Handley, Joe & Silk

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Joe & Silk Handley
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Introducing...

Joe & Silk Handley

Rebecca, Rachel & John
Serving as President

Bio: Joe & Silk Handley

 

Background Information:

Joe reached his 10-year anniversary with Asian Access in July 2018 and continues to experience joy and passion in serving the ministry. It is exciting partnering with missionaries, national partners, and supporters who desire "to see a vibrant community of servant leaders leading the Church across Asia… who unite the Church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel."

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Family:

Becca, our oldest daughter, and her husband Lowell live in our home while we’re living in Japan. We’re grateful to have such responsible tenants! Lowell started working for a new company in December and Becca makes their house a home with her warm spirit. Her creativity in all areas of life is such a joy to watch and she has certainly caught the travel bug from her father!

rachel and quan 2019 croppedRachel, our second daughter, is preparing for an August wedding with her fiance Quan Chu. While searching for a job in the animation/illustration industry, she enjoys her part-time job as a dog walker. She certainly gets plenty of exercise! It’ll be exciting to see where Rachel and Quan’s journey takes them!

Our son John is in his first year at Merton College in Oxford, pursuing a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. We’re excited that that he is enjoying his time there and is thriving in an intellectually stimulating environment. He misses Japan and plans to spend some of his time between terms in “the land of the rising sun.” 

Ministry Assignment:

Joe and Silk strive to offer their best for God’s highest “for such a time as this". They trust that the Lord will provide the funding, focus and faith to see the fulfillment of A2’s vision: "To see a vibrant community of servant leaders… leading the Church across Asia…" who are living out our mission, "to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the Gospel."

This year, the Asian Access board has given Joe space to finish a doctorate in global leadership. He’ll be spending a few days every month writing the dissertation and in appreciation for our 10 years of ministry, we have been given a three-month sabbatical, which we hope to start in September, to finish the program.

Words of Wisdom:

This verse has been central to our call these past ten years:

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. - 2 Timothy 2:2.

Asian Access has this same spirit that the Apostle Paul had for Timothy: in-depth discipleship of pastors and leaders. In the words of our founder: “Our vision is to empower your vision!”


Recent Articles from Joe

 

turmoil benjamin davies vd8DbM 5pDg unsplash 640pxLike you, all of us at Asian Access are facing the challenges surrounding our world from these tumultuous days. The pandemic has forced most of the countries we work in to either go on lockdown or at least practice social distancing and the economic conditions have been immense. Many of our partners shared basic survival needs that are overwhelming. I have a needs list from them for well over $100,000 alone just for food to feed the poor. Many have lost friends and colleagues to the coronavirus and the pandemic seems to have no end in sight, or at least is pretty unpredictable. Add to these the racial and political polarization rising in several countries...

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surrendersur·​ren·​der | \ sə-ˈren-dər – “to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand” - Merriam-Webster Dictionary Earlier this year, you may recall that I sensed God giving me the word breakthrough for the year. 2020 was due to be a year of promise for Asian Access and our retiring Asian Access/Japan board chair sensed revival was on the horizon: breakthrough. Interestingly enough, my wife Silk sensed her word for the year was surrender. I thought, “How in the world do those two words—breakthrough and surrender—fit together?” Earlier this month, it all dawned on me...

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A Hybrid World bookcover thumbI was honored to be asked to review a new book that’s out that I believe is an important contribution to our ever-evolving world. This new book, A Hybrid World: Diaspora, Hybridity, and Missio Dei. edited by Sadiri Joy Tira and Julie Lee Uytanlet, was developed at the Lausanne Movement and Global Diaspora Network consultation: Hybridity, Diaspora, and Missio Dei: Exploring New Horizons, hosted at the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines, June 2018. The reason I believe this book is so important is that our world is getting smaller and smaller, day by day. The impact of migration, globalization and the intermixing of peoples is pivotal to our capacity to reach the world for Christ in this day and age. I am convinced this reality will grow even more important in the years to come...

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Joshua HariLast week I learned some encouraging news: During COVID-19 emergency suggestions here in Japan, churches in Japan are seeing some intriguing growth. We have shared previously about a monthly webinar Asian Access has been hosting for pastors: 1) Japan: Online church, first A2/Japan webinar, and more, and 2) Isolation Makes Way for New Connections in Japan. It’s been a tremendous experience as everyone is learning from one another, seeing ways to experiment with new ways to reach their communities, and learning from the global church (especially other countries in Asia) about how they are navigating these unusual times....

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The last few months I have been fairly regularly attending bible reading sessions hosted by the Grace and Mercy Foundation in New York City. They hold sessions three times a week and I can attend their Monday evening program since it aligns with my Tuesday morning. It’s been a rich experience, listening to God’s word together and seeing people from many parts of the world. I shared about their grand opening here in Tokyo a few months ago but now with the pandemic, these sessions have been growing. There are a few hundred people on my call alone every week. Reading scripture in community is a rewarding experience and I hope...

