Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

 

Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access

Lesson from Japan's triple disaster

Our Greatest Need is LeadershipMakito Matsuda is pastor of Oasis Chapel in Rifu, Japan, one of the key hubs for relief efforts after the triple disaster in northeast Japan. Pastor Matsuda, a graduate of Asian Access’ leader development program, is one of the emerging generation leaders in Japan.

Immediately following the disaster, people from outside the disaster region wanting to help, continually asked Pastor Matsuda: "What do you need?" Because there were so many needs early on—such as food, clean water, clothing, blankets, dry places to live, emotional support—the pastor struggled to know specifically how to answer that simple question.

But then something happened to make the answer crystal clear.

One month after the tsunami, Matsuda Sensei visited this village washed away by the tsunami.  He met an amazing survivor.

Mr. Abe, 70-year old survivor from the disaster, who lost close family members, found his 90-year-old mother alive and ran up the hills carrying her on his back. After rescuing his mother, this man sought other survivors and created a temporary housing campsite for his community. Assessing the situation, Mr. Abe determined to build a shelter, grow a vegetable garden to feed the people, dig a well for all the survivors and encourage those who remained. He led.

When Pastor Matsuda arrived, he noticed that everyone was lively and vibrant. He had brought food to hand out, but was treated to a meal himself. He came to serve those in need, but the ravaged community actually served him. Having visited many other survivor outposts, Pastor Matsuda was shocked at the way this village responded to the catastrophic situation.

Why was this village so different?  Clearly, it was Mr. Abe’s leadership that made all the difference.

From that point on, Pastor Matsuda began responding to that simple question by saying: "Leadership is our greatest need!"While there are many needs following a disaster the size and scope of what hit Japan 3.11, Pastor Matsuda saw the deeper and more enduring need—leadership.

Following this discovery, Pastor Matsuda felt a renewed challenge that Oasis Chapel should also take up the mantle of developing leaders during this crisis. For example, they found a city without power and water for several weeks. The church determined to collect water from a church member’s well and distribute it to those in the community who were without supply. This was followed by several endeavors to help empower the local community: everything from coming alongside fisherman to creating a leather-works micro-enterprise. These gave survivors something to do and provided at least some form of income.

Oasis Chapel determined that, better than simply delivering aid for physical and emotional help in the moment, they need to focus their efforts on fostering local leaders, who would make a huge impact their communities in both immediate and long lasting ways. Put simply, leadership transforms.

Our Greatest Need is Leadership

Pastor Matsuda and his church embody a core belief of Asian Access: Leadership is a huge need of the Church of Asia! Without leadership—like the 70-year-old taking ownership of the situation and rallying his community to rebuild and press on—the people falter.

Proverbs states it this way, "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." - Proverbs 11:14 (ESV)

The world needs more leaders who provide leadership for communities, as well as guidance to other leaders toward God’s present and eternal purposes.

Asian Access comes alongside of leaders like Pastor Matsuda, helping contribute to a vibrant community of effective leaders who make eternal impact. In this way, we endeavor to work with God, who transforms people, communities, and nations.

All Stories

Asian Access adapts as Olympics officials reschedule

Japan (MNN) — The coronavirus dealt another discouraging blow this week. Officials are postponing the Summer Olympic Games to 2021. More details here. The Olympics have been cancelled three times but never postponed. “Japan as a society is disappointed that we’re having to delay. Likewise, all of us that are doing ministry related to the Olympics have a sense of disappointment. However, we also want the world to be safe,” Joe Handley of Asian Access tells MNN. “We realize what’s at stake so we’re trying to reach out in a different way...

Read more...

We are in this TOGETHER!

Dear Friends, One of the hallmarks of Asian Access is our belief in community. In fact, one of our three core values is “We LIVE Community!” In light of this, several of our countries are saddened that they cannot be meeting at this time due to the coronavirus impact. Despite their loss of meetings, they have expressed more concern for the people in their communities and for you than for their ability to meet. Herman Moldez, our director in the Philippines said, “Please pray for us as Metro Manila is now on lockdown… Pray for us as we seek to bring help to our communities.”

