Welcome to our website. The main thing you need to know about us is that it is not really about us.
Psalm 138:5 “and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD”.
God is the one to be made much of and that is why we exist. As you might have figured out, we are Christians, saved by grace for the glory of God. We believe we have a life changing message to share about Jesus who came to rescue us from sin and give us a eternal hope and future. In the words of a preacher I know: “I am a nobody, called to tell everybody, about somebody”. God is calling believers to GO and proclaim the name of Jesus to all the nations. We have answered His call upon our lives to GO to the country of Japan. This website tracks our journey, gives you updates about what we are up to, how you can partner with us, and other bits of information about missions, theology, culture, Japanese life, etc. etc. If this interests you, click the follow button on the right of the page. In case you wondering – we are a pretty normal couple, with pretty normal interests: We watch anime, play sport, make jokes, play instruments, hang out with friends, laugh, cry, stress, work, play, drink good coffee (Actually Aven is a tea lady) and talk about whatever a conversation leads to. But the cry of our hearts is that in every moment of life – God will be seen as glorious. That’s the kind of people we strive to be. Let’s introduce ourselves to you…
Me First! My name is AJ Meiring.
AJ = Arnold Junior (One day I’ll outgrow this 🙂
I was born in Port Elizabeth South Africa in 1985. My home language is Afrikaans, second language English, third language Xhosa, and in the process now of learning Japanese. I had a normal childhood, was raised by good parents and saved by God in January 1998 through the ministry of a local vacation Bible school. I dropped out of high school at age 15 (No more normal) and started working at my parent’s furniture store, then at a plumbing business. BTW I dropped out because of bullying which sucks right? I’ve actually watched a Japanese series that demonstrates how bad bullying is in Japan…sorry, I digress…Moving on…At age 17 I realized education is pretty important and I did my senior year of high school. Bought the books, studied them, passed the exam – yippee! Afterwards, I became qualified in air conditioning and refrigeration, started my own business and even did some formal studies in business through the University of South Africa. At age 23 I started to feel more drawn to pastoral/youth ministry and dropped the business for theology (Graduated with a honours degree at Baptist Theological College in 2013) and worked as a youth worker/intern at Cambridge Baptist East London for 4 years. That’s also where I met the most beautiful girl on the planet and she agreed to marry me! In 2014 we moved to South Africa’s capital city Pretoria to take up a pastoral role at Central Baptist Church. After 3 trips to the east (Thailand and Japanx2), we became convinced about the need for gospel ministry in Japan and that the Lord will use us there for that very purpose. To better prepare for cross-cultural ministry, I obtained a Masters degree through the South African Theological Seminary. After almost 4 years of ministry in Pretoria, we made our big move to Japan. We spent our first 2 years in Sapporo learning Japanese and are currently in our 3rd year; serving in local church ministry while training under a Japanese pastor in Kawaguchi city.
Some things I love: My wife, Coffee, Sushi, Anime, Squash, Hiking, Braaing (Barbecue for the Americans), Soaking in an onsen, playing the guitar and having early breakfast dates with my mates. That’s my life 🙂
My name is Aven (technically it’s my second name but hey it’s the one I grew up using). I was born in Cape Town but spent most of my life in East London (often known as “slummies”). I grew up going to church with my mom but only came to call upon God as my personal Saviour in 2005 – I had started a new high school; different from all my friends; and started to realise that things I thought were a big deal were really not.
From then on God started drawing my attention to missions and giving me many friends who also wanted to see more of His heart for all people. When it came time to study, I originally decided to study a BA majoring in languages, but switched to teaching as I thought it would give me the most open doors to missions in the future.
After graduating from university I worked at wonderful organisation called Bethesda Outreach. I worked at the school and had many opportunities to share the love of Jesus with the students who attended. It was a very blessed time that God used to continue to fuel a heart for mission in me.
After 4 years of teaching at Bethesda, we said goodbye to our beloved friends and family and left to study at the language school in Japan. The 20 months were busy but a valuable time of learning and trying different ways to reach Japanese. I enjoyed chatting to students, helping at an English class and baking for my new friends.
Now, freshly graduated (but continuing the life long journey of studying Japanese 🙂 ) we are living in a city on the edge of Tokyo, waiting to see what adventure God will take us on next!