Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

Dee Silk Joe coffee

This past Sunday Silk and I had the privilege of spending a meal and afternoon with Dee Wirz. Dee is completely 43 years of ministry in Japan with us next month and we wanted some special time with just the few of us.

What a joy it was being with her. It came following our annual staff retreat where many staff honored Dee and a letter was read from our founder, Ken with his wife Jan, as well as a skype from my predecessor Doug and his wife Jeanie.

Dee honored

The impact Dee has made for the kingdom in Japan (and China) has been immense. She led daily bible studies for years introducing people to Jesus but that’s not all. She also created numerous bible lesson books to help teach English as a Second Language. And, no kidding, I’ve heard of people using those books stretching from Kyushu to Hokkaido. That’s a pretty significant stretch of Japan. It wouldn't surprise me to hear of them being used all the way down to Okinawa as well.

As Ken’s letter was read, his words echoed what I had been thinking about Dee and they brought me to tears as I prayed for her a few weeks ago: someday, there will be many Japanese (and Chinese) people who will be worshipping Jesus in heaven with us because of the seeds Dee has planted through her bible studies, English classes and books.

Dee speaking

I’m proud of you, Dee. You are finishing well, a core teaching of Asian Access. And, everywhere you go you are planting seeds for the kingdom. Even in church the other morning, before our luncheon, Dee invited a friend to hear the president of Asian Access preach. The friend is not yet a follower of Jesus but they recently told a group about Dee,

“I am a closer friend of God because of you.”

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

— Revelation 7:9-10

Dee: Someday, there will be multitudes of Japanese and Chinese people with standing before Jesus with you and me. Thank you for being faithful to the call God gave you these 43 years. Once again, you have brought me to tears (just as I write this today).

I pray that many of us will experience what this friend said of Dee that day, “I am a closer friend of God because of you.”

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Joe Handley

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