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  • Your dollar is a church-planting seed

    crowded Tokyo street Matching donation challenge to boost Japan church planting

    Japan (MNN) -- “Japan has been the toughest soil in the world amongst unreached people groups: very difficult to make some progress for the Gospel. In fact, it’s been known as a ‘missionary’s graveyard,’” says Joe Handley, President of Asian Access (A2).

    Only 2% of Japan holds to Christianity. The rest of the population...

  • Mission Network News interviews Joe Handley on $200K match

    Joe HandleyMNN's Katey Hearth talks to Joe Handley, President of Asian Access, about their $200,000 matching grant initiative and how it'll impact church planting in Japan.

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    "We need a mighty force of prayer warriors around the world
    praying for the people of Japan. And we are desperate for
    people to go to Japan."

    What specifically to pray for... More...

  • Hope, dignity, and love rise out of the ruins of Japan's tsunami

    nozomi-project-a2.jpgBeauty from brokenness out of Japan

    Japan (MNN) ― It has been more than two years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    International attention has since shifted focus to other more immediate disasters, but memory of the devastation by a three-fold horror remains a daily...

  • Two years after disaster in Japan, healing continues

    Japan (MNN) ― It has been two years since the March 11th disaster in Japan, and yet, from many accounts, a sense of heaviness remains hunkered down over northeast Japan.

    The devastating earthquake and tsunami left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing, and

    ...
  • Connecting the dots between Peru and Japan

    Urbana '12 (photo by Barry Sherbeck)JAPAN (MNN) ―Meeting Chris Conti at Urbana 12 in St. Louis, Missouri, was a 'God-thing'.

    Conti is an SIM missionary to Peru. Growing up in a non-Christian family, she felt that God set her apart and protected her throughout her life. In university, she grew and became a leader within InterV...

  • New training in Japan is on the uprise

    Japan (MNN) ― In Asia, for every 600,000 people, there is only one trained, competent Christian leader. David Dayalan from Asian Access says they are working on training more leaders, especially in Japan.

    "Asian Access developed a strong emphasis on helping pastors to look at

    ...
  • Training new leaders to offset the 1:600,000 odds

    JapanPastoral training in Japan is on the uprise

    JAPAN (MNN) ― In Asia, for every 600,000 people, there is only one trained, competent Christian leader. David Dayalan from Asian Access says they are working on training more leaders, especially in Japan.

    "Asian Access developed a strong...

  • SIM/A3 Partnership honored; Now a major call is going out

    Joe Handley receiving award for Asian Access.USA (MNN) ―A partnership is not only saving money and opening more ministry opportunities, but it's being rewarded. Over the weekend, A3 and SIM were presented an award for a missional partnership at the Missio Nexus North American Leaders Conference in Chicago.

    A3 had a problem. They had 24 missionaries in Japan, but they couldn't afford them. A3's President Joe Handley says, "We had an economy problem that was increasing over time. And we said, 'What are we going to do? Should we fold, or should we figure out a new way to... 

  • Anxiety mounts following government's 'worst-case scenario' report

    Anxiety mounts following government's 'worst-case scenario' reportJAPAN (MNN) ―Picture this: A massive undersea earthquake, registering at 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggers a tsunami with 110-foot waves, which strikes just south of Tokyo at midnight. Winter winds help fuel the waves, and most of the disaster's 320,000 victims are swept away while they...

  • Effects of Japan tsunami still spreading

    Tsunami impacting hearts, Japan, now North America

    Effects of Japan tsunami still spreadingJAPAN (MNN) ―The effects of the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake are even more widespread now than they were 14 months ago.

    Reminders of that fateful day remain for miles in Japan, deeply embedded in the hearts of survivors, and stretching...

  • Japan's hope grows as the nation recovers from tragedy

    One year after destruction, Japan's cherry blossoms announce a growing hope

    Cherry BlossomsJAPAN (MNN) ―One year ago this Sunday, a huge earthquake -- the fifth-largest ever recorded -- ripped through the seabed about 40 miles off the coast of Japan.

