JohnstonJournal.com | Jeff and Nozomi Johnston - Welcome to JohnstonJournal.com https://johnstonjournal.com/new/component/content/?view=featured Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:19:46 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Guest Entry: Japan partnership yielding early results https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/492-guest-entry-japan-partnership-yielding-early-results https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/492-guest-entry-japan-partnership-yielding-early-results

00366_00635.jpgGreetings to Asian Access on behalf of our sports ministry partnership! I enjoy sharing good news…I enjoy sharing good news: Festival in Shizuoka... We had a memorable time there yesterday running a Festival with them. We had trained them earlier in the year and they wanted one more time with us. It had been raining and so they hired a gymnasium and it worked well. After 5 weeks of incredible service, it was Timo- the former All Black’s last outreach event. He did great - signing autographs, sharing his testimony at the end and handing out Bibles. The combined youth group sang their song and everyone danced along. Many people from the community were there. The Churches were excited by the response of the community. There were 10 Churches represented – all part of Shizuoka International Sports Partnership – SISP. The Churches were thankful for all the overseas teams and each seemed to have encouraging stories of their mission teams visit...{addthis off}

00366_00635.jpg

Greetings to Asian Access on behalf of our sports ministry partnership! I enjoy sharing good news…

Festival in Shizuoka 

We had a memorable time there yesterday running a Festival with them. We had trained them earlier in the year, and they wanted one more time with us. It had been raining, so they hired a gymnasium; it worked really well.  

  • After five weeks of incredible service, it was Timo—the former All Black’s last outreach event. Timo did great—signing autographs, sharing his testimony at the end, and handing out Bibles. The combined youth group sang their song and everyone danced along.
  • Many people from the community were there. The Churches were excited by the response of the community.
  • There were 10 Churches represented – all part of Shizuoka International Sports Partnership – SISP. The Churches were thankful for all the overseas teams and each seemed to have encouraging stories of their mission teams visit.
  • They know of at least 15 people who have directly become part of their churches as a result of the RWC.
  • They now have their own Festival team and are going to serve and train others in their region. We presented them with a trampoline as a gift (a mission team left some money to buy resources to develop Festivals) and Face paints and other Festival equipment.

Training Teams that Train Teams

This is our aim – to train teams that train teams…

Above all, I was thankful for the unity of the churches there. They all get on so well. 9 of the Church Pastors are in this photo. The other had to leave early. They sense something unique is happening in their city and they want to connect more with us. Please God build this type of unity across Japan. 

And in the Tug of war, Timo was at the anchor at the end and that helped the guys win!! 

00366_00636.jpg 

Invitations to Minister in Schools

Another great story I just heard from Koji... After the Fiji team and Timo went into an elementary school nearby and also a High school, they contacted us to see if the Fijians and Timo could come to their activities today. Iijima elementary school danced the Haka that Timo had taught them with all the students in the sports festival today.

The second High School had sent an email to our church inviting people to their Rugby match. So Koji went along. He ended up leading the cheering—some parents asked him to. As well, he prayed and took 15 Bibles to hand out to some parents and students. He was excited as he came in tonight to share the story of the openness of people receiving the Bibles. Here he is with some parents and family of the players. You can see one mother proudly showing off her Bible!

00366_00637.jpg 

This has been an exciting way to follow up the mission teams visiting the schools. How are others going with follow up in schools? 

I am sure you have your stories as well, and I look forward to hearing more as we do our debrief next week.

Promotion Back in Australia

Finally, I was interviewed for a Christian newspaper in Australia called Eternity News (similar to Christianity Today in the States). It has 150,000 readerships online, and many copies are sent to most churches in Australia each month as a newspaper.

Eternity News wanted to use the Fiji team as the story to tell... 

Rugby World Cup Opens the Door to Jesus in Japan

They are keen to write a follow-up story as we prepare for the Olympics.

Have a good week!

