Joe Handley

 

FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

 

Stories from Joe Handley,
president of Asian Access

Partnership — a key to move forward in Japan 

Bamboo forest pathway 

God has us moving down an unknown path, and it's going to be exciting to watch it unfold.

To prepare us for the future, the Lord has taken Asian Access through a year and a half discovery process reviewing our vision, mission, strategic goals and DNA.

This question became apparent:

Could our goals be something so big that God is calling us to play a larger role in promoting the vision, mobilizing other allies, and growing the mission force?

What was God saying to us?  Well, our sense is that God wants us to accelerate the advancement toward this cause: "To identify, develop and release emerging kingdom leaders to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."  

A2 mission statement

In particular, one of our God-sized goals is our 2020 Vision for Asian Access/Japan:

  • To deploy 100 church multiplication teams:
  • Who will establish 1,000 reproducing congregations
  • Which will enfold 1 million new followers of Christ
  • Who will in turn send 1,000 missionaries from Japan to the cities of Asia, that will be home to 1 billion people by the year 2020 AD.

Lantern in Gion section of Kyoto

As we have prayed about this goal for Japan, we have begun asking some other questions:

"Could God be speaking to us through the trajectory of our history and heritage, the current global financial and mission realities, and the recent waves of missions endeavors?" We sensed, likely this was true.

As we reviewed our history and heritage, we noted that God launched us 43 years ago with an entrepreneurial spirit that developed several different forms of innovative ministry. Over the years, He has taken us down a path of focusing our efforts to maximize the giftedness and fruitfulness of our ministry. Today our primary thrust is in developing leaders who multiply churches—among the most strategic and fruitful forms of mission for this hour of the Gospel's advance. 

To add to our understanding, we looked at recent waves of mission movements like the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, the Alliance for Saturation Church Planting, World by 2000 (Radio efforts), the Disciple a Whole Nation (DAWN Ministry), the CoMission effort, the Vision 5:9 endeavor, and many other forms of strategic alliances. These examples reaffirmed that partnership is God's desire and plan.

Asian Access has been a leader in partnering with nationals in Asia, but now it was time to 'think outside the organizational box.' Could there be others in the kingdom with a similar vision and calling as us? What if we journeyed together?

We concluded that in order to aggressively pursue our vision and strategic goals, the Lord was leading us to a greater form of partnership. As our A2 community prayed, we sensed that we needed something significantly different to make a quantum leap forward— 100 church multiplication networks launched, 1000 reproducing churches planted, 1,000,000 new followers of Jesus, and 1000 missionaries sent from Japan to the rest of Asia. 

Kyoto bamboo forest 

In order to propel us toward a higher trajectory of our 2020 Vision, we sensed God asking us to think well beyond ourselves in order to achieve something greater—more fruit possibly with better stewardship of God's resources.

Next month, I'll be highlighting some of the stewardship issues we have been facing as well. Part of this discovery process, what I referred to above as “the current global financial and mission realities,” was key as well. Our ministry business model needed some retooling given the financial challenges we have been facing for several years. Soon, I'll report more on the 'nuts and bolts' financial pieces that are part of this whole process too.

Thus, Asian Access has begun exploring the formation of a strategic partnership with one of three mission organizations that could lead to a broader alliance toward launching a church multiplication movement for Japan. Under this potential strategic partnership agreement, Asian Access would champion the ministry and vision alongside the partner mission who would become the sending umbrella and engine to deploy more missionaries to help reach our joint vision and goals.

 JCGI Network national leaders gathering in Japan

 

Encouraging to us in this effort is our unique model of partnership with national pastors and churches. The national church in Japan is fully committed to achieving this God-sized vision. They want to work with missionaries, mission organizations, and local churches to see the vision accomplished. Praise God! 

God has entrusted to us a significant vision and an ambitious set of strategic goals. Now we sense He is calling us to a whole new level of kingdom partnership to advance His cause across the most populated continent in His world.

Would you join me in asking God to do something absolutely amazing?

 Joe's blue web signature

 

 


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Japan in the News

Christians unite amid ongoing hardship
Japan’s deluge continues Japan (MNN) — Yet another severe tropical storm is expected to roll through southern Japan this evening. According to Accuweather.com, the storm is expected to skirt

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Christians unite amid ongoing hardship

Japan’s deluge continues

Japan (MNN) — Yet another severe tropical storm is expected to roll through southern Japan this evening. According to Accuweather.com, the storm is expected to skirt just south of areas saturated by July’s constant rainfall. Along with the typical destruction, this summer’s typhoon season brought...

