Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

 

Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access

japan no church prefectsI’ve been inspired by pastors in Japan when 70 or more gathered in Northern Japan for a movement called Vision Festa. It’s a movement of people with a passion for church planting and I’m eager to share their stories… Those will come later though. For now, why is church planting so important? When so many people are down on the local church these days, why would I believe church planting is so important and why are these leaders coalescing around this fresh vision? Missiologist Peter Wagner once said, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Pastor Tim Keller picked up on this theme as well. Check out his post on the same subject, Why Church Planting? Everywhere I have gone, I’ve seen these truths displayed...

Wm Smith Clark statue closeupA few weeks ago, Dr. Nelson Jennings from Onnuri Church took me on a historical tour of some of the Christian history of Japan in Hokkaido. What a treat! Dr. Jennings and I were there for Onnuri Church’s Love Sonata evangelism gatherings which was fabulous, by the way. The conference, praise rally, and seminars revolving around the Love Sonata outreach were amazing and the gathering itself was filled with remarkably talented artists and musicians, sharing the story of God’s love. Pastor Jaehoon Lee, a good friend, shared a wonderful message that evening that I’m sure will stay with people for many years.

On one of the days though, Dr. Jennings took me around Sapporo and we toured Hokkaido University where Dr. William Smith Clark made a profound and lasting impact...

 

 

lovesonata gatheringA few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending my first Love Sonata in Sapporo. It’s an evangelistic event held 2-4 times per year here in Japan inspired and led by Onnuri Church from Seoul, Korea. It was inspiring as you’ll likely see from the pictures posted here. And, if you’d like to watch the entire event, you can on...

Dee Silk Joe coffeeThis past Sunday Silk and I had the privilege of spending a meal and afternoon with Dee Wirz. Dee is completely 43 years of ministry in Japan with us next month and we wanted some special time with just the few of us. What a joy it was being with her. It came following our annual staff retreat where many staff honored Dee and a letter was read from our founder, Ken with his wife Jan, as well as a skype from my predecessor Doug and his wife Jeanie. The impact Dee has made for the kingdom in Japan (and China)...

A2 savethedate postcard Pasadena front webAs you may know, 2017 marks our 50th year in ministry. There are many things through the years to fondly remember and thank God for; there are also many new initiatives that the Lord is leading us to pursue in the coming years. And I would like you to set aside an evening on October 21 in Pasadena, California to celebrate this milestone anniversary with me. In Jakarta this past April, we celebrated with our Asian brothers and sisters. We enjoyed a great time of remembering what God has done and envisioning what he has for Asian Access in the future. I have reported on this event on our blog, which you can access here... 

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Reiwa - A New Era for Japan

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. — Isaiah 43:18-19

As I have traveled across Japan recently, the newfound hope I am sensing just keeps growing. Everyone seems enthused about the start of the new era as the new Emperor took his place in history. This era has been proclaimed as Reiwa – “Auspicious (or Beautiful) Harmony” ...

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Fake Jesus

Several months ago, one of our staff kids went on a school outing. On this outing, the class visited a neighborhood temple near the school to learn more about the culture and religion. As you would expect, her parents wanted to know how the day went and as good parents followed up with her that evening. “How did your day go today?” they asked. She said, "We went to the temple on an outing today." And, upon further prompting, “What was that like?” she proceeded to say...

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Emperor to step down as Japan approaches Reiwa era

Japan (MNN) — There’s a new day dawning in the land of the rising sun. Japan’s current emperor – Akihito – is stepping down at the end of April. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will take over this largely-symbolic yet culturally-vital role on May 1. The move basically amounts to resignation, which doesn’t seem like a big deal at first glance. Yet, as Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access explains, “This is the first time a current emperor has decided and requested… that he would resign [and for the] Crown Prince to assume the emperor’s position. “This is a brand new thing in our history.”

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Discovering the Joy of Parenting

I often speak with parents about the challenges of parenting and hear stories of the aches and pains people face or simply the frustrations of raising kids. How encouraging to know that Asian Access missionary Barbara Bauman, with help from her husband Gary, has updated her outstanding book Discovering the Joy of Parenting. I can’t wait to get a copy! The original book has been a lifesaver and game changer for many Japanese and Mongolian families around...

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The Little / BIG Principle...

 A basic building block in making disciples

It was John Maxwell who brought to my attention the fact that experience is not the best teacher. Otherwise, everybody would be getting better and more mature as they grow older. Rather, "evaluated experience" is the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the experience that is reflected upon and where lessons are learned and growth in maturity follows. As I have taken time to reflect on my own life’s experiences, certain discipleship lessons have come to the surface. One that has consistently occurred is what is called the little / big principle, and is mentioned four times in the parables of Jesus...

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March 11th... And the future

Eight years ago, Silk and I were here in Japan during the horrific triple disaster that hit the country. In a matter of minutes, lives were ruined, the country was disrupted and it was a day that none of us will ever forget.The spirit of "Ganbatte" — never giving up or it’s similar "Ganbare" – let’s do our best or together carried the nation  through the deep personal and societal loss. It was a significant time for the body of Christ in Japan, as Christ’s Church rose to the occasion to help bring hope and healing to the nation. It was one of the most unifying expressions in modern Japanese church history and the hope that it inspired is still active today. To get a glimpse of how this happened, take a look at this...

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Where is God in the extended seasons of unceasing trauma?

One of our core faculty members, Rod Denton, has been going through a trying season the last several years. After wave upon wave of disappointment and agony, he shared the following wisdom. I'm sharing it here with his permission, and I hope it encourages you... To Our Praying Friends, It is not always easy to have clear perspective as we have journeyed over many years of illness and chronic pain. How do we make sense of it all? Where is God in the extended seasons of unceasing trauma? ...

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2018 Ministry Breakthroughs in Japan

Asian Access/Japan’s Progress Report from 2018

There is much to be thankful to God for in the ministry highlights he brought our way in 2018. Below is a summary of encouraging progress from various ministry categories and missionaries serving in Japan...

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The Koreas: dream of the March 1 Movement lives on

North Korea (MNN) – All eyes are on the peninsula dividing the Koreas over the next couple of days. Will North and South Korea be able to move past the Cold War framework toward peace? Is American President Donald Trump’s leadership style just bold and brash enough to convince North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that peace and reunification is in everyone’s best interest? These are the questions that await an answer as the two-day Summit gets underway.

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Marching Toward 2020

Years ago, Asian Access set some Holy Audacious Goals for the year 2020 and now we find ourselves on the precipice of that important year. We have both 2019 and 2020 to reach these monumental stretch goals and look forward to celebrations in the Spring and Fall of 2020 to see what God has done. To give you a sense of some of those big goals, here’s a sampling...

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