mission network news

  • Japan's divorce rate threatens the family unit

    Biblical discipleship program answers Japan's growing divorce rate

    Japanese buddhist wedding couple

    Japan (MNN) ― One in every four marriages in Japan now ends in divorce. The issue has been a source of concern for a society in which families are a core strength. The Japanese grow up following their society's emphasis on social interdependence---the concept of being members of the whole as opposed to the individual.

    Family responsibilities take precedence over individual desires, and familial relations provide the model for social integration at all levels. Furthermore, the family plays an important role in determining individual life chances. That's why the rising divorce rates have shaken the society to its core. The family unit foundation is falling apart for both this generation and the next, tearing at the fabric of their society.

    There are ways this is being addressed. Tim Clark with Asian Access is working with a pilot program called "The Marriage Course" by Alpha. However, some of the facilitators were concerned about how it would be received by the Japanese.

    It's a delicate issue because the Japanese are known for their sensitivity, propriety and privacy regarding marriage and families.

    That was soon overcome. Clark acknowledges that "many start the course with a little bit of skepticism and hesitancy, not wanting to go deep into discussion. But both Christians and non-Christians are finding it to be a great way to ease into discussing important matters that are crucial to the health of their marriages."

    The Alpha Course provides a comfortable environment topeople from all walks of life to discuss and learn about foundational issues of the Christian faith. The course is designed to serve those seeking to study the essential basics--new believers as well as seekers (those who have not yet come to a place of fully believing).

    From the course came a seven-week study for marriages. Participating couples are equipped with biblical tools for communication, conflict resolution and growth.

    Clark says interest is rapidly growing from the three marriage courses running now, and A2 is beginning the Japanese translation of the course materials. "There are very few resources in Japan for strengthening marriages and families. Many churches are recognizing this need, both for church members as well as for their friends and others who aren't a part of the church."

    More information...

    This article was originally published byMission Network News.Clickhere to read.

    Listen to the broadcast, including an interview withTim Clark:

    • 2-minute broadcast: 
    • 4-minute broadcast: 
    • 9-minute interview: 


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  • Documentary redefines access to Asia in missions framework

    A2 DVDSharing vision and hope for evangelism in Asia

    Asia (MNN) ― Asia is the world's largest and most-populous continent. Buddhism, Hinduism and a host of other religions compete for dominance, and most of the world's unreached live in Asia. Conflicting worldviews have led to a spiritual dissonance in many of these countries, which leaves millions open to the truth of Christ. So, who will take the Gospel to Asia? That question is answered in a documentary entitled, MISSIONS:REDEFINED. Craig Detweiler directed the documentary for Asian Access. "For those who want to see for themselves what it is like in Sri Lanka, Asian Access has prepared a documentary. It shows you what's going on in Mongolia, in Japan, and in Sri Lanka." The 35-minute documentary details a part of Detweiler's own journey as he returns to Japan 20 years after he was there as a missionary with Asian Access. Although aimed at missions professors, the purpose of MISSIONS:REDEFINED is to open eyes toward the difference the Gospel makes in Asia. The documentary also reveals A2's commitment to developing church leaders who can reproduce new leaders and build or plant churches...

  • Children's ministry team preps for Japan

    In answer to prayer, God provides a ministry team

    Japan (MNN) ― Last month, Asian Access offered an opportunity for volunteers to serve missionary kids in Japan. A team of 6 - 10 was needed to help shine the light of Christ in the dark country. A2 recently announced God's provision of a children's ministry team for this year's annual Asian Access /Japan Spring Conference.

    Ten candidates are currently in the screening process and very likely will be heading to Japan soon. The team will provide VBS-type programming for children of missionaries attending the Spring conference held March 5 - 9 in the breathtaking mountain ranges of the Nagano region.

    The purpose of the 5-day event is to refresh and equip missionaries serving alongside Japanese congregations, providing ample opportunities for fellowship and rest. The children's ministry team contributes to the A2 missionary team by serving their kids.

    Asian Access asks you to join them in prayer for this spring's team as they raise financial support and prepare quality children's activities. Pray that each team member remains healthy and grows in their relationship with God through the process.

