From the President

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breakthrough / ˈbreɪkˌθruː /

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

Single Word Focus

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 completing a multi-decade vision: a vision encompassing some audacious targets for Japan as well as the goal of serving in 20 countries in Asia by years end. In addition, Japan was hosting the Summer Olympic Games and we had plans to do significant ministry.

We planned to live through all these historic milestones and events in Japan and then move back to the US in December 2020 for the next phase of ministry. Little did we know what God had in store for the world!

Silk’s word was “surrender” which I thought was fitting in many ways. Although her initial focus was for personal surrender, we realized this word has broader significance for all of us this year. We’ve had to surrender our plans for Asian Access as we’ve been under an enormous financial burden. We have faced personal challenges as well, so for us, it looks like surrender will continue to be part of 2020.

The world has faced so many challenges these past few months: the COVID-19 pandemic with subsequent economic freefall; heightened tensions with China; the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics; the increased awareness of racial injustice in the United States.

ariga paul 2017 400pxWhen I think about "breakthrough", I also think about my colleague, Rev. Dr. Paul Ariga. He sensed that 2020 would begin a revival in Japan. Wouldn’t that be amazing if that happened at the completion of the A2’s 2020 Vision? I’ve learned that I need to surrender this to the Lord, just as I’ve had to surrender many of my hopes and plans for this year.

Perhaps you have had to surrender quite a lot this year: maybe you have lost your job, or your business has hit bottom. Maybe you are struggling with stay-at-home conditions and family life. The world seems on edge, that is for sure.

Our World Needs Breakthrough

My word for 2020 was "breakthrough". Initially, I had no idea what God meant when he gave me the word “breakthrough” but now I better understand. I believe he gave me this word because our world needs a breakthrough. I’ve been praying intently and intensely for breakthroughs in every area of our lives and world. I’m praying for a breakthrough for you, your family, your business and our world. I’m praying for revival in Japan and throughout Asia. I’m praying for a breakthrough for a vaccine for COVID-19 and for the healing of those who have been affected. I’m praying for a financial breakthrough for our world to overcome this pandemic and economic depression.

Would you join me? Our world is desperate for a breakthrough this year!

Passages that may fuel your prayers:

  • Matthew 7:7-8
    • “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."
  • Isaiah 43:19
    • All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true.
  • Acts 9-10
  • Ephesians 6:12
    • For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
  • Habakkuk 2:14
    • For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

For Breakthrough,

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Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.

Joe HandleyemailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Joe Handley | My bio
handley joe 2021 headshot8834 lr 300x300pxJoe 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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