go2japan.org - Jeff Johnston's Posts https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog Tue, 23 Apr 2024 00:06:10 -0700 A2-Com en-gb atong@atlassoftwaregroup.com (info@go2japan.org) Jesus Christ: Missionary Incarnate https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/380-jesus-christ-missionary-incarnate https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/380-jesus-christ-missionary-incarnate nativity 6770315 1000px

A3 Advent Devotional Entry • Jeff Johnston

"The angel said, "Don’t be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
—Luke 2:10–12 (MSG)

Becoming a missionary in a foreign land has surely deepened my appreciation of the incarnation of Christ. 

But wait a minute . . . This was the arrival sign of the world's Savior—a baby wrapped in a blanket lying in an animal's food trough? Messiah and Master arriving as an infant?

I moved into this new world of Japan with some knowledge of how to survive here. I was not a helpless baby, but I sure felt like one. I struggled with almost everything. I struggled to learn how to speak a new language. No matter how I tried, I didn't understand what people were saying. I could not communicate much at all. I needed to acquire a taste for a different style of food. I grieved to exchange my self-sufficiency in America for reliance upon my new hosts. My neighbor had to teach me how to turn on my rice cooker!

How was I supposed to be a communicator of the Gospel message from a position of weakness? The connection between weakness and grace had not crossed my mind. But gradually, I was able to say more and understand more Japanese. Over time, I became more familiar with my new world—a world that I was in, but not of.

Jesus was born as a helpless infant. He left his mighty throne to be born as a tiny baby in a foreign world. He couldn't feed himself or change his diapers. He couldn't speak Hebrew or Aramaic immediately. He didn't know Jewish customs until he could experience them. But as he grew in stature, and as he studied, he learned language and culture, scripture and worldview. This learning was necessary for him to be able to teach others who his Father was. He started teaching at age 12! 

The reality that Jesus would lay aside his glory for this assignment is amazing to me. I had precious little to give up to be a missionary. Christ left everything. Think about all that he gave up to wrap his spirit in flesh—and a baby at that! And in exchange for what? It often makes me shake my head in wonderment to consider these lofty things. 

Despite the tremendous differences, becoming a missionary helps me to better understand a little of what Jesus experienced through his incarnation.

  • Christ's incarnation challenges me to model my life after his missionary life. Moving away from home, laying aside my rights, and serving from a position of weakness can reveal God's power. And any sacrifice I may make is but a small offering considering . . .
  • Christ's incarnation humbles me to realize the Father's love for us to send his One and Only Son to a new world to save that world.
  • Christ's incarnation compels me to show my Father to my Japanese friends.

Being a dad myself helps me better understand our Father's love. But as a missionary—sharing with my Messiah and Master in a tiny, but powerful way—an incarnation of sorts shakes me to my core. 

Jeffrey S. Johnston    


johnston jeffrey 2020 7R301988 squareJeff Johnston has served with A3 since 1987 when he first moved to Tokyo as a short-term missionary. Now in Los Angeles, Jeff serves as VP for Advancement & Communications, helping tell the story through writing, video, web, and print. He has also contributed to establishing the A3 leader development program in North India and Bangladesh. Jeff and his wife Nozomi have two adult children both seeking to reflect the Father's love to their world.

staff profile
emailjjohnston@a3.email

 

A3 Advent devotional coverMore Information

  • This is one of many entries in A3's Advent Devotional. If you want to download a free PDF of the entire devotional to read along with us, click here...
  • Cover image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

   

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Fri, 22 Dec 2023 09:13:33 -0800
A3's Advent Devotional available as free download https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/565-a3s-advent-devotional-available-as-free-download https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/565-a3s-advent-devotional-available-as-free-download A3 advent devotional coverAdvent Has Come

Following a tremendous time of thanksgiving for God's blessings, the Advent season is upon us once again (Sunday, Dec. 3 – Sunday, Dec 24, 2023).

As we contemplate the amazing coming of the Savior to live among us and show us the Father, A3 wants to remind you that we offer a series of reflections by our own missionary staff entitled, "O Come Let Us Adore Him."

Several years ago, President Joe Handley had asked folks in the A3 community to submit some Christmas reflections, and we compiled them into an Advent devotional. Though the dates are from a different year, you can easily just read one a day and finish by Christmas Eve. The reflections of this watershed moment in history are timeless because of the power of the story.

We have uploaded the full devotional online. We hope you will enjoy these readings from all of us at A3. And we trust that our reflections will help enrich this advent season for you.

Prepare Him room in your heart. Get started right now by downloading the PDF . . .

Warmly in Christ,
Jeff Johnston


Downloads:

This devotional includes meditations on the Advent Season by many members of the A3 community.

A3's Advent Devotional available for free download A3 Advent Devotional (screen layout, best for viewing on a computer or tablet)

A3's Advent Devotional available for free download A3 Advent Devotional (printing layout, best for printing or viewing on a mobile phone)

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Tue, 05 Dec 2023 17:00:00 -0800
2022 Highlights: Top Stories from Asian Access https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1563-2022-highlights-top-stories-from-asian-access https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1563-2022-highlights-top-stories-from-asian-access hope emergine zero take aYzbTT DJBs unsplash 800x450px

Stories of Hope Emerging from the Storm

For most, 2022 has seen some return to pre-pandemic activity. We're not quite back completely, but we are definitely seeing glimmers. We have even been able to expand into new regions.

Here are a few of our top stories from 2022 that highlight the hope we have for the future. We trust these articles will encourage us as we collectively remember His faithfulness through the past year.

Everyone at Asian Access thanks you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories a reality!

Transformation, expansion, and tightening restrictions


2022 01 transform 125px
by JACKIE RO — 04-FEB-2022 — Travel was limited, but expansion was not... With strict quarantine regulations in my country of residence, I was unable to travel for ministry purposes. All meetings and classes continued online on Zoom. Though we will always be better served to physically be present together, in some sense, the travel restrictions have allowed us to expand faster. Faster does not always mean better, but it does mean reaching more people and bringing them into a community of Christian growth when times seem desperate and dire, depending on the region. I have been privileged to see transformation in the lives of people and this is remarkable to witness. For instance,... Read more...

The Blessing of the Pandemic: God's Deconstruction of My Ministry


2022 02 deconstruction 250px
by HERMAN MOLDEZ — 08-MAR-2022 — My ministry activities have been undermining my intimacy with God. God has used the pandemic to dismantle the ministry construct under which I had been working. The pandemic forced me to embrace undoing ministry. I had no choice because pandemic rules and restrictions grounded me at home. Slowly, the restrictions created by the pandemic became God’s instrument to deconstruct my ministry practices and perspective. Deconstruction made it clear that what I had prioritized and pursued in life and ministry needed radical review and revision... Read more...

Asian Access greetings from Poland?


2022 03 poland 250pxby MARY JO WILSON — 08-APR-2022 — This week we're in Warsaw and you're wondering, "What's Asian Access doing in Poland?" We're here learning more about the Persecuted Church and things that we can do to help our partners in Asia. They've asked for more assistance, more understanding, and more resources for dealing with persecution—things that they're experiencing in their local setting. And this is an amazing time to be here in Poland and we've had conversations with people coming—church leaders who have been in Ukraine... Read more...