    At magnitude 9.0, the quake shifted Honshu Island 8 feet...

  • Pastors providing relief in Japan, but tired

    Pastors tired in Japan, hundreds of missionaries neededHundreds of missionaries needed for Japan, along with community centers

    JAPAN (MNN)More problems plagued Japan's damaged nuclear power plant over the weekend. According to reports, 45 tons of highly-radioactive water leaked from the Fukushima power station into a gutter that leads to the...

  • Partnership to plant 1,000 churches by 2020

    A3 makes significant partnership just in time for responsive hearts in Japan

    A3/SIM PartnershipJAPAN (MNN) ― The 1st century church shared everything to accomplish Kingdom growth. Why shouldn't 21st century ministries do the same?

    A missional partnership uniting A3 and SIM USA was recently formed with the aim...

  • Japan breathes sigh of relief with Typhoon Roke's near miss

    Typhoon Roke took a swipe at the disaster zone in Japan

    washed out road (photo courtesy Jeff Johnston)  

    JAPAN (MNN) ― It also brought evacuations, flooding and more worry to the country struggling to recuperate from the tsunami, quake and nuclear disaster in March. Although a fierce storm, it weakened on approach to Fukushima as a Category 1...

  • Secrecy, spies and suspicion: part of the history of the church in Asia

    Though their history reads like a mystery, the church in Asia writes a happier chapter

    Secrecy, spies and suspicion: part of the history of the church in AsiaASIA (MNN) - Secrecy, spies and suspicion: they are all elements found in a novel or movie of intrigue. You'd expect  to see such a storyline unfolding in connection with a mystery, but not the church.

    However, Joe Handley...

  • Church growing in Japan, relief continues

    Asian Access reports churches are growing in aftermath of tsunami

    Church growing in Japan, relief continues

    JAPAN (MNN) ― It's been nearly three months since Japan was torn apart by an earthquake and tsunami. The billions of dollars in damage sent the country into a deeper recession as many jobs were lost, businesses were left crippled, and in some...

  • Tsunami victims still in great need physically, spiritually

    Relief work slow, but significant

    Tsunami victims still in great need physically, spiritually

    JAPAN (MNN) ―Two months after the tsunami and earthquake that devastated Japan, relief work is ongoing.

    An Asian Access (A2) missionary says some areas have seen significant developments, including the restoration of electricity and shorter lines at the gas station.

    But other...

  • Seasons of change coming to Japan

    The winds of change drive new openness for ministry team in Japan

    Japan (MNN) ― Japan's opposition swept to a historic victory in elections Sunday, following the theme of "change."

    The new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) promised to rebuild the economy and breathe new life into the country.

    As a result, the opposition swept 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, ousting the Liberal Democrats (LDP). 54-years under the same rule has come to an end, but in that time, the government has acknowledged things have gone astray.

    According to Asian Access (A2), leaders in Japan have characterized their own nation as "a super power without a moral compass." This is a relatively new phenomenon in a country that was guided, for centuries, by a moral and religious ethic that came out of Shintoism and Confucianism.

    However, at the same time, disillusionment is running high. In a country known for its traditional ways, this could mean many open doors for the Gospel.

    Tim Clark with A2  says the election results are an example of that. "People of all ages are chanting, 'Yes, we can! Yes, we can!' I think that shows a desire for change. And then, this week's election is really very remarkable as decades of rule have ended, and political shift has been dramatic."

    More importantly, it signals a paradigm shift in thinking.   "Asian Access missionaries, along with Christians throughout the country, are hoping that this change will really come forward in a desire for change, spiritually."

    Clark says people are very open to the Gospel now, making it a ripe harvest for summer evangelism teams, called  J-Teams.These are teams of 3-5 people who work with a Japanese church to do community outreach through English classes, coffee houses, children's ministry, camp and other relationship-building activities. Team members' specific interests and abilities can usually be incorporated into the ministry as well.

    Clark says this year "teams were able to build relationships with many non-Christians who normally would not be at a church. But because of this new openness and this new search for hope and encouragement, they found their way to a church."

