Jeff Johnston

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2016 has been a fruitful year of ministry at Asian Access, as we gear up for our 50th anniversary in 2017. Before we look ahead, let's look back at some highlights from the past twelve months...

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Leadership: an underlying need in today's chaos

Leadership: an underlying need in today’s chaosInternational (MNN) — Wars and rumors of wars constantly circulate in the headlines. Whether it's the ISIS attacks in Jakarta or Syria using starvation as a weapon of war, Joe Handley of Asian Access says there's a common thread. "In the midst of that situation, everyone is looking for leadership." Asian Access helps leaders throughout Asia learn... Read more [+audio]

Five Years After the Triple Disaster: Journeying with the Japanese

journeying video screengrabAsian Access missionaries recount the early days following the Great Japan Disaster and share how it's been an amazing privilege to journey with the Japanese as they rebuild their lives over the past five years.

TOHOKU, JAPAN (A2) — In the months following the disaster, missionary Sue Takamoto asked a community leader, “So how many funerals have you been to?” ... Read more [+video]

ISIS makes 'example' of convert to Christianity in Bangladesh

bangladesh flagBangladesh (MNN) — ISIS last week claimed responsibility for the murder of a pastor in northern Bangladesh. Joe Handley with Asian Access confirmed reports that armed extremists killed 65-year-old Hossain Ali, who converted to Christianity from Islam in 1999. He was a member of Valacopa PBT Church (Paraclete Bangladesh Trust Church). Among the reasons he was targeted, “Pastor Ali came to Christ and was leading a small fellowship in his district. When he started connecting with Muslims and then they, in fact, converted and started attending church, then the pressure started coming down.” Read more

Helping Leaders Thrive: an introduction to Asian Access

thrive video screengrabStudies have shown that the biggest challenge we face in the world today is a crisis of leadership. Leaders are struggling to survive. All sorts of problems being thrown their way, and they don't know how to handle it. Leaders are faced with war, natural disasters, poverty, famine, political unrest, social injustice, and persecution to name a few. By building a learning community through a 2-year transformational process, Asian Access is seeing significant impact... Read more [+video]

A theology of dishwashing

takeshi washing dishes 2016 04 28Several times while teaching for Asian Access, I am reminded of this quote by Brother Lawrence who reminds us of how we can always be in God’s presence, even in the most mundane tasks. As I head to India tomorrow, this rings true once again as the community there washes the dishes together after every meal. It’s their corporate way of reminding themselves that they are servant leaders as pastors, husbands, and fathers. This same practice happens across many of our countries... Read more...

LIVE community

tea time summit 2016Last week, the Asian Access family gathered for a rich community experience. We were in Jakarta, Indonesia for our Global Leaders’ Summit. What a fantastic week we had together. It was one of my all-time favorite summits! What made it so special? - COMMUNITY! This is one of our three core values at Asian Access: We LIVE Community! You can learn more about our values here: Asian Access' Core Values. As we gathered together, we prayed and took a collection to help our persecuted friends in Bangladesh... Read more

God-sized vision

god sized vision post webThis group of graduating pastors inspired me! I spent a week with them in South Asia listening to their stories, hearing their heart and facilitating discussions along with my colleagues Mary Jo Wilson and Pastor Laji. The focus of our week was World Mission and each of the pastors presented their strategy paper for their church. Most compelling as usual with Asian Access is our core teaching about being “ALL IN with GOD”. To hear these pastors share about the importance of their “love relationship with God” was deeply moving.  As each of them spent significant time with the Lord and with one another over the past two and a half years, the Lord laid on their hearts a vision like you... Read more

From facilitation to faculty: Asian Access national leaders take charge

bang A2 34 04 webAt Asian Access, our vision is to see a vibrant community of servant leaders with vision, character, and competence leading the church across Asia. Nowhere is that vision being realized more than in Bangladesh. This Muslim-majority country has recently struggled with a sharp spike in terrorist violence, targeting Christian leaders as well as other innocent people. Pastors and Christian leaders in Bangladesh have faced down violent mobs, faux “seekers” who turn out to be assailants, and infiltrators trying to penetrate Christian student groups. These courageous brothers and sisters continue to minister, despite the risks,... Read more

The value of partnership

partnership video screengrab“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... Read more

"Women hold up half the sky!"

A2 WIM2016I just came away from an inspiring working session. Asian Access is looking to both deepen and expand our efforts in empowering women who are in ministry. One of my colleagues quoted Mao Zedong who said, “Women hold up half the sky!” This is so true. In all my years in ministry, it’s astounding to see how many women are the key movers and shakers in the Church globally and in mission. They lead from behind, below, beside and now increasingly from the front. The sad part is that they receive such little investment and empowerment. One of the key sessions during the Cape Town Congress in 2010 walked through these issues: Men and Women in Partnership. You can learn more by reviewing that link and the various videos posted there. Asian Access has... Read more

The road to sustainability

Establish an Interdependent MinistryOne of the keys to Asian Access’ long-term health is the ability of each country to sustain the movement under its own power. One of the most important contributors to sustainability is the development and empowerment of leaders from within each country who can serve as A2 faculty. David Dayalan, national director for Asian Access/India and A2 vice president for program development, is a strong advocate for in-country faculty. “Relying solely on foreigners to teach the A2 program is unhealthy,” he says. “It perpetuates the myth that only outsiders can effectively teach leader development. And it discounts the contributions that can be made by gifted leaders whom God has already raised up in our respective countries. These leaders are ready and able to teach their fellow leaders, right now.” Read more

 Hope is rising

hope is risingI’m so happy to be living in Asia, and most specifically here in Tokyo. Japan is known as the “Land of the Rising Sun” and it is this light that I find myself most hopeful these days. You see, I’ve been bombarded with messages of inspiration ever since moving here in August! It’s such a contrast to the land of my birth where conspiracy and doomsday theories dominated the election cycle. It seemed that fear and anger drove most of the conversation but my time here in Asia has been markably different. Shortly after arriving, I received a report on the results after 5 years of outreach following the triple disaster in 2011. Tears of joy flowed from many of my colleagues who have spent most of their lives serving here. Following the worst disaster to hit Japan in modern times, there are... Read more

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For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre  A2 Blog Centre

 

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