go2japan.org - Home https://go2japan.org/a2/ Wed, 08 Feb 2023 16:13:54 -0800 A2-Com en-gb Asian Access takes new name as ministry expands to the Middle East and beyond https://go2japan.org/a2/news/1573-asian-access-takes-new-name-as-ministry-expands-to-the-middle-east-and-beyond https://go2japan.org/a2/news/1573-asian-access-takes-new-name-as-ministry-expands-to-the-middle-east-and-beyond

Header photo courtesy of Pixabay.

International (A3) — Asian Access, known widely as A2, is expanding its ministry into some of the most dangerous and volatile parts of the world.

Breakthrough in leadership in the Middle EastFor over half a century, Asian Access has catalyzed Christian movements in Asia. Now, leaders are calling for this important work in the Middle East and North Africa.

So, the organization is boldly stepping in with its proven process that has changed the fabric of the church and transformed communities throughout the Asian continent. The organization is committed to sharing the love of Jesus and the freedom of the Gospel by ensuring the support for healthy and sustained learning communities of Christian leaders.

“We know leaders of faith communities around the world struggle in deep ways – with spiritual growth resources as well as capacity, stress, even hostility,” says Dr. Joe Handley, President of Asian Access. “Our ministry focuses on these key leaders because they’re the ones who serve so many.”

Cohorts are already launched in new regions around the world including Europe, Central America, and the Middle East.

“These leaders are often first-generation Jesus-followers, and they need mentorship, education and community,” says Handley. “We are responding to the places where we’re able to have the most impact based on our specific work to nurture intentional learning communities that are ultimately self-sustaining.”

Jeff Johnston, VP for Advancement and Communications explains:

“The moniker of A2 must now evolve to reflect the broadening impact of our learning communities. Asian Access is now A3, a global network of leaders serving their local communities.”

3 Phases of HistoryWhen Asian Access was originally established in 1967, it was focused as a ministry in Japan, serving church leaders and teaching English language to the community. As the ministry grew, so did the need for greater support for the leaders of these local communities.

In 1979 the organization began a simple but radical approach to developing and supporting church leaders by following Jesus’ model as He trained the first 12 disciples: small, well-equipped groups of 12-18 people, highly trained and building deep community among their cohort to provide a valuable bond to support and sustain.

Throughout the years, Asian Access has built these micro-networks across Japan and all of Asia as the missional support organization keenly focused on creating leadership groups with a distinctly transformational process. Each group studies a tailored program for their region, built around 14 strategic areas of leadership.

Through the strength of these local leaders, the organization has planted over 1,000 church congregations in Japan. In fact, the A3 process can be connected to significant growth in the Christian church in Japan, as well as collaborative influence between governments and the overall societal health of their communities.

A3 operates with instructors from within each nation’s context as well as expert teachers from around the globe to provide a holistic and dynamic learning environment.

A3 womenThilini K. was an early participant in the A2 process and now helps lead the Young Professionals for A3. “The leadership support from Asian Access became a catalyst to expand what God was doing inside me, so that I can more effectively fulfill His Commission in my community,” says Thilini. “Now this foundational network is helping to grow the ministry across the globe, for the church, for business, and other spheres of society.”

Handley says, “The peer community is the secret sauce to creating a sustainable momentum for the local church. Our process has always been centered around the belief that a Spirit-filled leader can change a nation. We work to equip and unify leaders so they can continue their calling fueled in local community, with the strength of a global organization.”

Learn more about the ministry here.


Listen to the broadcast (story starts at 1:29)

Direct Link: https://a3-media.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/audio/mnn/4-5min-Feb03-2023.mp3


More Information

Mission Network News (https://mnnonline.org)Mission Network News exists to inform multitudes about stories that matter and empowers them to take action that changes lives. Join over 1 million radio and internet users each day. Hear stories of what God is doing around the world – and how you can be involved. Each MNN broadcast includes pray, give, or go opportunities that help you find your place in the story. Sign up at mnnonline.org to receive daily news in your inbox. Or check out MNN on social media and share them with others. MNN is a ministry of OneWay Ministries.


go2japan@asianaccess.org (Mission Network News) Featured Latest News News Sat, 04 Feb 2023 08:00:00 -0800
And Our New Name is... https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/president-blog/1572-and-our-new-name-is https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/president-blog/1572-and-our-new-name-is

February 3, 2023

Friends of Asian Access,

I am thrilled to announce today that Asian Access has a new name. I have been waiting a long time to tell you, and I have simply been bursting to get this out there!

