robert adair

  • A picture of here (December 14, 2012)


    Matsushima (December 2012)

    Matsushima (December 2012)

    I am trying to get back into the habit of posting images from our ministry at least weekly here.   This is a picture of another tsunami inundated area. Though it is located between two of the harder hit areas in the disaster it escaped relatively unscathed. Nothing...

  • Accepted!


    Just a quick update: Roberta and I were accepted on December 20, 2010 to be career missionaries with Asian Access. This represents a status change for me and Roberta’s formal entry into A2.

    Check out my blog for more updates soon...

    (This kayaking photo was taken on our honeymoon.)

  • Adair Update

    rr profileRobert & Roberta Adair are contributors to go2japan. They write about life in Japan and missionary work there with Asian Access/SIM USA. The couple has recently arrived back in Japan after a home assignment, pursuing Masters degrees at Wheaton Graduate School. Their stories are primarily written for their own blog, Adair Update...

  • Apples in Aomori: A Key to Fruitful Ministry

    aomori apple 85 01 600pxHonshu is the largest of the four main islands of Japan. Aomori is the name of the prefecture at the northern end of Honshu. It is a rural prefecture with a declining population, and its economy relies on farming, forestry, and fishing. In early November, I had the chance to travel there to meet with a group of pastors and discuss ways that Asian Access could potentially partner with what God is already doing in the region. On Friday morning, Pastor Shibuya picked me up, along with five other people from his church, to make the hour-long drive to the city of Hirakawa (until recently, one of the last cities in Japan without a church). As we drove to the prayer meeting,...{addthis off}

  • Connecting through Community Outreach

    Japan 2020 | Connecting through Community Outreach from SIM USA on Vimeo.

    Short-term teams and interns will take part primarily in two ministries, both under the leadership of the Japanese Church. First, they will come alongside the local Church to help them host outreach events such as block parties, culture nights, pick-up sports games, dramas, and conversational English practice. These creative avenues to making community connections will leverage the unique skills and gifts of each team...{addthis off}

  • Country Profile-Japan

    What is Japan really like?  city-night

    This was one of my main questions when I was preparing to go to Japan for the first time back in the spring of 2001.  I had images of technology, samurai, Mt. Fuji, WWII, Tokyo, rustic houses, rice fields, sushi, sumo, and geisha.  My image was predominantly based on pop culture.  While none of these impressions were wrong, they only represented isolated threads in a tapestry of culture. 

    There are many great resources on both the spiritual and cultural reality of Japan. First, check out our country profile on There you will find information such as an overview on how to pray for Japan.  While praying you can look at the sociological needs, spiritual needs, and trends and issues in Japan. Second, ask questions.  There are culture as well as religion & spirituality sections on the forum.  Go over there and start a discussion.  Be brave and ask a question.  There are plenty of people who would be happy to discuss their personal experience and insights about Japan. 

    ShrineThere are also countless books, documentaries, magazine articles, blogs, and websites offering a wide range of information about Japan.  Be tenacious and take the time to discover more about Japan.  It is a beautiful nation full of tensions and apparent contradictions.  My prayer is that as you learn more about the nation of Japan and its people you would daily fall more in love with them and be burdened to pray for them yourself. 

    A Closer Look at... Japan
    Japan (Nihon)
      Four main islands and 3,000 small islands;
    only 13% of all land can be cultivated
      377,835 sq km / 145,882 sq miles
      Approximately the same size as California
      Tokyo (12.275 million)
      100% (age 15+ and can read and write)

    Buddhist/Shinto - 70%
    New Religions - 25%
    Non-religious - 4%

    Christians - 1%

      Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy
      Per capita income = US$ 38,160 per year
      Yen (¥)
      7,765 Protestant churches
      GMT/UTC +9
      1 Protestant church for every 16,288 people
      2,362 missionaries
      1 missionary for every 53,285 people
      Statistics provided by a variety of sources, but mostly the U.S. State Department, the U.N. Statistics Division, and BBC News.

    The Need in Japan

    Japan has been, and remains, one of the most orderly and admirable societies in the world. However, Japan is also at a point in its history where it is experiencing unprecedented social upheaval, which creates anxiety and uncertainty throughout the culture. Every segment of the population is impacted.

    Country Description

    A Window Seat on a Bullet Train in Japan

    Read this fun, yet insightful, travelogue account of Japan from the eyes of a first-time visitor...

    More Information...

    Country Profiles

    News: Japan-Specific

    News: Asia General



    Asian Access assumes no responsibility for these external links. In no way, do we endorse or affiliate ourselves with any of these sites, the views expressed or the content therein. These links are provided merely as a courtesy to the viewer.

