John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for June, 2012

Suicide Continues Record Highs

June 28th, 2012 by John

In Japan nearly 100 people commit suicide everyday.  This has been continuing at this pace for over 14 years. After the 3.11. disasters there were reports of suicide doubling among disaster victims. Fortunately in May that number dipped.

Pray for each Christian and every church to be available to share with hurting people the hope and compassion of Christ.

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Raising Japanese Kids Hard

June 26th, 2012 by John

A government survey showed Thursday that 52.6% of Japanese people responding to a survey said it is easy for them to have and raise children in their home country, up 5 percentage points from the previous poll in 2005 but considerably lower than the United States and European countries.

According to the five-nation survey by the Cabinet Office on a society with fewer children, the figure stood at 97.1% in Sweden, 75.5% in the United States, 72% in France, and 16.2% in South Korea.

Please pray for Christian churches and Christian families that they may model good examples of parenting as well as giving Biblical instruction on marriage, family, and childrearing.

The Cabinet Office attributed the increase in Japan to the government’s support for families raising children, such as measures to eliminate the waiting lists for children to get into nursery facilities.

The survey was conducted from October through December last year on 1,000 men and women aged 20 to 49 in the five countries.

The survey also showed 48.8% of Japanese people said they want to have more children, lower than 86.3% in Sweden and 79.5% in the United States.

As for reasons given by Japanese people who do not want to have more children, 44.6% cited economic burdens in raising kids, while 50.5% wanted a more stable employment environment as a measure to support people who want to marry.

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Miracle Still Needed

June 21st, 2012 by John

We have been encouraged by new partnering churches and individuals joining our financial support team.  Many churches and individuals have increased their support.  However, we are still about $300 per month behind in our needed support. Even though we are so close, without a miracle it looks like we will be delayed in departing on schedule in early August. We will have to delay returning to Japan for our leadership training, church planting mobilization, spiritual mentoring, and ongoing compassion ministries. You can still help by monthly giving or a one-time gift. And if you know anyone who you would recommend for our ministry partners, please let us know.

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Still Cleaning Up

June 21st, 2012 by John

After well over one year, the tsunami disaster area still has houses needing to be cleaned up. Our partners are saying that there is still so much work to do. One team from Hawaii and Bethlehem Baptist just returned to the US after cleaning several damaged homes and conducting community outreach ministry. Another team from Hawaii June 30-13 will use the newly setup Samaritan Purse base at Morigo.  Then on their heels a combined team from California and Wisconsin will work the rest of July. Ask God to bless as each of these teams will provide support for a community concert during their stay. Now that Yasuhito Yoneda has completed his ministry assignment, Nathan Jahnke will be the Team Coordinator for the next few teams. We are also getting more people interested in going and helping in Japan. They all need your prayers.

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God Worked (anyway)

June 21st, 2012 by John

Last month the Japan Church Planting Institute (CPI) had two seminars in Tokyo on multiplying viral churches and church driven mission. At the last minute Dr. Ed Stetzer had to cancel coming to Japan due to his daughter’s sudden hospitalization. Instead of cancelling the seminars, several visiting American pastors “pinched hit” the training from Stetzer’s book Viral Churches. The seminar reports from the nearly 60 attending were awesome because these were pastors reproducing their churches and deploying their people in church planting.

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Rengo and SOLA

June 21st, 2012 by John

Let me introduce our Japanese partners.

The churches that grew out the mission efforts of the Baptist General Conference (now Converge Worldwide) formed the Japan Baptist Church Association.  In Japanese “association” is “Rengo.”  This is a growing group of 62 churches mainly in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. Our Japan Mission works closely with the Rengo for evangelism, leadership development, and church planting.

One of the key Rengo churches in the Kokubunji Baptist Church in western Tokyo is led by Pastor Hiro Yonai, chairman of the Rengo. After the 3.11. disaster, this church has been very active in sending assistance and teams to the disaster area. Out of their ministry grew the vision for a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) called SOLA (Serve for Others, Live with one Another) which could meet the needs of children and youth disaster victims.  Associate Pastor Miho Hirata is heading up SOLA and is ministering in the Ishinomaki and Minami Sanriku areas of Miyagi prefecture. Their ministry develops children events, educational support, and community events. They hope to develop international exchanges. She partners with Mr. Abe of the Ishinomaki House of Prayer and Dean Bengtson, missionary in the area. Our Converge Worldwide teams have been partnering with both Mr. Abe and Rev. Bengtson since the disaster.

Imagine everything you own disappeared in a matter of minutes.  A tsunami took your house along with everything you owned. You are now living in temporary house.  SOLA is helping children in the disaster area cope this this great loss.  One important area is helping these children by providing them with school supplies. Imagine that you lost all your favorite crayons, coloring pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler, paper, eraser and your art supplies.  How could you succeed in school?

For many of these children their parents are out of work and have little money as their workplaces were destroyed along with their homes. You can give so that these children can succeed in school and in life by supplying them with things they need for school. Also along with this comes the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ. SOLA aims to share the hope of Jesus Christ with all these children.  Will you pray and give that their tragedy may turn to hope?

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Praise & Prayer June

June 6th, 2012 by John

Intensive Prayer Letter

June 2012

John and Elaine Mehn

Converge Worldwide Missionaries to Japan

Praise and Thanks

  • The memorial service for John’s mom was great time of the family gathering together.
  • We heard the second grandchild that is due in September is a boy. All are excited.
  • Several churches/individuals have committed to take on our support. One church doubled its giving, several individuals started giving for our work.
  • John’s presentation at the Rocky Mountain Evangelical Missiological Society was well received. We are still waiting to hear if he will be invited to present at the national conference.
  • Teams continue to go and prepare to go to Japan to help with the relief efforts.  Two teams areleaving in July.
  • We are thankful for SKYPE which allows Elaine to mentor a missionary woman in Japan.
  • Especially we want to thank all of you for your prayers. They bring God’s desires into reality.

Prayer Items

  • Please continue to pray for our support to reach 100%. Last year was 86%.  This year we are off to a good start.
  • We are on tour to Norway, Michigan (June 9-10) and to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. (June 22-July 10).  Those at the Converge Worldwide Biennial, we will see you there. Ask God for travel safety and to keep from road weariness.
  • We are in the process of preparing and listing John’s mom’s house for sale. Please pray that we will get it prepared soon and that it will sell quickly.
  • Tim continues to look for a job. It is our hope that he will find work and be settled before we return to Japan.

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