Today, we are A3.

Asian Access has long been known as A2. A2 is now becoming A3 on 2.3.23!

Having ventured to equip leaders in places well beyond Asia, many have been asking me:

“When will Asian Access change its name to represent this larger global scope?”

So, perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise to many.

A3 is version 3.0 of our movement.

A3 marks the third chapter in our organization’s history—moving from a national focus on Japan... to multi-national in Asia... now to a global focus. A3 is global!

3 Phases of History

Our new name A3 connects us to our past as LIFE Ministries and Asian Access.

With each new season since 1967, God seems to ask us to go deeper and trust him more. And following him increases our faith.

And our new name A3 bridges us to our future. Following God’s trajectory for us into a new realm requires deeper faith. Pray with us as we follow God’s leading!

I am excited that our new name represents some significant steps for us...

  • beyond geographic boundaries.
  • beyond generational boundaries to work with leaders of all ages.
  • beyond the spheres of Church and Business into new sectors of societal influence.

Over the coming weeks, I hope to share more about A3 moving forward. We hope to hold fast to the values that brought us here: a commitment to our Savior, our community, and our networks of leaders. Simultaneously we embrace learning, deepening, and a passion for innovation.

A3 Community

As we move toward this exciting future, we’re all in this together. We are the A3 Community. Let’s move ahead in faith together. I think fondly of the people who make A3 what it is:

  • servant leaders wanting more for their lives and ministries
  • devoted missional partners serving local churches in Japan
  • the committed staff who come alongside and serve in a variety of ways
  • seasoned faculty whose lives are a lesson to us
  • the dozens of national leaders who sacrificially volunteer their time to see other leaders grow
  • and the wonderful team members who lift us in prayer and support us with generous financial gifts making all of this work possible.

My heart is full of gratitude to God and to our A3 community. Celebrate with us our new name, A3.

Visit us online at A3Leaders.org

joe sig blue

Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.

Joe & Silk Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org



A3 tag color 1500x350

Watch my video announcement here...


jhandley@asianaccess.org (Joe Handley) Featured From the President Blogs Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:01:00 -0800
2023... New Name and Encouraging Developments https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/president-blog/1570-2023-new-name-and-encouraging-developments https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/president-blog/1570-2023-new-name-and-encouraging-developments

Coming 2.3.23

This week Asian Access will be making a significant announcement and we want you, our friends, to be the first to know.

February 3 (2.3.23) is the day we have targeted to share the news of the ministry's expansion which is also driving the moment for a new name for the organization. I think you'll agree it's a wonderful connection to the past and a bridge to the next era of ministry to which we're called. Stay tuned for this exciting news!

Anticipating this new chapter of ministry, we are encouraged by ongoing developments. The pandemic and economy have slowed us down, nevertheless, we see the Lord’s fingerprints as we venture beyond!

ministry team mtg 2023

Fresh Things on the Horizon

God is doing fresh things in Japan as leaders prepare for the Japan Congress on Evangelism. Joshua Hari, who serves on our Ministry Leadership Team (pictured here, left) as well as the National Director of Japan is very encouraged about this gathering and the chance to cast vision for church multiplication and reaching 2% (doubling) of the population.

Also in the picture (center) is Thilini K. who is eager to see our Young Professionals' cohorts growing. They now hope to launch in a few more countries.

It’s neat to work with this team as we have a mix of fresh voices, younger, and more diverse than at any time during my tenure of leadership. We talked about new developments in Central Asia and the Middle East as well as North Africa. We also shared about our initiatives serving the Persecuted Church which you may know has been an increasing challenge the last several years.