    Asian Access holds conferences each year in the fall and spring. To learn more, visit their Web site by clicking here.

    This story was first published by Mission Network News.

    • Read the MNN article online.


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  • 'Spiritual fathers' needed for church in Asia

    Asian Access looks for coaches and 'spiritual fathers' for the growing body of Christ in Asia

    ASIA (MNN) ― The church in Asia is booming. Faced with the population of the region, identifying and targeting key "influencers" is as important as evangelizing them.

    The need for spiritual mentors in Asia is huge. First Generation believers are coming to the forefront as leaders. However, this generation essentially has no "spiritual fathers."

    Joe Handley with Asian Access says many times the new Christian leaders find themselves woefully underprepared to minister. "They're thrown into the thick of being pastors, oftentimes shortly coming to Christ. Other times, there are Bible schools and seminaries, but they aren't really equipping them with the kind of mentoring and discipleship that it takes to lead the church."

    The model they're following comes out of the New Testament church. The situation they face is not unlike Paul investing in Timothy and then having a Barnabus alongside of him. Yet the dearth of mentors means many of these pastors are left wanting. Handley says, "They're the ‘Timothys' of the world today , but there's no ‘Paul' that is investing in their lives, and there's no ‘Barnabus' to come alongside. S, the need is tremendous."

    A2s pastoral team says these leaders have the desire to build on God's investment in their nation. Looking back over a 200-year survey of missions in their nation reveals God's blessing on evangelistic work despite oppressive circumstance.

    That legacy galvanized this team's commitment to training up new leaders to fulfill the Great Commission as one of the greatest missionary sending countries in the world.

    Asian Access is helping to flesh out this vision with the help of experienced pastors and disciplers. Handley explains: "We'll have 12 pastors in a session and then a seasoned veteran pastor that comes in and helps coach and mentor and disciple these fellows. The time they get is so rich and rewarding, plus they're learning from one another, which creates a dynamic community of learning."

    So, what you're doing is taking leadership development to the next level? "It's really strengthening the capacity of pastors throughout Asia, and it's really facilitating the church planting movement."

    Asian Access has established leader development programs in nine countries with the vision for establishing work in 20 countries in the next several years. There is more information on how you can help here.

     

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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.

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  • Unprecedented growth in Asian church brings celebration and caution

    Asian Access develops training model for new Asian Christians

    Asia (MNN) ― Recently, Asia has seen unprecedented church growth. A chief model is a Buddhist country, whose number of believers has increased from 50,000 to 1.5 million in the last decade.

    Asian Access is in that country as well as others across Asia. Joe Handley of Asian Access said these unfounded numbers stem from people's dissatisfaction with the current systems they are under, as well as the movement of God within their hearts.

    "There's a spiritual hunger in many of the countries throughout Asia... and they realize that the religious value systems and cultural value systems that they hold are not providing the kinds of answers they're looking for," Handley said.

    With such growth, however, danger arises, as congregations lack proper leadership, and the leadership they do have can be corrupt for lack of guidance.

    That's why Asian Access has developed a training model for new believers, Handley said, focusing on a person's deep commitment to Christ and their character before they begin to disciple others: "We are focusing on four key outcomes:

    1. Living in a love relationship with God,
    2. Growing as Christ-like leaders,
    3. Reproducing disciple-making leaders, and...
    4. Planting and multiplying churches."

    A2 leadership development model focuses on 4 outcomes in the life of the pastor.

    This training is a two-year process whereby 12 leaders are mentored, just like Jesus and his 12 disciples.

    "The more you can focus on abiding in Christ and Christ-like character, the more you strengthen the church," Handley said, strengthening it enough to withstand such rapid growth and allow for even more rejoicing when more individuals find Christ.

    Pray for Asian Access as they continue this endeavor. Would you be interested in partnering with Asian Access as they mentor these future leaders? Visit the Asian Access Web site where you can also find out more about other aspects of their ministry.