Celebrating the 2020 Vision & Passing the Baton in Japan


2022 04 celebrating 250pxby JOE HANDLEY — 31-MAY-2022 — Recently the A2 international board and A2 Japan board held a historic joint meeting. At this gathering, we solidified our commitment to Japan by officially passing the leadership and legal "shukyo hojin" (religious corporation) to the leadership in Japan.In the new agreement, A2 still keeps missionary management responsibilities but the overall vision and leadership sits with A2/Japan. We took the time to celebrate the completion of the 2020 Vision together. We highlighted the many achievements accomplished over the last 35 years... Read more...

For Such a Time as This — A New Movement Births!


2022 05 movement 250pxby JOE HANDLEY — 30-JUN-2022 — The Global Alliance for Church Multiplication (GACX) estimates millions of new churches are springing up rapidly in desperate need of leaders. Five million more churches are still needed. Stephanes Sigemindus Loots observed: “Church planting is moving at the speed of a bullet train with leadership development following on a bicycle.” Thus, several of us have gathered, praying together and planning for a new movement to raise up and train a million new Christ-like workers annually. Dr. Manfred Kohl says: “Today we need a global leadership summit for the purpose of finding, training, mentoring, and commissioning a million women and men for the needed ministry every year.”...  Read more...

Disciplemaking course takes fresh look at following Jesus today


2022 06 disciplemaking 250pxby MARY JO WILSON — 07-JUL-2022 — A2 Course of Disciplemaking: Disciplemaking is not an everyday word. It may be mentioned at church, but even there it can feel foreign to our common experience. To be honest, the word “disciplemaking” is not in the Bible and my auto-correct continues to tell me it’s not a word in any standard dictionary. Yet for a serious follower of Jesus, the task of making disciples is core to our purpose in this world. Disciplemaking is central to the Asian Access leader development model being used across Asia and beyond. That is why we were excited to be asked by Bill Mounce of Biblical Training to produce a course on disciplemaking... Read more...

Vision of A2 alumni to plant 14,392 churches across Cambodia


2022 07 camplant 250pxby MENG AUN HOUR — 23-AUG-2022 — My name is Meng Aun Hour. I'm the country director for Asian Access in Cambodia. I just want to take this time to share with you what God is doing through Asian Access / Cambodia... especially through the alumni of Asian Access. Most of us in Asian Access come together with the same purpose and same heart. We want to plant a church in every village. Our Vision: We want to see a church in every village in Cambodia. So in Cambodia, we have 14,392 villages. So we want to plant the church in every village... Read more... 

Mission Visionary’s New Book Calls For Global ‘Leadership Shake-Up’


2022 08 handley 250px01-SEP-2022 — A California-based mission leader with a vision to shake up the way Christian mission agencies, churches and businesses create their leadership strategies has released a new book on the topic. Dr. Joseph Handley, president of Asian Access (www.asianaccess.org), presents an innovative re-think on leadership strategies in Polycentric Mission Leadership: Toward a New Theoretical Model for Global Leadership. “We’re in a world that’s increasingly complex and difficult to navigate,” said Handley, who’s been with Asian Access for nearly 15 years. “Polycentric leadership helps bring us together and helps us center ourselves around Christ. It lets everyone’s voice be part of the leadership process.” ... Read more... 

The No-Name Ministry Trip


2022 09 noname 250pxby NOEL BECCHETTI — 07-SEP-2022 — I just completed an exciting trip for Asian Access that I can’t tell you anything about. If you’re like me, you would love to know everything possible about a ministry that you support. We would love to let you know all of that, and more. But in many cases, we cannot. And that can be frustrating—for us as well as you. We want and need your friendship, prayers, and financial support. It’s your backing that makes it possible for Asian Access to do its Kingdom work. And we know that it is important to keep you as informed as possible on our work. So why are there many times that we must keep you in the dark? The short answer is that many of our colleagues live under varying degrees of pressure because of their Christian faith and practice. To identify their names, vocations, and even geographical locations can put them at risk... Read more... 

Gospel workers balance joy, lament in first summit since 2019


2022 10 summit 250pxby MISSION NETWORK NEWS — 05-OCT-2022 — Asian Access held its annual Global Summit at a secured location in Asia this week. “In many ways, it (the summit) is a celebration. Because of the pandemic restrictions, we haven’t seen each other in three years,” President Joe Handley says. “We celebrate the fact that we can be in community once again; we’re not going to have to live on Zoom forever.” The occasion is bittersweet in several ways. “We have had two very significant losses; these are people of profound influence within our history,” Handley says. “The first [loss] was Jan Wendling; her husband [founded] Asian Access over 55 years ago. And then, on top of that, Ophelia De Visser from Sri Lanka [passed away].”.. Read more... 

Additional Popular Posts

 

ECFA logoECFA Endorsement Guidestar Gold SealGuidestar - Gold Medal Seal Asian Access is a Charity Navigator rating

Cover photo by zero take on Unsplash

For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre  A2 Blog Centre

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Sat, 31 Dec 2022 15:30:00 -0800
International Day for the Unreached 2022 https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1537-international-day-for-the-unreached-2022 https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1537-international-day-for-the-unreached-2022 ATOU a third of us Square 1

June 5, 2022 is the International Day for the Unreached

A third of the world still lacks access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are no local churches, no Bible in their own language, and no local believers.

On Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022, join Christians around the world for the International Day for the Unreached. The day will include live streaming events hosted by the Alliance for the Unreached and ways to spread awareness and rally as many people as possible to join the cause.

A THIRD OF HUMANITY IS STILL IN THE DARK WITH NO CHANCE TO HEAR THE NAME OF JESUS.

But you can help change that.

  • A third of the world is still denied access to the Gospel. Do you want to help give everyone a chance to know Jesus? Take step one today. Draw the symbol somewhere visible and then talk about it! (Photo, caption courtesy of A Third of Us)DRAW the symbol somewhere visible. Post on social media with #athirdofus
  • Look for opportunities to TALK about it.
  • PRAY about it.
  • DO something.

A third of the world is still denied access to the Gospel. Do you want to help give everyone a chance to know Jesus? Take step one today. Draw the symbol somewhere visible and then talk about it! (Photo, caption courtesy of A Third of Us)

 

OVERVIEW VIDEO

 

WATCH AND PRAY WITH US ON JUNE 5TH

 A Third of Us Logo

More Information

  • Download the Prayer Guide.
  • Learn more and download the free action guide, church kit, and family guide at athirdofus.com.
  • Find more resources at Alliance for the Unreached.
  • go2japan through Asian Access is a partner with Alliance for the Unreached as a champion member.

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Fri, 03 Jun 2022 00:00:00 -0700
2021 Highlights: Top Stories from Asian Access https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1524-2021-highlights-top-stories-from-asian-access https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1524-2021-highlights-top-stories-from-asian-access A2 2021hands 1283996862 600x190

God continues to move during a challenging year

2021 has been challenging for everyone, but God was continuously at work. Here are a few of our top stories from 2021 which help us remember His faithfulness through the past year.

