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Simplify Your life - Lessons Learned From Nomadic Cultures

15 April 2010 (13:12) | posted by jhandley |

Do you ever feel like your life is too complex? 

Chinzorig JigjidsurenRecently, while talking with A2/Mongolia Country Leader Chinzorig Jigjidsuren, I was reminded of the simplicity of following Christ and how that can influence one’s life. In this day and age, we seem to get every form and method of church thrown at us: purpose driven, missional, organic, emerging, simple, etc. All of these have their merits, but sometimes they can be confusing. I have nothing against any of these, but I was impressed with what I learned from Chinzorig in the context of a nomadic culture.

As pastor of Emanuel Fellowship in Ulan Baatar (a large church in Mongolia), Chinzorig is now trying to develop a simpler, more Mongolian form of church. It is more Mongolian because it follows a nomadic lifestyle and involves simply being a spiritual father to his family (discipling them in Jesus) and leading others in his church to do the same.

It’s characteristic of what we are seeing happen across Asia.  We are a community of pastors committed to seeing a disciple-making movement transform the world.

Check out the spotlight below on YouTube to learn more about a simpler life... of following Christ, making disciples, and redeeming a culture.

Chinzorig and his pastoral colleagues' vision for the collective church of Mongolia is compelling and simple: believe in Christ, live in Christ and redeem the culture.  Follow this spotlight with the prayer video for this country.  

May that same prayer be true for each of our countries as well.

For His Kingdom,

Joe's blue web signature

Spotlight on Mongolia

Prayer for Mongolia

To see these on our A2 flash player, click on the links below...

What are ways you've tried to simplify your life?

Jesus is the source of this ministry

17 January 2010 (16:55) | posted by jhandley |

Asian Access brings paradigm shifts for Mongolian pastor

Pastor Batbold, A2•Mongolia Class 2 grad, current working team memberAt the recent Asian Access•Mongolia class 4 graduation, I listened to Pastor Batbold share his appreciation for Asian Access and the impact it is making in his own life and ministry.

Pastor Batbold graduated from class 2 and is now a "working team" member for Asian Access•Mongolia. He is giving back to this movement from which he has benefitted.  And he sees A2 contributing to the Church in Mongolia!

I was so encouraged that I asked him to share again for you to see and hear him.  Not only does Pastor Batbold reflect that he learned Jesus is the source of his ministry, but he also shares about other paradigm shifts toward a kingdom perspective.  He also speaks of the rich fellowship created through the A2 community.

Check out his video clip below (or click here) and be encouraged:

Mongolia Graduation 2009

2 December 2009 (10:44) | posted by jhandley |

Mongolia Oct 2009Inspirational... that is how I describe my recent time in Mongolia and another country. I was in Mongolia as a faculty member for the final session of our fourth class of pastors and the outcome was simply inspirational! Many of the twelve graduating pastors developed similar plans as Pastor Sundui (pictured here). Sundui, led by the Lord through the Asian Access program, developed plans to start 500 churches and see 10,000 people come to Christ in the next eight years.

Another graduate, Oyunchimeg (pictured below), developed similar plans and joins numerous other Mongolian pastors in planning to share the gospel and plant churches across the road once devastated by Genghis Khan stretching from Mongolia, China, Central Asia and all the way to Turkey in the west. Their goal is to redeem the areas conquered by Genghis Khan through sharing the love and truth of Jesus.

All together, the Lord led these twelve pastors to develop plans to see hundreds of churches planted in Mongolia and neighboring countries (3 pastors alone plan to plant 500 churches each) and to see tens of thousands of new followers of Jesus (again, those same three pastors desire to see 10,000 new converts from their churches alone). Simply amazing!

Mongolia Oct 2009

Over and above all of this, countries like Mongolia face tremendous social problems: poverty, alcoholism, abortion, children without parents, etc. To answer these challenges, the church stands in the gap. They have set up NGO’s (non-profit agencies) to reach out to these underprivileged in the name of Christ. What a joy to stand beside the church in these efforts as one of our core beliefs at Asian Access is that God raises up the Church to stand in the gap on behalf of the world’s problems and social challenges. This is why we invest in building up church leaders so that the church is well equipped to deal with the challenges in their societies.

Mongolia Oct 2009

After a wonderful graduation ceremony, I was given opportunity to preach in two Sunday services. What a joy to experience these two radically different services. The first was in a Mongolian Ger (our Kazakh friends call this a Yurt) and the second was a service in downtown Ulaan Baatar held in a theater-like atmosphere. The first place felt like a camp meeting and the second felt like a modern rock and roll service. Here’s a picture to give you a feel for the Ger environment.

