GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for the 'Tidbits' Category

Regional Impact

December 1st, 2014 by John

Well you prayed and it happened. We were planning to have maybe 50 people at this year’s last Church Planting Institute (CPI) regional training seminar in Tokyo. When registration closed there were 98 listed. This made it the largest regional training seminar of this year, or any year. What a way to celebrate 20 years of CPI!

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We offered two seminars one on Church Planting Next Steps and another on Walking in the Gospel for Life and Ministry. The gospel renewal material is the backbone of all our training and one leader said he was “extremely blessed by the raw/honest sharing of the speakers.” Our daily emphasis on the private inner world of the church planter was very significant in the lives of those who attended.

As part of our development throughout this year, at this seminar we were able to raise up some new trainers as well as introduce some more relevant training materials. On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being highest, the training was rated over 9 for being practical and relevant. One church planter said, “I have a much clearer plan for the next two years in developing and launching this church.” Others felt they were given key next steps in their church planting process.

These events always generate new vision and plans. Of just the 11 people who responded to our survey they plan to launch 20 new ministries, start 34 new cell groups, start 8 new churches and deploy 8 more church planters! Please pray those would all be fulfilled and more vision would grow.

Both of us were very involved in the seminars. John taught portions of 5 seminars and Elaine taught one seminar and as a team member attended the entire gospel renewal seminar.

CPI has still more Next Steps to reach the least reached Japanese and develop transformational leaders. In 2015 we have more training planned including multiplication training from Ying Kai. As a result of conducting more regional training and raising up more trainers, several Japanese leaders will be leading a Japanese language only seminar in March on gospel renewal. In November 2015 we are planning our biennial national conference. We hope to highlight all our trainers and training at that time. So keep praying for God to bless CPI ministries.

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If the World Were a Village of 100 People

December 1st, 2014 by John

A small book written for children by David J. Smith broke down the de-mographics of the world’s population into a understandable size for children to comprehend. Here is what such a village would look like: 49 would be female and 51 would be male. 20 would be children. Of the 80 adults, 14 would be over 65 years of age. There would be 60 Asians, 12 European, 14 Africans, 8 South Americans, 5 North Americans, and 1 from the South Pacific. 33 villag-ers would have cell phones and 18 would own cars. 30 would be unemployed and 53 would live on less than $2 a day. 80 would have sub-standard housing. 24 would have no electricity and only 33 would be able to read. One would have a college or university education while one would be dying of starvation. 17 would be undernourished and 15 would be overweight. 83 would have ac-cess to safe drinking water and 17 would have dirty, unclean water to drink.

33 people would know Jesus as Savior and Lord. 67 would not. Of the 33 people who know Jesus—only ONE would be telling others about Him!

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Year-End Giving

November 2nd, 2014 by John

 

Some of you may be considering year-end charitable gifts. Consider giving to these needy projects. Give online at http://www.convergeworldwide.org/give

  1. John and Elaine Mehn, general fund. We still have a slight deficit for the current year. #49651.
  2. CPI special fund #31256 for helping Japanese attend church planting training and for developing online resources.

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Prayer in November

November 2nd, 2014 by John

John & Elaine Mehn CW PicGOD ANSWERED

  1. Thank you for your special prayers for the Church Multiplication Vision Festa (above).
  2. Last month’s Love Japan meetings with John Piper and Donald Carson went very well in spite a Super Typhoon coming through at the same time. One friend was very moved by John Piper’s message and could not believe God’s power.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. November 3 and 4 are the Rengo national meetings followed by a one-day Church Planters Summit. John will participate in the group coaching of the church planters and share the closing message. Pray for us.
  2. The CPI Super Seminars are next week Nov 10-12. We will be doing Church Planting training and Gospel Renewal training. So far nearly 40 are registered. Both Elaine and John will be facilitating training. Pray that God would meet each and every one of us with his resources.
  3. Our Converge Japan Field Council is Nov 14 and 15. Pray as we do our annual planning.
  4. John preaches at Nerima Baptist Church on Nov 30th
  5. Elaine has a big evangelistic outreach December 1 with her annual Christmas tea.

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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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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 | 1 Comment »

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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