Marty Woods
Sports Ministry Team Leader, Australia

 

More Information

  • Japan Partnership: Asian Access has helped to convene a ministry partnership with several organizations centered on leveraging the 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We look forward to reporting on ministry results emerging from this Kingdom partnership.
  • Marty & Jenny Woods work with Fusion. here is an article with more info: The Aussie who is helping churches to party

 

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Marty Woods) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Tue, 22 Oct 2019 08:43:00 +0000
Missio Nexus honors Joe Handley with eXcelerate award https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/491-missio-nexus-honors-joe-handley-with-excelerate-award https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/491-missio-nexus-honors-joe-handley-with-excelerate-award

joe handley eXcelerate award 2019 plaqueFor Excellence in Mission

We are pleased to share that Missio Nexus has bestowed the 2019 eXcelerate award to Joe Handley for excellence in mission. In particular, they affirmed Joe for his excellence and innovation in the area of communications in efforts at accelerating the Great Commission. {addthis off}

For Excellence in Mission

We are pleased to share that Missio Nexus has bestowed the 2019 eXcelerate award to Joe Handley for excellence in mission. In particular, they affirmed Joe for his excellence and innovation in the area of communications in efforts at accelerating the Great Commission.

This is the attractive plaque they handed out.

joe handley eXcelerate award 2019 plaque 

Award Presentation

Watch the brief award presentation. Because Joe was in Tokyo, Asian Access Board Member Kärin Primuth accepted the award from Missio Nexus CEO Ted Esler on Joe's behalf.

{mp4remote}https://a2-media.s3.amazonaws.com/video/joe_handley_eXcelerate-award-2019.mp4{/mp4remote}

Link to video: https://a2-media.s3.amazonaws.com/video/joe_handley_eXcelerate-award-2019.mp4 

eXcelerate 2019 ted esler karin primuth


Personally appreciating Joe for a moment

If you ask me, it is no surprise to me that Joe Handley would be recognized for this honor. Joe has expertise in utilizing a variety of social media channels to tell the story—whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube. Joe is not only excellent at promoting Asian Access’ fruit (which is expected of a CEO), but he excels at platforming national leaders and their work, highlighting other organizations, circulating news articles and missions resources, and sharing his own personal and family updates. He’s a holistic communicator and balances all of these extremely well, utilizing many modes (e.g., words, voices, photos, video, graphics, news articles, etc.) to communicate. All this makes Joe’s style distinctive, providing a model for other executive leaders to watch and emulate.

In terms of telling the Asian Access story, Joe is always looking for stories of national leaders to promote. If you see his posts on social media, you know that he is ‘on site’ across Asia more than is even imaginable. He writes more articles for our blogs than all other writers combined. He is always interviewing participants and alumni of our movement with his phone to get their perspective, so we can promote these leaders online. And if he’s not interviewing them, he’s being interviewed by others, like Mission Network News and Moody Radio to share his sought-after perspective. He’s the “go-to guy” for many who want to report on what's happening.

And because he is so well-connected to others in the ministry world, his delivery channels are multiplied a hundred times over. Leaders “follow” Joe and share his posts. And in return, he shares theirs.

As one charged with advancement and communications at Asian Access, I couldn’t ask for a better president with whom to work. If I were inventing a CEO to serve as the lead fundraiser and spokesperson for a movement, Joe Handley's ingredients make a great recipe for success. He makes my job so much more effective and fulfilling. I appreciate Joe’s communications prowess, not to mention his empowering leadership, immensely.

Joe consistently platforms everyone else. I just thought it was time to shine some light on Joe. Congratulations to my friend!

 

Jeff Johnston

 

More Information

Missio Nexus

eXcelerate award for innovation in partnership

Kärin Primuth

Credits: photos and video courtesy of Faith De La Cour

 

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Sat, 21 Sep 2019 06:00:00 +0000
2018 Highlights: Stories Celebrating God's Work https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/490-2018-highlights-stories-celebrating-gods-work https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/490-2018-highlights-stories-celebrating-gods-work

2018wrapup 1023700990 600x190

Celebrating God's Work in 2018

2018 has been a tremendous year of seeing God bring breakthroughs in ministry. These stories help us remember His faithfulness through the last year as He continues extending His kingdom. Thank you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories possible! Now, we want to share some highlights from 2018...{addthis off}

2018wrapup 1023700990 600x190

Celebrating God's Work in 2018

2018 has been a tremendous year of seeing God bring breakthroughs in ministry. These stories help us remember His faithfulness through the last year as He continues extending His kingdom. Thank you for your partnership in prayer and giving that made these stories possible!

Now, we want to share some highlights from 2018...

