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News and notes from around the A2 Community

Official blogs from Asian Access

Mt. Fuji“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” — Matthew 17:20 Asian Access is passing some significant milestones in 2017. We are celebrating 50 years of ministry this year and are major celebratory event is happening at the end of April: Jubilee in Jakarta! Also this month, on April 1, Asian Access/Japan passes another significant milestone: passing the torch from one national director to another. Takeshi Takazawa, whom many of you have been praying for has been planning for this moment for some time when he took the leadership post 3 years ago. On April 1st, he hands the leadership to Joshua Hari. I’ll never forget the day sitting in our Asian Access/Japan board meeting last fall when Takeshi described this moment in time. He told his fellow board members...

Do you hear God's voice?"We tend to overcomplicate the simplicity of listening to Jesus." — Tony Dale

Not long ago I had the privilege of participating in one of our Asian Access sessions where Tony and Felicity Dale were teaching. It was brilliant and their stories inspired me. Today, they lead a Christ-centered business that is on mission and they’ve seen remarkable results. Many small fellowships have birthed out of their simple story and who knows how many people are now following Jesus because of their faithful presence! "My sheep hear my voice." (John 10) They pointed to this passage and as highlighted above noted how so many...

starship enterprise 600x400A2.business Enterprise: Starship Log – Entry 2017-0321-09:33

I grew up watching the TV series, Star Trek. I was recently reminded of the opening of that show at a session of A2.business in South Asia. Star Trek opened every show with Captain James T. Kirk saying,

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

After spending the weekend together one of the CEO’s shared this A2.business group...

thumb brachiateDuring a recent conversation with a friend of mine, he mentioned a word I had not heard before... brachiate. He suggested I search it out on google when I returned home. He said it is a word worth discovering... and even more important, a word worth living. I did as he said and discovered the following:

BRACHIATE: comes from the Latin BRACHIUM, discovered in the mid eighteenth century and means “arm” or “arm swinging”. The verb means to swing by the arms from one hold (branch or tree limb) to the next and one of its uses is for smaller monkeys that proceed through the jungle by swinging from one hold to the next.

I began to think of other possibilities and thought of...

univ of desert 800pxGod's choice training ground for future leaders

It took some time for me to understand God’s University of the Desert and then to trust Him in those deep experiences. But then it took even further time to recognise not only God’s presence in the loneliness of the desert, but also God’s purposes in the desert as He would be preparing me for the next season of my life. In the process I found perspective as I began to read the scriptures with a desert paradigm and I was surprised how many of God’s choice leaders spent time in the desert at critical seasons in their lives.  Many of them became my mentors on how to live life in the desert. People like Joseph, Abraham, Moses, David, John The Baptist, Jesus, Paul and the Apostle John. Gradually it dawned on me that God has a choice discipleship training school called the University of the Desert. It is not one in which we can formally enrol and undertake classes of our own choosing and be graded on our academic achievements. Rather, it is one in which God sovereignly works through the circumstances of our lives to test us in order to approve us and then entrust us with responsibilities that are known only to Him. Sometimes it is only God and I that are aware of the fact that the class in the University of the Desert is in session. The following are some of the lessons I have learned as a result of...

highest watermark during Tsunami of March 2011This day will be a day I never forget. Six years ago, in just a few short hours from right now, I was in Karuizawa, Japan for our annual Japan Staff Spring Retreat. It was a wonderful time together with our Asian Access/Japan family as always and as we were in chapel that afternoon, the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced hit: over 9 points on the Richter Scale. Even though it was centered several miles off the coast of Japan and many miles further from my location, it was still the single longest and strongest quake I had ever lived through. And, I’ve lived through some pretty strong quakes living most of my life in Los Angeles.

This morning as I awoke, I was reminded of being here in Japan that horrible day. Silk and I were in Japan and our thoughts went to many of the pastors and churches we know in the heaviest hit regions plus staff we have all over the country who were unable to make the retreat. We also were thinking of our children and families back home and what might happen to us.

As you know it was a devastating quake that triggered a massive tsunami that wreaked havoc on the shorelines of Northeast Japan. They call it a triple disaster because the...

cam wesley teaching closeup 375pxMy first cross-cultural teaching experience

In Asian Access, we believe that God is empowering our leaders to take larger roles in the movement. This includes developing more leaders within Asia who can teach Asian Access in their own countries. But beyond that, we are dreaming that A2 leaders can teach in one another’s countries throughout the movement. That dream became a reality for me. In February, I was invited by my good friend and colleague Meng Aun Hour (National Director for Cambodia) and his Working Team to help to teach for the A2 Cambodia session. I joined Rev. Paul Ariga from Japan and Dr. Steven Taylor in teaching the leaders in the current Cambodian class. The first day, I shared on the subject What Does it Mean to be a Servant of God?, focusing on the concept of servant leadership. The second day, they allowed me to share my ministry journey. This journey has taken some surprising twists in the last few years, as God has led my wife Alma and me to leave a secure ministry career and launch, on faith, a ministry to the poor, hardcore-Buddhist day laborers of Myanmar, a ministry called New Life in Christ. When I arrived in Phnom Penh, I was warmly welcomed and received into their...

