From the President

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"I especially want to thank Asian Access for standing with me at this hard time. My Asian Access friends helped me greatly during this trial. We each experience this opposition, and so we are there for each other."

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A Letter from My Friend, an A2 Alumnus

Just before Thanksgiving, I received this letter from a graduate of Asian Access. He writes:

"Dear President Joe,

Greetings in the Name of Christ. As you know, we continue to face many hardships as we all pastor churches in my country.
On a recent holiday, we were having cottage meetings in our church members’ house. We were invited by Mrs. K and family on their son’s birthday in our city.

We went to Mrs. K’s house with a team of 14 people. I was on my motorbike along with a Christian brother and the rest went by a large church van. We started our meeting with worship, then I began sharing from the Word of God. Suddenly we noticed three people wearing clothing of the religious majority come to the entrance gate of the home.

Sensing a problem, we immediately disbanded our meeting. We did not even have time to pray for the young boy. As we tried to depart to our homes, the extremists caught me and some of our church members. They took my bike keys, checked my pocket, took all my things and put me into the van. They drove me to the police station, but I didn’t know what happened to my friends.

As they dragged me inside, I saw five of my Christian brothers, four of whom were students of our Bible college. I could see that all five of my friends were already badly beaten. As the police were taking us into their custody, even still, the religious extremists were charging into the police station, yelling abusive insults at us that demeaned us and blamed us for trying to convert people.

They were many angry people yelling at us and whole police station was overwhelmed. They did all to harass and humiliate us.

To verify why the angry men had brought us all to the police station, they called Mrs. K’s brother-in-law, who then filed the complaint against us. The complaint is known as a “violation of peace and social harmony,” which is used in most of the persecution cases to harass the Christian workers and preachers.

The police then impounded our vehicles, including my motorbike and our church van.

While in custody, I was able to inform our local pastors. They tried to talk with the police station commander, but he was not ready to release us because he was having political pressure to put us in jail.

We had formed a pastor fellowship in our city. A group of these pastors met with chief of police for the city. The chief phoned the police station commander. Finally, we were all released late night with the bail guarantee paid with a collection from the local pastors.

Our vehicles were remained impounded by the police. It took more than 15 days to finally get them released to us. I took stay order from high court for our case. I had witness from another relative of Mrs. K [not brother-in-law] about this incident and they gave their affidavit what actually happened, and it was submitted to the city chief of police.

As this happened our church, the city fellowship of pastors and well-wishers prayed for us, and, by the grace of God, there is no further action against us about this case so far.

I would like to thank God for helping us to face this persecution. I also especially want to thank Asian Access for standing with me at this hard time. My Asian Access friends helped me greatly during this trial. We each experience this opposition, and so we are there for each other.

Thank you for your prayers, Brother Joe!


An Opportunity to Do Something

Every time I hear these real-life stories like the one above, I am burdened to do something to more effectively equip leaders to face these challenges. Persecution is a daily reality—a very real stressor—in their lives and ministries.

The good news is that Asian Access is in a God-ordained position to help the Persecuted Church, but with increasing threats to Christians in many countries across Asia, we can do more and your partnership will get us there.

Not long ago, the leader of one of these countries begged me to better empower leaders as they face these situations. This is someone who is deeply connected to the groups who work to help the Persecuted Church. Though they are helpful, he explained:

Joe, what is being done is not enough. Given the fruitfulness of the Asian Access leadership approach, can we add this component to our overall leader development?

thermometer 167k match 2019 Fall $110,046I’m glad to say, the answer to that question is “yes!” Asian Access is presently pursuing deep partnerships with as many of the Persecuted Church ministries as we can to provide a more robust preparatory leader development effort. The goal is to help pastors and church leaders better 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 them in the face of such atrocity.

$167,000 Matching Gift to Design Persecution Curriculum

We have a generous matching challenge grant of $167,000 that can be leveraged to help us better equip pastors in the midst of persecution. Every gift you give by December 31st to aid the Persecuted Church will be doubled.

Your prayers and financial help make a real difference in the lives of these persecuted pastors and their families. Because of you, these leaders can be better empowered to stand up under this persecution.

God bless you and thank you for praying and giving!

For Christ and His Church,

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Joe Handley

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Joe Handley | My bio
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Joe joined Asian Access as president in 2008 and has logged many miles traveling across the Asian continent. One thing he has learned is to platform other leaders. In this blog, he hopes to share some of their stories that will encourage you to engage with Asian Access that strives to change the few, who change the many.

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