    << Back to Country Profiles

  • First team accepted...more to come

    We are happy to announce that our first j-Team for this summer has been accepted.  This team is comprised of 7 individuals who had already applied for j-Teams prior to the earthquake and tsunami.  197474_210772975606060_152149164801775_970883_4488953_nThey have agreed to come together with a couple of our A2 staff to form one team.  While their final placement has not yet been determined, they will be partnering with the Japanese church in Tohoku using the gifts and abilities God has given them to tangibly love the Japanese people and to share the gospel of Christ.

    Here is a little about the team.

    Roberta-Served in Kosovo for 3 years with the C&MA and was recently accepted with her husband, Robert, to be career missionaries with Asian Access.   Roberta will be serving as team leader for the group this summer.  

    Ray-Church Planting Associate (CPA) from Colorado who has worked as an engineer for several years.  Ray will be helping both with this team as well as with logistics for other teams coming this summer.  

    Rachel-Student at Toccoa Falls College in GA.  

    Grace-Student at Ursinus College.

    Dustin & Ginger-Living and working in Louisiana and hoping to serve in Japan in the future.

    Ryan-Recent graduate of Messiah College. 

    Gabriel-Graduate of Oklahoma State University who is hoping to serve in Japan long term.  

    Brandon-Student at Toccoa Falls College in GA.

    Have you filled out the initial interest form?  If not hurry up and do so.  We will be sending out applications this week to start screening other relief teams for the summer.   

    As always, if you have any questions please post them on the forum

  • Following disaster, Japan gives back to Nepal

    image "If you give the driver chocolate, he will drive you wherever you need to go."

    This joke didn't actually come from our taxi driver, but from a successful pastor who has been a part of planting over 300 churches, starting multiple children's homes, and having a voice in the creation of Nepal’s new constitution that will protect religious...

  • God loves these kids, I think I love these kids, so what?

    _MG_9610I have a runny nose, I am on my 3rd cup of coffee at Mr. Donuts (a donut/coffee chain in Japan), I’m prepping for a sunday message, it’s 11:12 in the morning on a Tuesday and it’s going to be a good/full day.  Tuesday afternoon I teach English to kids ranging from 3 years old up...

  • High alert grips Japan in wake of North Korean missile launch

    Photo courtesy of Secret ChurchMissionaries on alert in the wake of North Korean missile launch

    Japan (MNN) — North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido Island into the sea on Tuesday, testing already frayed international relations. Days later, Japan remains on high alert and launched evacuation drills along its west coast.  A missile defense system has been deployed to the west of Japan.  Tokyo also slapped additional sanctions against Pyongyang following repeated missile launches and other unresolved....


  • How I got to Japan: Part 1 "I hate Spanish"

    How I got involved with Asian Access...

    me_and_a_kid_In 2000 I was slowly growing in both faith and maturity as a Junior at Texas A&M University. As part of that process I was beginning to value missions through experiences such as the Perspectives course. I didn't think missions, or vocational Christian ministry was going to play any role in my future. None the less I was beginning to think missions were important to God so it should be important to me as well.  My church had several summer opportunities for the college students so I began to explore my options. As I was looking the decision came down to a trip to Spain or a trip to Japan.

    Growing up in Texas there was always a pressure to learn to speak Spanish. In retrospect I wish that I had studied the language but my response at the time was to take German in High School and avoid the Spanish language as much as possible. I was not an anime or manga fan at all.  None of the usual reasons people come to Japan applied to me. The reason that I chose Japan over Spain for the Summer of 2001 was as simple as the fact that as I was deciding I thought to myself, "I hate Spanish." So in early spring 2001 I applied to go to Japan with A2 and started training...

    -note to reader: I have since matured a bit and actually wish I had taken the time to learn Spanish when I was younger. Thankfully God redeemed my immaturity by using it to lead me to Japan.

  • I'm ready to go too

    I'm ready to get to Japan and help, too.

    We are all saddened by the damage and destruction following the earthquake last Friday.  I remember thinking shortly after the shaking stopped, "Wow, that was a really long quake, but at least it wasn't very strong."  I remember how surprised I was when told that the quake had actually taken place a over 200 kilometers away.  Then there was the time we were sitting in the lobby of the retreat center where we were and saw the disturbing images we have all been watching on the news for the first time.  It was horrible to see houses and boats being washed across areas that were towns minutes before. 
    After spending some time beginning to digest the magnitude of the destruction, I was filled with a desire to help.  My wife and I were scheduled to fly back to the States Tuesday morning, but we found ourselves seriously desiring to stay.  Leaving felt like fleeing.  I am not saying that people shouldn't be careful in Japan right now or that it is not a good decision for some foreigners to return home.  But as we continued to see the pain and destruction we wanted to do something about it.  We wanted to be a part of the churches immediate response and to be able to share Christ's love in the midst of all the pain.  