New Name Coming Soon

So, keep your eyes peeled… On Friday, we’ll be announcing our new name! And, we’ll keep you updated on all these new developments.

The Lord is stirring in new ways and we could use your prayers in this tumultuous season. Whether it’s the economy or wars and persecution, our world is facing challenges every which way we look. It’s a season where our focus on going deep with God as our only source of hope and his provision and guidance are what truly accelerate mission. 

joe sig blue
Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.

Joe & Silk Handleyemailjhandley@asianaccess.org


jhandley@asianaccess.org (Joe Handley) Featured From the President Blogs Tue, 31 Jan 2023 11:30:00 -0800
Making sense of Urbana and your own personal journey https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/takameter-blog/168-making-sense-of-urbana https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/takameter-blog/168-making-sense-of-urbana

Because Urbana '22 has just concluded, we thought it would be especially helpful to repost an article written after a previous Urbana by Asian Access missionary Sue Takamoto, who first attended Urbana '84.

Decision-Making and God's Perspective

  • "Oh no… It's been several weeks since Urbana, but I haven't signed up with a mission agency yet. Am I out of God's will?"
  • "How will I ever decide?!"
  • "I think God and my parents have very different ideas about what's best for my life…"
  • "Urbana still doesn't make sense to me."

If any of these statements sound like you, you're not alone… and believe it or not, you're quite normal!

road signFor many of us who attended previous Urbana conventions, as we reflect, we recognize that our lives were completely changed because we attended Urbana. They have taken a certain trajectory that otherwise may never have happened. Urbana was a landmark. On the timelines of our lives, Urbana leaves behind a great big STAR because it was so significant in how God shapes us.

But, you may think, I haven't made any major decisions since Urbana. The "magic" didn't work for me.

God is much more able to use and to move a young Christian who's completely open and pliable before Him than an experienced missionary who no longer listens to the Lord's voice.

May I suggest first – give it time. And then, read over three ideas to help you process your Urbana experience:

1. God is most interested in our response to Him.

worship aliane schwartzhaupt raeSgX3u3ZA unsplashOur greatest responsibility in life, I believe, is to continually keep open, obedient hearts before Him. For many of us, Urbana is just a beginning step, not an end. Often it is during our times of "not knowing" that we are most pliable and transformed by Him.

My mentor Bobby Clinton often says that God is at work in us over a lifetime, and he suggests that it is during our twenties and thirties that God is more concerned with our INWARD responses and formation rather than any work we may try and do for God during those years.

Remember some of those great worship times? Ken Fong suggested in his first message that God's first kiss to us was in Genesis 1; but when we worship, we kiss God back—sometimes feebly… sometimes without great understanding… sometimes with wrong motives. No matter how or why, God wants us to respond to him. He delights in the heartfelt responses of those who love Him.

More significant than how many Urbana delegates checked off a box indicating that they intend to become missionaries is how many of us surrendered our hearts and lives to God. God is much more able to use and to move a young Christian who's completely open and pliable before Him than an experienced missionary who no longer listens to the Lord's voice.

2. Just get on the bicycle…

bicycle didier weemaels 4yfdgmbgBWU unsplashGod is much more able to direct us when we're moving forward than when we're sitting still, trying to decide whether to get on or not.

This was great advice given to me after Urbana '84 that proved true. I stood up the last day when Billy Graham spoke, and I committed to go overseas as a missionary. I meant it with every cell in my body!… but it wasn't until five years later that I left for Japan as a missionary.

God had work to do in me in the meantime, but Urbana was a way for me to get moving. I found out about different mission organizations serving in Japan. I signed up for two organizations' newsletters. I called these missions twice a year after college to find out what these organizations were doing, and to let them know I was still possibly interested. I started supporting two missionaries in Japan—only $10 a month at first, but it was a beginning. They sent me their newsletters, and I prayed for them.