In another country, I met with more than 22 pastors from all over the region. They all shared what a blessing the ministry has been for them and the common theme was how it strengthened them as church leaders and unified the church in the country. One pastor shared of a church near his province that was facing persecution because they had too many members (over 10,000 people in their network). A few of their leaders were thrown in jail and so we prayed for their release. However, as we prayed, many of the pastors asked that God would bless and encourage the government officials who were persecuting them – that they would be led to the joy of Christ. What an example of Christian leadership: praying for those who persecute you!

I was also able to reconnect with an old friend, Pastor David, who recently went through some challenges in his church. A friend from Rolling Hills Covenant asked if Asian Access could help David and guess what happened? The Asian Access family had already rallied around him and helped him out! One of the A2 graduates welcomed David to join his church movement and today David is so happy to be back in ministry and so are we. David is a faithful witness who has spent time in prison on several occasions for the sake of his witness. One time after I visited his church, the next week the government shut down their home fellowship. Praise the Lord that the seeds he plants don’t die. Even though persecution comes, the word of the Lord will last forever!

One missionary leader recently said of the work there, “If you see anything of significant substance happening here, you need to look at Asian Access. Much of what is happening in the church is directly or indirectly related to the influence of Asian Access ministry.”

Why do we receive such positive praise? I believe it’s because our core focus is rooting ourselves in our “love relationships with God”. Core to our training, more than any other single element, is our commitment to seeing the principle of John 15 lived out in the lives of church leaders: that we would abide in Christ. It is the first of our four essential outcomes in ministry and the one we spend a great deal of time developing. It is only through being connected to the vine that we bear much fruit.

Your prayers and support are helping build momentum for these types of transformational endeavors in Asia. Thank you for your faithful and sacrificial financial support during this challenging economy. As we come into the final few months of the year, we do ask for your prayers and for some special Thanksgiving or Christmas gifts for our family and for Asian Access. Like most missionaries and ministries, we receive 30-40% of our ministry funding during November and December. So, we’d appreciate your prayers for this season and your prayerful consideration of a special gift.

Mongolia Oct 2009

You’re awesome and we so appreciate you!

For His Kingdom,

Joe's blue web signature

Joe for the family

Summer Joy (Fruitful Progress in Japan)

28 September 2009 (06:45) | posted by jhandley |

As fall has now moved into full swing, I thought you might enjoy a few glimpses of the last few months in ministry (especially for our work in Japan)...

It’s been a vibrant summer for us at Asian Access and we celebrate the fruit of our relationships as well as the fruit of the ministry.

Mission Family BBQ

InLos Angeles, our Asian Access family gathered at one of the largest gatherings of our mission (this side of the Pacific) in years. Everyone enjoyed the summer BBQwith LA office staff, missionaries on home assignments, formermissionaries and staff, and future missionaries too. It was a greattime of fun and relaxation as well as a time to renew our spirits asco-workers in Christ’s kingdom for Japan!

So. California BBQ in August 2009

So. Cal. Summer Gathering

Vision Discussions for Japan

It’s also been a rewarding summer as we’ve spent a great deal of time discussing our vision for Japan and how we can be more effective in ministry. Here we are with several of our team leaders from Kansai, Okinawa, and Hokkaido. What a joy to collaborate on ministry and hear one another’s hearts for seeing Japan reached for Jesus! You would be so impressed with our mission families as they are the best. I’ve been serving in mission leadership for some 20 years of full-time ministry and these folks are some of the brightest and most dedicated folks I’ve ever met and worked with. What a blessing to serve alongside of them in ministry!

Discussions about Japan ministry at the home of Eric & Sue Takamoto near Osaka

Eric and Sue Takamoto’s hosted our ministry discussions

Pastor’s Vision Tour of the Pacific North West

Last week I was with several pastors from Japan as we toured innovative churches in the Pacific North West of the USA.  It was part of the bi-ennial pastor's vision tour sponsored by our A2 leadership development ministry in Japan. We were in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C. and had a very fruitful time. Together we gleaned fresh ideas for ministry which I believe will prove quite productive for the future of ministry in Japan.

 Japanese pastors praying for me while on the 2009 vision tour to the North West

Japanese pastor’s praying for me

I asked Pastor Terada, pictured with me below, about the fruit of the ministry and he told me what a blessing it was to graduate from the Japanese Church Growth Institute. He learned about cell group outreach and began implementing it in his church. Over the years, he’s seen between 200-300 people come to Christ after implementing this strategy and he’s so blessed to have taken part in the leadership development ministry and to see such great fruit.

In addition, he’s excited about the future of ministry in Japan. Like much of the world, post-modernity is impacting the church in Japan and Pastor Terada was pleased to see new forms of church work in the Pacific North West to help inform future generations of church life in Japan.

