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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...

persecuted pastorsThe persecuted Church reflects on strength amidst trials

International (MNN) — Yesterday, we told you about some of the persecution the Church in Southeast Asia is up against, but what happens when those trials subside? Noel Becchetti of Asian Access might have an answer. For example, Becchetti says, “Nepal was going into… an era of relative peace and harmony after quite a bit of persecution, [and] the Church in Nepal has grown dramatically from a few hundred people 30 years ago to almost two million today.” When he asked local church leaders why their churches were experiencing such exponential growth, they informed him that “our church has grown because of persecution. It has made us strong and it has made us unified." However, just because...

(Photo courtesy SAT-7 via Facebook)The Church in Asia prepares for increased pressure

International (MNN) — As last year has come to an end, it’s easy to look ahead to the new year as a chance for resets and new beginnings. However, Noel Becchetti of Asian Access says for the Church in Asia, what might come is more intimidating than rejuvenating. He says there “is a rising intolerance and direct pressure against Christians and then sometimes others [who] may not be Christian but [are] people who are not part of the ruling group.” Take Bangladesh. “Up until a few years ago, Bangladesh, while a Muslim majority country, has really been known for its tolerance,” explains Becchetti. However, “About three years ago, ...

(Capture of Sri Lanka courtesy Prayercast)

Militants set fire to a new church; believers undeterred

Sri Lanka (MNN) — Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. The moniker describes a beautiful picture, but the struggles reveal something darker. It’s considered the third most religious country in the world. Although the constitution guarantees religious freedom while favoring Buddhism, minority Protestants have experienced violent persecution as well as discrimination. Although it is legal to convert to Christianity in Sri Lanka, Christians often face opposition from politically active Buddhist monks. The Voice of the Martyrs notes the persecution of Christians has escalated in recent years with the rise of militant Buddhist nationalist groups in Sri Lanka. In fact, more than 250 churches...

Major needs in the Church coincide with expanded ministry

photo-1462557661829-6a1129313bbbPhilippines (MNN) — It takes a discerning crowd to recognize the needs of the Church in one nation. In the Philippines, church leaders are pulling together to advance the Gospel, and they’re asking Asian Access to help. Joe Handley of Asian Access is excited to announce they are expanding their ministry into the Philippines. The need? Church leadership, church planting, and healing across the Body of Christ. God has uniquely equipped the ministry in these three areas...

Christians in Thailand consider chaos and Christ

(Photo courtesy Asian Access)Thailand (MNN) — Security has been beefed up at all of Thailand’s tourist destinations in the wake of the 11 bomb attacks last Friday. Although tourist security is on high alert, many in Thailand are back to business as usual. Change is normal in the ‘Land of Smiles’. After all, Asian Access’ (A2) Noel Becchetti points out; the country has survived 36 coups in the last 50 years. Becchetti describes Thailand’s atmosphere as a complicated mix of politics, nationalism and sectarianism, and says any one theory right now about who is behind the attacks is pure speculation...

Pals family felt called to Japan before tragic accident; why?

Photo Courtesy World VentureJapan (MNN) — “How soon will some few years pass away, and then when the day is ended, and this life’s lease expired, what have men of the world’s glory, but dreams and thoughts? O happy soul forevermore, who can rightly compare this life with that long-lasting life to come, and can balance the weighty glory of the one with the light golden vanity of the other.” – Samuel Rutherford ... There are few things that unite a body of believers like the loss of a loved one. For the evangelical community in Japan, that came with the recent tragic deaths of Kathyrine and Jamison Pals and their three children. The family of five was killed in a highway accident in Colorado, mere dollars and weeks away from their move to Japan. Why Japan? What was it that touched the hearts of the Pals family to start working in a missions field on the other side of the world?...

(Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn via Flickr: <a href=Attacker stabs and kills 19 disabled people, nation shocked

Japan (MNN) — Nineteen people were stabbed to death, and 25 injured early Tuesday morning in Japan. Of those injured, 20 are severely wounded. 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu broke into Tsukui Yamayuri-en, a facility for disabled individuals, during the night armed with knives to kill the residents. The attack took place in Sagamiharaa, around 30 miles from Tokyo. Uematsu was a former employee of the facility. In the past, the attacker has reportedly said he believes disabled people should be allowed to be euthanized, with their guardian’s consent — something that is an ongoing discussion in the political realm today... 

Asia is the continent with the largest number of unreached groups

Gospel gaining ground despite persecutionAsia (MNN) — Research shows Asia has the greatest strategic importance to the United States, both now and in the next 20 years. It’s also home to the highest amount of unreached people groups. This provides a unique opportunity for organizations like Asian Access, which trains and equips believers for spiritual leadership in an effort to establish long-term spiritual growth. “We come alongside key pastors and now CEOs and senior vice presidents in the business sphere, but predominately with pastors over the last 35 years, investing deeply in their lives and building capacity for them,” ...

Sixty-two Buddhist monks come to Christ

(Photo courtesy Asian Access)South Asia (MNN) – Knowledge and logic may help you win an argument, but it’s not always the most effective way to lead people to Christ. Often times, just showing God’s love has the greatest impact. That was the case with one Tibetan priest. Last year, we told you about a Buddhist Lama from Tibet who came to Christ and had a vision to plant churches throughout the valleys of the Himalayas. Joe Handley, President of Asian Access, says one of the major reasons why...

Each of these pastors has a plan according to God's call

(Photo courtesy Asian Access)SE Asia (MNN) – For the past two and a half years, a group of pastors in SE Asia have been working hard to complete eight training modules through Asian Access. This area of the world is known for its resistance to the Gospel and those who share it. These pastors recently completed the last module, have graduated the training, and are on their way to impact the world for Christ. Mary Jo Wilson of Asian Access was able to teach during the last module. “The final topic is...

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)Sri Lanka (MNN) – Flood waters in Sri Lanka are slowly receding now, revealing the extent of the damage from last week’s torrent.  Asian Access’ Joe Handley says what they’re hearing from their partners is that, “It’s the worst disaster to hit the nation in the last five years.” The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its situation report, “Many of the affected population, particularly in the rural areas, were already amongst the most vulnerable in the country and have now lost everything, including their homes, possessions, agricultural land and means of making a living.” The water’s surge forced more than 350,000 people from their homes.  Government officials also anticipate the death toll to rise well beyond too. “They’re estimating”, explains Handley, that “at least the last...

Sri Lanka flagSri Lanka (MNN) – At least 37 people are dead following Sri Lanka’s incessant rains and mudslides. Countless others remain missing, reports CNN. Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the rains, which have come earlier than the usual monsoon season expected later in this month. Entire houses have been submerged beneath rising water. Sri Lanka’s army, police, and navy are conducting search and rescue operations, digging out survivors. But with the heavy rains have come mudslides...

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Mission Network News is 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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