I also participated in two short-term mission trips while I was waiting for the "long-term call." And it was after the return from the second 2-week trip to the Dominican Republic, while I was sick in bed recovering from a virus I picked up there, that God spoke to me. He spoke to ME! Somehow, very clearly in my heart, the Lord used that trip to the D.R. and my quiet times of reflection afterward to say...

"Sue, it's time. You apply, and I'll do the rest."

I called the two agencies I was in touch with, and asked a LOT of questions. They didn't mind! They welcomed my desire to learn about them, and they learned about me. When I received their statements of faith, one very clearly matched my own. So did their philosophy of ministry. After getting much prayer support and counsel from godly friends, I applied and used the application process to confirm my desire to serve in Japan with Asian Access. I prayed that God would allow the screening committee to affirm or redirect my ideas.

I was blown away at how clearly He guided me through this process!

3. Keep your passion alive by surrounding yourself with people who also love missions and ministry.

community kevin schmid zLcvs3yTEF4 unsplash 1Our Christian community can provide perspective when we need it. They can remind us of our calling when the world's voice seems to grow louder than God's. They keep us honest about what God has us here for.

I have watched friends who made commitments to missions, and then seen them get great jobs (nothing wrong with that, by the way!), and buy nice homes (nothing wrong with this either!) ... and get involved in comfortable churches … and then have a complete community in which no one even talks or thinks about missions. Something is wrong with this picture.

God WILL call some of us to stay back and be senders. But the best supporters I have still have hearts for missions, and they continue to desire to be a part of what God is doing around the world.

Some practical ideas to stay linked with missions:

  1. Become a participant in your church's missions committee
  2. Volunteer at a missions organization
  3. Participate in your school's global outreach opportunities
  4. Find a retired missionary who lives nearby and meet with them regularly (nothing will fire you up more than this!).
  5. Read missionary biographies. During the five years between my Urbana experience and when I left for the mission field, I tried to read as many missionary biographies as I could find. And I would pray, "Lord, allow me to serve like Irene Webster Smith!" or "Give me a heart of humility like Amy Carmichael."
  6. Support an overseas missionary. Get their prayer letters; send them occasional encouraging emails.
  7. Get on the bike and participate in a short-term missions experience.
  8. Stay in touch with mission agencies you have connected with. Ask to be on their general mailing list. Call THEM once in a while and ask about how God is corporately directing them. Find out how you might fit into their ministries with your gifts and interests.

making sense hennie stander MKvKLElBLwY unsplash 800px

For Further Reading:

  • The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Development.
    by J. Robert Clinton, 1988. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

A few good mission biographies:

  • A Chance to Die:  the story of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Through Gates of Splendor – the story of Jim & Elisabeth Elliot
  • Inn of the Sixth Happiness – the story of Gladys Aylward
  • Mountain Rain: the story of J.O. Fraser
  • In the Arena: the story of Isobel Kuhn
  • Sensei: The life of Irene Webster-Smith
  • Irene Webster Smith: An Irish Woman Who Impacted Japan by Sue Plumb Takamoto

To find out more information about any of these missionary biographies listed above, you might check out Crosswalk.com, Amazon or Google.

Sue Takamoto

More information...

Sue Takamoto and a friendSusan Plumb Takamoto, Ph.D. first went to Japan in 1984 on Asian Access’ summer program, and then spent three years in Japan from 1989 – ’92. She worked in Asian Access' U.S. office from 1993 to 2001 in a variety of roles, including Director of Human Resource Development. Sue completed her Ph.D. in leadership studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, where she met her husband Eric. In 2001, she and Eric moved to Sendai, Japan with Asian Access to work in a local church, and then to Osaka to lead a church planting network. Following the Japan disaster of 2011, Sue and Eric moved their family to Ishinomaki, Japan, part of a church planting network called Be One. As a way to address the unemployment from the disaster, Sue launched Nozomi Project, a microenterprise solution to give jobs to over a dozen women. Sue owns more pieces of Nozomi jewelry than she would care to admit!

setakamoto@asianaccess.org (Sue Plumb Takamoto) Featured The Takameter Blogs Thu, 05 Jan 2023 15:30:00 -0800