Thank you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories a reality!

Asian Access to pursue growth in Middle East and North Africa


2020 violence in india 250px
Middle East/North Africa (MNN) — Muslims are coming to faith in Christ in unexpected masses, and they need biblically-based leaders. Leadership training is an Asian Access specialty, but will it work in a Muslim-dominant context? Believers must have an intimate knowledge of the culture they’re working in, and cultural norms across most Asian countries differ vastly from those in the Middle East and North Africa. That means leading and multiplying churches in Asia seems like it requires a different approach than in Muslim-dominant countries of the MENA region... Read more...

Leaders Matter


2021 02 leaders matter 250px
The last few years, the idea of leadership has taken a beating. Whether it’s the critique of “elites” in our cultures or the overuse of the word leadership by various training and educational institutions. In many ways, I agree with these concerns and it is why Asian Access does what it does in focusing on Christ, Character, and Servant Leadership. The ongoing challenges of the past few months have crystallized the idea for me though that Leaders do Matter... Read more...

Kintsugi and the Gospel: Remembering the 10 Year Anniversary in Japan


2021 03 kintsugi 250pxAs I’ve pondered this 10-year anniversary, I’m reminded of the power of the Gospel and how God makes beautiful things out of broken ones. We are a treasure from God—albeit one made from clay. The Japanese art of Kintsugi captures this reality in a deeply meaningful manner. Kintsugi means golden patchwork; in this art form, broken pieces of pottery are melded back together with gold. It’s such a powerful picture of the Gospel and of my life that I have one sitting on my desk here at home... Read more...

Groundbreaking shifts resulting from Japan's Triple Disaster


2021 04 groundbreakingAn interview with Rev. Yoshiya Hari at the 10-Year Mark of 3.11 – Well, my first thought is that it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. The time has gone so fast. From this vantage point, it’s clear what a huge turning point it was, both in my life and in the life of my church, and I could say even in the life of the church across Japan and for Asian Access Japan. It’s been a huge turning point... Read more...

Six Lessons on Brokenness & Business


2021 05 brokenness business 250pxJapan has spent a decade rebuilding, corporately and individually. I have been struck by the gifts of resilience, creativity, and worldwide collaboration that have made a difference here. And thanks to the invitation for me and our family to be part of the lives of our Ishinomaki neighbors and friends, I have learned so much. A year and a half after the disaster, we launched a micro-enterprise business called Nozomi Project (or “Hope” Project) to help provide a way for women to rebuilding a livelihood for their families...  Read more...

Life and Ministry in the Midst of Pandemic and Persecution


2021 06 pandemic 250pxUpdate from an Asian Access Leader: How have the national leaders of Asian Access responded in these unprecedented times of combined pandemic and persecution? How have they coped? How are their own lives, and their own families, faring? Asian Access President Joe Handley is in the process of reaching out to A2’s national leaders in hopes of getting answers to these questions. What follows is the response from one national leader whom, due to persecution and security issues in his country... Read more... 

Breaking down national barriers is central to A2's DNA


2021 07 breakingbarriers 250pxAsian Access is a multi-national ministry, currently active in 16 countries. What you might not be aware of is that the leaders in A2 are active among those 16 countries as well. It’s part of our ethos of breaking down barriers to build up the unity of the Church across Asia. Many countries face daunting historical challenges to collaboration. For example... Read more... 


Additional Popular Posts

 

ECFA logoECFA Endorsement Guidestar Gold SealGuidestar - Gold Medal Seal Asian Access is a Charity Navigator rating

 

For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre  A2 Blog Centre

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Thu, 30 Dec 2021 12:17:13 -0800
Remembering Bob Fuhriman https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1525-remembering-bob-fuhriman https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1525-remembering-bob-fuhriman Robert Fuhriman

My Tribute to Robert Fuhriman

Blessed to Be in Community with Bob

Bob & Beth Fuhriman served as missionaries with Cru in Japan starting in 1968. In 1981, they switched to Asian Access (then, LIFE Ministries). I met them in 1987 as an Asian Access short-termer living in Tokyo. I remember carefully watching several of these long-term missionaries to see if I could possibly become one, as well as if these were the people whose community I wanted to join.

LIFE spring retreat 1988

Bob & Beth Fuhriman, David and SheriBob, a graduate of Cal-Berkeley, worked as a researcher in our leader development ministry (then “Japan Church Growth Institute” or JCGI). He was an invaluable member of a small core group of talented missionaries helping to pioneer this pastoral training ministry which started with 1 Japanese pastor in 1979. Small beginnings in those years, but it steadily grew to train the top tier of leaders across Japan through the 1980s and ‘90s. But it formed the core program that has now grown to serve nearly 20 countries across Asia and has blessed thousands of leaders across that great continent.

Bob would be the very first to point out that, obviously, there were many others who pioneered JCGI. Bob was a quiet and steadying influence, always contributing behind the scenes as a researcher, a deep thinker, and a sounding board. He was a great collaborator who always pointed to and credited others. That’s one of the many lessons of Bob’s well-lived life.

Bob & Beth Fuhriman were among many career missionaries whose lives mentored our short-termers over a crucial decade in our mission’s development. He and Beth, along with a handful of other career missionary couples, answered my question:

“Was this the community I wanted to join as a missionary?”

Absolutely yes! And all of these people are a big part of why I have stayed for 34 years and counting.

The Fuhrimans relocated to Southern California in the mid-90s to care for their aging parents, They worked for several years alongside me and the HR team at Asian Access, making significant contributions. Both possessed tremendous skills and knowledge in missionary screening, training and assessment, among other strengths. Their skills complemented one another.

HR staff at LIFE (A2)Being quite a bit younger than them, I found it quite ironic to be assigned to them as their supervisor. At first, I struggled with supervising my elders whose very lives had mentored me just a few short years earlier. But they didn’t struggle with the age difference. Their humility was an obvious badge of their maturity in Christ. This time they mentored their supervisor as a newlywed husband and then as a new father. Their support and love gave me much encouragement, and I counted it a privilege to work closely with them. Our friendship brought many blessings to my life.

I fondly remember Bob and his mechanical pencil produced pages and pages of handwritten notes on recycled paper discarded by others about books he had read, charts he had made, ideas he had formed, next steps to pursue, strategies he developed... all which stewarded and maximized his God-given gifts in order to advance the Kingdom.

Bob was so mild-mannered, but with a great sense of humor. I absolutely loved his wry smile. He could be serious much of the time, but then crack a pun with a slight smile while subvocalizing a laugh, ever so faintly. These moments were precious to me, and I can still picture his wry smile twenty years later. It always makes me smile.

That’s the kind of impression this man made on me. The three of us worked together for close to a decade, spending a couple hours each week meeting, planning, dreaming... and praying together. I could catch Bob’s (and Beth’s) heart for God, for His Church, for holiness, for reconciliation, for the Japanese, for people without Christ or a church near them, for their kids, David and Sheri... and for my family... and for countless others. Bob was a very thoughtful man, a pensive man, a compassionate man, an encouraging man, and a high character man.

Again, why wouldn’t I want to join a community with a man like that?

