Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

Christian Community Credit Union Matches $10,000 for Pastor Leadership Training in Asia

I am thrilled to share an announcement released by Christian Community Credit Union. . .

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(San Dimas, CA, December 8, 2010) Christian Community Credit Union donated $10,000 in a matching grant campaign to provide pastor development programs in Asia. In partnership with Asian Access, the amount will provide leadership development programs to pastors in nine countries as well as help launch the Asian Access ministry in Bangladesh.

“I am grateful to Christian Community Credit Union for investing in this program that will make a difference. Their encouragement through this matching gift is a tribute to their commitment to Christ and expanding His Kingdom,” says Joseph W. Handley, Jr., President of Asian Access. “What a joy to see more pastors trained with vision, character and competence to lead the church of the future.” 

The donation was made possible through Christian Community Credit Union’s “Cards that Give to Missions” credit card program. Every time cardholders make a purchase using their Credit Union credit or debit card, the Credit Union donates to missions like Asian Access and other ministry projects. The donation is based on a portion of the interchange income the Credit Union receives from retail merchants.

“It’s a blessing that we have the opportunity to help build God’s Kingdom while serving our members’ financial needs,” says John Walling, Christian Community Credit Union President/CEO. “Thanks to our members’ use of their missions-giving credit and debit card, everyday purchases can help change lives in an eternally significant and God-honoring way.”

With assets over $500 million, Christian Community Credit Union has over 29,000 members worldwide and has served as a financial partner to Christian churches, ministries and their members for over 50 years. 

Asian Access is an interdenominational evangelical organization that works throughout Asia to identify, develop and release leaders who serve as pastors of growing and reproducing churches.

For more information about “The Cards that Give to Missions” credit card program, please call 800.347.CCCU or visit myCCCU/cards.

 Joe with two brothers from Bangladesh

Asian Access President Joseph Handley, Jr. with two pastors from Bangladesh. Christian Community Credit Union’s $10,000 matching gift will help provide pastor development programs in Asia.

by Joe Handley

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
—James 1:7

I'll never forget the day I accepted Jesus into my life. I was nine years old and was raised in a Christian home, my father being a lay pastor at the time. I was given new life by the greatest gift ever from the most generous giver of all time. There was freedom from all the trials and temptations that had haunted me, and there was eternal hope—something the world was unable to provide.

As I think back on that day, I find myself so blessed by the heritage that Jesus planted in my life. That same freedom and hope that came through the little child in Bethlehem is a free gift to all—but not all have the chance to hear about him.

Little did I know that this was a gift that would keep on giving. A gift of hope, freedom and joy unexplained. Jesus wanted to give a gift of eternity for all of humankind.

Thus, he sent me on a mission . . . a mission I was initially reluctant to follow. A mission to "seek and save the lost" in the neediest region of the world with this message.

Today, Jesus' name is being shared in places like Japan where the opportunity to hear about Christ is so, so limited. I know Christ is building His church across Asia because He cares! Jesus gave you and me a gift and a message that keeps on giving.

As you reflect on this great gift that Jesus has given us this Advent season, I want to thank you for your generosity—for you are a giver of life, of hope, of freedom, and of joy to a world that is desperate for what only Jesus can offer. Thank you for your friendship, your encouragement, your prayers, the ways you have been involved in giving life to our missionaries and our God-given mission.

May the joy of the Christ-child fill your heart and soul through this Christmas season.

We love and appreciate you!

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Joe Handley - 2010 head shot 

Joe Handley
President, Asian Access

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This concludes "O Come Let Us Adore Him" — Meditations on the Advent Season by the Asian Access Community. We hope you've been blessed by our A2 Advent devotional this year. Tell us! Or maybe you have an idea for improvement; please share your thoughts. As we evaluate this devotional and the possibility of future editions, we want to hear from you. Please post your feedback here...  

The last few days I've been in Sri Lanka with the 5th graduating class of pastors in the country. It's been a great joy spending time with the pastors and their families. What a spectacular event! Sri Lanka should be proud of the way they honor their graduates with such a wonderful culturaldisplay and spiritual tone during the ceremony.

Several testimonies were shared how lives were transformed, families renewed, and ministry plans strengthened. It was such a wonderful example of the fruit of investing in key leaders lives. There are several dozen pastors now who are committed to "unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel across Asia." These are pastors with vision, character and competence who are leading the church today.

