Joe Handley

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

joe and silk masked on plane 640pxHere's a quick message from us as we head back to Japan for the last 7 weeks before moving back to the U.S. in December.

Great Commission DevotionDevotional for Day 20            

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch...

Takeshi & Dorrie TakazawaWatch Joe's interview with the Takazawas

Yesterday, we posted a video clip from Takeshi Takazawa (Takeshi talks Crisis, Danger, and Opportunity) in 2016 where he shares about the two Chinese characters for "crisis" which are made up of "danger" and "opportunity". He was applying it to the Great Japan Disaster (3.11.11). He reminded us...

bauman crisis keekee 600pxI read dozens of missionary prayer letters every month and this one by my colleagues Barbara and Gary Bauman really impressed me. Why? While many are mentioning the Japanese word and Chinese characters for crisis (see picture here), and how it means both danger and opportunity, I was particularly impressed with how Barbara and Gary are seeing this flesh out in their own life and ministry. They reported on some recent ministry activity that I hope we can share in the future. It’s an exciting story of how the Gospel is being manifest before those they are reaching out to in their sphere of influence. Barbara and Gary have this crisis idea down! As they shared...

Manga MessiahGlobalization—and the current pandemic—have tied together intercontinental personal relationships and socially distanced ministry in ways we would have found difficult to imagine not so many years ago.

The following true story from one of our Asian Access Japan staff highlights how intercontinental friendships and digital media can partner together in ministry even in a “shelter in place” world. Thank you for your prayers for our Asian Access family as our members share God’s love through every means possible. Here is their story I wanted to share with you...

A Japanese university not far from our current home in Japan has had a sister school relationship with my alma mater in the USA for over 50 years. Decades ago...

hari joshua 2017 headshotCreativity started before COVID-19 now deepening in Japan

God is clearly doing something new these days… While we mourn the deep losses of people and our sense of community living in isolation, there are signs of promise. We hope a solution comes soon for the coronavirus but during this season, something fresh is stirring. This video interview with my colleagues Joshua Hari and Jeffery Sonnenberg highlights some of what God is doing. In fact, as Joshua shares, it seems that God was preparing things in advance as well as setting the stage for fulfilling our longer-term vision for Japan. Watch and see what God is doing…

pink flower in snowGreetings on Good Friday. When it looks dark, that's when God shows up.

The year I joined Asian Access was the year the economy last collapsed. I was responsible for raising more money than I had ever dreamed of before and suddenly, the stock markets dropped to the floor. We had come to the end of the year and had set up a special meeting to begin closing major portions of the ministry. The same day of that meeting, I had a lunch appointment with a pastor and told him, “What was God thinking calling me to this post? I knew he... 

A2 in this together 1024x690 GI 1093166844Dear 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.”

Sendai tsunami disaster 29Mar2011 jj 044March 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}

coronavirusA 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}

00373 00653Have 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} 

All Stories

How Not to Teach Middle School

Throughout the week, I share the story about my faith journey A LOT. As a mobilizer with SIM, I’m one of the first conversations people have with us as they seek to discern God’s calling for them in His kingdom work around the world. An important part of every conversation is getting to share my journey and inviting the person on the call to share theirs.

A favorite line I like to share in my story is “If you don’t have a firm sense of your identity in Christ, and you don’t have a firm sense of His calling on your life, then you probably shouldn’t try to teach middle school English!”

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Dear Brothers and Sisters at Asbury University

…and beyond: encouragement from a big sister

I first heard about what God was doing on your campus on Friday, February 10. At the SIM USA sending office, we take our motto By Prayer very seriously. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we come together corporately for a chapel service to pray over each one of our fields and our missionaries. On Mondays and Fridays, we do the same, but this time we gather in smaller groups by our departments. One of my coworkers brought up what God was doing on your campus, and we began to pray for you. 

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New, But Not: Our Journey to Japan

By Linda Koyama

Hi, I’m Linda. Nice to meet you. I’m currently writing from Yamagata, Japan, where my family is partnering with a local church. You’ve probably never heard of Yamagata. Don’t worry, neither did I until it was presented as one of the potential prefectures we’d be serving in. 

So where exactly is Yamagata? Think north of Tokyo about 200 miles (300 kilometers), or a 4 1/2 hour drive by car. It’s in the southern part of the Tohoku region, closer to the Japan Sea side (rather than the Pacific Ocean side). It’s definitely not one of Japan’s hot tourist spots, but this region is known for its ski slopes, onsens, and delicious fruits.

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It's a Different World...

By Tia Blassingame

Okay, if you look like me you probably started singing that song title and know exactly where I got it from. Perfect, because it has been playing in my head all week! This is truly a different world. Right now, I am at a homestay with my onēsan (pronounced ohnay-sahn) and her family. That term right there is already different vocabulary for you I’m assuming. Onēsan is “older sister” and a “homestay” is when you stay overnight (or more than one night) with a family. In basic “Tia terms” (that’s me), I’m at a sleepover with my sis and her fam. Let me backtrack a bit...

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Counting the Cost 3: The Shape of You

Leaving what I’ve found:
You helped me find my true self.
Wishing you were here. 

During one of my first annual Asian Access retreats in Japan, Dr. Sue Takamoto led all of us first-term missionaries through a special training specifically designed for our experience. One of her warm-up exercises had us flexing some of our creative muscles: we were to write haiku that showcased our experiences during our first term. I wrote the above haiku for my church family back home in St. Louis.

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Living a "Relevant Life"

Rethinking how God's Word is "relevant" to our lives and ministries

By Kent Muhling

I sometimes pray Psalm 143:8 at the beginning of my morning devotions. It reads, 

“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, 
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, 
for to you I lift up my soul.” 

Read more...

Asian Access takes new name as ministry expands to the Middle East and beyond

International (A3) — Asian Access, known widely as A2, is expanding its ministry into some of the most dangerous and volatile parts of the world.

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And Our New Name is...

February 3, 2023

Friends of Asian Access,

I am thrilled to announce today that Asian Access has a new name. I have been waiting a long time to tell you, and I have simply been bursting to get this out there!

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2023... New Name and Encouraging Developments

This week Asian Access will be making a significant announcement and we want you, our friends, to be the first to know.

February 3 (2.3.23) is the day we have targeted to share the news of the ministry's expansion which is also driving the moment for a new name for the organization. I think you'll agree it's a wonderful connection to the past and a bridge to the next era of ministry to which we're called. Stay tuned for this exciting news!

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Making sense of Urbana and your own personal journey

Because Urbana '22 has just concluded, we thought it would be especially helpful to repost an article written after a previous Urbana by Asian Access missionary Sue Takamoto, who first attended Urbana '84.

Decision-Making and God's Perspective

  • "Oh no… It's been several weeks since Urbana, but I haven't signed up with a mission agency yet. Am I out of God's will?"
  • "How will I ever decide?!"
  • "I think God and my parents have very different ideas about what's best for my life…"
  • "Urbana still doesn't make sense to me."

Read more...

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