Bob & Beth FuhrimanThe Fuhrimans moved up to the Seattle area in the early 2000s to be closer to their son David and Beth's dad. Not surprisingly, they quickly found international students at local universities to pour their lives into. It was just so emblematic of who God made them to be.

All of us in Asian Access owe a huge debt to Bob and Beth, as well as their contemporaries in the first 3+ decades of our history as a movement. Indeed, as it is often said, we stand upon the shoulders of giants.

We celebrate the life of Bob Fuhriman. We are thankful for him and the ways he blessed us. And we pay it forward to the next generation in his honor and to the glory of God.

Jeff Johnston

  

More Information


Give a gift to honor Bob that will develop younger Christian leaders...

BOB FUHRIMAN fund 600x190

 
 

 

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Sat, 20 Nov 2021 12:17:13 -0800
2020 Highlights: God at Work During a Trying Year https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1489-2020-highlights-god-at-work-during-a-trying-year https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1489-2020-highlights-god-at-work-during-a-trying-year 2020 god at work 600x190

God at Work During a Trying Year

2020 has been a very trying year for everyone. Yet God was at work in amazing ways. These stories help us remember His faithfulness through the past year as He continues doing a good work in us. Thank you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories possible!

Now, out of the 128 blog posts from this year, here are some of our top stories from 2020...

Indian Christians say "enough" to violence against women


2020 violence in india 250pxIndia (MNN) — The Indian government is taking steps to punish violence against women. Most recently, four men were sentenced to death for the brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old female student in New Delhi in 2012. However, not much has changed at the societal level. Joe Handley with Asian Access says many Indian women still suffer marginalization, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. “Gang rape is a huge problem in India,” Handley says.”... Read more...

“We’re small; but then again, we’re slow.”


2020 small slow 250pxI was addressing a group of leaders, the first cohort in a country where Asian Access was beginning a new program. My goal? Explain why Asian Access takes an approach to leader development that runs counter to everything else these leaders have experienced. Throughout Asia, one of the consistent realities for the lives of the leaders we work with is the fast, even frenetic, paces of their lives... Read more...

God has brought us through major disruptions before...


doug-and-joeDear Joe: Thank you for your note. Though we were eagerly looking forward to being together in Portland, we certainly understand. Hopefully, our online meeting will allow all of us to be together.You and the needs of the mission have been on my mind in light of the uncertainty brought about by the virus and the turbulence of the markets.I have been thinking about 5 significant disruptions that have profoundly impacted the life of our mission over the years... Read more...

When things go wrong, God shows up strong!


2020 when things go wrong 250pxGreetings on Good Friday. When it looks dark, that's when God shows up. The year I joined Asian Access was the year the economy last collapsed. I was responsible for raising more money than I had ever dreamed of before and suddenly, the stock markets dropped to the floor. We had come to the end of the year and had set up a special meeting to begin closing major portions of the ministry. The same day of that meeting, I had a lunch appointment with a pastor and told him, “What was God thinking calling me to this post? ... Read more...

Out of Calamity, Compassion—and a New Vision for Ministry


2020 vision 250pxUpdates from National Leaders in Asia: “We are experiencing 'Forceful Sabbaths' – time to slow down, be with our families, recalibrate the focus on our ministries. God is causing us to rethink how we can serve the people in our communities in new ways.” ... “We are seeing a shift in how we do church, how we minister to our congregation and others; this lockdown is causing us to connect in new and different ways.” ... “There is a new spiritual hunger in our country,...  Read more...

To Unite the Church... in a Polarized World


2020 polarized 250pxOur planet is in a period of sustained grief: a season hit by a global pandemic, it’s corresponding recession/depression, and the tensions rising from emergency lockdowns and shelter in place orders and advisories. In addition, we are struck with racial tensions flaring, and the mistreatment of ethnic minorities by many and the killing of African Americans by police officers gone bad. Now the lockdowns have turned into curfews across the nation because of the reactions of rioters and looters on a scale like we have not seen in decades... Read more...

House Gatherings Multiply in Japan


2020 hari joshua 250pxLast week I learned some encouraging news: During COVID-19 emergency suggestions here in Japan, churches in Japan are seeing some intriguing growth. We have shared previously about a monthly webinar Asian Access has been hosting for pastors. It’s been a tremendous experience as everyone is learning from one another, seeing ways to experiment with new ways to reach their communities, and learning from the global church (especially other countries in Asia) about how they are navigating these unusual times. Joshua Hari, Asian Access/Japan national director gave us a very encouraging report... Read more...

When God does something new


2020 philnew 250pxIt has been six months since the lockdown began in Manila and to this day churches have not been allowed to operate fully. Restrictions on mass gatherings have severely crippled what we call “corporate churches” or churches that manages the ministry like a corporation, with paid pastors, board of elders, and facilities (rented or owned). For months we cried out to God to intervene so that we can go back to the way we used to do worship, but what if God has a new agenda for his church? A few months ago we reported that our house church network has grown from 0 to 50 house churches. Today, we already have 85 house church groups... Read more...

Learning from the Valley of Baka...


2020 baka 250pxA few weeks ago, Asian Access held our annual fall national directors gathering virtually due to travel restrictions from COVID-19. While not ideal for us, it was such a rich time of fellowship given the limitations of in-depth relational connections via digital formats. Nevertheless, most were delighted to see one another, commune together, and grow in Christ. We spent a great deal of time resting in the public reading of scripture, especially meditating on Psalm 84:5-7... Read more...

My Journey toward Ethical Awareness


persecuted leaderTrue Confession: Even though I am the founder and director of one of the very few social enterprises in Japan for women, I have not been very aware of the issues surrounding the fashion industry and ethical sustainability. That all began to change two years ago. After some deliberate consideration, my husband and I canceled our planned seaside vacation to instead go as a family to Cambodia. Upon arrival, we were hosted by wonderful Cambodian friends also working with Asian Access. We told them that our goal was to see and experience “real life” in this developing country... Read more...

2020: Dark Clouds. Silver Linings.


2020 silverlinings 250px2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. COVID-19, the global economy, and polarizing politics have left their marks. The 2020 Olympics were delayed and countless people have suffered and hundreds of thousands have died from the pandemic. It all certainly made for a tough year for you and me. Amid the Dark Clouds though, I was able to report several Silver Linings during our recent Asian Access board meeting. For these, I praise God and am reminded of the importance of giving thanks, even for the challenges we have faced... Read more...

 


ECFA logoECFA Endorsement Guidestar Gold SealGuidestar - Gold Medal Seal Asian Access is a Charity Navigator rating

For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre  A2 Blog Centre

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Fri, 15 Jan 2021 12:17:13 -0800
Takeshi talks Crisis, Danger, and Opportunity https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1473-takeshi-talks-crisis-danger-and-opportunity https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1473-takeshi-talks-crisis-danger-and-opportunity Takeshi Takazawa 2016 headshotEvery crisis is a time of dangers and opportunities

Takeshi Takazawa is VP for Strategic Engagement for Asian Access. He is a gifted leader who has served our movement since 1988. Among his many strengths, he sees things well before others see them and he helps us understand deep things. The A2 Community all across Asia dearly loves Takeshi. In this clip, Takeshi shares about the two Chinese characters for "crisis" which are made up of "danger" and "opportunity". This topic has been referenced quite a bit recently because of COVID-19. "You've probably heard this," Takazawa starts out...

kiki sketch screengrab 600px 

Every crisis is a time of dangers and opportunities

Takeshi Takazawa 2016 headshotTakeshi Takazawa is VP for Strategic Engagement for Asian Access. He is a gifted leader who has served our movement since 1988. Among his many strengths, he sees things well before others see them and he helps us understand deep things. The A2 Community all across Asia dearly loves Takeshi.