    Despite the needs in the church and the culture at large, the greatest need is for people who faithfully live and represent the reality of Christ and the power of the Gospel. The Japanese need the Life and hope that Christians can bring. You can help. Click here to read more about Asian Access j-Teams.

    More information...

    This article was originally published by Mission Network News. Click here to read.

    Listen to the broadcast, including a brief interview with A2 missionary Tim Clark:

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    • Read Tim Clark's profile.


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  • 30 years of ministry fruit celebrated in Japan

    Leadership marks three decades of growth 

    Asian AccessJAPAN (MNN) ― Asian Access (A2) observes an important anniversary this month. Their leadership development program in Japan just marked 30 years, and 189 pastors helped to celebrate.

    Asian Access President Joe Handley says ministry has come a long way since 1979. "The word on the street for Japan for decades has been 'it's a missionary's graveyard.'" 

    Not anymore. A2 picks a dozen church leaders to be a part of an accelerated two-year training program. The goal: to deploy 100 church multiplication teams.  

    When the twelve meet together, they are working through an established curriculum that accelerates their growth as spiritual leaders, as well as organizational leaders. Over the course of their training sessions, leaders in and outside of Japan resource them so they have what they need to grow.

    By the time they are ready to graduate, they have developed skills to equip their congregation for effective service. At the end of the program, these church leaders lay out their long-term vision and then begin to develop strategies for growth and multiplication.

    Handley explains that "over the next two to three years, we hope to double the amount of networks that we have in Japan. These networks are becoming a model for other countries as well." 

    As word about this work in Japan spread across Asia, interest grew. Mongolia was the first country to indicate interest. They adapted the Asian Access/Japan model and began training sessions in 1996.

    Soon, other countries were added. Asian Access has established leader development programs in eight countries thus far, with an ambitious vision for establishing work in 20 countries by 2010.

    An added benefit is that the strategy unifies the church body. As the leaders implement their plans for evangelism, discipleship and church growth, they share a common vision.

    From that, Handley notes, "You see remarkable fruit from church planting movements that have birthed essentially from this leadership development institute that launched in Japan." 

    Once these pastors begin church planting, A2 networks three or more of them so they can make the best use of their strengths. They meet together for a period of 3-4 years, during which each pastor aims to reproduce a congregation.

    The only thing holding back their growth is a lack of funding. Can you help? Click here.

     

    More information...


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  • Alphabet soup equals growth in Asia's church

    Asian Access leadership development expands organically

    ASIA (MNN) ― Asia (MNN) ― Church leadership development in Asia is a challenge.

    A2 Leadership Development participantLeadership training for Asian Access started as the Japan Church Growth Institute and has grown to nine countries across Asia.

    The key to its effectiveness is the careful selection of twelve emerging leaders on an annual basis. These leaders are then invited to be a part of a class that meets four times a year, for a week at a time, over a two-year period.

    When the twelve meet together, they are working through an established curriculum that accelerates their growth as spiritual leaders, as well as organizational leaders.

    As word about this work in Japan spread across Asia, interest grew. Asian Access began to explore how to help leaders in other places in Asia.

    When the indigenous church began owning it, the growth was exponential in one of the largest countries in Asia. Joseph Handley, President of Asian Access, or A2, says, "'In the provincial capitals, we'll call it 'B2,'" describing how the enthusiasm for a homegrown A2 movement began spreading.

    What's more exciting, Handley says, "They've launched an entire movement of leadership training that follows this vision: to be a vibrant community of servant leaders with vision, character and competence, leading the church across Asia."

    Because the Gospel is making huge inroads, "Not only did they start a B2 movement--the country is so large and they want to impact more rural areas--they've now started a C2 movement," says Handley.

    In India, A2 leaders want to start their own B2 movement. Handley says prayer is huge, and a lot hinges on the identification of the right leaders. "As we look toward expansion in countries like India, one of the most critical components we have is finding the right pastor who will become a regional or city leader to lead the effort."

    You can find out more about how you can help. Click here for details.

    More information...


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