But, that was before the triple disaster of 2011. Now, hearts have been softened.
Many Japanese are ready to hear the Good News of Jesus. In order to reach them, Asian Access is investing over $500,000 in planting churches and training pastors.
“Join me in praising God and praying for the harvest, that many might come to know Jesus as their Savior in Japan!” said Asian Access President Joe Handley in a recent blog post.
Where’d all that money come from?
By most standards, a half-million dollars is a lot of money. It’s an especially-large sum in the world of nonprofit and charity organizations. For the Lord, though, it’s a drop in the bucket.
It all started in November, when He moved on the heart of Dan Amos, CEO of Aflac Insurance.
“I have been a strong supporter of Asian Access for over 15 years…. I have full confidence in their president, Joe Handley, their board, and the mission that they oversee,” wrote Amos in a note to Handley.
“That is why I’m proud to offer this $250,000 matching challenge to help reach Japan for Christ.”
God continued moving in the hearts of Asian Access supporters, and by the last month of 2015 they were near the finish line of their giving challenge. When the clock struck midnight on December 31, the year and Asian Access’s giving challenge came to an end.
The gifts kept coming, though. “It took a few weeks to gather all the data, due to online giving and some last-minute checks in the mail,” Handley shared.
“A total of $253,749 has been received, and so now we have $553,749 to invest toward developing leaders and planting churches in Japan.”
What will Asian Access use the money for?
As explained here, the $250,000 giving challenge was intended to further church multiplication efforts in Japan.
“What seemed impossible in 1986 has exploded into a vision for so much more. There is significant synergy now,” said Handley.
“More churches have been planted, more quickly, than we ever could have imagined…we now have pastors in Japan dreaming of planting 50,000 churches by 2035!”
Building on the spiritual “breakthroughs” initiated by the mayhem of 2011, Asian Access and the leaders they’ve trained want to push toward new milestones:
- Plant 50,000 churches by 2035
- Reach Japanese businesspeople for Christ
- Reach entire families for Christ through marriage training and Alpha course
- Create mobile-based multimedia resources to facilitate/enhance leadership development
- Engage Japan and the world with the love and message of Christ at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo
As you praise the Lord for bringing about the finances needed to launch this project, please continue to pray for Asian Access and the people of Japan.
Pray for the continual softening of hearts by the Holy Spirit. Pray that through Asian Access, many leaders will be trained and able to share the Gospel effectively when opportunity arises.
Listen to the broadcast (story starts at 1:54)
- Originally published on Mission Network News
- Download audio file: http://www.asianaccess.org/mnn/4-5min-Jan28-2016.mp3
- Photo credits: Cover photo by Ryan Belong; statue photo courtesy Sergio Carbajo via Flickr; third & fourth images courtesy Asian Access; fifth photo courtesy jpellgen via Flickr.