In this clip, Takeshi shares about the two Chinese characters for "crisis" which are made up of "danger" and "opportunity". This topic has been referenced quite a bit recently because of COVID-19. "You've probably heard this," Takazawa starts out.

But this clip is not about Coronavirus. Instead, Takeshi is applying this concept following Japan's Triple Disaster of 2011. I interviewed Takeshi here in 2016, and five years after the disaster, Japan was still very much in the recovery and rebuilding phase. And looking back now, we can see the tremendous evangelism and church planting opportunities seized by the Church in Japan.

And this perspective should encourage you when crisis strikes.

"Every crisis is a time of dangers and opportunities."

Why didn't we publish this video in 2016?

Not long after this interview was recorded and his headshot taken, Takeshi faced the most serious crisis of his own life as he became desperately ill with an auto-immune disease that attacked his own body. On the verge of kidney failure, Takeshi was in the hospital for nine months over the next year. The situation was serious. Our community was devastated by Takeshi's personal crisis and began earnestly praying for him and his wonderful wife Dorrie.

TTprayer 1280 TTprayer 1285 TTprayer 1293
TTprayer 1298

In the midst of all of this, Dorrie faced her own personal health crisis with a scary diagnosis and path of rigorous treatment. At one point, the two were simultaneously in separate hospitals in Tokyo; Takeshi checked himself out of his hospital one day to be with Dorrie for her treatment—only to check back into his hospital room that same day.

With that as a backdrop, please watch this short clip as Takeshi helps us understand this concept better.

Watch on YouTube... https://youtu.be/I63yoXZX43g 


Update on Takeshi's Prognosis

Come back soon to receive a significant update regarding both Takeshi's and Dorrie's health and prognosis. We will post an interview with Takeshi and Dorrie to get an important update from both of them.

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Thu, 25 Jun 2020 10:00:00 -0700
Nozomi Project founder reflects at 9th anniversary of disaster https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1442-nozomi-project-founder-reflects-at-9th-anniversary-of-disaster https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1442-nozomi-project-founder-reflects-at-9th-anniversary-of-disaster joe interviews sueSue Takamoto shares the story in an interview with Joe Handley

Nozomi Project started in 2012 as a response to Japan's terrible tsunami in 2011. And through this creative ministry, God is making something beautiful in brokenness. Sue Takamoto of Asian Access, through Be One Network, launched Nozomi Project (or "Hope" Project) to provide employment, dignity, biblical community and hope for women whose lives were broken by the disaster. Using broken shards of ceramic pottery, these workers create beautiful pieces of jewelry—not only as a way to make sustainable income, but more importantly to put their lives back together. The waves ruthlessly took away their loved ones, their homes and their hope; Nozomi Project is gracefully helping these women put the pieces back together... {addthis off}

nozomi-project-about

Sue Takamoto shares the story in an interview with Joe Handley

Nozomi Project started in 2012 as a response to Japan's terrible tsunami in 2011. And through this creative ministry, God is making something beautiful in brokenness.

nozomi-project-broken-pieces

Sue Takamoto of Asian Access, through Be One Network, launched Nozomi Project (or "Hope" Project) to provide employment, dignity, biblical community and hope for women whose lives were broken by the disaster. Using broken shards of ceramic pottery, these workers create beautiful pieces of jewelry—not only as a way to make sustainable income, but more importantly to put their lives back together. The waves ruthlessly took away their loved ones, their homes and their hope; Nozomi Project is gracefully helping these women put the pieces back together.

Regarding this 'beauty in brokenness,' the Nozomi Project website says:

"As broken shards are being transformed into beautiful treasures, so too lives are being filled with renewed dignity and hope."

nozomi-hope-jewelry

joe interviews sueListen to Joe Handley's interview with Sue Takamoto on the eve of the 9th anniversary of Japan's Triple Disaster. Some of the topics covered are:

  • The call to move up from Osaka to Ishinomaki with her husband Eric and kids
  • Story of Nozomi Project got started
  • How many countries they are sending jewelry to
  • Sue's TEDx Talk
  • Winning an award presented by the wife of the Prime Minister Abe

Listen now...

Direct Link: https://a2-media.s3.amazonaws.com/audio/sue-takamoto-joe-10Mar-2020.mp3

 

takamotos 2019 sq"God can take broken pottery and broken women who think that life is over for them and do anything he wants. We are in the midst of seeing God do amazing things."

This is a story of God's ongoing, unrelenting grace toward the broken-hearted, carried out through His willing servants.

 

nozomi-project-logoMore Information

 

Videos

Sue's TEDx Talk

https://www.ted.com/talks/sue_takamoto_finding_beauty_in_brokenness 

Intro to Nozomi Project

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/Vg1y6PuXjDE

Watch this overview of this tremendous project... then join us in praying for God to do the amazing.

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Wed, 11 Mar 2020 06:46:00 -0700
An Invitation: Summer in Japan! https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1434-an-invitation-summer-in-japan https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1434-an-invitation-summer-in-japan

Japan | Invitation from SIM USA on Vimeo.

SHORT-TERM OPPORTUNITY | SUMMER 2020

Japan is home to nearly 127 million people. Less than 1% of them are Christian.

Through SIM’s partnership with Asian Access, we have an established relationship with Japanese churches that want to take the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard it. These churches are asking for more workers to help...

Japan | Invitation from SIM USA on Vimeo.

SIM / Asian Access: strategic partnership for Japan

PARTNERING WITH THE JAPANESE CHURCH TO BRING GOOD NEWS TO HARD PLACES

SHORT-TERM OPPORTUNITY | SUMMER

Japan is home to nearly 127 million people.
Less than 1% of them are Christian.

JOIN US THIS SUMMER IN JAPAN! We're inviting teams of 3-5 individuals to engage in a two-week missions experience or an extended multi-month experience this summer. In collaboration with Asian Access, our strategic partner in Japan, we'll be working alongside the local Japanese Church to help reach their communities with the gospel ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Check out this 1-minute video to hear more about this opportunity, then visit our website for additional details, including dates, estimated costs, and ministry locations at https://simusa.org/japan2020. The application deadline is Feb. 1st of each year.

Watch “Japan | Invitation” on #Vimeo https://vimeo.com/355951043?ref=tw-share  #AsianAccess @SIMUSA 

Through SIM’s partnership with Asian Access, we have an established relationship with Japanese churches that want to take the good news of Jesus to those who have never heard it. These churches are asking for more workers to help them reach their nation with the gospel. Do you sense God leading you to cross barriers and partner with His church in another culture, for His kingdom? Pray about joining engaging in this opportunity!

