prayer

  • International Day for the Unreached • 2024-May-19

    ATOU today

    Sunday, May 19, 2024 is the International Day for the Unreached

    A third of the world still lacks access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are no local churches, no Bible in their own language, and no local believers.

  • This is Why We Go Together

    panorama of a group of people

    Our value for community and the importance of partnership 

    We often exhort one another at A3 with the proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” While the exact origins of this proverb are murky, the truth of it is undeniable: for sustainable ministry (and really, life in general), we need each other. 

    And just days before departing with our 2023 Summer Short-Term Team, I experienced this truth in a profound way.

  • Call to Pray for the Japan Congress on Evangelism

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    Hello Everyone! It's inspiring being here at the Japanese garden at San Diego's Balboa Park.

  • Decisions, Decisions

    Linda, Kohei, and kids stand in front of Ippo Ippo group building

    By Linda Koyama

    Which Mission Organization Should I Choose?

    If you’ve considered being in some type of formal ministry abroad, you’ve probably also been on the decision-making trajectory of “which mission organization should I go with?” This was us back in late 2019, early 2020.  

    At the end of my last post, “New, But Not: Our Journey to Japan,” I shared that we returned to the US in June of 2019. We needed time to debrief our five-year stint in Japan—and also to figure out if God was keeping the door open to Japan or closing that chapter for us.

  • How Not to Teach Middle School

    woman hiking in foggy mountains

    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!”

  • Dear Brothers and Sisters at Asbury University

    woman kneeling in worship

    …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 Prayervery 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. 

  • New, But Not: Our Journey to Japan

    Linda, Kohei, and kids stand in front of Ippo Ippo group building

    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.

  • Counting the Cost 3: The Shape of You

    andrew neel NsI0IffS1jo unsplash landscape

    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 haikuthat showcased our experiences during our first term. I wrote the above haiku for my church family back home in St. Louis.

  • Daily Diaries at Urbana #5

    Japanese woodblock printing picture of women drinking tea

    We Made It!

    I know us old folk serving as exhibitors and staff at Urbana 2022 were proudly declaring this at the very end of the year and rolling into 2023, the official end of a marathon of a conference. But on our last day in the Connections Hall, I was comforted by the fact that many of the students I was praying for were also pretty exhausted! Let's say it again: We made it!

  • Daily Diaries at Urbana #4

    Japanese woodblock printing picture of women drinking tea

    Diversity AND Unity

    The prevailing theme over Urbana today was this idea of unity across diversity, love across division. I was already experiencing stirrings of this on Wednesday, but like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit is patiently using repetition to drive the point home. 

  • Daily Diaries at Urbana #3

    Japanese woodblock printing picture of women drinking tea

    What is your one next step?

    Tonight at Urbana, when introducing Bishop Claude Alexander, Anna "ah-yee" Lee-Winans prefaced with this question: What is your one next step? Bishop Alexander then walked us through the story of Stephan in Acts, expounding a little further upon how we can discern the next step. That next step is often "accepting God's call to what is known."

  • Daily Diaries at Urbana #2

    diverse worship leaders at Urbana Conference 2022

    The feeling started to come over me even as I was browsing the bookstore at the back of the Connection Hall. Exhibitors had yesterday and today to get set up, and yesterday SIM finished in four hours. I got the chance to meander among the other exhibitors and the bookstore in the calm before the storm of thousands of students thundering through the conference halls. 

  • Daily Diaries at Urbana #1

    andrew neel NsI0IffS1jo unsplash landscape

    We have made it to Urbana! Boy, what a trip it has been so far. And we're only getting started...

  • Counting the Cost 2: Fighting FOMO

    andrew neel NsI0IffS1jo unsplash landscape

    It didn’t take long for me to start feeling my age. I moved to Japan just two years removed from university, and from there most of my learning “to adult” happened abroad. During my first term as an SIM/Asian Access missionary, I spent the summer mentoring short-term missionaries who came to serve through our internship program.

  • Counting the Cost 1: How do you spell faith? R-I-S-K

    faithrisk sammie chaffin unsplash

    In 2015, I made the transition from English teacher in Japan to missionary in Japan. Coming from a non-Christian background, I had quite a few conversations with family members who were trying to understand my decision. As an English teacher, I was doing good work and getting paid well for it, right? Why couldn’t I just keep doing that?

  • You Can't Steer a Parked Car

    Bethany holding cake decorated with Japan

    I recently scoured the internet archives to find the blog I started in 2011 as an English teacher in Japan, about five years before getting connected with SIM and Asian Access missionaries. After over a decade of calling Japan home, I wanted to see with fresh eyes how young Bethany encountered Japan. How did God lead me there? How was I listening and following the voice of my Good Shepherd then?

  • Japan begins approving visa applications

    robert adair michelle ko

    For as long as I have been with Asian Access, we have been praying for more missionaries. Our team of cross-cultural workers desires to partner well with what God is doing through the church in Japan. Over 99% of Japanese people are living and dying without Christ. The harvest is plentiful, and the workers are few. Yet, despite all of our efforts to mobilize new people, our team size has remained relatively static for the last decade or two.

  • Fukushima prayer drive challenged my skepticism

    prayer drive 2 web

    In Japan, Fukushima Prefecture is arguably the region most impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In addition to the earthquake damage up and down its seacoast, three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced meltdown when tsunami waters disabled their cooling systems.

  • Yearnings and Callings for 2022

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    Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

    This post is a little later than I had hoped because our family was hit with the coronavirus variant over the holidays. We are deeply grateful for your prayers and appreciate you for the way we journey together in life and mission.

  • An Olympic Thank-You from Joe and Silk

    remembering the persecuted

    Hello Everyone!

    We want to thank you for your participation and support for our work in Japan.

    As you probably know, all the work with the Olympics that we tried to do didn't happen. However, the last few weeks, God has done some amazing things, and that's still ongoing. People are praying. We're signing up people for a million hours of prayer! Can you believe that?

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