John and Elaine Mehn


August 2nd, 2009 by John

Do you miss us already? We left the US for Japan on July 7th. We have been settling in and getting ministry geared up for another term in Japan. We have just completed our ’09 US tour of our partnering churches, one of the best. For six months we shared messages, hung out in small groups, met up with pastors and missions sending teams, and recruited future short-term and long-term missionaries. We also had key times with our extended family, both our kids and John’s mom. We are so grateful to God that in the midst of the worst economy in our lifetimes we were able to increase our financial support and return to Japan as scheduled. Our next Home Assignment “US tour” date is scheduled for Jan 2012 – July 2012.


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Between Two Places: Looking Back/Looking Ahead

March 18th, 2009 by John

Since the beginning of the year we have been on Home Assignment in the US touring 20 of our partnering churches in the six months from January to June.

Home Assignment is always a good time to look back over the years of ministry and to look ahead to the years to come.  While visiting one of our partnering churches we were asked how our view of missions had changed over our 23 years of ministry in Japan. Wow! Where do you start?

When we went to Japan the Japanese people were a target people that we were sent to bring into the Kingdom. Their language, culture, and way of thinking were un-familiar to us. Now they are our friends and neighbors who need to know the truth of the Gospel. Our hearts are softer now and we see their need from hearts of compassion. This change has come as we have gotten to know people as well as culture.  Missions isn’t just about sharing the right words in a culturally appropriate way. It is sharing our lives and hearts with another person incarnationally. It is about caring about their soul more than they do and then sharing our own souls with them.

As John says while on Home Assignment he feels like he lives two lives, in two cultures, and two jobs.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Surprised and Amazed – Nov 08

November 6th, 2008 by John

Amazed by the expected and surprised by the unexpected. That describes our last 2 ½ year adventure. We returned to Japan, packed our belongings and moved to the other side of Tokyo.

In a 6 month period, we sold our condo in the States, bought a house, moved into it, moved back to Japan, and moved to the other side of Tokyo. We said good-bye to our kids who stayed behind in the U.S., said good-bye to our Japanese friends and neighbors of 15 years, moved to a new neighborhood, and had it rain for the first week. No wonder Elaine began to wonder what we had done and why.

This whole adventure started just before our last Home Assignment. We were discussing what we would do when we returned to Japan. It was one of those moments when the words come out of my Mehn Machida Housemouth before the thought is in your head. Elaine said, “Why don’t we move to Machida.” John who hates change said, “Yes, why don’t we?” We looked at each other and thought what has just happened. It was God leading us to pack up and move so we moved! Following God is not always easy or comfortable but it is always the best.

Tokyo is still the largest city in the world and our new neighborhood still speaks Japanese but what an amazing difference. The community welcomed us not just to live among them but to live with them. Elaine started cooking and craft classes as an outreach ministry. Her one Read the rest of this entry »

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