Johnston, Jeff & Nozomi

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Jeff & Nozomi Johnston


Jeff & Nozomi Johnston

Zack and Ellie

Serving as Vice President
for Advancement & Communications

Bio: Jeff & Nozomi Johnston

Background Information

Jeffrey S. Johnston grew up in Wisconsin, Ohio and North Carolina. He became a Christian through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, Jeff spent a short-term ministry assignment in Japan with Asian Access. He met Nozomi at Columbia International University where he earned his Master of Divinity.

Nozomi Takeda Johnston holds a B.A. in Christian Ed. and a Bible Teaching certificate from CIU. Born in Sendai, Japan, her family moved to Atlanta from Japan to start a Japanese church, which is now celebrating its 36th year of ministry. Their children (Zack and Ellie) are entering high school and junior high this year.


Ministry Assignment:

Jeff is serving as the Vice President for Advancement & Communications for all of Asian Access, and he lives in Los Angeles. His primary responsibilities are to communicate the vision and mission of the organization—telling the Asian Access story through video, the web, print materials, and personal contact. Jeff has been with Asian Access since 1987, including the time to complete seminary and a church internship. He is also serving as a member of the Asian Access Leadership Team, and the family recently returned from a 4-year ministry stint in Tokyo. Jeff also has contributed to establishing the A2 pastor training model in North India and Bangladesh.

Nozomi is investing her time teaching third grade and raising the kids and building a healthy and God-centered home. Whether in Tokyo or now Los Angeles, this is something lacking in both countries. In the past, she helped to write Bible class curriculum for the young kids at church. She has a ministry to moms and kids, teaching the Joy of Parenting book and marriage from a biblical perspective.


Words of wisdom...

If you are interested in pursuing a potential career in missions, here are our suggested action steps...

  • Pray. Ask God for direction. Get a copy of Operation World and begin praying for the world.
  • Get active in a local church. Join a church and develop relationships as you minister there. If you want to serve in Japan, you'll need church ministry experience here before you go. And it will be this sending church that affirms your call into missions and commissions you to serve.
  • Find a mentor. Seek an experienced person who has knowledge of missions to help you make some decisions. This should definitely include your missions pastor and/or missions committee. It may include a missionary.
  • Get trained. If God is still moving you into long-term service, get a hold of a handbook called "Send Me!: Your Journey to the Nations" and find some training. Look into formal training opportunities.
  • Friend-Raise. Build a network of financial and prayer supporters. Keep them informed through regular newsletters. Be involved in the local church.
  • Go! Step out in faith!

When you're in Japan, be sure to...

  • bathe before you get into the bathtub;
  • push buttons on the toilet only when you're sitting, not standing!
  • never wear your bathroom slippers outside the bathroom;
  • never leave your chopsticks sticking directly in a bowl of rice.

Wonderful ministry memories...

I (Jeff) love to see people and teams I have helped to recruit and train, go to Japan and touch lives while there. Some have been used to bring people to Christ; others to plant new churches. All encourage the believers with whom they work. Invariably, these missionaries return home more mature than when they first went, whether it was for 3 years or 3 weeks. God does a work in them and through them. That is satisfying to me.


Looking to the future...

We hope that Japan experiences a revival, first in the church; then an awakening in the rest of its society. We'd like to see 5-10% of it's people come to Christ in the next decade or two. Further, I am trusting God that the Japanese church will play a significant role in reaching the rest of Asia for Christ.


Recent Articles from Jeff logo with background

Asian Access launches new website featuring a missionary forum on October 20, 2008

GLENDORA, CA (A2) - "For awhile now, we've realized we need to provide an opportunity for potential missionaries interested in Japan to talk with those currently serving on the field." says Peter Thomson, the Director of Japan Missionary Personnel. "So the idea for was born." Asian Access missionaries are excited about what they're doing, and go...

Read More

Here's a brief video clip of me with a good view of Ulaanbaatar, the capital city.

Please continue praying for the Church in Mongolia.

a ger

I never particularly liked gers (yurts) since my childhood, being born and raised in the city, thinking it is not modern, messy, primitive, complicated etc. After Jesus accepted me, I started to realize many negative principles behind the city lifestyle, and started valuing old way of Mongolians living in gers. I probably can not live in a ger, but serious about applying the principles of community living and fighting the spirit of self-seeking and materialism...

Read More


Joe Handley starts work as President of Asian Access on Monday, June 30.  As he joins the A2 Community, I thought it would be good to hear from our board members about our new president.


So here are some statements from the Asian Access Board of Directors regarding the selection of Joe Handley as the fourth permanent president of Asian Access:


Ron McMahon


President, McMahon Development Group (San Diego, CA); Chairman of the Board of Directors:

"The Board of Directors was unanimous...

Read More

Newly-appointed president Joe Handley sat down with us for a quick 2-minute video introduction.

We are pleased to present, Joe Handley...

Thanks to Hearken Creative for video production.


Public Statement: For Immediate Release (06.16.08)





Joe Handley, President of Asian Access


Asian Access, an evangelical mission organization announced today that its board of directors has named Joseph W. Handley, Jr., 43, as the organization’s fourth president, set to begin June 30, 2008.