Read more...

Nozomi Project founder reflects at 9th anniversary of disaster

Sue Takamoto shares the story in an interview with Joe Handley

Nozomi Project started in 2012 as a response to Japan's terrible tsunami in 2011. And through this creative ministry, God is making something beautiful in brokenness. Sue Takamoto of Asian Access, through Be One Network, launched Nozomi Project (or "Hope" Project) to provide employment, dignity, biblical community and hope for women whose lives were broken by the disaster. Using broken shards of ceramic pottery, these workers create beautiful pieces of jewelry—not only as a way to make sustainable income, but more importantly to put their lives back together. The waves ruthlessly took away their loved ones, their homes and their hope; Nozomi Project is gracefully helping these women put the pieces back together... {addthis off}

Read more...

Hope is Rising on Japan's 9th Anniversary

March 11, 2020—This title may seem surprising to you in these days of fear and ongoing polarization in the world. – Hope Rising, really? The coronavirus impact seems to have the world gripped in fear: the markets have been in a free fall, businesses have closed, schools are shifting to online formats, and people are constantly thinking about washing their hands and whether or not they can buy facemasks. Certainly, the impacts have had a ripple effect and Asian Access is no exception. However…{addthis off}

Read more...

Fearing coronavirus, Japan closes all schools through beginning of April

Japan (MNN) Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has closed schools in Japan through the month of March amid concerns about the upcoming Olympic Games. The Northern Japanese island Hokkaido has also been quarantined due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and Prime Minister Abe asked citizens to stay inside during the weekend. The move has surprised many, including working parents who now have to care for their children at home. Others questioned the effectiveness of such a move since parents will still have to go out and work after having contact with their children. Asian Access’ Joe Handley says the decision makes... {addthis off}

Read more...

Leap Day Time Capsule

My friend Tim Miles (I’ve never met him but still consider him a friend!) wrote a blog a few weeks ago challenging us to do something creative and unforgettable on Leap Day.  It sort of bugged me because I have been in the deficit in terms of emotional energy the past month or so, feeling incapable of coming up with anything... {addthis off}

Read more...

Coronavirus and How You Can Help

A few weeks ago, the coronavirus hit, and the world seems to be in an ever-growing cycle of media barrage. I’m sure most of you by now are taking necessary precautions and being wise in how to stay safe. You may be asking, how is the affecting ministry and what can I do about it? Some have asked, are you safe there in Asia (to me and my many of my colleagues)? The coronavirus was announced just before I was flying to a conference in SE Asia primarily focused on... {addthis off}

Read more...

Coronavirus sweeps across China

China (MNN) — A coronavirus continues to spread through China and to other countries, presenting new challenges for Asian Access. The coronavirus first appeared in the city of Wuhan in China. Like the SARS coronavirus in 2003, this currently unnamed virus has mutated to be able to infect not just animals, but humans as well. Precisely how it made the jump from animals to humans is unknown. China has quarantined more than... {addthis off}

Read more...

I can't. He can. I think I'll let Him!

Have you ever had one of those seasons where nothing seems to be working? Or, you realize most everything is out of your control? Oftentimes, I feel fairly confident and optimistic about life and ministry but this past year a number of things seemed to be clearly out of my control. And, ultimately, the reality is that we really don’t have control... {addthis off} 

Read more...

Preparing for a 2020 Summer Team in Japan

Japan 2020 | Preparing for this Opportunity from SIM USA on Vimeo.

Watch this short video to see how you can begin preparing.

WILL YOU JOIN US?

Are you passionate about partnering with the local Church to reach communities where Jesus is least known? Please pray about being a part of this opportunity in 2020!

Contact us today by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or complete the “Pre-App” on the linked page to get started. Be sure to include “Japan 2020” in the message section along with your level of interest and/or questions. We’ll be in touch to start the journey!

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Feb. 1, 2020...{addthis off}

Read more...

CONTACT US...

go2japan
PO Box 3307
Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.go2japan.org

 

 

FOLLOW US

Login