Joe Handley




Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

Day 6 @ #capetown2010

Doug Birdsall with the Maeharas and Pastor Ariga at the Birdsalls' 30th anniversary with Asian Access celebration.  

Doug Birdsall with Rev. & Mrs. Maehara and Rev. Ariga

Asian Access hosted a wonderful gathering during Cape Town 2010. Over 75 people were in attendance including alumni, faculty, staff, board, reference council and supporters. It was a great family experience as we celebrated Doug and Jeanie Birdsall's 30th anniversary with the mission. And what a night to celebrate -- in the middle of one of the high points in the history of our mission: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, led by Doug Birdsall.

It was a grand evening as leaders were introduced and several shared appreciation for both Doug and Jeanie in ministry. Reverend Paul Ariga, Chairman of the Board of JCGI Network in Japan, and Reverend Toshio Maehara, International Board member, presented Doug with a beautiful scroll of the Cherry Blossoms of Japan. And, Maureen and Ron McMahon, Chiarman of the International board, presented Jeanie with a beautiful arrangement of flowers from South Africa.

Pastor Ariga and Mr. Maehara present gifts to Doug and Jeanie Birdsall to celebrate their 30th anniversary with Asian Access.

The Birdsalls were presented with gifts to commemorate their 30 years of faithful service.

Three presidents of the mission were present: Steve Hoke, Doug Birdsall and myself. And our founder sent in a special video message to Doug and Jeanie. It was such a wonderful family time tonight as we celebrated all that God has done in Doug and Jeanie's life and Doug shared the principles he learned in ministry under Uncle Ken and Auntie Jan.

Many shared the incredible qualities of their leadership but Reverend Adrian De Visser took a unique path, highlighting why he has chosen to serve with Asian Access. He noted how the ministry wasn't about establishing its own identity, or about controlling the ministry from outside. Rather it's a different, unique model and he praised Doug for his role in establishing that and encouraged me for continuing things in that vein.

Doug and Jeanie were honored for the way the raise their family, their commitment as a couple, the leadership and relationships that they have formed and ministry they established. It truly was a celebration of their life in the middle of what may prove to be one of the most significant events in the history of Asian Access: Participation in the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.

Bless you, Doug and Jeanie. We love you and are proud of what you are doing this week. And, as uncle Ken reminded us at the close of the evening, we are eager to see what this next decade of ministry is going to bring for you. This next decade may indeed be your finest hour! So press on to that high calling that God has in store for you!

Joe's blue web signature

Joe Handley

Joe and other board members offer prayers of thanksgiving for and a blessing on the Birdsalls. 

Here we offer our prayers of thanksgiving for and blessing on Doug and Jeanie.

Japan in the News

Former Nozomi Project worker turns to Christ Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of dep377/Pixabay.
Japan (MNN) — Japan remains a challenging spiritual battleground, but Gospel workers say the Lord IS moving in the island nation. “A lot of fear permeates the culture here: fear of natural

All Stories

Japan begins approving visa applications

For as long as I have been with Asian Access, we have been praying for more missionaries. Our team of cross-cultural workers desires to partner well with what God is doing through the church in Japan. Over 99% of Japanese people are living and dying without Christ. The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few. Yet, despite all of our efforts to mobilize new people, our team size has remained relatively static for the last decade or two.


Former Nozomi Project worker turns to Christ

Japan (MNN) — Japan remains a challenging spiritual battleground, but Gospel workers say the Lord IS moving in the island nation.

“A lot of fear permeates the culture here: fear of natural disasters, fear of war, fear of the virus,” Eric Takamoto with Asian Access says.


Wander Where He Leads

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost,”
­— J.R.R. Tolkien

From my very first chapter book I have been a re-reader of stories. My mom read Sterling North’s Rascal (funnily enough, a popular anime in Japan) to my little brother and me when I was in the first or second grade. When she finished the book, I loved it so much that I immediately wanted to go back into the story and experience it by myself. I have been voraciously re-reading ever since. Each story is as comforting as getting coffee with a dear friend.


John Houlette's 'Resilience' receives Christian counseling award

On July 22, Asian Access missionary Dr. John Houlette received the Office Fujikake Award for the Japanese version of his book, Resilience: How Japanese Pastors Can Thrive in Every Season. The award is given annually to a new book in Christian counseling by Dr. Akira Fujikake, clinical psychologist, and visiting Professor at the Seigakuin University General Research Institute.


South Korean cult poses problems in Japan

Japan (MNN) — Deadly details emerge in Japan. The man accused of killing former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reportedly undergoing extensive mental health tests before prosecution can proceed.


Abe assassination mars 2022 Japan elections

Japan (MNN) — Victory is bittersweet for Japan’s newly-elected leaders following the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Abe’s assassination is the first of a sitting or former Prime Minister since 1932.


Asian Access passes baton to Japanese leadership

Japan (MNN) — Asian Access has officially passed the baton of ministry in Japan to the Japanese leadership.


International Day for the Unreached 2022

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.


Celebrating the 2020 Vision & Passing the Baton in Japan

The 2020 Vision:

To deploy 100 church multiplication teams:
  • to establish 1,000 reproducing congregations...
  • to enfold 1,000,000 new followers of Christ...
  • who will, in turn, send 1,000 missionaries from Japan to the cities of Asia...
  • that will be home to 1 billion people by the year 2020 AD.


Japan quake triggers trauma

Japan (MNN) — Authorities warn residents of northeast Japan to prepare for potentially strong aftershocks in the days to come. A 7.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the region on Wednesday night, killing a handful of people and wounding hundreds.


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