In this video clip, Adrian De Visser, Asian Access Vice President of Partnership Development shares a personal message of appreciation for Dr. Gary Parrett, who is recovering from a tragic accident last summer in South Korea. Gary is a good friend and the Resource Coordinator for Asian Access/Sri Lanka.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v90hlqqZys

Video Description:
On behalf of the A2 community, Rev. Adrian De Visser shares at the Asian Access/Sri Lanka leader development graduation on January 22, 2011 to express appreciation and well-wishes to Dr. Gary Parrett, who is still recovering from a serious bus accident in Seoul, South Korea in July 2010. Dr. Parrett has been serving as a teacher, mentor and friend since the program was launched nearly 10 years ago. Gary's long road to recovery and current health updates can be found at:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/garyparrett

The last few years, everything has looked quite grim for the Japanese people and their beautiful country. Recently, I was reading a discouraging report by The Economist magazine, which conducted a comprehensive analysis of the economy and the social impact of an aging population. It highlighted what the field leaders of Asian Access/Japan have noted for a few years. The aging of the population is a significant challenge.

jpn026Coupled with this report has been the ongoing news of increased suicides, family fragmentation, and a sense of enormous pressure and high anxiety within the overall society.

In the midst of this difficult news, I recently learned of a few bright spots which have heightened our sense of hope as a mission.

One church has seen 200 new followers of Christ since going through the Asian Access leader development ministry. Another reports seeing 300 people coming to Christ this past year alone!

These reports show that hope is on the horizon. For when the economy is struggling and peoples lives are down, they are looking for hope. And several hundred have found this hope in the person of Christ. In the midst of these difficult days, many are finding serenity and peace like they've never seen before.

The joy of Japanese Christians can impact Japan's hopeless.This is indeed a special season for sharing the Gospel in Japan. Despair leaves people wanting and hope is available. Pray that we can build on these points of light and see many more find true joy and true peace in Christ.

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Bringing A2's Pastoral Training to Bangladesh

This week, Asian Access leadership met with many of the top Christian leaders in Bangladesh. Led by Adrian De Visser, Vice President for Partnership Development, this team that included faculty member Richard Brohier from Australia, the leader of A2 in another country and myself as well.  We spent two full days connecting with key church, mission and denomination leaders.

Several expressed a deep longing for this type of in-depth training believing that a stronger commitment to discipleship was important for emerging church leaders. Peter Halder, CEO of a national ministry, expressed it this way, "Many of our pastors lack this type of in-depth discipleship and biblical background. They have done well at evangelism and church planting, but we need a broader and deeper commitment to discipleship for the church to flourish." 

It was great for me to visit my friend Peter and his colleagues. Peter has invited me to his country for over 15 years and I now was finally able to join him. What a joy to spend time with him and his wife Nancy and see the work of their ministry.

Asian Access hopes to launch in Bangladesh sometime this year and this gathering of key leaders was a good step towards that future. Adrian De Visser has spent the last two years networking and laying the foundation for this and now it looks like we have a new horizon in front of us. Bangladesh will be the first predominantly Muslim country that A2 ventures into so we are thrilled to have this unique opportunity to strengthen the church and see what fruit the Lord brings. 

Pray for us as we enter into this new horizon. The challenge may be immense, but the opportunities are well worth it.

For His kingdom,

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Japan in the News

Japan finally social distancing after April COVID- Novel Coronavirus Expert meeting in Japan. This was the first meeting on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Japan (MNN) — Japan faces a new wave of confirmed coronavirus cases as the government starts testing more people. Many have referred to the April uptick as a second wave, the first happening in Marc

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Connecting for Ministry in a Socially Distanced World

Globalization—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...

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Japan: Online church, first A2/Japan webinar, and more

Creativity 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…

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Japan finally social distancing after April COVID-19 wave

Japan (MNN) — Japan faces a new wave of confirmed coronavirus cases as the government starts testing more people. Many have referred to the April uptick as a second wave, the first happening in March, but Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access views it as a delayed wave. Up until the beginning of April, Japan had not seen many cases, even though the virus first arrived in January. Read our full COVID-19 coverage here. Takazawa says of active cases, “I think the number has been... 

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A Family Opportunity in Japan | Missionary Perspectives, Ep 5

Miller family featured in 'Missionary Perspectives'

In this video from Jonathan Wu, Sterling and Emi Miller, missionaries in Tokyo, share about their work as a family in Japan. They also discuss the spiritual needs of the Japanese and offer advice on those going on short term missions trips. Missionary Perspectives is an educational series bringing insights from missionaries around the world. You can use this video clip as part of a Bible study lesson plan or curriculum...

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When things go wrong, God shows up strong!

Greetings 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... 

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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...

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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.”

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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}

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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}

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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}

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PO Box 3307
Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
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