From the President

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Maeharas-Joe-Phil-webAs Reverend Toshio Maehara retired from our board a few weeks ago, the one word that kept coming up in reflecting about his life and service was "Dignity". There were several other words expressed: faithful, focused, determined, steadfast, passionate, dependable, servant, humble, peaceful, and prayerful... perhaps a few I've missed. But, over and over again, the word "Dignity" arose.

Toshio and Mutsuko, his wife, have led a life full of dignity. It's with honor that he is not only retiring from full time service to our board of directors, but also accepting a new position as Senior Advisor to Asian Access board chairman and president, specifically in regard to our 2020 Vision for Japan. Pastor Maehara's resolve for us to complete the 2020 Vision is nothing short of inspiring! He kept the flame lit over many years when numbers of leaders thought the vision was simply impossible. Toshio never lost heart, and he inspired us to stay the course.

Toshio came to our mission at a critical juncture 21 years ago. When things looked dire, he resolutely stood with the board and made some courageous stands, especially bold given his cultural background. I am proud of him for this legacy and for his determination to see the 2020 Vision come to reality. Now, after many years of little progress and significant naysayers, most Japanese leaders see the 2020 Vision in sight and achievable. They are now even dreaming bigger dreams for the future!

Toshio immigrated from Okinawa, Japan to the US via university in Hawaii, and then attended both USC for an MBA and Fuller Seminary for Divinity. He led a successful business for many years and simultaneously pastored a Japanese congregation, Gospel Venture Church. As he steps into his new post as senior advisor to me, he continues with huge vision for partnership between Asian Access and Gospel Venture, which looks very intriguing! May the Lord give us wisdom as we "venture" together!

book coverToshio is also the author of two books: 

Today, I honor my Sensei, Reverend Toshio Maehara for his 21 years of faithful and dedicated service. He was my champion when I joined the board and my ally in keeping Japan at the center of our mission focus! I'm so proud of him! And, I'm delighted to have him continue serving as our senior advisor.

Join me in honoring him by writing him a special note on this grand occasion: 

  • Toshio Maehara <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

God bless you,

Joe Handley


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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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