Joe Handley

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

Next year an immense opportunity is knocking at our doors and you can play a part in it! Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympics and Asian Access in partnership with SIM is mobilizing teams to participate through partnering with local churches in reaching out. I hope you’ll join us! We’re praying for a breakthrough and believing that God has a plan to see the Christian population double by 2023 and the Olympic year presents a unique springboard for this to happen. In a few weeks, Japan is hosting the Rugby World Cup which starts the wheels rolling. Then, next summer you can take part through teams coming to serve before the games as Tokyo hosts both the Olympic and Paralympic Games...{addthis off}

Pastor Fukuda on Japan's "Vision Festa"

Pastor Makoto Fukuda

I’m Makoto Fukuda from Grace City Church Tokyo. I’m a church planter as we as a pastor of the church.

For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants.
— Isaiah 44:3

a2 reiwa 2019“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” ... {addthis off}

jpn closeup 753 webSeveral 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...{addthis off}

Barbara 19.03.17 500x750pxI 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... {addthis off}

jpn tsunami ganbare 2012 jj 017Eight 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... {addthis off}

markus spiske 632413 unsplash 600pxOne 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? ... {addthis off}

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... {addthis off}

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19 I was struck by hope at the recent A2/Japan National Pastors Conference in Sapporo… All of these pastors pictured here as well as several others shared stories of new life springing forth through their outreach efforts. Many of these pastors ventured “out of their normal boxes” to take their faith...{addthis off}

christmas postcard Handley2018Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Greetings from Tokyo, Japan! We just wanted you to know that we're thinking of you and praying that you guys have a special Advent season. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We love you. We appreciate you, and we're grateful for you. God bless you...{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.” 

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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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