DATES

Short-term Teams (2 weeks)
  • July 1-13 (two weeks, pre-Olympics)
Extended experience (2-3 months)
  • May 26-August 7 or custom dates (max of 90 days)

COSTS & LOGISTICS

SIM will provide pre-trip training, arrange accommodations while in Japan, and debrief team members upon their return. All funds will be raised by each team member and receipted through SIM. Cost estimates are as follows:

  • 2-week team trip: approx. $2,500 + international airfare
  • 9-week extended experience: approx. $6,200 + international airfare.

Deadline to Apply: February 1st of each year

  • To learn more about joining a short-term team, please click on this link.

 

Summer Info: 

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Thu, 09 Jan 2020 21:00:00 -0800
An Opportunity for the Japanese Church https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1432-the-opportunity-for-the-japanese-church https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1432-the-opportunity-for-the-japanese-church

Japan | The Opportunity for the Japanese Church from Asian Access on Vimeo.

JAPAN : A FOCUS ON 'ETERNAL HOPE'

The summer provides a unique opportunity for us to send workers, as Japan once again opens its borders to tourists from around the world...

Japan | The Opportunity for the Japanese Church from Asian Access on Vimeo.

 

JAPAN: A FOCUS ON 'ETERNAL HOPE'

The summer provides a unique opportunity for us to send workers, as Japan once again opens its borders to tourists from around the world following the pandemic.

Hear missionaries Robert Adair and Emi Hibino share their perspective on the Church in Japan. Challenges and opportunities for the Japanese Church that is praying and anticipating to open for a movement at this time. 

This presents an incredible opportunity to bridge the truths of the gospel to this theme of eternal hope among the Japanese people. Our partner churches in Japan are asking for short-term outreach team members to come plant gospel seeds and build connections with the local people.

 

Deadline to Apply: February 1st of each year

  • To learn more about joining a short-term team in 2020, please click on this link.

 

Summer Info:

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Thu, 09 Jan 2020 20:00:00 -0800
2018 Ministry Breakthroughs in Japan https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1407-2018-ministry-breakthroughs-in-japan https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1407-2018-ministry-breakthroughs-in-japan millersAsian Access/Japan’s Progress Report from 2018

There is much to be thankful to God for in the ministry highlights he brought our way in 2018. Below is a summary of encouraging progress from various ministry categories and missionaries serving in Japan... {addthis off}

Asian Access/Japan’s Progress Report from 2018

A2 Japan MinistryReport 2018 masthead 800px

There is much to be thankful to God for in the ministry highlights he brought our way in 2018. Below is a summary of encouraging progress from various ministry categories and missionaries serving in Japan.

hari joshua 2017 headshotOverall, we have seen increasing momentum since the Japan Congress on Evangelism in 2016 where we sensed God confirming the target to see 50,000 churches across Japan averaging 50 people each. If this were to be reached by the time the next Congress convenes, it would result in 2% of the population following Jesus by 2023. The greatest breakthrough in 2018 has been the progress we’ve seen in mobilizing churches across Japan to reach this target. With prayerful and Spirit-led collaboration we now have a road map that marks out several layers of engagement.

Joshua Hari, Asian Access/Japan National Director

 

CATALYZING DISCIPLE-MAKING AND CHURCH PLANTING

 

vision festVision Festival 2018

The gathering in Nagoya of around 100 pastors from across Japan was significantly used to challenge leaders to equip and empower every member in making disciples.

 

growing younger leadersGrowing Younger Leaders

In 2018 we launched a one-year “U30” training for a cohort of 12 pastors and missionaries to come alongside and equip these “under 30” leaders for sustained fruitfulness.

 

focus on unchurched areasFocus on Unchurched Areas

Missional Networks strategically start new churches where there is no church presence. As in other areas, this is an important piece in the northern Tohoku Missional Network’s strategy.

 

multiplying missional networksMultiplying Missional Networks

The Miyagi Mission Network (NE Japan) leaders were excited to support the launch of the Kumamoto Missional Network in Kyushu (SW Japan) in April of 2018 where seven local churches committed to reproduce, each one through starting a new church. In turn, these missional networks of local pastors in Miyagi and in Kumamoto have begun working together to support the launch of a new missional network in northern Tohoku and even exploring three new regions.

 

GROWING MOMENTUM ACROSS REGIONS OF JAPAN: KUMAMOTO NETWORK

 

kidwellsJessica & Joshua Kidwell

Since their arrival in March 2018, the Kidwells have been investing in Cookies, the young adult/youth group at their church. A retreat in Kagoshima provided a divine opportunity to build deeper relationships. As a result, Josh has been given opportunities to speak during Sunday School. They have seen the young people grow deeper in their faith.

 

Watanabe Thanksgiving 2018 croppedElizabeth & Kenji Watanabe

The Watanabes served as a model of American-style hospitality this past November, opening their home for Thanksgiving to a group consisting of people from four different churches, missionaries, pastors, as well as three new families with their children. This event has inspired Pastor Oda, who intends to set up a similar gathering at her church next year.

 

yeeSabrina Yee

This past year, Sabrina’s ministry has shifted from language school in Tokyo to partnering with a church in Minamata in Kyushu. She has started a women’s small group and is investing in the lives of several young leaders. She is also a participant in the inaugural U30 leadership development program. It has been a challenging but rare opportunity to network and gain understanding of the vision of many emerging leaders throughout Japan.

 

GROWING MOMENTUM ACROSS REGIONS OF JAPAN: TOHOKU REGION

 

adairRobert & Roberta Adair

The Adairs are part of a church plant Higashi-Shiogama. They have already seen one person come to Christ and be baptized. Robert has found it fulfilling to be a part of launching a new team of missionaries in Kyushu to partner with churches impacted by the 2016 earthquake. He is also coaching a young pastor in Kyushu who is part of the first U30 (Under 30) cohort of leaders. He loves the monthly coaching times where he can listen, ask questions, and encourage this young leader.

 

rhonda and friendErik & Rhonda Boehme

The Boehmes are now settled in Higashi Matsushima and focused on partnering to establish the new church plant at the Amazing Grace Center. They have connected with neighbors, including a local piano teacher and her friend, who studies English with Erik. These two had been practicing Amazing Grace as a duet and have played it for events at the Amazing Grace Center. It is wonderful how God began preparing the way even before the Boehmes moved in.

 

brownCasi & Dan Brown

The Browns’ church opened a café at their campsite. The Browns are teaching English classes as a way to not only pass on English skills, but to teach about the Bible, Jesus and the gospel. God has also been drawing people to Browns’ proximity where they find a safe space to share because they are from ‘outside’ their culture. This has given them opportunities to pray with these people and share the gospel with them.

 

houletteEriko & John Houlette

Eriko and John have seen some breakthroughs at Hokushin Calvary Church, Fukushima. A multipurpose sports court has been completed, which will give children a safe outdoor place to play. The first salvation decision has been made at the Ryozen church plant. John has also launched cell leader training at the church. Eriko’s involvement with the Sendai Hoso Choir connected their daughter to the Sendai Opera where she became a featured soloist last September. This in turn provided John with the opportunity to share the gospel with over 300 students and staff at Shokei University.

