John and Elaine Mehn

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April Prayer Items

March 31st, 2015 by John


  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.


  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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FAQ: What kind of Bibles do they have in Japan?

March 31st, 2015 by John

Manga MessiahThe Bible continues to be the bestselling book in Japan, each year! There are many translations of the Japanese Bible. Some older versions like the bungotai and kogoyaku have been replaced by more modern versions. The shinkaiyaku translation done in the 1970s is widely used in most evangelical churches. This was followed with a similar ecumenical translation. There is also a translation of the Living Bible. Several pastors, including our Rengo’s Dr. Izuta, have translated the Bible themselves. Izuta’s translation is being distributed to junior and senior high students by the Gideons. There are also a manga (graphic novel) Bible and many digital versions and apps. A large committee was recently organized to develop a more contemporary translation, a project that will take several years.

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Sharing the WORD

March 31st, 2015 by John

Dr. John Mehn Elaine Mehn Bible Study


Everyone is sent to share God’s Word with everyone in the world. One great privilege we have is sharing the Bible with many people in Japan. Just last month we had several opportunities to share God’s Word.

  • As an outreach at the Crossroad Church Elaine teaches a class on making greeting cards. Each time Elaine shares a short Bible talk and discussion (Psalm 23).
  • The Agape Group met to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. John shared with them about St Patrick and his similar commitment to Christ as the Apostle Paul (Gal 2:20).
  • Elaine has two twice monthly Bible Studies with 2 and 6 women who are studying the Gospel of Mark.
  • On Saturday March 21st, John spoke to the Japan Council of Philippine Churches for their annual worship and prayer concert. About 320 people from 14 churches heard John share from the book of Isaiah and the spiritual condition of Japan.
  • On Palm Sunday, 9 people from a local church gathered and John “pinch-hit” for a pastor who was recently in the US for Retool Kit training and recovering from the flu.

Whether we are sharing the word with hundreds or one-on-one please ask God to open the minds of Japanese, touch Christian hearts, and challenge leaders to know and obey God. Pray for us as that God may open doors for us to share his Word. Pray that God might continue to feed us as well with his marvelous Word. Help us spread God’s Word in Japan by contributing financially to our ministry. To give just go to the www.convergeworldwide.org/give/49651 website.

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FAQ: How can we help reach Japanese?

March 3rd, 2015 by John

Share Christ with the Japanese

  1. Reach Japanese International Students – Like other unreached people groups, Japan has one of the largest groups of international students in the US. There are many in our home state of Illinois and other areas. See this article. There may be Japanese high school exchange students in your area.
  2. Host an English Homestay through your church. Japanese can come to experience America for 7-10 days and spend time with you. You can partner through a church or Christian school in Japan.
  3. Start an English Bible study for Japanese in your area. A good place to start is placing a flyer in local Japanese restaurants. Not need to know Japanese. Japanese want to learn English.

Pray for the Japanese

Without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Japan we will not see movements of God like historically in Korea and China. Prayer information on Japan is at Operation World, Operation Japan, and our website.

Partner with Japanese Churches

  1. Send a team on a vision trip to Japan. Visit Japanese churches and build relationships with them that may lead to ministry partnerships. These can be 2-10 people. There will be one Converge team and Acts 29 team next month.
  2. Send a ministry team to Japan. Many Japanese churches could use various English outreaches, children’s ministry, music/drama, and other outreaches.
  3. Invite some leaders to visit you and your church. Recently several Rengo pastors attended our Converge Transformation meeting in the US. Later they visited several churches in the Seattle area.
  4. Invite a team from Japan to learn and minister in your church. Japanese could have seminars on Ikebana (flower arranging), Japanese language classes, Japanese calligraphy, origami (paper folding), Japan pop culture (manga, anime), and many other things.

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Growing Leaders

March 3rd, 2015 by John

Both of us spend mElaine Prayer Group 2uch time with leaders both Japanese and missionary. One of our key objectives is to help grow transformational leaders for Japan. We would like to take you to some scenes over the last several weeks that involved growing leaders.


Spiritual Renewal Mentoring

One couple attended the Church Planting Institute (CPI) Conference in 2013, their lives were changed there from performance-based Christianity to a more grace-based orientation. They approached us for more intensive personal mentoring. As a result, they have been experiencing inner transformation in their hearts as well as changes in their marriage and relationships. This refreshing renewal is spilling over into their ministry. They both blessed others with their gospel testimonies at last November’s seminars and are potential trainers within our CPI movement. Like this couple, each month we mentor leaders in spiritual formation, continual renewal, growing in repentance, and faith development. Right now we are mentoring several missionary couples and individuals and one pastor’s wife.

Church Planting Coaching

  • A church planter from India recently began working in the area near our home. He approached John about mentoring him personally and with his new church plant. Recently they met to brainstorm about his vision to plant a gospel-centered church.
  • John serves in the Rengo National Mission Department as one mission partner. Currently there are 9 Rengo church plants in progress throughout Japan. Last week John met at a Church Planters’ Summit with these church planters to encourage and hear updates on their ministry.

Leadership Consulting

  • From time to time mission leaders ask John for some consultation on their overall strategy for planting churches. Just last week John met with a church planting couple working in Ishinomaki which was ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami 4 years ago. They wanted some feedback on their vision and strategy to plant churches in that hurting city.
  • A few months ago a mission approached John about consulting with their mission. Their entire mission team was contemplating a move to new area with a far-reaching new church multiplication vision. To birth an entire new church network in this new area, John is working with them to develop their teams’ vision, core values, and strategy.

