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  • Sunday ‘Zoom Church’—with no morning message!

    How one Japanese congregation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic 

    Rev. Yoshiya (Joshua) Hari

    WHEN I TALKED TO PASTOR YOSHIYA (JOSHUA) HARI, THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR FOR ASIAN ACCESS JAPAN, his church had already been dealing with its own crisis before the coronavirus came. After over 20 years in the same location, in 2019 the congregation of Saikyo Hope Chapel was told they had to vacate the building they were leasing because it would be demolished. Finding a similar facility for the same price proved to be extremely difficult, so from February 2, 2020, they found themselves alternately renting one of two local community centers for services each Sunday.

  • Home church: the new norm in Japan?

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    Japan (MNN) — In January 2020, a group of believers in Japan lost their church building. Little did they know, God would use their “temporary solution” as a growth point when the pandemic turned the world upside-down.

  • A2's Projects for GivingTuesday 2021

    GivingTuesday 2021 globe MENA

    Today is #GivingTuesday...

    We have weeks for getting deals and for shopping during this Christmas season. But on #GivingTuesday, we have a day set aside for giving back. Together, people are creating a new ritual for our annual calendar. #GivingTuesday is the opening day of the giving season, and every act of generosity counts.

    Asian Access is participating in #GivingTuesday to make a difference in our world.

  • Tokyo Olympics: the catalyst to change in Japan?

    Header image courtesy of Dick Thomas Johnson/Wikimedia Commons.

    Japan (MNN) — The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are officially underway following today’s Opening Ceremony. Delayed by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Games will run through August 8th. See a full schedule here. The Tokyo Paralympics begin August 24th.

  • Communal Digi-Prayer: For the Persecuted Church

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    Last week our Global Team met for our monthly gathering of worship, praise, sharing and prayer. The focus was on the persecuted church as you have likely heard the news of what is happening in Myanmar and Nepal recently. The situation in other countries is challenging as well – for one situation that my colleagues face, see this article from the National Review: …Religious Americans Must Lead the Way

  • Looking Back on 2020, Praying Forward

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    Dear Friends,

    As 2020 wound to a close, the Lord impressed on me the following passage:

    "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind." —John 1:4

    LOOKING BACK ON 2020

    2020 was such a disruptive year. Yet the life of Christ is the light of the world. That gives me hope heading into 2021. I pray that your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations brought joy and the reminder of what is most important, even in the midst of the challenges from 2020, some of which continue to persist.

  • Phase One is Done… Praise God and now onto Phase Two!

    thermometer 200k match 2020 Fall METPhase 1 of Matching Gift Challenge Has Been Met!

    What a joy to learn that we have matched the initial phase of our digital platform initiative. So far, just over $200,000 was given allowing us to enable connections across Asia on a stronger basis. We praise God for your part in helping us reach this milestone. With this giving, we have opened three new countries, some in limited access countries, and enabled at least 1/3rd of our countries to run sessions via digital technology. It also allows us to meet monthly as a global family sharing concerns and praying for one another. It’s been so powerful...

  • Praying: For Healing and Revival of our Nations

    screenshot of prayer meetingLast night our global community met for our monthly prayer gathering and I was so impressed as we prayed through the passage listed below from the prophet Joel. While our world has been through so much, Pastor K reminded us that we have been meeting repenting and praying, seeking the Lord’s direction. He challenged us that now is the time to pray for the healing of our nations from the pandemic and for revival. So, we prayed and the prayers were...

  • Learning from the Valley of Baka...

    Screen Shot 2020 10 01 at 2.44.57 PM 640pxA2 Goes on a Digital Spiritual Retreat

    A few weeks ago, Asian Access held our annual fall national directors gathering virtually due to travel restrictions from COVID-19. While not ideal for us, it was such a rich time of fellowship given the limitations of in-depth relational connections via digital formats. Nevertheless, most were delighted to see one another, commune together, and grow in Christ. We spent a great deal of time resting in the public reading of scripture, especially meditating on Psalm 84:5-7. 

  • Asian Access goes digital to keep advancing

    silverlining simone viani 9ikL6XaUlG4 unsplashA Silver Lining in 2020's Dark Clouds

    What a year this has been!  As most of us look back on 2020, I’m sure it’s been challenging—whether it’s the impact of COVID-19, the economic collapse or the ongoing polarization in our society and world. It often feels crazy to me. One of the silver linings in the dark clouds of this year for us at Asian Access though is the blessing of going digital. I’m sure you’ve heard of our Digital Platform project and the corresponding matching gift by now. Through your participation, we’ve been able to start three new countries in what we are calling a soft launch. In one of those countries, we are starting both our pastor and business cohorts simultaneously... 

