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FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

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All Stories

Looking Back on 2020, Praying Forward

Dear Friends,

As 2020 wound to a close, the Lord impressed on me the following passage:

"In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." —John 1:4

LOOKING BACK ON 2020

2020 was such a disruptive year. Yet the life of Christ is the light of the world. That gives me hope heading into 2021. I pray that your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations brought joy and the reminder of what is most important, even in the midst of the challenges from 2020, some of which continue to persist.

Read more...

2020 Highlights: God at Work During a Trying Year

God at Work During a Trying Year

2020 has been a very trying year for everyone. Yet God was at work in amazing ways. These stories help us remember His faithfulness through the past year as He continues doing a good work in us. Thank you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories possible!

Now, out of the 128 blog posts from this year, here are some of our top stories from 2020...

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2020: Dark Clouds. Silver Linings.

 

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. COVID-19, the global economy, and polarizing politics have left their marks. The 2020 Olympics were delayed and countless people have suffered and hundreds of thousands have died from the pandemic. It all certainly made for a tough year for you and me.

Amid the Dark Clouds though, I was able to report several Silver Linings during our recent Asian Access board meeting. For these, I praise God and am reminded of the importance of giving thanks, even for the challenges we have faced.

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New Life in Japan

Silk and I have had such a wonderful last few weeks in Japan.

Last week we were moving which brought several aches and pains, even after just day one of the move! However, the last four we were able to travel to many places in country and say farewell for this season of ministry.

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Takkyubin Church: Generation to Generation

I was so inspired a few weeks ago visiting my colleague Pastor Hideo Ohashi. He has served faithfully with Asian Access over several decades and his church is a remarkable testament to God’s faithfulness to Japan.

You’ll see him pictured here with his son and grandson: three generations of pastors! What a powerful image of God’s work from one generation to the next.

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Lost in Translation: Closing my Japan Post Account

“That is so cool!”

“Really? There’s no way!” – That is what Silk and I thought after using a mobile phone translation at the Japan Post the other day.

Here's how the story unfolded...

We went to close out my account as we are moving to America and thought the bank teller understood our request. She listened to me and took me to the right person who started asking for our documents. We pulled out my bank book, and then she asked for our cash card which we pulled out. Finally, she asked another question. I thought I understood her request, so I pulled out my residence card.

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Suicide killing more people in Japan than COVID-19

Pandemic challenges Japan’s group-oriented culture

Japan (MNN) — While other countries battle rising COVID-19 cases, Japan is seeing a different kind of spike – suicides.

More people in Japan have died by suicide in 2020 than from COVID-19. In fact, their suicide numbers in October alone outnumbered the nation’s total COVID-19 deaths in the first 11 months of the year.

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Camellia Flower and the Gospel

As Silk and I are saying farewell to our home of the last 4.5 years, we have visited our friends and colleagues in several places. We wish we’d have time to see everyone but the coronavirus has limited our options.

One of the places we were able to visit was the sites of the “Hidden Christians” in Japan.

Read more...

US and other countries begin COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Pfizer’s vaccine is 95% effective at preventing someone from catching COVID-19.

Japan (MNN) — This week, the company Pfizer will deliver an estimated 2.9 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to locations around the US. The UK has already begun using the vaccine, which was developed by the German company BioNTech.

The vaccine was developed in under a year and uses new technology to vaccinate people against viruses. It needs to be kept at very cold temperatures, at least 70 degrees below zero Celsius.

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Upended

 

2020 turned into an unexpected, unwanted mishmash of uncertainty, anxiety, cancellations, frustration, fatigue, exasperation, anger, exhaustion, disappointment, a kind of seeming unending ethos of dashed hopes, spiraling fears, sadness and grief.

Now I have an enhanced appreciation of the Psalms that so eloquently express the same range and depth of emotion we are experiencing. The writers honestly pour out their hearts to God, and in the process of persistently calling out to Him, they come around to see and experience God as our refuge and strength, our rock, fortress, deliverer, a very present help in time of trouble. I’m so thankful for God’s redemptive work in the midst of the miry mishmash. God takes us to deeper levels of resilience, resourcefulness and refinement.

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go2japan
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Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
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