 

muhlingsKent & Yuko Muhling

The Muhlings saw continued progress at Grace Center Church. Monthly movie nights with university students and church members sparked interest and after a series of home Bible studies, one of the students made a profession of faith. Young adults in church took on more responsibility in coordinating events with a team from Australia. Kent has stepped in during the season of transition in leadership while a long-term pastor is sought.

 

panianBethany Panian

A highlight for Bethany has been facilitating a women's small group at Praise Community Church. Launching this has had its challenges, and the numbers fluctuate from week to week. But it is helping to fulfill the vision for the church, and the women are growing deeper in love with their heavenly Father, and deeper in love with one another. She has also been challenged through her participation in the inaugural U30 leadership development program, learning in Japanese alongside young Japanese pastors.

 

takamotosEric & Sue Takamoto

This past summer, the Takamoto family took a ministry trip to Cambodia. Working with Asian Access/Cambodia National Director Meng Aun Hour and his wife Rady, the family fell in love with the country and were touched by the orphanage and school for street children. The Takamotos are looking for ways to develop and strengthen a partnership between their team in Japan and their colleagues in Cambodia; one of the possibilities is a Cambodian adaptation of the Nozomi Project in Ishinomaki. Sue was also able to serve as faculty for the A2/Business forum in Korea.

 

TOKYO/KANTO REGION

 

baumanBarbara & Gary Bauman

The Baumans have been busy preparing for the March 2019 release of Barbara’s revised Discovering the Joy of Parenting book. This updated text will introduce a new generation of tech-savvy Japanese mothers in Japan and around the globe to Biblical parenting principles and the Author of those principles. Even as they prepare for the new edition, the original version continues to expand its influence. God has provided channels for the original text to be used with Japanese parents in Europe.

 

millersEmi & Sterling Miller

Emi has been going deeper in member care training, including being part of a Refresh Retreat summit for member care leaders from various missions in Japan. The entire Miller family has been able to connect with neighbors in their community. This includes their children, who are eager to take their Bibles to school so that they can tell their friends about Jesus. 

 

sonnenbergsAkiko & Jeffery Sonnenberg

In May, Jeffrey participated in the launch of U30 (Under 30), a leader development program designed specifically for young leaders, pastors and missionaries. Jeffery has been working alongside a new generation of national leaders to help to design and run this program. At the same time, Jeffery and Pastor Joshua Hari were invited to coach a new church multiplication initiative in Kumamoto. As a part of this, Jeffery and Robert Adair are training and supervising a team of five first-term missionaries assigned to work with three of the churches in the network.

 

wirzDee Wirz

The essence of finishing well, Dee is wrapping up her 44 years of powerful ministry in Japan. She has trained up leaders to carry on her legacy of Bible Study Ministries. One of these, Yumiko, who has been Dee’s ministry partner in small group Bible classes for several years, made the decisive step to get baptized just one month before Dee left Japan.

 

Continuing the Road Map in 2019 & Beyond

MOBILIZING BELIEVERS: Inspired by reports at the Vision Festival, local pastors and partnering missionaries are receiving training side by side using proven resources for equipping all believers in missional engagement.

CHURCH MULTIPLICATION STRATEGY: In February of 2019 we are bringing leaders together for 2-day intense strategic prayer and planning for Church Multiplication Networks.

VISION FESTIVAL 2019: Continuing the momentum since 2014 for local church planting and multiplication, the Vision Festival in July will include a strategic meeting of national leaders to further develop and commit to the road map toward reaching [2023 targets].

2020 TOKYO OLYMPIC YEAR OUTREACH: We are collaborating with established sports ministries in Japan to plant churches with athletes who often train on Sundays. Short-term missionaries will partner in this outreach.

RENEWED A2/JAPAN PASTOR TRAINING: Now in the planning stages for launch in April of 2020 to develop pastors who are thriving in fruitful and sustainable ministry.

7th CONGRESS ON EVANGELISM: We are looking ahead to 2023 when we gather at the 7th Japan Congress on Evangelism and report on how we have joined our hearts and worked together to see 2% of Japanese reached, and we will be ready and expectant for God to lead us even further in His work across Japan and Asia.

 

Download this 2018 Japan Ministry Report (PDF)...

A2 Japan MinistryReport 2018 thumbnail

 

See slideshow in separate window...

 

More Information

 

Asian Access logo

 

Asian Access • P.O. Box 3307 Cerritos, CA 90703 USA • www.asianaccess.org

SIM • P.O. Box 7900 Charlotte, NC 28241 USA • www.simusa.org

 

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Sat, 02 Mar 2019 11:00:00 -0800
Takeshi Takazawa discusses Japan's flood crisis https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1395-takeshi-takazawa-discusses-japan-s-flood-crisis https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1395-takeshi-takazawa-discusses-japan-s-flood-crisis takazawa takeshi headshot 2016 300pxTakeshi Takazawa's follow-up interview: July 19, 2018

Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access shares the latest updates about Japan’s flooding crisis with MNN’s Ruth Kramer. Here how we should be praying...

Takeshi Takazawa discusses Japan's current flood crisis

japans flood crisis July2018 600x190

Japan (MNN) — 

takazawa takeshi headshot 2016 300px

A. Takeshi Takazawa's follow-up interview: July 19, 2018

Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access shares the latest updates about Japan’s flooding crisis with MNN’s Ruth Kramer.

Listen to the interview:

{s5_media_player media=[audio] audio_mp3=[https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/07-17-18takeshitakazawa.mp3]}

 

Ways to be involved:

1. PRAY - offer your prayers on behalf of this crisis

  • For the Japanese people: 200,000 homes are without clean water, mud is covering hundreds of thousands of homes
  • For the local churches in the area: We believe that the local church serves as the hands and feet of Jesus; pray for churches to unite with one another and reach out in Christ's love in practical ways to those in need across SW Japan.
  • As you hear about Japan in the news, take a moment to pray.

2. GIVE: offer your financial help - see below...

3. COME: offer your strength and your time - go2japan.org

 

B. Takeshi Takazawa's initial interview: July 09, 2018

MNN’s Ruth Kramer and Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access discuss historic flooding in Japan.

Listen to the interview:

{s5_media_player media=[audio] audio_mp3=[https://s3.amazonaws.com/a2-media/audio/07-12-18takeshitakazawa.mp3]}

 

More Information

 


You can help Japan now!

Give Now to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund lock

Click the red button below.

Thank you for considering giving to help flood victims in Japan.

Give Now!
JPY¥

...or send your check to Asian Access, PO Box 3307, Cerritos, CA 90703.

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Mon, 23 Jul 2018 09:00:00 -0700
Asian Access Channels Funding to Japan’s Hard-Hit Flood Zone https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1393-asian-access-channels-funding-to-japans-hard-hit-flood-zone https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1393-asian-access-channels-funding-to-japans-hard-hit-flood-zone

Asian Access is announcing that it is receiving donations for the current flooding crisis in Japan and is directing those funds to provide relief where most strategic in terms of long-term impact. In response to this crisis, Asian Access has decided to help Japan in important ways consistent with our mission. Our first priority is always the nationals. Asian Access prioritizes its response based on the three types of people/organizations involved in disaster relief...

