Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

 

Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access

Dee Silk Joe coffee

This past Sunday Silk and I had the privilege of spending a meal and afternoon with Dee Wirz. Dee is completely 43 years of ministry in Japan with us next month and we wanted some special time with just the few of us.

What a joy it was being with her. It came following our annual staff retreat where many staff honored Dee and a letter was read from our founder, Ken with his wife Jan, as well as a skype from my predecessor Doug and his wife Jeanie.

Dee honored

The impact Dee has made for the kingdom in Japan (and China) has been immense. She led daily bible studies for years introducing people to Jesus but that’s not all. She also created numerous bible lesson books to help teach English as a Second Language. And, no kidding, I’ve heard of people using those books stretching from Kyushu to Hokkaido. That’s a pretty significant stretch of Japan. It wouldn't surprise me to hear of them being used all the way down to Okinawa as well.

As Ken’s letter was read, his words echoed what I had been thinking about Dee and they brought me to tears as I prayed for her a few weeks ago: someday, there will be many Japanese (and Chinese) people who will be worshipping Jesus in heaven with us because of the seeds Dee has planted through her bible studies, English classes and books.

Dee speaking

I’m proud of you, Dee. You are finishing well, a core teaching of Asian Access. And, everywhere you go you are planting seeds for the kingdom. Even in church the other morning, before our luncheon, Dee invited a friend to hear the president of Asian Access preach. The friend is not yet a follower of Jesus but they recently told a group about Dee,

“I am a closer friend of God because of you.”

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

— Revelation 7:9-10

Dee: Someday, there will be multitudes of Japanese and Chinese people with standing before Jesus with you and me. Thank you for being faithful to the call God gave you these 43 years. Once again, you have brought me to tears (just as I write this today).

I pray that many of us will experience what this friend said of Dee that day, “I am a closer friend of God because of you.”

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Joe Handley

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Japan in the News

2019: What ‘exciting’ really means.
International (A2/MNN) – Asian Access (A2) is a ministry that is usually ahead of the ‘trend’ curves in the world of missions. A few years back, they announced big goals as part of t

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Marching Toward 2020

Years ago, Asian Access set some Holy Audacious Goals for the year 2020 and now we find ourselves on the precipice of that important year. We have both 2019 and 2020 to reach these monumental stretch goals and look forward to celebrations in the Spring and Fall of 2020 to see what God has done. To give you a sense of some of those big goals, here’s a sampling...

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2019: What ‘exciting’ really means.

International (A2/MNN) – Asian Access (A2) is a ministry that is usually ahead of the ‘trend’ curves in the world of missions. A few years back, they announced big goals as part of their Vision2020: a.) Equipping Leaders in 20 Countries across Asia, b.) 100 Church Multiplication Teams/Networks – Japan, c.) 1000 Reproducing Churches in Japan. A2 president Joe Handley says 2018 was a...

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Fresh Enthusiasm in Japan

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Joe & Silk: 2018 Christmas Greetings from Tokyo [video]

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Greetings from Tokyo, Japan! We just wanted you to know that we're thinking of you and praying that you guys have a special Advent season. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We love you. We appreciate you, and we're grateful for you. God bless you...

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New report shows Gospel growth in "missionary graveyard"

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Fukushima radiation challenges continue

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Christians unite amid ongoing hardship

Japan’s deluge continues

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Strawberries, Pomegranates and Convenience Stores

One of the principles in Asian Access is that healthy churches grow. It’s why we spend so much time investing in key leaders’ personal walk with God and their growth in him. Because, when we are deeply embedded with Christ, we are naturally very fruitful. Many of those leaders were on display in Tohoku (Northeast Japan) for a few days at Vision Festa, a gathering of pastors, missionaries and NGO leaders coming together to share God’s vision for Japan. I was deeply touched by them and many pictured in these photos are key partners of Asian Access/Japan. They shared about Strawberry Patch Evangelism. That even small little strawberry plants are quick to reproduce because they shoot stems into the soil nearby and next thing you know you have an entire patch. And, they shared about Pomegranate church planting where a single fruit has hundreds of seeds to spread around and start new fellowships...

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Aspens, Banyans, and Strawberries?

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Why Plant? - Japan Needs YOU!

I’ve been inspired by pastors in Japan when 70 or more gathered in Northern Japan for a movement called Vision Festa. It’s a movement of people with a passion for church planting and I’m eager to share their stories… Those will come later though. For now, why is church planting so important? When so many people are down on the local church these days, why would I believe church planting is so important and why are these leaders coalescing around this fresh vision? Missiologist Peter Wagner once said, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Pastor Tim Keller picked up on this theme as well. Check out his post on the same subject, Why Church Planting? Everywhere I have gone, I’ve seen these truths displayed...

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