 

2019a bestlist japan 200x200New Wineskins for Japan

What a thrill it was participating in the final 50th anniversary celebration in Japan late last year. Voices from across the lifespan of our ministry shared perspectives on what God has done and what we anticipate in the future. Most moving of all was one of my predecessors, former president Dr. Steve Hoke (above), who shared a passionate call for the people of Japan. ... We have been seeing new forms of ministry birthing over the last several years. And what a fitting complement to Dr. Hoke’s passion it was to hear Pastor Nobu Nagai share a challenge for us from Matthew 5:38: “New wine must be poured into new wineskins!” Read more...


jeyakaran EV video 125px sqAsian Church combats discrimination against women 

Pastor Jeyakaran shares how Powerhouse Church tackled the issue of full empowerment for leadership for both men and women the simple way—by releasing women as well as men into all roles of leadership in the church. Read more...

killingfields 517795335 200x200A "killing fields" killer plants over 300 churches. How is this possible?

Charya came to Asian Access training broken—in every way imaginable. I’ve rarely met someone who looked so physically broken. As A2 helped build his understanding of God’s grace, he grew stronger in the Lord. He learned about making disciples and reproducing what God had done through him. Charya went on to graduate from Asian Access and today, he’s one of the few who changes the many. He’s gone on leading hundreds to Christ, raising up dozens of leaders. He’s even led many Khmer Rouge members to Christ. And since graduating from Asian Access, Charya has now planted over 300 churches. Read more...

thilini de visser 2018 197x197Asian Access launches Pan Asia leadership program

Asian Access is expanding its leadership training program with plans to the launch its fresh “Pan Asia Leader Development Program”. The new program helps develop younger leaders in a context that will help them best serve their churches and countries. “Pan Asia is unique in that the cohort will be formed by participants from different countries, representing different countries and cultures,” Asian Access’ Thilini De Visser shares. The leaders joining this program, however, are individuals who are already effectively leading in their own contexts. In fact, all participants are graduates of Asian Access’ A2 Leader Development program within their given countries. Read more...

japanesepastor 673426160 200x200Starting Well: Asian Access/Japan Launches U30

A value we stress in the Asian Access leader development program is finishing well. For leaders to be effective throughout their personal and ministry lives, and to successfully fend off the burnout that cripples so many Kingdom leaders, setting a course intended to help leaders stay the course all the way to the finish is vital. So what better way to do this than to help younger leaders to start well? That is the vision behind the launch of U30, an Asian Access Japan learning community adapted to meet the needs of younger leaders. The inaugural U30 cohort has just held its first session, May 28 – 30, 2018, at Hongoudai Christ Church in Yokohama City. Read more...

couplereadingbible 910332396 200x200"Please take my husband again for the next cohort of Asian Access!"

“In this country, everything is kept secret. No one shares openly. But, this week [at A2] has been different. I’ve been surprised at how open everyone is, sharing about everything they are going through. This is so powerful, I want my husband to attend again!” She stated that she is now a firm believer in the Asian Access process. Read more...

partnership 939322282 200x200Kärin Primuth on the critical need for partnership in mission today

Asian Access board member Kärin Primuth and Mission Network News' Katey Hearth discuss Great Commission trends at the 2018 Missio Nexus Leadership Conference. Primuth calls for more coordination and collaboration between groups in mission to maximize our overall effectiveness in achieving the Great Commission. Using Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17, she highlights the partnership models that both Asian Access and visionSynergy are implementing in their respective circles to contribute to the advance of the Gospel. Read more...

networking 874849032 200x200An Asian Access Trifecta

|Historically, the A2 Liaison and faculty roles have often been filled by Westerners. While everyone deeply appreciates the investment made by these dedicated men and women of God, the dream is for these roles to be filled more and more by leaders from Asia. Not only does this deepen the empowerment of our Asian leaders, it increases Asian Access’ capacity to sustain the movement for the long term. That dream was realized this October at the sixth session for the new country’s first A2 cohort: all three key leadership areas were filled by leaders from Asia. Read more...

filipinogroup 935407844 200x200The Asian Access Ripple Effect

The men and women who volunteer to serve as faculty for Asian Access are experienced pastors and ministers. They teach out of their own ministry experience, and their dream is for our Asian Access leaders to take what they learn and run with it in their own ministries. Read more...

prisoner 951677856 200x200Leaders Prepared for Persecution

Voice of the Martyrs Radio recently interviewed Joe Handley on the topic of preparing Christian leaders for persecution. It's helpful to know that Asian Access did not set out to address persecution. However, leaders in over half of our 15 countries face persecution. Through our work with these leaders, we have learned so much about the pressures believers face from either their own governments or religious extremists in their countries. Read more...

a2biz 20170728 231213332 200x2004-Year Journey of A2.business Bearing Fruit

A journey that began four years ago as an R&D effort is already bearing fruit, with vibrant communities among entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Asia. Several potential new "A2.business" country launches are on the horizon. Read more...

