Joe Handley




Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

>I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7

It’s been a powerful week for me here in Los Angeles between trips to Asia and a powerful last few months in general. It’s reminded me of the importance of finishing well. You may have heard that only 3 in 10 leaders finish well. It is for this reason that Asian Access invests heavily in the lives of emerging young leaders: to help more finish well in the journey of life and ministry!

Two special events this week captured my attention toward this end:

First, was celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. In this day and age, this is a powerful example for the rest of us. I’m so blessed to have the parents I do (pictured here before and after). They have modeled the path before me in what it means to maintain a faithful presence through the good and the tough seasons of life. During the course of the weekend celebration, my father expressed a desire to “finish well” and I know that both he and my mother will. They embody what A2 highlights in these two important blog posts:

Finishing Well

The Middle Game

Another event that inspired me was in returning to my missional roots. I took my father, son and future son-in-law to Mexicali where I cut my teeth in ministry 30 years ago. We are pictured here next to one of my heroes, Amelia Rattan. Amelia has faithfully been serving and leading for Azusa Pacific Universities Mexico Outreach Ministry for several decades. She also models for me what it means to finish well!

Finally, one last powerful example from the emerging generation is the work of my son, John pictured here. He just graduated, receiving several awards and accolades from his peers, from the eighth grade. Middle School is such a tough season in life and my son has endured, pressed on and finished with flying colors. John, I’m so proud of you! The world is ahead of you and keep looking to leaders like your grandparents and Amelia who have paved the road ahead of us.

Finishing well is one of the most important aspects of life. I think my father captured it best when he said, "I told my son Joe that our main concern is to finish well. He pointed me to some information on his web site. After reading that information I am convinced that we will finish well not because of our strength but because we rely on HIM!!

So true: our finishing well depends heavily on our abiding in Christ – John 15:5.

How do you plan on finishing well? I’d like to hear your wisdom!

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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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