t we been taught about how God’s grace affects our sanctification before!” One of the men who attended is a very influential leader through his publications. He was excited to be able to apply these truths to his work. “I’ve thought throughout the years that we need to emphasize grace more but have never been taught how to do this!” was his comment!

In CPI we continue to emphasize Kingdom vision for Church Planting and also Gospel Renewal.  Both are blessing people in their hearts and their ministries.  Thanks for praying and encouraging.  Maybe you could send a team to be part of the conference in 2011.

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