     

    This article was first published by Mission Network News and can be read here:
    http://www.mnnonline.org/article/14212


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  • As Japan struggles, A2 readies a response campaign

    Asian Access addressing Japan's crisis

    Map of Japan

    JAPAN ( MNN ) ― Japan's debt crisis could mirror that of Greece. For the last two decades, the government has been spending more and borrowing more from its citizens to compensate. As a result, Japan's debt-to-GDP ratio is the largest in the world.

    A new report shows that the financial distress is having an impact on mental health and well-being. It reveals a 2.9 percent increase in suicides in 2007, which means Japan is the most suicide-prone country in the developed world.   

    The new trend: adults in the prime of their lives are most at risk of suicide. Why? Work-related depression is emerging as a significant factor, among others.

    A failing economy is pushing up the suicide rate to epidemic proportions. Couple this with a latch-key/shut-in children problem and a disintegrating family unit, and the future for this nation is grim. 

    Joe Handley with Asian Access says God has called them to respond specifically. "Ultimately, our vision is to expand the ministry, collaborate broadly with other churches throughout Japan, identify Japanese churches that have a vision for church multiplication, send more missionaries to the country, and finally, work in holistic ministries throughout the land." 

    Now that they've defined a problem and have a plan, there's a lot of excitement and hope. Handley says they're still working out the details. "We're just on the verge of launching a whole new effort, but we're not quite ready to announce our plan. That will be coming out over the next few months."

    It's a big endeavor that needs prayer. "Pray that God will provide the resources necessary to do this kind of expansion."

    Keep following A2's Web site and posts at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for more information.

    Updates can be found here:

     

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  • New partnership could lead to an alliance to reach Japan

    A2 Expands in Japan to Plant More Churches

    Bamboo path

    JAPAN (MNN) ― "God has us moving down an unknown path, and it's going to be exciting to watch it unfold." That's President of Asian Access Joe Handley.

    He says Asian Access is preparing for the future, and as a part of that plan, A2 has embarked on an 18-month discovery process to review their vision, mission, strategic goals and DNA.

  • World changers to meet in Cape Town to talk strategy

    Church leaders to meet in Cape Town for Third Lausanne Congress 

    Cape Town 2010CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (MNN) ― There's a saying that goes: "The strength of your diversity is the strength of your unity."

    It means that many parts can function well if they are motivated under a common purpose. It's also a picture of the body of Christ, united in making His name central. That's a driving force behind Cape Town 2010, the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. It's a ten-day gathering that begins October 16.

    Asian Access is just one group of hundreds participating. A2 President Joseph Handley says, "This event is only held once every 15 to 20 years, so it's a significant event that will set the course for world evangelization for the next decade or two."

    What is the Lausanne Movement? It's a body formed from a movement aimed at "The Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World." Lausanne III will take a cross-section of church leaders and help them figure out how to keep the Gospel at the forefront of their ministry.

    A little history:

    1966- The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in partnership with America's Christianity Today magazine, sponsored the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.

    1974 - 2,700 participants and guests from over 150 nations gathered in the Swiss Alps for ten days of discussion, fellowship, worship and prayer. The Congress achieved an unprecedented diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, ages, occupations and denominational affiliations. Out of this meeting came the Lausanne Covenant. It helped set the stage for new collaborative efforts among Christians. To this day, the Lausanne Covenant serves as a basis for unity and a call to global evangelization. Organizers got a mandate to establish a Continuation Committee that would build on the momentum created at the Congress.

    1975 - The Continuation Committee held its first meeting in Mexico City. Committee members expressed a wide variety of viewpoints regarding the future of the movement.

    2010 - The goal of Cape Town 2010 is to re-stimulate the spirit of Lausanne represented in the Lausanne Covenant: to promote unity, humbleness in service, and a call to action for global evangelization.

    Handley says, "We'll be sitting down together--there will be 4000 global leaders and delegates at the congress--discussing several key issues, and kind of wrestling through the problems that we are facing and how can we address them."

    The issues run the gamut from bioethics to social justice to spiritual warfare as they relate to the future of the Church and world evangelization. Ministry leaders are hoping to draw on their strengths, work together united under Christ, and become more effective.

