Coronavirus

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I trust you are doing well as we all continue facing the coronavirus challenges. I’m writing you to ask you to give toward a match so our brothers and sisters under persecution can enjoy meeting, like we do, by video conferencing without fear of government intervention. Asia is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our friends are especially suffering from the pain of isolation—and none feel it more than those who live in countries where Christians are persecuted, where they cannot trust their governments to give them accurate information about COVID-19. As in North America (and in Japan where I live), churches in persecuted countries are connecting by video conferencing . . . for now. But it’s just a matter of time before governments shut them down and go after the church leaders. What these countries need is an ultra-secure digital platform that will allow them to meet, worship, and have fellowship away from the prying eyes of their governments.

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Takeshi Takazawa 2016 headshotEvery crisis is a time of dangers and opportunities

Takeshi Takazawa is VP for Strategic Engagement for Asian Access. He is a gifted leader who has served our movement since 1988. Among his many strengths, he sees things well before others see them and he helps us understand deep things. The A2 Community all across Asia dearly loves Takeshi. In this clip, Takeshi shares about the two Chinese characters for "crisis" which are made up of "danger" and "opportunity". This topic has been referenced quite a bit recently because of COVID-19. "You've probably heard this," Takazawa starts out...

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Gideon selects his army"With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand."

I trust you remember the story (read Judges 7). Israel was facing a formidable challenge from the Midianites and God had called Gideon to lead them. As Gideon worked to select those who would serve in the army, God kept whittling the numbers down, to a level most would consider absurd for battle. Yet, God said: "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me." Interestingly enough, God gave me this passage coming out of my quasi-sabbatical, a season focused on finishing my dissertation and a degree of rest. Throughout that sabbath season, the Lord was reminding me to...

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Manga MessiahGlobalization—and the current pandemic—have tied together intercontinental personal relationships and socially distanced ministry in ways we would have found difficult to imagine not so many years ago.

The following true story from one of our Asian Access Japan staff highlights how intercontinental friendships and digital media can partner together in ministry even in a “shelter in place” world. Thank you for your prayers for our Asian Access family as our members share God’s love through every means possible. Here is their story I wanted to share with you...

A Japanese university not far from our current home in Japan has had a sister school relationship with my alma mater in the USA for over 50 years. Decades ago...

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bauman crisis keekee 600pxI read dozens of missionary prayer letters every month and this one by my colleagues Barbara and Gary Bauman really impressed me. Why? While many are mentioning the Japanese word and Chinese characters for crisis (see picture here), and how it means both danger and opportunity, I was particularly impressed with how Barbara and Gary are seeing this flesh out in their own life and ministry. They reported on some recent ministry activity that I hope we can share in the future. It’s an exciting story of how the Gospel is being manifest before those they are reaching out to in their sphere of influence. Barbara and Gary have this crisis idea down! As they shared...

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Header photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Jakarta floods in 2013.Indonesia (MNN) — Jakarta already faced crisis earlier this year when flooding ravaged the region. Although a majority of the flooding has subsided, rainfall continues to threaten Indonesia’s already-sinking capital. And as if the weather hadn’t already taken its toll on Jakarta, the city is now “the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia,” according to Juserdi Purba of Asian Access. As of Friday, Indonesia had more than 10,000 cases and 800 deaths. For now, many of those cases are found in Jakarta. Even though the flood...

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road trip with raj cbKur5I60A unsplashWhen COVID-19 started becoming a public concern, I was en route to a conference with 5,000 leaders from China. The conference did a remarkable job at communicating with us and managing the situation. It’s a tribute to them and to the Lord’s hand that to this date, none of us have been impacted (at least for what has been reported so far). As the news grew and social isolation became more and more the norm, the Lord reminded me of the power of lament as well as the hope hidden within that concept. For Silk and me, we held a public Facebook Live prayer event where God gave me a passage from Lamentations to share...

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hari joshua 2017 headshotCreativity started before COVID-19 now deepening in Japan

God is clearly doing something new these days… While we mourn the deep losses of people and our sense of community living in isolation, there are signs of promise. We hope a solution comes soon for the coronavirus but during this season, something fresh is stirring. This video interview with my colleagues Joshua Hari and Jeffery Sonnenberg highlights some of what God is doing. In fact, as Joshua shares, it seems that God was preparing things in advance as well as setting the stage for fulfilling our longer-term vision for Japan. Watch and see what God is doing… And, pray: next week Japan is hosting an important webinar to help pastors best serve their communities and nations during this pandemic...

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Novel Coronavirus Expert meeting in Japan. This was the first meeting on February 16. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)Japan (MNN) — Japan faces a new wave of confirmed coronavirus cases as the government starts testing more people. Many have referred to the April uptick as a second wave, the first happening in March, but Takeshi Takazawa of Asian Access views it as a delayed wave. Up until the beginning of April, Japan had not seen many cases, even though the virus first arrived in January. Read our full COVID-19 coverage here. Takazawa says of active cases, “I think the number has been steadily growing. 

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