Growing as Leaders

  • Continual mentoring others in spiritual renewal keeps both our hearts warm with the Gospel.
  • Just a few weeks ago John retreated with his CPI Leadership Team. The purpose was to coach, pray, and stimulate each other in our ministry vision and personal lives.
  • As we mentioned last month, we along with 4 others working in Japan, are involved in a Gospel Discipling Cohort learning how to disciple people in the gospel. We apply this to ourselves & others.

Continue to pray for us as we develop transformational leaders to multiply churches among the Japanese, the world’s second largest unreached people group.

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Rengo Pastors Celebrate 50 years

March 3rd, 2015 by John

Rengo 50thThe Rengo celebrates its 50 anniversary this year. There are many events planned this year including the big party in November in Tokyo. Recently 5 Rengo pastors went to the US for the Transform meetings in California. Read this article for more on these pastors and pictures of the event.

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Prayer Feb 2015

February 1st, 2015 by John


  1. Thank you for praying for the Training for Trainers Seminars in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya last month. There were 77 total involved in the seminars. Many will be multiplying evangelism and discipleship ministries as a result.
  2. John preached at the Nerima Baptist Church on Jan 25th on Global Missions. Many were stimulated and challenged to be involved in missions.


  1. Our CPI Leadership Team has a retreat Feb 18-19. Pray for wisdom, openness, and growth.
  2. There are some key JEMA meetings (2/23) and RENGO meetings (2/23-25) this month.
  3. We, along with 4 others working in Japan, are involved in a Gospel Discipling Cohort learning how to disciple people in the gospel. Pray that these internet cohort meetings would go smoothly in preparing us. For the last two meetings some were missing and the last one had to be cancelled due to illness.
  4. John had little time last month to focus on his major writing project. Pray for time and focused attention.

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FAQ Japanese Partners

February 1st, 2015 by John

Frequently Asked Question:

How do you partner with Japanese leaders and churches?

  • Elaine partners with our “home church” Crossroad church in a card making craft class each month. Participating are several new people and many who do not yet know Christ.
  • John signed up for another year as a cooperating missionary at the Nerima Baptist Church. This past year John led training for leadership, evangelism and missions.
  • Thank you for praying for the key meetings with the Rengo NMD meetings last month (see above).
  • John met last week with about 15 Japanese leaders from around Japan to plan another Church Multiplication Vision Festival this fall. These leaders come from many organizations and denominations. May Japanese vision expand and grow!
  • So you can see that our partnership with the Japanese involves partnering with individuals, churches, and networks of churches. Many of these we post on Facebook. In any event it involves drinking many cups of tea.
  • Come join us in partnership with the Japanese. There are many ways to partner with Japanese churches, organizations and networks. Check out our website GospelRest.com or Contact us.

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Gearing Up Feb 2015

February 1st, 2015 by John

Gearing Up Feb 2015

Get out your calendars, notepads, and spreadsheets. We plan for successful ministry. Preparation in any endeavor is crucial. Planning is essential preparation. We both have an ongoing process of planning, praying, and preparing for ministry ahead.

  1. We plan for multiplication. Much of our mentoring and coaching ministry envisions others who will multiply our leadership. Last month we finished key gospel renewal material with one young couple who could be potential trainers and mentors. And so we began some other curriculum to help them in this process. We need to develop leaders who are continually transformed by the gospel. People who can model and train are vital.
  2. We plan for We need to develop leaders who have growing faith and vision. In our church planting training we are concerned for the crucial “next steps” that each church planter will be facing. But we are also concerned that God would enlarge their horizons and believe God for new things. For many our CPI events does just that. Vision is an essential aspect of leadership.
  3. We plan for ministry impact. Recently we completed our Japan field plans for our Converge Worldwide team. We share these with our Japanese partners in the Rengo. Last month we had valuable meetings with those National Mission Department NMD leaders. Together we plan that God’s Kingdom would advance.
  4. We plan continually. So for us gearing up is a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly process that involves each other and often other partners as well. You can have a significant part is this whole “gearing up” process. You can pray for guidance, wisdom, and for the ministry relationships we have that they would be full of unity and vision with clear direction and roles.

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Looking Ahead in 2015

December 30th, 2014 by John

Looking back God orchestrated several new avenues for ministry that shaped what last year looked like. Along with our local evangelism, Elaine’s outreach ministries to women, partnering with Rengo churches and leaders, and leadership for the Japan mission God shaped some new openings for significant ministry development in Japan and beyond.

  • CPI in its 20th year embarked on several regional seminars training at least 300 leaders throughout Japan.
  • Several leaders came to us for spiritual mentoring and then several other leaders came for leadership mentoring. Our mentoring ministries swelled, for example, just in the first two weeks of December John met with three leaders for spiritual mentoring and five leaders for leadership coaching and mentoring.
  • John had several rounds of training lay people at one church. Training was in small group leadership and evangelism. He is also engaged in improving the small group climate in this church.
  • Our mission received a new career missionary, Ian Smith, after a long drought of none coming.
  • John was invited to become involved in the Global Church Planting Network to develop a national initiative for church planting throughout North Asia. This led to connection with the Vision Festival of key Japanese leaders seeking a church planting imitative in Japan.
Nengajyo 2015 small

2015 New Year’s Card

As we enter 2015 John will be engaged in a research project on lay church planting and a major writing project on Japan church planting. CPI will expand regional seminars, grow in leadership, and develop along several lines including our newly updated website www.JCPI.Net. We are anticipating probably our largest and best CPI National Conference this November. Please keep these developments in prayer throughout 2015.

We cannot but help to look ahead into 2015 with faith in God’s unchanging promises, hope in God’s resources, expectancy of even more fruitfulness, and anticipation of God’s Kingdom and Church expanding in Japan. Pray and watch with us. God is working.

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