Robert Adair

  • Introducing A3.Missional Partners

    A3.Missional Partners

    Our Missionaries Have a New Name!

    For several years, you’ve become familiar with new ministry streams such as and Young Professionals. But today, I am excited to announce that our missionaries in Japan have a new descriptive name. We are now calling them “Missional Partners”.

  • 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.

  • John Houlette's 'Resilience' receives Christian counseling award

    John Houlette pictured with 2021 winner, Rev. Nobuyuki Toyoda, pastor of New Life Christ Church in Osaka and a graduate of A3 (left) and with Dr. Akira Fujikake (right), founder of the award.

    On July 22, Asian Access missionary Dr. John Houlette received the Office Fujikake Award for the Japanese version of his book, Resilience: How Japanese Pastors Can Thrive in Every Season. The award is given annually to a new book in Christian counseling by Dr. Akira Fujikake, clinical psychologist, and visiting Professor at the Seigakuin University General Research Institute.

  • 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.

  • Connecting through Community Outreach

    Japan | 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}

  • 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}

  • 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}

  • 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....


  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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.


  • You are going to do what you always do, just in a more intense way….

    I wish I could remember where I first heard this but I don’t.  I may even have messed up their wording.   While I don’t remember who told me this (and they probably got it from somebody else).  I do remember I heard it in the context of training for short term missions while I was in college.  (Fight’n Texas Aggie class of 2002!  Whoop)Either way the meaning is still pretty much there.   

    The point of the talk was that just because I go on a mission trip somewhere I am not going to magically start manifesting what I viewed is the attributes of a missionary.   I was not going to step off of the plane, meet the Japanese church I was going to partner with for the summer, and magically begin to act like the apostle Paul instead of a 21 year old ocean engineering student who was still relatively young in his faith.  (though that would have been pretty cool)  I was going to do whatever I always did; the difference was that I would do it more intensely.

    DSCF103Let me give you a few examples to show you what I mean.  It scares me, as it does many people to share my faith with my friends.  I really want them to know Jesus, but I also really want them to keep being my friend.  (I am not arguing that these two things are mutually exclusive, I was just afraid that they were)  When I was in college I really wanted to share Christ with my friends but I usually got scared and put it off until next time I would see them, and then the next, and then the next. (You get the picture)  When I got to Japan for the first time in the summer of 2001 with j-Teams (Summer Teams at the time) I really struggled with the same issue.  I did a little better because of the immediate pressure and expectations associated with being a “missionary.” That said the fear of messing up, offending people was exaggerated because of the culture and language barrier.  I didn’t become an evangelist just because I went.

    The same thing happens with our interpersonal relationships.  I had a teammate one summer who I didn’t always get along with back home.  But back home life was relatively simple and we didn’t have to be around each other all the time so we did not address our differences during training and preparation.  Then we got to Japan, experienced the pressure of not understanding language, culture, etc and found ourselves outside of the church yelling at each other about chaining up a bicycle.  By the grace of God we talked through our differences, spent time together in prayer as a team, and were able to resolve the problem.  The point though is that small interpersonal differences did not go away by leaving the country, they were magnified.  By not practicing reconciliation in the states we modeled division overseas.

    The good news is that the principle also holds true for the positive aspects of our walk with Christ.   In preparation for our j-Team in 2003 we spent a large amount of time praying and talking through potential conflicts together.  We also learned about how each member of the team best dealt with conflict before we faced any in the field.  Then, when a few weeks into our ministry we experienced a conflict on our team (which is normal and even healthy) we reacted by praying together and practicing the methods of conflict resolution we had learned during pre-field.  In the same way as I grew in confidence in sharing the gospel in America I became a more effective witness for Christ in Japan.  As I was able to have a consistent quiet time rhythm in the US I was able to have one overseas.  I was the same in Japan as I was in America and this was becoming more and more of a good thing.

    God does sometimes use us in ways that are new and exciting while on a short-term ministry experience.   We frequently experience times of extreme growth during these trips.  My point though, is that we need to be conscious about cultivating the Christ-like character, devotional lifestyle, and ministry skills within the context of our normal daily lives before we get on a plane to go to a location that is new to us.  My prayer for you is that you understand this at a younger age than I started to.  Praying that God leads you clearly as you consider going to Japan.


  • 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...
  • 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.