  • Your gift—DOUBLED—could help reduce the jail time of pastors in Asia

    digital platform fuelingrevival may2020 800x800 b 1$200,000 matching gift will help Asian Access provide secure online tools for persecuted leaders

    "We are facing shutdowns and jail time almost daily here. We are reluctant to share with the news because of the repercussions it may entail. Please pray for us."

    That quote is from an Asian Access national director in one of A2’s most dynamic country movements.  Please do pray for them as...

  • Criminal charges brought against online churches in China

    China (MNN) — Concerning accounts are pouring from China that have nothing to do with a physical virus. Many local believers are reporting crackdowns on the underground Church’s digital presence in China in the form of arrests and criminal charges. Restrictions on digital Christian content are nothing new; some local believers already change their websites and programming on a near-daily basis. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the game for two reasons. First, the online Chinese Church has experienced explosive growth since...

  • House Gatherings Multiply in Japan

    Joshua HariLast week I learned some encouraging news: During COVID-19 emergency suggestions here in Japan, churches in Japan are seeing some intriguing growth. We have shared previously about a monthly webinar Asian Access has been hosting for pastors: 1) Japan: Online church, first A2/Japan webinar, and more, and 2) Isolation Makes Way for New Connections in Japan. It’s been a tremendous experience as everyone is learning from one another, seeing ways to experiment with new ways to reach their communities, and learning from the global church (especially other countries in Asia) about how they are navigating these unusual times....

  • Asian Access overcomes pandemic restrictions, launches new programs

    South Asia (MNN) — So far, 2020 has been a memorable year for all the wrong reasons. Global events like the COVID-19 pandemic create an unpredictable atmosphere for ministry. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says there’s a bright spot amidst the chaos. Asian Access equips national church leaders to multiply churches and make disciples. “We had been planning for several years to do a digital media initiative to equip younger generations, as well as where the persecuted Church lies” in South Asia, Handley explains...

  • Using Digital Technology for the Future

    How do you envision using digital technology into the future in ways that you did not do before COVID-19?

    editing video3 20200321 WA0004The new future is the present! The world has gone digital. Few were ahead of the curve; most are adapting quickly. What do people need? 1.) Need customized/customizable platforms and applications that are versatile; 2.) Need user-friendly tools. What do we need to do? ... 

  • Use of Digital Technology During & Post COVID Times

    How has digital technology changed how you do life and ministry in this season of COVID-19?

    hubert rajiv 2020 4x3When people ask me this question, I share my approach to the change. There are three big needs during and post-COVID times:

    CONTENT: People have a lot of time during this COVID season and are hooked onto the internet most of the time. And so, I see that there is a need for relevant content to flood the net with.

    ENCOURAGEMENT: People are living in fear and panic as they are engulfed and bombarded with news reports of this pandemic resulting in hopelessness. Therefore, they need encouragement and hope to pull themselves through this time... 

  • Providing Secure Tools for Persecuted Leaders - $200k Matching Challenge

    Helping the Persecuted Church by providing online tools for leaders

    Needed: a secure digital platform providing leaders with a safe place

    Give toward a match so our brothers and sisters under persecution can enjoy meeting, like we do, by video conferencing without fear of government intervention. Asia is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our friends are especially suffering from the pain of isolation—and none feel it more than those who live in countries where Christians are persecuted, where they cannot trust their governments to...

  • Needed: a secure digital platform providing leaders with a safe place

    digital platform fuelingrevival may2020 800x800 b 1$200,000 matching gift will help Asian Access build a secure digital platform to fuel revival

    I trust you are doing well as we all continue facing the coronavirus challenges. I’m writing you to ask you to give toward a match so our brothers and sisters under persecution can enjoy meeting, like we do, by video conferencing without fear of government intervention. Asia is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our friends are especially suffering from the pain of isolation—and none feel it more than those who live in countries where Christians are persecuted, where they cannot trust their governments to give them accurate information about COVID-19. As in North America (and in Japan where I live), churches in persecuted countries are connecting by video conferencing . . . for now. But it’s just a matter of time before governments shut them down and go after the church leaders. What these countries need is an ultra-secure digital platform that will allow them to meet, worship, and have fellowship away from the prying eyes of their governments.

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