Joe Handley



Stories from Joe Handley, president of A3

joe and silk christmas2022 800px

Dear Family and Friends,

Joy to the World… This season is one giving us pause to reflect on the most important gift the world has ever seen: the Lord has come

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth… — Psalm 98:4a

We shout for joy because our savior has good news for you and for me. In a world of bad news, Christ, the savior, has come bringing Good News! (Luke 2:10)

This joy that Jesus brings shines in the darkness of our world and His fingerprints show throughout our lives.

handley christmasletter1For Silk and me this year, our 32nd together, we celebrated with a special 30-year anniversary trip (delayed due to COVID a few years ago). We visited Silk’s family and heritage in Macedonia, which was complemented by the launch of our new Macedonian Call to take Asian Access into North Africa and Europe. As I write this, our team is working with North Africans in Southern Europe. Praise God!

Adding to our family’s delight, our son John graduated with a master’s degree from Oxford University and is now working in London as an analyst assessing media polarity. We praise God for John’s accomplishments. And, as you likely know, our daughters are married and living nearby us, both also having careers in journalism. Who’d have imagined they’d all end up in some form of journalism? In their own way, they are following the family heritage of wanting to make a difference in the world.

As for ministry, it’s so neat to see the Asian Access community emerging from the pandemic that has restricted our activity for several years. We’ve seen several country graduations and our first global summit in 3 years was a powerful blend of celebration of being back together along with appropriate lament from the losses everyone faced since our 2019 gathering.

Asian Access Global Leaders' Summit 2019
2022 Global Leaders' Summit (many people not shown due to security reasons)

Joe was particularly enthused by the recent Japan National Pastors’ Congress where the average age of the pastors was early-to-mid 40’s. In a world where that number is often 65+, this is a great sign of things to come, and we praise God as they aspire to double the Christian population.

So, as 2022 draws to a close, we praise God for the Good News Jesus brings to our world. Joy to the world indeed! The Lord has come, and we are seeing signs of new birth throughout our lives and ministry heading into 2023.

We praise God for you and your faithful friendship with us these many years.

We send you this brief Christmas greeting...

Hi! It's Silk and Joe Handley with Asian Access. And we want to wish you a Merry Christmas! Joe would like to read a passage right now.

You know as I was thinking about our love and care for you this Christmas season, I'm reminded of the Gospel of Luke, and it says that the angel said to them:

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people for today in the town of David a Savior is born to you. He is the Messiah the Lord."

Christmas is good news because it's about Jesus.

And we are so excited to take that good news all across Asia and now into other parts of the world. Thank you for your partnership and we trust and pray that you have a very Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas! God bless you!

joe sig blue

Joe Handley
President, Asian Access

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All Stories

My Encounter with the Land of the Rising Sun

By Nicole

Truth be told, Japan was never a country that was on my radar. I had always known that at some point in my life I wanted to explore East Asia, but for me that meant South Korea.


Missionaries to Japan choose new name

Japan (MNN) – Global workers in Japan have announced a new name to describe their role and vision.


Aging Japanese businesses and churches seek successors

Japan (MNN) – A declining, aging population in Japan means both businesses and churches need guidance through the transition of leadership.


This is Why We Go Together

Our value for community and the importance of partnership 

We often exhort one another at A3 with the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” While the exact origins of this proverb are murky, the truth of it is undeniable: for sustainable ministry (and really, life in general), we need each other. 

And just days before departing with our 2023 Summer Short-Term Team, I experienced this truth in a profound way.


Call to Pray for the Japan Congress on Evangelism

Hello Everyone! It's inspiring being here at the Japanese garden at San Diego's Balboa Park.


Introducing A3.Missional Partners

Our Missionaries Have a New Name!

For several years, you’ve become familiar with new ministry streams such as and Young Professionals. But today, I am excited to announce that our missionaries in Japan have a new descriptive name. We are now calling them “Missional Partners”.


Beauty Before Me

As much as I’ve tried to process, ponder, and pick stuff apart, I’ll simply say for now that the last seven years or so have been disorienting. I won’t go as far as to say I’ve been deconstructing, as that word is a bit loaded and a lot dramatic compared to what I’ve been doing. At the same time, I don’t want to understate the amount of disappointment, confusion, shock, anger (occasionally bordering on rage), and deep sadness I have felt toward certain branches of the stream of Christianity I’m a part of. Perhaps detangling is a better term. But I’m not wanting to go into that a ton here. Not yet anyway. 

What I am wanting to do is practice being more of a noticer—seeing people who don’t seem to be flailing around in choppy waters like me but instead are more like anchors. People like my mom: a woman who is stable and steady, who sees similar things as me, yet keeps on watering her flowers, making food for people, playing the organ at church, showing up for her friends, and volunteering at a thrift store that employs people in the penitentiary system. She keeps on making music, meals, and memories, keeps on listening to Reactionary, Big Feeling Me, and keeps on being her steady self. 


After Three Years of Waiting, Finally!

Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020 Team Going to Japan 

A3 (formerly Asian Access) began decades ago with a thriving short-term summer program called Scrum Dendo. Every summer, multiple teams would come to Japan, partner with Japanese churches, and create bridges to each community through English language outreach. 

At the beginning of 2020, we had high hopes of reviving these summer mission teams, partnering with churches who wanted to do major outreach work surrounding the Tokyo Olympics. 

We had no clue what was coming that year.


A Tribute to Dr. Reiji Oyama: A Legacy of Impact in Japan


Oyama-sensei was known and respected throughout Japan and across Asia—and beyond—as a brilliant scholar, prolific author, dearly loved pastor, and seminary professor.


I Come Bearing Gifts

For over a decade, February 1, 2011, remained memorialized in my mind as my “Japanniversary,” the day God took me to Japan, one month before the Triple Disaster. Each passing year, I have acknowledged this date in some way—karaoke with friends, a Facebook post, or a quiet prayer to God. 

But 2022 was the year I wrapped up over a decade of life in Japan and moved “home.” In 2023, to recall my arrival date in Japan, I had to look at my 手帳 (techō, my pocket schedule book). I was too late! The day, March 16, had passed by me without so much as a wink.


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