The board of directors noted Joe Handley’s tremendous missions experience and abilities as key factors in their decision. Chairman Ron McMahon stated:

“The board of directors was unanimous. We really like this man that God has brought to us. One of the key factors for the board was to find a person that had the right chemistry for Asian Access—that he and his wife Silk would fit well with the staff...

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November 26, 2007

In Shizuoka, Japan, the annual gathering of JCGI Networks (formerly Japan Church Growth Institute) was the stage for an important figure in Japan Christianity to step down from his post as Chairman of the Board. Rev. Reiji Oyama had served as Board Chair for over twenty years, taking over from Rev. Hatori. He continues as Senior Pastor of Bible Christ Church in downtown Tokyo.

Long-time Vice Chairman Rev. Paul Ariga is the new Chair of JCGI Networks. Ariga also serves as President of The All Japan Revival Mission.

Rev. Oyama, Rev. Birdsall and Rev. Ariga

In this photo, Rev. Oyama is on the left, Rev. Ariga on the right and Doug Birdsall in the middle.  Birdsall was also honored at a dinner, having served as President of Asian Access for 16 years.




Johnston Family

Exactly 20 Years Ago


Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of first arriving in Japan


At this very moment on September 6, 1987 I was walking out of customs at Narita Airport in Tokyo to explore Japan for the first time. I had just finished college at the University of North Carolina, where I became a Christian. At the end of my senior year, I signed up for a 1-year stint as an English teaching missionary with Asian Access (formerly LIFE MInistries) in Tokyo. My life would never be the same.


Walking out of the customs doors into the airport arrival area made the reality hit: "This wasn't Kansas anymore; I was in a totally different country. . ."


Read More

This was an encouraging letter sent to an Asian Access faculty member. . .

ASIA[edited for security]

Dear J.,

I want to give you a little report on what happened to close the week's training following your superb teaching.The pastors decided that they wanted to pray about these things that they had heard you teach on during the week. So, at 3:00PM we began to pray. This is how they organized it: Each participant listed four or five issues on a sheet of paper, and then over the next few hours each leader prayed in turn for every other participant in the group.Fourteen leaders were praying for each other and then also being prayed for. When they go into this mode, mind you, they do not pray for just a minute or two, but in most cases it was 15-20 minutes for each person.  By 5:45PM they had prayed over four of the fourteen. After supper, we resumed prayer again at 7:30PM and they finished about 11:00PM that day. I don't think I have ever prayed so intensively in my life.The exciting thing for me was that leader after leader had listed on his paper issues that had been raised by your teaching. Many of these issues concerned marriage, family health and unity ("oneness"). And the participant who was the coordinator for that week wrote five items on his sheet, every single one of them encapsulated your teaching, especially with regard to his relationship with his wife.I can't help feeling that especially in his case your visit was most timely. That is such a good investment to make at this time in our work here. Without a doubt it was an especially rich time, and possibly a very critical one for us at this time in the work of equipping leaders. Time will help us see this better.I want to thank you for coming to be with us at this very busy time in the life of your church. But I am also deeply grateful to your church family because this is a commitment the entire church is making to the worldwide kingdom advance in Asia.Warm affection to all our friends there, and peace and grace to the entire church family.Sincerely,
"Asian Access Staff Member"



Mongolian wrestling at NaadamNaadam is the Mongolian National Holiday, commemorating the People's Revolution of 1921. Every TV channel would broadcast the man's three games: mongolian wrestling, archery and horse racing. It is interesting that in old times these were the main sports/skills needed for the families to survive. Every male was expected...


Read More


Public Statement:
For Immediate Release (06.12.07)


Asian Access President Plans to Step Down in September; Interim President Named.


Douglas Birdsall resigns to focus on Lausanne movement

Doug BirdsallGLENDORA, CA (A2) June 12, 2007 - Asian Access, an evangelical mission organization announced today that the organization’s third president, Rev. S. Douglas Birdsall, will be stepping down on September 30, 2007.Birdsall, who assumed the position in 1991, is also the Executive International Chair of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE). He cited the need to focus exclusively on Lausanne movement as the primary reason for stepping down as president of Asian Access. However, he will continue on as an Asian Access missionary, seconded to LCWE and will also continue as a member of the Asian Access board of directors.“After much thought and prayer, I realized that I could no longer effectively lead both organizations.  I remain committed to the people and the vision of Asian Access.  I am grateful for the evidence of God’s provident Hand in using everything I’ve experienced up to this point to prepare me for this new role with Lausanne. I want to give it my all.

Read More

Why A2?

Why are we serving with Asian Access?

We are serving with Asian Access because it is a strategic organization dedicated to developing leaders who multiply churches across Asia. We gain a sense of fulfillment in contributing to the building of God's kingdom there.

Furthermore, the A2 community is a welcoming global family to which we belong. Our kids love being a part of the A2 family.

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Important Dates
Jeffspacer-transp Sep 21
Nozomispacer-transp Jul 5
Zackspacer-transp Apr 1
Elliespacer-transp May 9
Anniversaryspacer-transp 12/16/94

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