A2 ministry report 2018 inside thumbMinistry Breakthroughs in 2018

Download Report (PDF)
President's Progress Report: Ministry Breakthroughs(2.3MB) • Published: 2018

This 4-page progress report was produced in 2018 to highlight ministry breakthroughs across all of our sectors in Asia.

 

 

 


ECFA logoECFA Endorsement Guidestar Gold SealGuidestar - Gold Medal Seal Asian Access is a Charity Navigator rating

 

For more stories, visit Asian Access Blog Centre — https://asianaccess.org/blogcentre A2 Blog Centre

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Sun, 30 Dec 2018 08:00:00 +0000
Does Asian Access pass Edmund Chan's test of leadership? https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/489-does-asian-access-pass-edmund-chan-s-test-of-leadership https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/489-does-asian-access-pass-edmund-chan-s-test-of-leadership

Earlier this year, we were extremely fortunate to have Edmund Chan share a few days with us at the A2 Global Leaders' Summit. As our keynote speaker, he brought three messages that stirred our hearts. If you didn't get a chance to read Joe's perspective regarding these messages, each post is listed below.

Near the end of the A2 gathering, I was...

Earlier this year, we were extremely fortunate to have Edmund Chan share a few days with us at the A2 Global Leaders' Summit. As our keynote speaker, he brought three messages that stirred our hearts. If you didn't get a chance to read Joe's perspective regarding these messages, each post is listed below.

Near the end of the A2 gathering, I was eager to sit down with Edmund and have him share more wisdom on leadership with the Asian Access community. I've posted two particular clips below: one where he endorses Asian Access and one where he exhorts our leaders. I'm sure you'll be encouraged by both brief clips.


1. Does Asian Access pass Edmund Chan's test of leadership?

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3BzJIcIVYA4

{youtube}https://youtu.be/3BzJIcIVYA4{/youtube}

"One of my key views of leadership is that the test of leadership is found in the third generation—not the first, not the founder, not the successor, but the third generation.

And Asian Access is strategically positioned to develop leaders with sustainability in their development unto the third generation and beyond. And I've seen the quality of Asian Access leaders—the caliber of these leaders—most importantly the sense of humility, grace, intentionality, joy... as I interact with the leaders this week is phenomenal.

So I'm very thankful for the ministry in Asian Access, and I pray that the Lord will bless this ministry in developing leaders for sustained ministry."

 

2. Edmund Chan exhorts A2 leaders not to lose the mystery of leadership...

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/GjoiDI1wzlc

{youtube}https://youtu.be/GjoiDI1wzlc{/youtube}

"I have learned that leadership is complex. There is a mystery to leadership we should not lose. There is the hand of God, the blessing of God, the spirit of the Living God upon individuals, upon leaders, upon movements and timings. They have global implications.

And so for Asian Access leaders, don't lose that. Don't lose that sense of the awe, the wonder, the mystery‚ that humble dependence upon the Lord, the seeking of the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It's not by might; it's not by power. It's by the Spirit of God. We need a strength that's greater than our own‚ a wisdom that is higher than our own to engage what God is giving as windows of opportunity. Many things are up for grabs in the world today. There are strategic opportunities and windows of time by which these opportunities can be grabbed [for] his kingdom.

And to do that, the strength that is beyond our own comes through prayer and the dependence upon God. The wisdom that's above our own comes from the Holy Word of God. So if we can give ourselves to the Apostolic mandate of prayer and the Word of God... and pass on to the leaders we develop‚ not just an activity‚ but the sense of a spiritual dynamic a spiritual pilgrimage‚ and personify this through our lives, our teaching, our modeling, it will set on fire and set ablaze a movement that is unstoppable."


It's always inspiring to hear Edmund teach Scripture and share principles. He has immensely blessed those of us in the A2 Community. And we are also encouraged to know that he believes in what Asian Access is doing by investing in multiple generations of leaders and working toward ongoing sustainability.

