Dr. Ron Maurer Visits Japan
Summer 2008
Dr. Ron Maurer was able to spend two weeks in Japan during the summer of 2008. The purpose of the visit was to do some research on education, attend the 100th anniversary celebration of the Church of God in Japan, speak at the annual conference of the Church of God, meet with pastors and with church groups, and observe various aspects of the Japanese culture. The research was specifically to investigate possible reasons why Japanese students tend to always excel over American students in the areas of math and science. Research included gathering data from approximately 400 students, interviewing the principal and two teachers from a junior and senior high school. Two kindergartens were visited and a kindergarten teacher was also interviewed.

The trip proved to be an excellent opportunity for studying and learning. Data gathered from the student-completed surveys is currently being entered into the computer for processing and results will be made available upon completion. An interview with the principal and teachers was very enlightening and helpful. All of the information gathered will be compared to previous research to see if it is consistent or if it provides any new insight.

In addition to the research, Dr. Maurer's wife, Jacque, was able to speak to a group of Japanese women about her experience with breast cancer. Her presentation opened lots of doors to share with other women and the personal problems they were experiencing. Dr. Maurer was asked to share with a mixed group of pastors and church members about counseling. This led to a three hour counseling session with a group of women after the talk.

The second week was spent on the island of Kyushu, where Dr. Maurer and his family used to live. While on the island, Dr. Maurer and his wife were able to visit three churches and meet with the pastors, their families, and church members. Each church visit entailed fellowship, but also spending time sharing words of encouragement and counsel with various people.

Japanese society has, in some ways, changed considerably from Dr. Maurer's last visit to Japan eleven years ago. Some of these changes are creating stress within the Japanese society. People are perplexed regarding how to deal with increased crime, lack of lifetime job security, youth rebelliousness, etc. Hopefully this visit will shed insight into these issues and more.