 Pastor Fumio Terada and me during the 2009 pastor's vision tour in the North West

Pastor Fumio Terada & Me

Between my time with our missionary families and many Japanese pastors, it is clear there is a hunger for a fresh new movement for church life in Japan. Let’s pray for a fresh new move of the Spirit in Japan and for new forms of church expression to develop so that the younger generations of Japan will come to know and love Jesus!

Stories from A2-Mongolia

31 August 2009 (20:36) | posted by jhandley |

In this quick video report, Chinzorig shares the story of his friend, Pastor Ariunbold. When I met Ariunbold, every time I turned around he would pound his chest and say in broken English, “Joe, me servant!” Each time he was doing something sacrificial for either me or one of the other people we visited. This constant servanthood touched me so I asked Ariunbold why he volunteers his time to recruit pastors and coordinate the ministry.

Ariunbold said, “Joe, when I joined Asian Access, all I wanted to do was grow my own church and I thought I would learn some tips and techniques from American Church Growth ideas to grow my church. The problem was that’s not what Asian Access offered. Instead, they taught me about deepening my walk with Christ, how to carry that into the lives of my congregation (discipleship) and offered me a vision to impact my country and the world.”

Since graduating Ariunbold has now planted five other churches and those five have reproduced themselves to plant 13 other churches. It’s quite a story and our Country Leader, Chinzorig shares a little of this story and impact in the video below.

At the end of my time with Ariunbold, he said to me, “Joe, there are Mongolians that live in Russia, Kazakhstan, another neighboring country and South Korea.” Then, practically grabbing my collar, he says, “And we need to reach them for the gospel!” I thought right then and there that that was why God called me to Asian Access, to come alongside a whole new generation of Ariunbolds throughout Asia and finish our part in reaching the world for Christ. For me, it doesn’t get any better than this!

P.S. - If you're reading this post on Facebook, you'll need to click "View Original Post" in order to watch the video clip.



Hello, I am Chinzorig.  I am a pastor of Emmanuel Assembly, and I work with Asian Access.  I’m the national director for Asian Access/Mongolia.  I’ve been in the first class and now I’m privileged to work as a staff for Asian Access.  And now we have the fourth class of Asian Access, in the middle of its training.  I would like to share a couple of encouraging stories for you – to be encouraged in the Lord.

The first one is my close friend, who is actually on our staff now.  His story is amazing.  He has an amazing heart for the Lord, and he has actually traveled to all the 21 provinces in Mongolia with the Gospel, and he started churches and started making disciples and now he oversees some of them.  He received his teaching on organic church and house church movements and now he’s done a great job traveling to different nations even, like including South Korea ministering to Mongols there, and also he goes to Buryatia now to cooperate with the Russian church and also works with the Buryatan church reaching Buryat people with the Gospel.  He carries this message of organic church, you know, a simple church but very effective church and that’s his value now.  Wherever he goes the people are encouraged there.  They go more into a simple lifestyle, but quite effective lifestyle with low cost, but true discipleship and just a great job.

My second story would be one of my friends again.  He was really touched by one of the sessions on [the] “Father Heart of God.”  Now that message has become his own message and now he takes this message to every church, to every Christian.  He is the message bearer of Father Heart of God.  And because of his ministry and preaching, many people reconcile with their fathers and inner healing and relationship restoration and family restoration happens, so I would like to thank you all who are giving to Asian Access and supporting us with prayer.  God bless you.

A Year In Review

11 August 2009 (16:10) | posted by jhandley |

We recently produced an overview of my first year in ministry with Asian Access and wanted to share it with you here on the blog. I hope you enjoy catching up on the ministry and learning about the impact the ministry is having.

It’s been quite a year stepping into the role of serving as the president of a mission. Referring to the financial challenges missions face during these rough economic days, one foundation director recently shared with me, “You not only stepped into a role during a time of ministry challenge, but right after you joined... a tsunami hit!”  While that is true, I’m more convinced than ever that God has called me to Asian Access “for such a time as this” as Mordecai told Esther so many years ago.

A friend recently asked me, “have you ever regretted joining this mission given all the challenges you are facing?” The question stunned me. That thought has never once crossed my mind. The Lord called me to serve alongside Asian Access’ missionary families and national partner pastors and I believe He will continue providing for us. Sometimes I don’t have any idea where the funding will come from, but I trust that God is going to provide.

Thanks for your partnership, prayers and support. We appreciate you and I hope you enjoy the attached overview.


For His kingdom,

Joe's blue web signature

Click image to view the PDF report (5MB).  Right-click (cmd-click) to download.