Jeff Johnston

 

More Information

About Edmund Chan

If you missed Joe's posts about Edmund's messages to us at the A2 Global Leaders' Summit, check these out:

  1. "From the Inside Out" means everything in discipleship
  2. Surrender: Radical Discipleship
  3. Crossing the Uncrossable

 

Read original post... http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/A2community/~3/1UE-0aK9xIM/1570-does-asian-access-pass-edmund-chan-s-test-of-leadership

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Thu, 27 Dec 2018 10:00:00 +0000
3.11 - God’s Presence and My Purpose in Midst of Pain https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/486-3-11-god-s-presence-and-my-purpose-in-midst-of-pain https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/486-3-11-god-s-presence-and-my-purpose-in-midst-of-pain

imageI met some new friends recently, Masaki and Kat. My wife and I enjoyed a good bowl of ramen with this great couple a few days ago, along with mutual friends, who have been trying to introduce us for a very long time. The ramen was good, but the new friendships are even better. As we talked about our lives and love for Japan, we realized that...

I met some new friends recently, Masaki and Kat. My wife and I enjoyed a good bowl of ramen with this great couple a few days ago, along with mutual friends, who have been trying to introduce us for a very long time. The ramen was good, but the new friendships are even better.

image

As we talked about our lives and love for Japan, we realized that Kat McDowell is a tremendously talented musical artist, based in Los Angeles, but with a global reach. The former Sony label artist has now launched her own indie label and can be found at https://katmusic.jp / https://kat-mcdowell.com. Kat’s father is from New Zealand and her mother is from Japan. She grew up in both places. This is her YouTube channel description:

Healing, inspiring and connecting the world through words & melodiesI'm a half Japanese/ half Kiwi girl living in Los Angeles and touring the world!

This video clip, which she made herself using an iPhone, is an emotional testimony to God’s presence with us, even in the midst of life’s storms, including the Great Japan Disaster of 3.11.11. It's also about the human search for meaning and purpose in life.

Its message compliments the clip “Journeying with the Japanese” that I posted on 3/11/2016 about Asian Access missionaries, who are trying to physically show God’s presence. They are trying to help their friends in NE Japan find Jesus and the hope He can bring to them. It’s not over yet.

I am excited to show 3.11 to you…

 

3.11 Official Music & lyric video [字幕付き]

View on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAQz5BjOxgk

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAQz5BjOxgk{/youtube}

 

Jeff Johnston

___________________________

Video Information

from Kat’s 3.11 YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAQz5BjOxgk

Published on May 10, 2012 — My first music video from the album "Hope in you" (release is 2012/6/20). I you like this video please share it with your friends! Like it, comment etc!! I will do my best to keep writing better songs and making better videos!

 

Japanese Lyrics/Translation

0:14     3.11 だった0:18     海が私の家をれて行った0:21     ほこりだらけの空0:23     の音0:24     怖さとい0:26     カモメが泣いてる0:28     あなたが写ってる写真が泥だらけになってた0:31     あのいつもの何かたくらんでそな笑0:35     ぼやけた景色がほほをつたって流れる0:38     静かさが泣きはじめ耳をつんざくよ0:41     0:44     教えてほしい0:47     あなたがいるのは分かってるから0:51     私をしてほしい0:56     いろんな人生0:59     いろんな質問1:02     いろんなの川が海に流れてく1:09     私の人生って何1:12     なぜここにいるの1:16     答えを必ず探しだす1:19     たとえ人生最後の呼吸をするまで時間がかかっても1:37     混乱のまま夜になった1:40     子供を探す母もいた1:43     目に映るイメ1:46     止められない1:48     忘れられない1:50     星が夜空を照らしてる1:53     こんな星空今までた事がない1:57     一番暗い夜光をなくした2:00     でもあなたがいたの2:02     ずっといたの2:03     2:06     教えてほしい2:09     傷跡と心をいやす方法を2:17     一つの命2:21     一つの理由2:24     一つの希望2:28     一つの季2:31     私の人生って何2:35     なぜここにいるの2:38     それを必ず探し出す2:42     まだわってはいないから2:49     まだわってはいないから2:58     まだわってはいない

 

