As this year draws to a close, I've been reflecting and I'm incredibly thankful to the Lord for His blessings in 2013...
Thanks for praying so faithfully this past year for me as I provide leadership to fulfill a dream… a dream "to see a vibrant community of servant leaders… leading the Church across Asia." A dream to empower leaders who will "unite the Church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of Christ."
Many great things are happening showing the Lord’s favor in our moving forward…
- The unity within our mission is quite powerful, illustrated by our September Global Training!
The growth in the mission is fun to watch:
- Our first Muslim dominant country graduation with an encouraging passion to launch another;
- Plans in motion to launch ministry in a brand new country in March 2013, Lord willing;
- The successful relaunch of our work in a large East Asian country; (They are even raising $30-60k this year);
- New forms of churches being planted in Japan and great progress on our $200,000 Challenge (only $43,549 left);
- Tremendous fruit in restricted access nations...
- And, we plan to launch a few pilot projects of a marketplace version of our work in 2014.
- Our board of directors is really coming together quite well. We just added two new members!
- We are also thankful for the leadership principles and wisdom about vision being shared by my predecessor Doug Birdsall at our annual gathering in Japan.
Missionary Stories of Breakthrough
Furthermore, allow me to recount a few quick stories from our missionaries in 2013:
Tim & Wakako Clark:
"We love to see whole families believe and get baptized together, and that's just what happened at Sakae Shalom Church. Asian Access is partnering with Alpha International to introduce The Marriage Course to churches throughout Japan. Pastor Eiji Koyama began running the course this year with two Christian couples and one non-Christian couple. The non-Christians' marriage was so quickly and deeply changed that they responded by believing in Christ. Their teenage sons believed, too, and the four of them were baptized together."
Gary & Barbara Bauman:
Barbara writes: "When I partnered with a Japanese friend to multiply the parenting ministry by publishing Discovering the Joy of Parenting over 10 years ago, I had no idea of all the ways God would use this text to draw mothers into His Kingdom.
I sing in a neighborhood women's chorus because I like to sing, and it's a good way to build new relationships. This year we briefly had a substitute conductor. I learned that she speaks English well, but because of the setting, we didn't really get to know each other.
Recently she got in touch with me by email, asking if I would help her with the pronunciation of words of songs in English which she would be teaching to another chorus group. So we got together, and after we had gone through the songs, she said, "Actually, I would like to meet with you every month or two to talk about my ideas about Japanese education and parent's relationship to their children."
I looked at her in amazement. "You may not believe this," I said, "but I wrote a book on parenting. I'm a Christian, so the text is based on principles from the Bible. I also do parenting classes with Japanese mothers. I'd love to meet with you!"
God is opening doors even before we knock on them so that His Word can transform lives."
Erik & Rhonda Boehme:
"Thank you for loving the people of Japan through your prayers and gifts… Mrs. ‘N’, who we introduced to you in March, often says, “If the Christians had not come to our neighborhood, we wouldn’t have received any help after the disaster. We are so thankful.”
Thankfulness for You
Thank you! Why? Because your prayers have sustained me, our family and our mission and have been a significant part in seeing all of this come together! I praise God for you.
Finally, if the Lord has put it on your heart to help A2 as we come to the end of year giving season, we have a creative way to invest, in addition to our normal processes:
If you shop for Christmas via amazon.com, and use their special smile program, 0.5% of your purchases can go to A2 if you sign up: To learn more about this, click here.
Again, THANK YOU for your faithful and persevering prayers on our behalf. As Oswald Chambers reflects:
"Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work."
You are helping me/us to fulfill a dream… "to see a vibrant community of servant leaders, leading the Church across Asia… to unite the church, multiply leaders and congregations, and extend the transforming power of the gospel."
God bless you this Advent season,