    While some leaders tend to shape their ministry approach after a business model, there are others who promote a more relational model within the context of the community. For everything there is a season. Cape Town 2010 will be a time for listening, building, helping, changing and growing. For some, it means starting over.

    It's a time for casting vision and figuring out how to make that a reality. There's a lot of anticipation about how this will look once the Congress concludes.

    One thing is clear, Handley says: "At the end of the day, at the end of this ten-day congress, we hope to come out with a greater sense of unity in the body of Christ worldwide, a great sense of clarity for the Gospel, and then finally, [a greater sense of] the top priorities of the task before us in reaching the world for Christ."

    There are challenges before Cape Town 2010. Some of them involve finances. Some involve spiritual warfare. Some are physical, with endurance tested in keeping things moving forward for the delegates.

    Momentous kingdom building strides were made at the last Congress. "Pray for a sense of our own centeredness in Christ; for peace and wisdom with all the things that are coming our direction. And then, for us, as an Asian Access family, we have our own financial and prayer needs as well."

    There are many ways you can participate. Not only can individuals watch proceedings on the Internet, there will also be 400 anchor sites providing global links in 60 nations. Participants at theological institutions, mission sites, and churches worldwide will be able to interact with those at the congress.

    There's a GlobaLink here.

    Listen to the Broadcast: 

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    (less than 5 minutes)



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  • A2 to provide leadership/direction to Lausanne

    Asian Access making key contributions to Cape Town

    Cape Town 2010 logo


    CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (MNN) He was invited as a delegate from the United States. He will also be a table moderator. We're talking about President ofAsian Access Joe Handley and his participation inCape Town 2010.

    Handley says he'll not only be listening to God, "but also kind of engaging the critical issues that the world is facing today and how the church can best help address them."

    Joe Handley

    Handley says A2 comes alongside pastors across Asia and helps develop them for ministry. He says, "So, there are going to be many issues that we're covering in the next few days that will help develop the life of pastors, help them strengthen their congregations, and then as well help them facilitate outreach in their countries and beyond."

    These efforts are expanding the work of Asian Access. "We work in nine countries across Asia right now. And next year we're prayerfully going to launch our 10th country, as well as two new regions in a couple of the largest countries in the world," says Handley.

    Handley says one of the plenary sessions focus on Christ being our peace, "and how does that reflect on our lives and our ministries today and how does that affect the church. And we followed that with some powerful stories of reconciliation in various parts of the world and how the body of Christ can be agents of change and transformation in the world."

    According to Handley, he's expecting a great move of the Holy Spirit. "I really believe that the Spirit of God is going to speak in and through us, and at the end of the day we're going to come up with some significant sense of what God is doing for the next two decades in ministry for the church."

    You can follow Lausanne Live athttp://www.CapeTown2010.com  

    Listen to the Broadcast for several news updates* from Cape Town 2010

    * includes breaking news of a cyber attack against the Congress 

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    More information...

    Doug Birdsall of Lausanne at Cape Town 2010Doug Birdsall, an Asian Access missionary and member of A2's Board of Directors, serves as Executive Chair of Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. In addition, several board members, staff, faculty serve in key roles for Cape Town 2010, as well as the greater Lausanne Movement. 

    Lausanne logo

  • A2 appoints new leadership to steer bold outreach growth

    Asian Access taps veteran missionary for post in Japan

    mjwilson-2009-webJAPAN (MNN) ― In 2008--the latest year for which data are available from the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare, Japan's birthrate was 1.37 children per woman.

    The average life span is roughly 80 years (79.29 years for men, 86.05 years for women) which means that the children have longer to support more and more members of the older generation. However, in 1997, sociologists noted that the elderly outnumbered the younger generation, and that number is only growing. 

    Add to that rising unemployment and a flat job market, and younger people spend more time on the job making themselves indispensable. The combination has taken a fluid culture and created a clumsy replica of its former self. 

    Asian Access saw the tremendous social challenges, which included rising suicide rates, latch-key/shut-in children, and disintegrating families. They also saw the spiritual needs of Japan with less than 1% of the population following Christ.

