$167,000 Matching Gift will Help Asian Access design Persecution Curriculum
“Joe, what is being done is not enough. Given the fruitfulness of Asian Access leadership approach, can we add this component to our overall leader development?”
This is what the leader of one of our countries asked as he begged me to better empower leaders as they face increasing levels of persecution. This is someone who is deeply connected to the groups who work to help the Persecuted Church.
Addressing the Rise in Persecution Across the Region
Indeed, persecution is on the rise! Ten of the 16 countries Asian Access works in face persecution. We’ve seen recent reports from India, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. In the first few months of the year, the same types of things have occurred in China as well.
So, Asian Access is presently pursuing partnerships with as many of the Persecuted Church groups as we can to provide a more robust preparatory leader development effort so that they are better able to withstand the onslaught of pressure and persecution that is ever-growing. This will include spiritual, legal, and community organization training for a comprehensive effort to come alongside atrocities.
The Need for Effective Leadership
Not long after the 2011 tsunami hit Japan, one of our alumni, Rev. Makito Matsuda, was barraged with questions on how people could help. It was overwhelming for someone right in the thick of the disaster. As he considered the situation, he realized that tangible needs were needed but that wasn’t the most important thing. He said,
“What we really need is leadership!”
He knew that supplies and aid would come but the bigger challenge was having leaders prepared and ready to manage the crisis and lead the people toward safety, security, and shelter.
Pastor Matsuda's wisdom sticks with me to this day. He shared about a 70-year-old man named Mr. Abe who took upon himself to mobilize those in his neighborhood to get to safety, arrange shelter, and plant a garden so that they could withstand the days it would be before aid would come.
In the face of persecution, we need hundreds of Mr. Abe’s who will ‘stand in the gap’ and rally the community with the light of Christ at the center!
Please pray and please give so that we can both provide tangible needs in the face of this Sri Lankan crisis as well as better equip leaders like Mr. Abe to rise to the occasion.
We have a matching challenge grant of $167,000 that can be applied to this situation. So, every gift you give to aid the Persecuted Church will be doubled.
God bless you and thank you for praying and giving!
Joe Handley, President
- Listen to the Mission Network News interview with Joe Handley
- One in three Christians face persecution in Asia, report finds
- Asia is 'new hotbed of Christian persecution'
- Ajith Fernando's post on the Sri Lanka bombings: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-bombs-on-easter-sunday
- More stories about persecution
Double Your Gift Now to Help Sri Lanka & Empower Leaders of the Persecuted Church...