    We came to the conclusion that we need to go home and regroup.   Now we are working with other A2 leadership to figure out what A2's longer term response to the tsunami will be.  Currently we have staff working with CRASH (the organization that is coordinating much of the Christian response to the disaster), other full time staff is in route to the area to help asses damage and set up a relief base, and other staff is helping to figure out what capacity we actually have to take teams to help with the recovery effort in the coming months. 

    I thank you in advance for your patience and want to assure you that we are working hard to be able to offer opportunities in the near future for people to go to Japan and help with the clean-up and rebuilding of that part of the country as we share Christ's love.  Our prayer first is that God would quickly bring an end to the suffering around this event.  We are hopeful that God will redeem this horrible event for his glory. I can't wait to get back to Japan and help and will let you know how you can be involved as soon as those decisions have been made.  

    Thanks again for your patience and please spend some time on the forum discussing your experience, prayers, and hopes related to Japan and the tsunami.


  • It's Not about the Food

    A2 Advent Devotional • December 18, 2010

    by Robert Adair

    It was December 25, 2005, and I was living alone in Japan. This was my first Christmas away from my family. Luckily for me it was a Sunday, which meant I had a full day with Sunday worship, lunch afterwards, and then some of my afternoon spent with responsibilities around the church. The problem was I was still going to spend Christmas evening alone at my apartment or, if I got adventurous, at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

    Two of my Japanese teammates knew that Christmas was an important time for American families to come together and were concerned that I would be lonely. Knowing I would most likely be home alone, they took me out to dinner at a local restaurant.

    The fried pork we ate was not amazing and the iced tea from the drink fountain did not quite taste like home. I had trouble communicating with the people sitting across from me and, truth be told, the restaurant could have been described as a low-end Denny’s. That said, I had a great Christmas.

    Acts 2:42 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

    Looking back on the Christmas of 2005, I am reminded of Acts 2:42 and the fellowship of the early church. Sharing a meal at a key time is one of the most powerful things we can do as Christians. I encourage you this Christmas to consider if there is anyone you can share Christmas with who may be spending it alone. It can make a huge difference!

    Thank you, God, for the significance of following your example in sharing bread and fellowship together. Make my heart open this season to those who may need such encouragement. Amen.


    Robert Adair
    Short-Term Missions Recruiter
    Wheaton, Illinois


    • This is one of 29 devotional entries. If you would like to download a PDF of the entire A2 Advent Devotional to read along with us, click here...
  • Japan in recovery from two typhoons in two weeks

    Japan (MNN) — Just weeks after the super Typhoon Hagibis,another storm raced in over the weekend: Typhoon Bualoi. Robert Adair of Asian Access says the area is still in recovery mode. For those who experienced the triple disaster in 2011, the typhoons have dredged up familiar fears. Adair says that visually, the aftermath looks the same. The remnants of the storms show the water’s pathways, and people’s belongings are scattered in the open...{addthis off}

  • promises and papas

    image“I can believe the promises of the Bible for others but not for me.”

    More specifically, “I can believe that God totally, unconditionally loves others, but I have trouble believing this for myself.”

    Perhaps blogging is a strange way to process this one. But I’ve heard these phrases several times over the last month...

  • Religion or Culture

    Religion or CultureRoberta and I just got back from a fun week of vacation in northern Japan.   Camping on a crater lake and along the west coast of Japan, hiking in the mountains, and lots of time in the car.  The trip also had me thinking about something I have wrestled with off and on regarding spirituality and J...

  • Should We Encourage Independence?

    Should missionaries encourage Japanese Christians to be more culturally independent than their non-Christian counterparts.  Is it appropriate to promote a shift away from collectivism within the Japanese Church for the sake of the individual believer in Japan.  I do not have answers for these questions yet but I would like to share a little about how I got to the point of asking them. 

    Group Conversion in Japan

    One of the projects I was part of this spring was a small study on the effectiveness of group evangelism and conversion strategies in Japan.  This project consisted of interviews with Japanese Christians and reviewing relevant literature on the subject.  This was to determine both if group strategies are more appropriate in a collective society like Japan as well as to determine how to practically do group evangelism. Entering the project we had high hopes to find that the key to seeing revival in Japan was changing our paradigm for evangelism from a focus on the individual to a focus on the group. 

    Many of our initial assumptions were confirmed throughout our interviews.  Participants stated that most methods of evangelism they had experienced felt very western to them.  They affirmed the role of the family in making decisions such as marriage, job, and religious conversion.  There was a consistent longing for a contextualized Japanese expression of the gospel.  All in all our project seemed to be going in the direction we initially expected.   The Japanese Christians believed that a collective approach to sharing the gospel was needed in their country.