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Strawberries, Pomegranates and Convenience Stores

One of the principles in Asian Access is that healthy churches grow. It’s why we spend so much time investing in key leaders’ personal walk with God and their growth in him. Because, when we are deeply embedded with Christ, we are naturally very fruitful. Many of those leaders were on display in Tohoku (Northeast Japan) for a few days at Vision Festa, a gathering of pastors, missionaries and NGO leaders coming together to share God’s vision for Japan. I was deeply touched by them and many pictured in these photos are key partners of Asian Access/Japan. They shared about Strawberry Patch Evangelism. That even small little strawberry plants are quick to reproduce because they shoot stems into the soil nearby and next thing you know you have an entire patch. And, they shared about Pomegranate church planting where a single fruit has hundreds of seeds to spread around and start new fellowships...

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Aspens, Banyans, and Strawberries?

What a joy it was for me to participate with Bishop Efraim Tendero at the World Evangelical Alliance gathering of Associate Members to brainstorm the future of the movement. I was so inspired by Bishop Ef’s style of leadership: so humble, so gracious, so serving. And, he invited us in to see the inner workings and problems the WEA is facing. He asked us to speak into their life and growth. Very few leaders do this! I was impressed… You may know that Bishop Ef was the key person to help us begin getting connected in the Philippines so I credit him with opening the doors and networks and today, Asian Access/Philippines is off to a great start! One of the highlights of our week...

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Why Plant? - Japan Needs YOU!

I’ve been inspired by pastors in Japan when 70 or more gathered in Northern Japan for a movement called Vision Festa. It’s a movement of people with a passion for church planting and I’m eager to share their stories… Those will come later though. For now, why is church planting so important? When so many people are down on the local church these days, why would I believe church planting is so important and why are these leaders coalescing around this fresh vision? Missiologist Peter Wagner once said, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Pastor Tim Keller picked up on this theme as well. Check out his post on the same subject, Why Church Planting? Everywhere I have gone, I’ve seen these truths displayed...

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Be Ambitious for Christ

A few weeks ago, Dr. Nelson Jennings from Onnuri Church took me on a historical tour of some of the Christian history of Japan in Hokkaido. What a treat! Dr. Jennings and I were there for Onnuri Church’s Love Sonata evangelism gatherings which was fabulous, by the way. The conference, praise rally, and seminars revolving around the Love Sonata outreach were amazing and the gathering itself was filled with remarkably talented artists and musicians, sharing the story of God’s love. Pastor Jaehoon Lee, a good friend, shared a wonderful message that evening that I’m sure will stay with people for many years.

On one of the days though, Dr. Jennings took me around Sapporo and we toured Hokkaido University where Dr. William Smith Clark made a profound and lasting impact...

 

 

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Takeshi Takazawa discusses Japan's flood crisis

Takeshi Takazawa's follow-up interview: July 19, 2018

Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access shares the latest updates about Japan’s flooding crisis with MNN’s Ruth Kramer. Here how we should be praying...

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Japan floods: heat wave heightens despair

Asian Access responds as misery compound

Japan (MNN) — “When it rains, it pours.” In other words, when something bad happens, more trouble is right around the corner. Such is the case in Japan. Earlier this month, a typhoon brought record-breaking rainfall to southwest Japan. Last week, flooding caused by the rainfall triggered massive mudslides and left people stranded on rooftops. Now, says Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access, a heat wave is complicating recovery efforts and the death toll keeps on climbing. More than 200 people have perished so...

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Asian Access Channels Funding to Japan’s Hard-Hit Flood Zone

Asian Access is announcing that it is receiving donations for the current flooding crisis in Japan and is directing those funds to provide relief where most strategic in terms of long-term impact. In response to this crisis, Asian Access has decided to help Japan in important ways consistent with our mission. Our first priority is always the nationals. Asian Access prioritizes its response based on the three types of people/organizations involved in disaster relief...

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Love Sonata

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending my first Love Sonata in Sapporo. It’s an evangelistic event held 2-4 times per year here in Japan inspired and led by Onnuri Church from Seoul, Korea. It was inspiring as you’ll likely see from the pictures posted here. And, if you’d like to watch the entire event, you can on...

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Record rainfall submerges Japan

Asian Access equips believers to respond in Christ’s name during a flood crisis

Japan (MNN) — Large sections of Japan are underwater following a typhoon and record rainfall over the weekend. The storm has claimed at least 100 lives and dozens are still missing. Two million people are under evacuation orders. Asian Access is equipping Japanese Christians to respond. “It’s getting difficult to find out all the information, but each time we have a disaster, [the] Japanese Church is getting more equipped, more prepared,” says Takeshi Takazawa, VP for Strategic Engagement...

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Cerritos, CA 90703 USA
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www.go2japan.org

 

 

 

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