As recovery stagnates, Gospel growth booms

Damage left by the 2011 tsunami. (Photo cred: Tamaki Seto via Wikimedia Commons)Japan (MNN) — Broken remnants and barricades remain six years after Japan’s deadly ‘triple disaster’. “There are still tens of thousands of people in temporary housing…. That place (near the Fukushima nuclear facility) was so devastated that the local people cannot afford to go back into their homes and rebuild them,” says Joe Handley of Asian Access. Worse yet, the Japanese government is ending housing subsidies for some Fukushima residents. Financial aid will end this month for “those who fled the Fukushima nuclear disaster from areas other than the government-designated evacuation zones,” according to Japan Today. Yet. Handley found hope during a recent...

david nd2016 lrLast Fall, Pastor David Dayalan, Asian Access VP for Program Development shared a devotional highlighting letting Jesus take the lead with our board of directors. I thought you might enjoy seeing a taste of what we spend our time doing in seeking to prepare Christ-like leaders… You’ll quickly see that it’s not about us being leaders. It’s really about us being followers!

 

Why did Jesus lead the way he did?

He knew who he...

bang 3 6 adrian2We got an energizing and provocative word from the Lord at the Asian Access Bangladesh class in February. Rev. Adrian De Visser of Sri Lanka was our faculty. His topic was Evangelism Through Grace. Grace? That seemed odd to some of the participants. Evangelism is about proclamation and warning people away from Hell, isn’t it? But Brother Adrian gave us a new look at this vital area of the ministry. Adrian began by identifying the four aspects of a human being:  physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. “As ministers”, he told us, “We too often focus only on the spiritual side of a person. While this side is very important, it can cause us to ignore the other three components. All four, together, are vital to a healthy and balanced disciple.” At the session, Adrian spent extensive time on emotions. “We need to understand a person’s emotional needs as well as their spiritual needs if we are to reach them...

"I would really like to thank all the people who are committing themselves in prayer, in giving and in being part of the global movement of advancing the kingdom of God through church planting and equipping and training ministries. Everybody, because we believe in the priesthood of every believer, we all have been serving by our gifts, by our resources, and by our calling. So thank you very much for all of your investment and contribution to the churches in Asia and eventually the global...

wilson mike 2016Dec 500px sqareI grew up in a household where PTSD was the norm. Over the years—especially in my youth and early adulthood—I had some counseling as well as healing prayer. Since my freak bike accident trying to get two disciples to the train station and then LAX, I have entered a yearlong journey toward normal function of my arm and shoulder. My custom is to practice meditation on Christ with alertness. During this crisis, God has reminded me of an uncle who committed suicide and a cousin who was killed in a train yard trying to buy drugs. I am confident if this type of making efforts to be mindful of God was not my custom, I would not have “caught” what God was alerting me to. I know that now I have less anxiety about the long journey I am on. If you have only read the New Testament, then you may be surprised to know that the Jews were at times in their history very spiritual and had a custom of meditating on God. When they came back from the exile, they did not want to fall into apostasy again. This is one of the strategies they used to “abide with God.”...

brokenness beauty signNozomi のぞみ = Hope

Last week I had the privilege of visiting the Nozomi Project and wow, I didn’t expect how powerfully God would move in my own life. As we were sharing together I heard the amazing story shared in this video about an autistic boy: https://vimeo.com/164225374 Thing is, I didn’t expect it to hit me personally. You see, I have an autistic sister so I shared a lot in common with the family in the video. As you’ll see in the story, the mom was encouraged through the Nozomi team, and particularly by my colleague Sue Takamoto, that her son’s life has purpose and meaning. That led me to share part of my own journey growing up with my sister. You see, I’m not naturally a very compassionate person but growing up with my sister, there were times where...

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From the President blog by Joe Handley

A2 Community blog with posts from a variety of contributors around Asian Access

Stories about Asian Access published by Mission Network News, a mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world. In doing so we hope to educate and motivate Christians to prayer, participation, and support of missionary work to help further the Great Commission.

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