    As a result, they understood God was calling them to expand ministry in Japan.   

    To do that, they needed someone with a heart for Japan to oversee the growth. Enter: Mary Jo Wilson. Today, she launches into her role as A2's new Vice President to Japan. "Of course, our focus is always church planting, church multiplication, and partnering with the Japanese pastors. So I hope to strengthen that and prepare for what God has in the future."

    Wilson sees her role as part inspirational, part counselor, and part director, as she develops the direction for the A2 Strategic Partnership. One of the challenges will be preparing the leaders. "In Japan, it's an aging generation, so the youth will be carrying that burden into the next several decades. I think we see that in the church our pastors are older and that it's a matter of passing that baton to the younger generation and seeing the younger generation reached."

    The mission of A2 is "to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." This will be especially important as the society responds to its stressors. Wilson agrees. "I've heard some say that it's a fatherless nation because the fathers have been very committed  to their work, and the children have not connected well with fathers; after this goes on for a generation or two, there definitely is some fallout."

    Wilson goes on to say the time is right to resource Christian communities. "I think the church is looking for practical ways to respond to that. We're seeing more emphasis on marriage issues, and I see just a more holistic approach to sharing the Gospel, ministering to individuals and families, and really transforming society in that way."

    Why Japan? It all started with Urbana. Wilson picked up some literature about ministry in Japan but was still hoping to be a part of medical missions on "a real mission field." 

    After Haiti, God reminded her about Japan. "Two years later, I looked at that, and God told me to turn that in. I thought, ‘This is one of those tests.' And I, in obedience, turned it in. I wound up going to Japan for the summer, and there was no turning back."

    Wilson learned what defined a true "mission field." She explains: "The spiritual need is just overwhelming. He gave me new eyes, I think, to see what a mission field is and to understand the need there. Yes, I just fell in love with the people and fully became committed to sharing the Gospel with them."

    Please pray for Wilson as she works to accelerate A2's church-planting work in Japan.

    Listen to the MNNbroadcast...(4 mins. 30 secs.)

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  • God's timing prepares team for quake

    JAPAN (MNN) ―Asian Access reports that their team survived the quake safely. 

    A2-spring-retreat-2011-crc3

    The mission group was gathered for their annual retreat, about 200 miles from the epicenter. 

    A group of visiting friends from the U.S. provided a calming presence and stability for the staff children during the early hours.  

    However, Asian Access does have several partners who have likely been severely affected, but communications are limited. 

    The team worked with a church in Sendai, which is the epicenter of the earthquake. While they successfully contacted a close friend from that church, this friend was unable to contact other friends from the church. Both the church and their old neighborhood are less than 2 miles from the coast, so the possibility ofdevastation is likely.  

    Still, they remain confident that God will use the faith ofthese believers to reach out to the hurting in the community. 

    A note of interest: six days ago, the leaders were part of an all-day training to help Christians in Japan be prepared to respond in case of earthquake. One of the team members was supposed to teach English that day, but they both felt that attending the training was more important. It is likely that one of them will be part of relief efforts. They are thanking God for His timing in preparing them to be able to help in practical ways.

    Pray with them as they move to respond. Pray too that God will quickly move and unite the Church to reach out during this terrible tragedy.   

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  • Unsung heroes in Japan: the fingerprints of God

    JAPAN (MNN) ―officialusnavytsunami Life goes in the shadow of a disaster.

    Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis have shaken confidence in the surety of day-to-day life. However, survivors still need to eat, drink, and stay warm as they begin to wrap their minds around the enormity of rebuilding.

    Asian Access is walking alongside the people through their network of churches, the unsung heroes of the catastrophe. They sent a First response team a week after the disaster.

    Another team followed on the heels of the First Responders. Jeffrey Sonnenberg was a member of the team that wanted not only to figure out a more efficient resource plan, but also to share the hope stories.

    Thousands are still in evacuation shelters with no idea how long it will be before they can go "home" again. On a positive note, the infrastructure is showing signs of improvement. Water is flowing again, and food is making its way into the damaged areas.

