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Strategic partnership just part of larger, collaborative vision

Asian Access and SIM USA partner to send more church-planting missionaries to Japan

Strategic partnership just part of larger, collaborative vision

Asian Access & SIM USA launch a strategic partnership

GLENDORA, CALIF. (A2) — A strategic partnership uniting Asian Access and SIM USA is aimed at sending more church-planting missionaries to Japan. By leveraging the strengths of the two mission-sending agencies, they hope to maximize effectiveness toward the goal of planting 1,000 church congregations in Japan by 2020.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Asian Access is a 44-year-old mission organization that pioneered short-term English-teaching missions to Japan. The organization now develops leaders across Asia to multiply churches. Founded in 1893, SIM works on six continents with more than 2,100 missionaries from 65 countries—one-third from the United States alone. The U.S. headquarters is in Charlotte, N.C.

Following a three-year process of examining their organizations’ respective DNA, vision, mission and core values, the leadership teams determined to seize the opportunity to collaborate in forming a new model of mission work, one that will allow each entity to better utilize kingdom resources.

Joe Handley, President of Asian Access"SIM brings the stability of operational support that we needed and the mobilization horsepower to help us fulfill our vision and mission for Japan," said Joe Handley, president of Asian Access. "This strategic partnership is not a merger or simply a sharing of back office functions; it is truly a new way of doing mission together, each bringing their strengths and committing to a common Kingdom vision."

According to the agreement, SIM USA will partner with Asian Access to recruit and send missionaries to Japan to plant churches. SIM assumes responsibility for recruiting missionaries, as well as the financial accounting and related human resources functions of missionary training and U.S.-based care.

Asian Access retains responsibility for championing the overall vision in Japan, managing the strategy of missionary deployment through its vast network of Japanese churches, and caring for Japan-based missionary personnel.

Asian Access and SIM will remain independent, each maintaining its distinct and separate ministry and board of directors.

Bruce Johnson, VP for Leadership Development"This alliance immediately opens up a whole new country to send SIM missionaries, rather than having to set up a beachhead with a few pioneer missionaries," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. "On top of that, to partner with an organization like Asian Access, which already has history, success and reputation in Japan is a privilege and honor."

Johnson, a former vice president at Asian Access, said SIM’s global focus and Asian Access’ 2020 vision for Japan are a seamless fit.

"Within SIM, we are helping to create multicultural mission movements that respond to needs, proclaim the gospel, and equip the church," Johnson said. "And Asian Access' 2020 vision of helping Japanese pastors plant reproducible churches, as well as seeing a mission heart infused in those churches resonates with SIM."

Japan has long been considered a resistant mission field, one in which only 0.5% is Christian, and the overwhelming effects of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of earlier this year have knocked Japan to its knees. These events may ultimately serve to transform the church and bring many to Christ.

Consequently, Handley said he believes the timing is right for this new partnership and for Japan.

"This bolstering is all the more important given the triple-disaster that hit Japan," he said. "This is a ‘kairos’ or God-moment for Japan that requires our best efforts to influence the country for the beauty of Christ and His Kingdom. We are thrilled to be working with such a strong mission like SIM and are eager to see the Lord work through our strategic partnership to fulfill his mandate for the people of Japan."

More information on this partnership and each organization can be found at online at www.asianaccess.org and www.simusa.org. Asian Access and SIM USA are utilizing the website, www.go2japan.org to engage people interested in serving in Japan.

PDFFAQs - frequently asked questions about this strategic partnership

PDFPress Release- Asian Access' public statement

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Press contact:

Jeff Johnston, VP for Communications
Asian Access, PO Box 200, San Dimas, CA 91773 USA
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(626) 914-8990

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Background Information:

Stan De La Cour first came to Japan as a short-term missionary in 1979. He had previously been on staff with Youth for Christ, and served as a youth minister. Stan, originally from Rhode Island, has an undergraduate degree in Biblical Education from Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University), and a Masters in Communication from Wheaton College.

Faith De La Cour was born in Brazil of missionary parents. Though they returned to the US when she was still quite young she continued to experience the nomadic life of a TCK (third culture kid) with moves every three years on average. Faith has an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College and an MBA from Northwestern University. She is currently studying for a Masters in Member Care at Columbia International University.

Stan decided to return to Japan as a career missionary following two stints as a short-term missionary with Asian Access. Not long after that decision, he met Faith. They arrived in Japan the year following their marriage.

The De La Cours have lived and served in the Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture area for all but their first two years in Japan. They have two adult daughters living outside Japan and two high-school age sons still at home.

 

Stan’s Ministry Assignment:

Stan is pastor of the International Community Chapel of Saitama (ICCS) (http://www.iccs-japan.com), an English language congregation in Tokorozawa, a city neighboring Tokyo. This church draws both English speaking foreigners and Japanese to worship together, and provides a welcoming community for those who are away from their home country. Japanese returnees who have been introduced to Christ outside of Japan find it a comfortable church upon re-entry into their home culture. Many of those baptized at ICCS since the founding of the chapel in 1990 have been Japanese brought by their expatriate friends.

In addition to pastoral ministries, Stan served for a time on the mobilizing committee for a prayer movement in the Tokyo area started under the umbrella of the Global Day of Prayer (www.globaldayofprayer.com). He has provided consultation and networking for a Japanese nonprofit organization, Wheelchairs of Hope (http://k-kurumaisu.org/), which collects discarded and used wheelchairs, repairs and cleans them, and sends them to countries throughout Asia where they are distributed free of charge through local churches.

 

Faith’s Ministry Assignment:

Faith serves Asian Access (A2) as the Human Resource Development Coordinator for Japan, which encompasses Missionary Care. She is also a member of the A2 Japan Leadership Team.

Faith has served the Japan missionary community through the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association (JEMA) as an advocate for Member Care/Missionary Care. She writes columns quarterly for the JEMA Japan Harvest magazine, and speaks at various events introducing the fundamentals of "Missionary Care."

 

Future Ministry Assignment:

Stan and Faith will be transitioning to State-side ministry in late 2013. SIM USA, the strategic partner with Asian Access in Japan, has asked Faith to take on the responsibilities of Director of Missionary Care and oversee the team that encourages spiritual and emotional care of the nearly 700 missionaries sent to 65 countries around the world (including our A2 missionaries). Stan has been asked to serve as a Chaplain to the 80-100 sending office staff in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 


Recent Articles from Stan and Faith

 

My interview on the A2/SIM Strategic Partnership for Japan

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PO Box 3307  Cerritos, California 90703 USA

email:  info @ asianaccess.org
phone:  (626) 914-8990
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