Joe Handley

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of A3

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Dear Friends of A3, 

As we look forward to a meaningful Christmas season this year, I find myself reflecting on memorable Christmases of the past. Two stand out for me: December 1996 and December 2004.

These were two years when my family and I were serving as missionaries overseas, far away from home and the friends that normally made Christmas memorable for us. In 1996 we were in Mexico City preparing for a mission congress, and in 2004 we were serving in Istanbul, Turkey.

Surprisingly, both years proved very special precisely because they were without all the fanfare typically associated with the holiday season. Our family was alone and at the mercy of cultures very different from our own. Yet these experiences highlighted for us the realities of Christ's humble arrival here on earth, and they allowed us to celebrate Him in newfound ways. 

Serving abroad in mission can be a lonely exercise at times, as can trying to be Christ-like in any society where worldly values are strongly promoted. However, Jesus in his suffering brings us all into community that is powerful enough to overcome the paralyzing effects of isolation. 

For this reason, we appreciate you our friends all the more. We are so grateful for your love, prayers, encouragement, and support to the missionaries and leaders serving with A3. We are constantly reminded of the amazing power of partnership as we labor together to bring the light of Jesus to the people of Asia. 

A3 Advent devotional coverSeveral years ago, I asked folks in the A3 community to submit some Christmas reflections, and we compiled them into an Advent devotional. More on that below.

We will be re-posting a few of the entries on this blog in the coming weeks. Even though these entries were written a good while ago, I hope you will enjoy these readings from all of us at A3. We trust that our reflections will help enrich this advent season for you.

Love in Christ,

joe sig blue
Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.
President, A3

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