Joe's First Year in Review


Note: If you're reading this post via RSS or Facebook and cannot find the link to the PDF, please click this link to get to the original location of this blog post.

Multiplication in Cambodia

25 June 2009 (16:45) | posted by jhandley |

Pastor PoSan Ung shares how pastors in the Asian Access program multiply the training


"And the things you’ve heard me share, pass along to others”

– 1 Timothy 2:2


In this very brief video, PoSan, one of our country resource coordinators shares how the Asian Access training is being multiplied throughout Camobdia. This same story I hear over and over again throughout our ministry. The leverage in focusing on leading pastors is proving tremendous. Why? Because these pastors are passing on what they have learned to other congregations and leaders throughout the country.


One mission leader told me, “Joe, you are training the field marshals of the church! These pastors are influencing the next generation of pastors in a multiplying manner – training the ground troops across their nation. You must expand this ministry to new countries as the need in Asia is so great.”


Listen to Posan as he shares this important principle.


P.S. - To read a transcription of this video, please click here.


Participant appreciates focus on character development

4 May 2009 (18:08) | posted by jhandley |

I just returned from a whirlwind trip across Asia (visiting Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, and briefly one other country). It was such an encouraging trip as I spoke with several of the first year graduates of the Asian Access leadership development classes. All of them spoke of the life transformation that impacted their lives and ministries through the program (deepening their walk with Jesus, strengthening their marriages and families, and fostering a vision for church multiplication). On average, the graduating pastors have planted about two churches since graduating from the ministry. To know these churches are being planted with a vision to multiply is fantastic. What encouraging words to hear that pastors of character, competence and vision are being multiplied to lead the church across Asia today!

In the next several weeks and months, I’ll be posting a quick video from many of these pastors (most of whom volunteer their time to lead the ministry because of how much it has made a difference in their lives and in their countries).

Jeyakaran Emmanuel from Chennai in South IndiaToday, listen to Pastor JE from Chennai, India share how Asian Access is making a difference! In this video Jeyakaran will share how Asian Access is investing in pastors through their character development. This work is foundational as a leader in the church because in order to make disciples, a leader must first be a disciple – one who is deeply rooted in his relationship with Jesus Christ.

Joe's blue web signature

To watch this video with transcription underneath, click here...


National Pastors' Gathering '08 (videolog 003)

30 November 2008 (14:58) | posted by jhandley |

Here's my latest videolog from my Japan trip where I attended the national pastors' gathering in Shizuoka.


Joe's blue web signature

Passing The Baton

15 October 2008 (07:55) | posted by jhandley |

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”

-- 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

This verse has captured my attention for many years as I see it for my life’s call... Raising up a new generation of leaders to influence the world for Christ!

Doug Birdsall and me
Doug Birdsall and me on the night of my installation as president

Last week, both Ken, our mission's founder, and Doug Birdsall exemplified this verse in passing the baton of leadership at Asian Access to me as the next president. It was a powerful evening that modeled the idea of “entrusting... the things [they learned]” to me as the next leader of the mission.

As my predecessors spoke, ... [More...]


17 September 2008 (11:59) | posted by jhandley |

While in Cambodia...

I asked Dr. Perry Bowers why he would take a few weeks of his time to come to Cambodia to train only 12 pastors when he could be training thousands of pastors in other settings.

His answer: [More...]

A2's impact on Pastor Ariunbold (videolog 002)

3 September 2008 (19:36) | posted by jhandley |

My previous post highlighted Pastor Ariunbold in Mongolia during my recent visit. I figured it would be great to let you hear directly from him.

Here he responds to my question, "What impact has Asian Access had on your life and ministry?"

Please pray for the Church in Mongolia to transform the nation through discipleship, one person at a time. This is the common goal of churches and pastors I've encountered here.

For Christ's Kingdom,

Joe's blue web signature


Cambodia Graduates Second Class

18 December 2007 (02:53) | posted by bruce |

...One of the most joyful events in Asian Access is when a class of pastors graduate from the 2 year ministry and leadership development program.

...It was a joyful night in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on December 1 when pastors from Class 2 graduated before 148 family, friends and church leaders.

...A hallmark of the Asian Access pastor's training is that it brings together pastors from many different denominations.  The result of this in Cambodia is much greater unity among church leaders.  Many of them are doing ministry together where before they had not even met each other.

...This is a visible sign of seeing part of the mission of Asian Access being accomplished " unite the church..." as leading pastors are identified, developed and released.  You can read the whole of our vision and mission at

...Class 3 of leading pastors in Cambodia will have their first session in February and embark on their own 2 year journey of life and ministry transformation.

Graduation Cambodia


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