Joe Handley



Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

2022 summary debby hudson Wqs6qly3T50 unsplash

As we reflect on 2022 and prepare for 2023, several highlights come to mind: 

Family Updates —

4bBecca enjoys her work as the social media manager at 4b. She’s been central to their re-branding process which has their big reveal in the next few months. Her husband, Lowell, took a new position closer to home a few months ago automating the LA Harbor docks with APM Terminals.

mcclatchyRachel loves her work as a visual journalist for McClatchy illustrating key stories for several newspapers around the nation. Her husband, Quan, serves with Kite Pharma in the South Bay and does freelance concept art on the side.

ofcomJohn graduated with a master’s degree in political economy from Oxford University and started his first job in London as a graduate economist at Ofcom.

joe and silk in macedoniahandley kidsAnd, Silk and I enjoyed celebrating our 32nd anniversary in Croatia and Macedonia this fall. It’s been a joy having all of our children around for the holidays!      

Ministry Highlights —

PCMLJoe’s thesis was published last summer and is receiving quite the praise… Check it out on Amazon if you are curious. 

Asian Access did pilot projects in North Africa and Europe this year so soon we’ll be doing our own name change and re-branding. I hope you enjoyed hearing the story of the Imam who came to Christ who hopes to lead other Imams to Jesus

Seoul2024We’re serving several global bodies to better equip the Church worldwide as well. Joe is serving as a co-catalyst for the Lausanne Movement which is preparing for their 4th Global Congress in Seoul in 2024. Perhaps most encouraging is the progress we are making developing a new curriculum for the persecuted church which will be utilized throughout the Religious Liberty Partnership and beyond.  

And, after several years of digital connections, we held a number of graduations for our Pastor and Young Professional tracks this past summer and fall: Young Pros, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam. Altogether, Asian Access is now serving among 26 nations and venturing beyond the continent of Asia for the first time.

Global Leaders' Summit 2022It was also a huge blessing being able to hold our annual Global Summit which had been on pause for 3 years due to the pandemic. We devoted time to lamenting our losses, but also celebrated being together again and are eager for the next phase of equipping leaders for the rapidly growing Church worldwide. This includes forms of church (biblical ekklesia) which serve in the marketplace, education, government, etc. and look very different than the churches you and I are accustomed to. 

To cap off this incredible year, our team is currently at Urbana mobilizing young people to serve Christ in Japan. This past year saw the largest influx of missionaries to Japan during my tenure and Japanese pastors are preparing for the Japan Evangelism Congress next year with a huge goal to double the Christian population.

disciplemaking promoAs our little thank you for your friendship and support, the disciple-making course Joe and his colleague Mary Jo produced for is available to you for free. If you take it, let us know what you think! You can take the course here: 

What an important year 2022 turned out to be and 2023 looks even more promising! 

Thanks for all your support and prayers,

joe sig blue

Joe & Silk Handley

Joe & Silk HandleyemailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


More Information

As you consider year-end giving these last few days of the year, please keep us in mind:

All Stories

How Not to Teach Middle School

Throughout the week, I share the story about my faith journey A LOT. As a mobilizer with SIM, I’m one of the first conversations people have with us as they seek to discern God’s calling for them in His kingdom work around the world. An important part of every conversation is getting to share my journey and inviting the person on the call to share theirs.

A favorite line I like to share in my story is “If you don’t have a firm sense of your identity in Christ, and you don’t have a firm sense of His calling on your life, then you probably shouldn’t try to teach middle school English!”


Dear Brothers and Sisters at Asbury University

…and beyond: encouragement from a big sister

I first heard about what God was doing on your campus on Friday, February 10. At the SIM USA sending office, we take our motto By Prayer very seriously. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we come together corporately for a chapel service to pray over each one of our fields and our missionaries. On Mondays and Fridays, we do the same, but this time we gather in smaller groups by our departments. One of my coworkers brought up what God was doing on your campus, and we began to pray for you. 


New, But Not: Our Journey to Japan

By Linda Koyama

Hi, I’m Linda. Nice to meet you. I’m currently writing from Yamagata, Japan, where my family is partnering with a local church. You’ve probably never heard of Yamagata. Don’t worry, neither did I until it was presented as one of the potential prefectures we’d be serving in. 

So where exactly is Yamagata? Think north of Tokyo about 200 miles (300 kilometers), or a 4 1/2 hour drive by car. It’s in the southern part of the Tohoku region, closer to the Japan Sea side (rather than the Pacific Ocean side). It’s definitely not one of Japan’s hot tourist spots, but this region is known for its ski slopes, onsens, and delicious fruits.


It's a Different World...

By Tia Blassingame

Okay, if you look like me you probably started singing that song title and know exactly where I got it from. Perfect, because it has been playing in my head all week! This is truly a different world. Right now, I am at a homestay with my onēsan (pronounced ohnay-sahn) and her family. That term right there is already different vocabulary for you I’m assuming. Onēsan is “older sister” and a “homestay” is when you stay overnight (or more than one night) with a family. In basic “Tia terms” (that’s me), I’m at a sleepover with my sis and her fam. Let me backtrack a bit...


Counting the Cost 3: The Shape of You

Leaving what I’ve found:
You helped me find my true self.
Wishing you were here. 

During one of my first annual Asian Access retreats in Japan, Dr. Sue Takamoto led all of us first-term missionaries through a special training specifically designed for our experience. One of her warm-up exercises had us flexing some of our creative muscles: we were to write haiku that showcased our experiences during our first term. I wrote the above haiku for my church family back home in St. Louis.


Living a "Relevant Life"

Rethinking how God's Word is "relevant" to our lives and ministries

By Kent Muhling

I sometimes pray Psalm 143:8 at the beginning of my morning devotions. It reads, 

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, 
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, 
for to you I lift up my soul.” 


Asian Access takes new name as ministry expands to the Middle East and beyond

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


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!


2023... New Name and Encouraging Developments

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!


Making sense of Urbana and your own personal journey

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."


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