    They Must Be More Independent

    Our third interview was with a fellow graduate student at Wheaton.  He is a young Japanese man in his late 20's who has ministered both in the US and Japan.  He had an unexpected but revealing insight during our conversation.  When discussing the need for practitioners in Japan to use methods such as group evangelism to be more culturally effective he expressed the sentiment that to become a mature Christian in Japan you must be an independent person.  His rationale was that Japanese people are conditioned to do what everyone else around them is doing.  This has both advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation.  But in a country where less that 1% of the population is Christian he felt a person without a strong independent streak wouldl give in to the external pressure of society and not mature in their faith. 

    If this statement is true how does it effect the way we share the gospel in Japan?  Do we only approach people who are already independent in some way?  Do we encourage personal independence within the church to help the members grow?  I am stuck in the tension between a desire to proclaim the gospel without my western cultural baggage and an apparent need to teach something equivalent to western independence.  So I am still stuck with the question: "Should we encourage Japanese Christians to be culturally independent?"

    What do you think?  I have started a thread to discuss this and am very interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions as we wrestle through this issue.


  • Silence

    I've had Silence by Shusaku Endo on my bookshelf for over a year now. If you are like me you have the pile or shelf where you keep the books that you have picked up along the way, wanted to read, had recommended to you, yet never read.  My relationship with the book Silence began about 5 years ago.  Before going to Japan as a Church Planting Associate with Asian Access a close friend recommended this book about priests in Japan facing DSCN0125persecution and martyrdom in Japan in the early 1600's.  I made a mental note about the book but didn't take any active step towards obtaining and reading it.  

    After continuing to hear about the book over my time as a CPA the final straw in purchasing the book was when my dean here at Wheatonhighly recommended the book.  So I went home, hopped on amazon, and made the few clicks necessary to set the novel on route to my apartment.  A few days later when the book arrived I did the obvious thing, set it on the shelf and didn't touch it for a year. 

    This summer I had some time on my hands between summer sessions and saw the book on the shelf.  I decided to pick it up and see what all the talk was about. 

    The book is amazing.  It tackles issues such as suffering, the role of clergy, and why God appears silent in the midst of intense persecution.  As a historical fiction certain details should be read with a grain of salt.  That said, both my faith, and my understanding of the socio-political climate when Japan closed it's borders in the 1600's were enriched.  If you are interested in Japan you should read this book.  If you are interested in the subject of the silence of God you should read this book. 

    In my faith journey God has used books such as Silence, Shiokari Pass, and Confucius Lives Next Door. Are there any books that have significantly shaped your heart for Japan, or your thinking about the need for the Gospel in Japan?  If so please go to the forum and join the conversation.  

  • Stacey's Adventures

    Stacey just completed a 5 week term with j-Teams in Hokkaido, the northern most of the four main islands in Japan.  She did an amazing time both through words and pictures sharing her experience on her blog.  While reading through her blog I was struck but the insight of a few of her comments.  This first one comes form a post on June 5th as she was preparing to depart.

    Doing missions always requires a lot of flexibility and humility. I won't have a completely clear picture of what my day-to-day life will look like until I arrive in Japan. I do know that my primary role will be holding weekly English classes at the church and running several outreach events. I also hope to attend activities in the community to meet people and invite them to the events we'll be holding. Even a jog could bring opportunities to meet people and eventually connect them to the church.

    me_smallAfter a deep relationship with Christ those two themes of flexibility and humility might be the most important characteristics to nurture in preparation for missions.  Without flexibility the stress from miscommunications over schedule alone can stress you out.  Without humility you will not appreciate how much the national Christians have to offer and how much you can learn from them.  Stacey tells her story far better than I can or should so I highly recommend that you spend some time there on her blog.  You will get a good idea of what a j-Teamer with A2 does. In Stacey's final post from Hokkaido she made another comment full of insight into the tension that we feel as cross cultural workers.  "When I sit and think about whether discomfort is worth that hope, I know with certainty that it is."  Spend some time getting to know Stacey's experience and listen to see how God is leading you in your future. 

  • The Value of Partnership

    “When we do mission, we need one heart. So we can do it together.”

    These two sentences best sum up our commitment to live and work in community. Pastor Yukimasa Otomo shared this with me to describe his partnership with A2 missionaries Robert and Roberta Adair. The partnership between Japanese pastors and A2 missionaries is deep. As Yukimasa Sensei added, “Having Robert [here] is good for me, because I can share my heart.” Robert was excited to partner with this pastor, too...


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