From the President

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“That is so cool!”

“Really? There’s no way!” – That is what Silk and I thought after using a mobile phone translation at the Japan Post the other day.

Here's how the story unfolded...

We went to close out my account as we are moving to America and thought the bank teller understood our request. She listened to me and took me to the right person who started asking for our documents. We pulled out my bank book, and then she asked for our cash card which we pulled out. Finally, she asked another question. I thought I understood her request, so I pulled out my residence card.

A puzzled look came over her face, and apparently, I had misunderstood her question. So Silk pulled out her phone and opened her translation app. We then had the bank employee speak into Silk's phone. And the translation said:

“That is so cool!”


Hmmm... Clearly, this translation app on Silk's device was not working properly. I mean, we assumed the teller could speak flawless Japanese and that she wasn't overly impressed with our bank-issued debit card.

Seeing the confusion on our faces, the teller wisely went to get the bank tablet. Speaking into another app produced a very different and more likely translation:

“Would you like to close your account?”

close account

We all started laughing out loud and then proceeded to finish out the transaction. It was hilarious and a reminder that even after living here 4.5 years, we always have something to learn and something to keep us humble.

The Lord sure keeps us on our toes and there are so many life lessons from these last 4.5 years living in Japan. We can’t wait to share them over the next few months after we move to America for this next phase of serving with Asian Access.

Now THAT is so cool, indeed!

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Rev. Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D.
President, Asian Access

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


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Joe Handley | My bio
JoeHandley-2013-150x150Joe 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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