GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for the 'Tidbits' Category

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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Begin 2015 with Prayer

December 30th, 2014 by John

GOD ANSWERED

  1. God blessed with great Christmas activities and events like the Christmas Tea., Agape Group party and others too
  2. Agape Group – There is growing enthusiasm among some who attend especially those who were resistant several years before. God is at work.

PRAYER PARTNER SPOTLIGHTS

  1. After spending some vacation in the US for Christmas, we return to Japan on Jan 1 and hit the ground running. Elaine resumes her busy monthly schedule.
  2. CPI has a round of church planting seminars (T4T) from Jan 9-17 on multiplying disciples, leaders and churches. Pray for interpreters and for good attendance.
  3. John starts a major writing project this month. Pray for lots of margin in his schedule to get off to a good start.
  4. John preaches at the Nerima Baptist Church on January 25th on Global Missions. Pray for impact.

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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.

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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.

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