    Moving out of the early days of the disaster, Sonnenberg says, "People are looking more for clothes and for containers to put clothes into as they're in the evacuation centers. So we're seeing it progress into a different stage."

    Local churches are standing in the gap for those too far removed from the urban centers that are seeing the infrastructure repaired. "They were going in to assess and have been very involved in trying to bring relief aid goods to the evacuation centers, especially some of the more isolated communities."

    It will take years to restore the damaged communities. However, "We've seen some great examples of churches going out into their communities, helping to deliver supplies to people who need them, helping people to clean out their homes, to get the muck and the junk out of their homes. Pray for the churches as they go out as the hands of Christ."

    Naturally, with nearly every headline about Japan talking about the nuclear crisis, the question had to be asked: "Is the radiation affecting the team? Are they safe?" Sonnenberg responds, "Asian Access is very much aware of the radiation issue. There is the ‘no-access' zone that we have not sent people into."

    Recent reports indicated that radiation was found in some vegetables grown near the crippled nuclear site. That report set off a panic. Is it becoming a concern for the churches involved with the food distribution?  Not really, Sonnenberg says. "Currently, the area we've been working in--Sendai, the radiation is a non-issue there. We're monitoring it very carefully."

    While the Japanese have responded with great dignity to the crisis surrounding them, the strain is taking its toll. Their church teams are in place to help. "People are still very much in a state of shock. They're still really trying to grapple with the reality [of] what's going on. People are beginning to question and [they're] wrestling with issues of death and ‘what happens after I die.'"

    Mortality questions could be the tool that gets past the traditional resistance to the Gospel. "We are seeing people being more open to hearing about Christ, but to be honest, a lot of the effort, up until now, is just being able to get people the most basic of needs. Now, we'll need to focus a lot more on the spiritual needs, as well."

    The scope of the response in Japan is both taxing and mind-boggling. And Asian Access is asking for help.  They need prayer support for their teams, as well as wisdom for how they will continue to move forward. They also need funds. Damage estimates are in the hundreds of billions. Immediate survival needs involve food, water, shelter and heat for hundreds of thousands.

    Asian Access received a $1,000,000 matching gift pledge to help meet the spiritual and physical needs. Their team is made up of 400 pastors and 1800 churches...and the potential for eternal impact is huge.  Effectively, for every gift sent to help A2 and their church teams, the impact is doubled.  

    Listen to the MNNbroadcast...

    (1 min.)

     

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  • Japan's relief effort intensifies

    JAPAN (MNN) ― Concerns are mounting over the economic fallout of Japan's triple disaster scourge.

    japan-tsunami-relief-fund

    Damage assessments are just beginning, but some areas are so fragile that the assessors can't get close enough to investigate. It is clear, however, that the destruction will rise into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    For some of the survivors, rebuilding is far off in the future, and the immediate concerns involve restoring heat, electricity, running water, and finding shelter, food and communications.

    The official death toll nationally rose to 8,277 on March 20, with 12,272 still missing. Nearly 500,000 people are homeless.

    Aid is most effective purchased from inside the country, but that often requires an established network for both getting the supplies and for distribution.

    Asian Access has that ability. They've also received a $1,000,000 matching gift pledge to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of those who have been impacted the most.

    This gift and the funds given to match the pledge will help them achieve their mission for Asian Access/Japan "to unite the church" and "extend the transforming power of the Gospel."

    A2 is working with 400 pastors and 1800 churches--approximately 20-25% of the congregations in Japan--to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of several communities across the nation. They're also partnering with CRASH--a ministry of Grace Church which has grown into the largest Christian coordinating agency.

    Details are still coming in, but A2 estimates nearly 300 churches were in the tsunami-impacted areas. They've launched a disaster response team for CRASH to set up a relief base in the affected areas. A few churches are already serving as shelters and are receiving those who have been left homeless.

    If you can help, A2 has already set up a special Japan Tsunami Relief Fund. This will provide aid to hard-hit areas, delivered primarily through local churches. There may be no greater opportunity for the Gospel's advance in Japan than right now. Click here to learn more.

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