Joe Handley




Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

by Joe Handley

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
—James 1:7

I'll never forget the day I accepted Jesus into my life. I was nine years old and was raised in a Christian home, my father being a lay pastor at the time. I was given new life by the greatest gift ever from the most generous giver of all time. There was freedom from all the trials and temptations that had haunted me, and there was eternal hope—something the world was unable to provide.

As I think back on that day, I find myself so blessed by the heritage that Jesus planted in my life. That same freedom and hope that came through the little child in Bethlehem is a free gift to all—but not all have the chance to hear about him.

Little did I know that this was a gift that would keep on giving. A gift of hope, freedom and joy unexplained. Jesus wanted to give a gift of eternity for all of humankind.

Thus, he sent me on a mission . . . a mission I was initially reluctant to follow. A mission to "seek and save the lost" in the neediest region of the world with this message.

Today, Jesus' name is being shared in places like Japan where the opportunity to hear about Christ is so, so limited. I know Christ is building His church across Asia because He cares! Jesus gave you and me a gift and a message that keeps on giving.

As you reflect on this great gift that Jesus has given us this Advent season, I want to thank you for your generosity—for you are a giver of life, of hope, of freedom, and of joy to a world that is desperate for what only Jesus can offer. Thank you for your friendship, your encouragement, your prayers, the ways you have been involved in giving life to our missionaries and our God-given mission.

May the joy of the Christ-child fill your heart and soul through this Christmas season.

We love and appreciate you!

Joe's blue web signature

Joe Handley - 2010 head shot 

Joe Handley
President, Asian Access

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This concludes "O Come Let Us Adore Him" — Meditations on the Advent Season by the Asian Access Community. We hope you've been blessed by our A2 Advent devotional this year. Tell us! Or maybe you have an idea for improvement; please share your thoughts. As we evaluate this devotional and the possibility of future editions, we want to hear from you. Please post your feedback here...  

Japan in the News

All Stories

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.


Fuchida and DeShazer: Stories of Transformation


Christianity is about the power of the Gospel to transform our lives.

I want to share with you a real-life story of two sworn enemies – Fuchida, a Japanese commander and DeShazer, an American pilot. The setting is in World War II.


The Leaders Must Come from Outside!

The Christian subculture challenge

A few years ago when I met with a Japanese Christian leader to catch up on each other’s lives, we discussed the challenges of the spread of the gospel in this nation and dreamed a bit about how to build upon the many partnerships that have been developing between Christian groups here in Japan. During our conversation, he surprised me with an unexpected comment:


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