Give Now!Asian Access is announcing that it is receiving donations for the current flooding crisis in Japan and is directing those funds to provide relief where most strategic in terms of long-term impact.

japans flood crisis July2018 800x200

Following a typhoon and historic rainfall in southwestern Japan, over 200 deaths have resulted. Here are some recent reports:

  • Alan Taylor of The Atlantic reports that, by July 12, the death toll reached 200 in the devastating Japan floods.
  • The Independent reported that “Yoshihide Suga, the government’s chief cabinet secretary, said 204 people were now known to have died with 28 still missing, following the country’s worst weather disaster in 36 years last week. But he added: ‘People still need to be aware of the possibility of further landslides.’ " They added “Authorities have also struggled to maintain clean water supplies to those affected by the flooding, making the task of reducing the risk of disease spreading even harder.”

Asian Access Wants to Help

In response to this crisis, Asian Access has decided to help Japan in important ways consistent with our mission. Our first priority is always the nationals. Asian Access prioritizes its response based on the three types of people/organizations involved in disaster relief:

  • Nationals and residents who live there, have been through the disaster, and will stay. Asian Access listens first, and well, to these nationals and residents
  • People and organizations with a previous connection to the region and the people
  • People and organizations who are involved because of the disaster.

A2 disaster philosophy excerpt graphic

Focus: Long-Term Demonstration of Christ’s Love

Our focus is on the long-term demonstration of Christ's love through the Church to a community or region. We desire to identify and respond to long-term needs rather than short-term emotion. Asian Access is interested in the long-term opportunity to develop leaders who can demonstrate Christ's love to a community or region devastated by disaster. In other words, our focus remains on our core mission.

Working Through A2 Graduates & Existing Relationships

Asian Access has graduates and relationships with pastors/leaders in these areas. The churches in these areas are engaging in relief to their communities. Our role, as always, is to come alongside to help these pastors/churches as they have needs. 

We are in active contact with current disaster area leaders and continuing to update and respond to needs as they are occurring.

Disasters Require Strong Leaders and Relief Work Develops those Leaders

Asian Access affirms that disasters and disaster response is part of leader development and that responding to negative events and incidents are a natural part of holistic ministry. They are part of ministry, not a deviation.

Latest Update

  • One of our partners in responding to the Kumamoto earthquake, Kyushu Christian Relief Center has been gathering information. They are researching the Chugoku regions (Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures have been flooding). 
  • Ehime prefecture (Shikoku Island) may not have enough help from government or other relief organizations.
  • In regard to relief teams that might be interested in coming in the near future we will work through existing disaster networks to discern what is needed on a case by case basis.

Currently, A2/Japan National Director and its Board are gathering funds in Japan to come alongside the disaster area churches and leaders in reaching out to the disaster area as part of our holistic mission. Specifically, Asian Access will assist them in developing strategy and come alongside as partners to provide physical, professional, emotional, and spiritual resources as God permits us. The principles and priorities remain the same.

Options for Giving

A. RELIEF: For those who want to give to the immediate critical crisis needs, donations can be given to agencies that specialize in relief:

  • World Vision Japan decided to work through DRC Network (https://drcnet.jp) which was created after 2011.
  • Food for the Hungry (FH, http://www.jifh.org/eng/) has decided to come alongside in Okayama Prefecture related churches.

B. ASIAN ACCESS will channel funding toward the long-term strategic area of leader development in the disaster zone. A2 will charge an administration fee of only 3% in order to get more funds into the places that need it most.

We appreciate your consideration to give toward Japan disaster relief.

And thank you for your ongoing prayers on behalf of the people of Japan.


You can help Japan now!

Give Now to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund lock

Click the red button below.

Thank you for considering giving to help flood victims in Japan.

Give Now!
JPY¥

...or send your check to Asian Access, PO Box 3307, Cerritos, CA 90703.

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Sat, 21 Jul 2018 10:00:00 -0700
Deadly flooding hits SW Japan following historic rainfall https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1390-deadly-flooding-hits-sw-japan-following-historic-rainfall https://go2japan.org/a2/blog/authors/jeffjohnston-blog/1390-deadly-flooding-hits-sw-japan-following-historic-rainfall photo courtesy Kyodo News, Japan85 Dead, Millions Forced to Flee

According to CNN, dozens of people have been killed and 2 million forced to flee their homes across eight prefectures after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides. Japanese news NHK reports 85 people are dead, 6 are in critical condition and at least 58 are missing. "The Japan Meteorological Agency upgraded its alert system to the highest level in large areas of western Japan, while lifting the warning in other regions." "About 364 millimeters (14.3 inches) of rain fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the city of Uwajima -- approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July." ...

85 Dead, Millions Forced to Flee

photo courtesy Kyodo News, Japan

According to CNN, "dozens of people have been killed and 2 million forced to flee their homes across eight prefectures after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides."

SWjapan flooding affected area CNN

Japanese news NHK reports "85 people are dead, 6 are in critical condition and at least 58 are missing."

NHK further reported:

  • "The Japan Meteorological Agency upgraded its alert system to the highest level in large areas of western Japan, while lifting the warning in other regions."
  • "About 364 millimeters (14.3 inches) of rain fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the city of Uwajima -- approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July."
  • "In Sukumo City in Kochi prefecture, 263 millimeters (10.3 inches) of rain fell in two hours."
  • "Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said 54,000 personnel had been mobilized for search-and-rescue efforts"

 

BBC reports:

  • "We've never experienced this kind of rain before," a weather official said. An official at the Japanese Meteorological Agency told a news conference: "This is a situation of extreme danger."
  • "Record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks in Hiroshima and other areas."
  • "Two million people have been ordered to evacuate. PM Shinzo Abe said rescuers were "working against time". "There are still many people missing and others in need of help," the prime minister told reporters on Sunday."
  • "Since Thursday parts of western Japan have received three times the usual rainfall for the whole of July, setting off floods and landslides."
  • "Most of the deaths have occurred in Hiroshima prefecture."

 

NPR Reports:

  • "Within a 72-hour period, 93 locations reported record rainfall, John Matthews reported for NPR in Tokyo."
  • "Millions of people were advised to evacuate their homes. Some houses have since collapsed, while roads and bridges have closed. Officials in Kyoto prefecture say they are trying to control flooding at several dams."
  • "The government plans to mobilize pumper trucks to drain the water but it may take two weeks to fully drain, Kyodo News agency reported."
  • "Responding to the tragedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty tweeted, "Deeply saddened to hear of the lives lost due to heavy rains and flooding in Western Japan. Praying for the safe return of those still missing." "

 

Asian Access will post further developments once they are known. Within a few days, we anticipate being able to provide a firsthand account from inside the disaster zone.

 

More Information

  • image courtesy Kyodo News
  • map image of affected area courtesy CNN

 

Source Articles

 

 

]]>
jj@a3.email (Jeff Johnston) Johnston Journal Sun, 08 Jul 2018 16:53:07 -0700