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MjW blue shirt from waist 2020Learning About Emotional Intelligence

A little over a year ago my colleague Mary Jo Wilson, Vice President for Missional Engagement, took several of our staff through a journey learning about our Emotional Intelligence (EQ). She was certified just prior to lead groups like this and we were one of her early guinea pigs. Having read about EQ the last several years, I thought I would score fairly high on the scales. Was I in for a surprise!  I knew that at least one or two of my colleagues would score higher than me. They seem far more adept in emotional intelligence than me but I actually scored lower than I thought. Ouch!... 

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President's Update 

We are gripped with the current protests going on in the U.S. and also now in other countries. With the strain of COVID-19 still evident, the protests against racial injustice have created an important conversation. We welcome this conversation and long to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ lived out in our midst. Yet, during this season, we have a responsibility to report on the mission God has called us to serve—developing leaders who first experience personal transformation and then extend the transforming power of the gospel to those communities around them. We strive to change the few who change the many. And you help us do that!

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church bldg harry jing 2OM7rUDdsKw unsplash“I sense God is moving us toward home churches in the coming days.” (Adrian De Visser) Right before hearing these words from my colleague Adrian who leads a church movement in Sri Lanka, another colleague, Herman Moldez, shared a similar sentiment as he watched the church changing in the Philippines during COVID-19. While many have shared concerns about having to close their church doors for a while, these two leaders see a silver lining in the dark clouds. Like John Wesley led in England in the 1700s, church is being re-thought and re-considered at least in terms that we may know it as in the modern era. The church was always simply the body of Christ gathered—not a building on the corner where people gather. 

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breakthrough clint mckoy 093ymJ5AgE4 unsplash 1200pxbreakthrough / ˈbreɪkˌθruː /

noun “a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.” – Oxford English Dictionary

At the end of 2019, Silk and I felt led to choose a word that would be the focus for the new year. I had just completed a quasi-sabbatical to finish my dissertation and we were looking forward to what was in store for 2020. And, 2020 was sure to be spectacular: Asian Access was...

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uniting the church across asia screengrab“That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” – John 17:21

Our planet is in a period of sustained grief: a season hit by a global pandemic, it’s corresponding recession/depression, and the tensions rising from emergency lockdowns and shelter in place orders and advisories. In addition, we are struck with racial tensions flaring, and the mistreatment of ethnic minorities by many and the killing of African Americans by police officers gone bad. Now the lockdowns have turned into curfews across the nation because of the reactions of rioters and looters on a scale like we have not seen in decades. While my friends in the US are seeing this ongoing saga play out day in and day out, my colleagues across Asia are feeling its implications even within the church...

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digital platform fuelingrevival may2020 800x800 b 1$200,000 matching gift will help Asian Access build a secure digital platform to fuel revival

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 & Dorrie TakazawaWatch Joe's interview with the Takazawas

Yesterday, we posted a video clip from Takeshi Takazawa (Takeshi talks Crisis, Danger, and Opportunity) in 2016 where he shares about the two Chinese characters for "crisis" which are made up of "danger" and "opportunity". He was applying it to the Great Japan Disaster (3.11.11). He reminded us...

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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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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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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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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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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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A2 prayer meeting endorsement video screengrabEvery once in a while, you come across a powerful testimony that you just have to share. The other day, on a global prayer call with 50+ of our Asian Access global family, we had one of our leaders share the impact of the program on their country. The story was so compelling that we wanted you to be able to watch or listen… Take a listen! And, thank you for praying and partnering with us to see this kind of transformation happening...

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easter2020 screenshot 560pxA Reflection following Easter

Hello, Everyone! I trust you had a wonderful Easter gathering as we did here in Tokyo. It was a tremendous time celebrating our risen Lord especially in this unique season of isolation, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders. I was inspired by some of my times with Christ this past week‚ particularly as reading from Isaiah chapter 61, and it reminded me of what God's calling is in my heart for the current season that is so challenging for this world. Let me read it to you; Jesus repeats this in the New Testament, but Isaiah says...

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A2 in this together 1024x690 GI 1093166844Greetings on Good Friday. When it looks dark, that's when God shows up.

The year I joined Asian Access was the year the economy last collapsed. I was responsible for raising more money than I had ever dreamed of before and suddenly, the stock markets dropped to the floor. We had come to the end of the year and had set up a special meeting to begin closing major portions of the ministry. The same day of that meeting, I had a lunch appointment with a pastor and told him, “What was God thinking calling me to this post? I knew he wanted me to step out in faith, and raising funds was a big part of that, but I had no idea the funds wouldn’t come in.” I would likely have to cut staff and perhaps close a lot of ministry. That same lunch hour, a call came in letting me know that a $500,000 check was in the mail. When I called our team later that afternoon, I told them “God showed up—we don’t need to worry...”

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Why A2?

Why are we serving with Asian Access?

We believe that the church in Asia is uniquely positioned and poised to work toward reaching the unreached and unengaged people groups of Asia with the Gospel. Asian Access leverages the principle of finding, equipping and releasing key leaders (2 Timothy 2:2) through its innovative leader development model.

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Important Dates
Joespacer-transp Mar 26
Silkspacer-transp May 03
Rebeccaspacer-transp Feb 26
Rachelspacer-transp Aug 01
Johnspacer-transp Apr 02
Anniversaryspacer-transp Jul 21, 1990

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