Available on iTunes

Category: MusicLicense: Standard YouTube License

去年は東北に何回か行って、色んな人の話を聞きました。この曲はその人達のストーリーを私なりに世界の皆に伝えるためにあえて英語で書きまし­た。iPhone でストップモーションのミュージックビデオを作ってみました。もし気に入って貰えたら友達ともfacebook でシェアしたり、つぶやいてください!この歌についてのストーリーも今後アップするので登録してね!

image

Contact Info

Photo credits

Images courtesy Kat McDowell, website: https://www.katmusic.jp / https://kat-mcdowell.com/

Read original post... https://www.asianaccess.org/latest/blogs/a2-community-blog/1047-3-11-god-s-presence-and-my-purpose-in-midst-of-pain

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:50:00 +0000
Five Years After the Triple Disaster: Journeying With The Japanese https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/485-five-years-after-the-triple-disaster-journeying-with-the-japanese https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/485-five-years-after-the-triple-disaster-journeying-with-the-japanese

tsunami damaged house through anotherAsian Access missionaries recount the early days following the Great Japan Disaster and share how it's been an amazing privilege to journey with the Japanese as they rebuild their lives over the past five years.

TOHOKU, JAPAN (A2) — In the months following the disaster, missionary Sue Takamoto asked a community leader, “So how many...

Asian Access missionaries recount the early days following the Great Japan Disaster and share how it's been an amazing privilege to journey with the Japanese as they rebuild their lives over the past five years.

TOHOKU, JAPAN (A2) — In the months following the disaster, missionary Sue Takamoto asked a community leader, “So how many funerals have you been to?” ...

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ArL1hmrKpA{/youtube}

Video Description: Asian Access missionaries recount the early days following the Great Japan Disaster and share how it's been an amazing privilege to journey with the Japanese as they rebuild their lives over the past five years.


 

imageTOHOKU, JAPAN (A2) — In the months following the disaster, missionary Sue Takamoto asked a community leader, “So how many funerals have you been to?”

His response, “This is my thirtieth.”

Takamoto summarized, “Just the impact of that on this community, it’s not something we can even measure. And that’s where we see that the loss continues and continues.”

 

Beginning the Journey

Asian Access missionaries have been a presence in Tohoku—northeast Japan, helping Japanese disaster victims since the very beginning.

Kent Muhling remembers, “Six days before the disaster, several of us [A2 missionaries] attended a disaster volunteer training course. And we left that thinking, the next time something happens, we want to be involved. Nobody thought it would be one week later.”

Once the immediate rescue work was completed by professional first-responders, volunteers from all over Japan and the world swept in to begin helping people recover—including several Asian Access missionary staff members. There was a tremendous response of Christian love.

image In the early months much of the work was focused on physical needs, such as providing food, clothing and shelter. And a lot of physical labor was needed to clear debris, shovel mud out of the gutters and people’s homes, and clean up. Next came helping victims move whatever was left of their families and belongings to safety. About 350,000 were displaced to live in temporary housing, which continues even today, though it's getting better.

 

To Journey Together is Ministry

 

Focusing on Emotional and Spiritual Needs

With those basic needs tended to early on, Muhling concluded “The emotional and spiritual needs are actually greater now.”

Long after other relief workers have left the region, Asian Access' presence has continued, as always, in partnership with the Japanese Church. And many volunteers from outside the region—burdened by what they saw as visitors—decided to become residents. Missionaries, pastors, even Japanese Christians moved from other regions of Japan into the neighborhoods of hard-hit areas.

Rhonda Boehme who relocated up to northeast Japan with her family from west Japan shared, “Being here and letting them know we’re not planning to leave anytime soon—we want to be here a long time—I think that encourages people.”

It’s showing up and being there that can have great impact. To journey together is ministry.

Is it any wonder that one of Sue Takamoto’s directional verses is John 1:14, particularly from The Message: “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (verse 14a).

Sue’s husband Eric Takamoto agrees. “I think the thing that speaks most to the people up here is the continued presence,” he said. “We are continually asked, ‘Why? Why do people come all this way, spend their money and their time to help us?’ And the simple answer is, ‘God loves you.’ ”

God’s love is being demonstrated by people who left their home to “move into the neighborhood” and make a new home among new friends. And it’s being powerfully demonstrated by the ongoing presence of faithful local churches that have sacrificed to meet needs, journey together and share Christ’s love.

Sue reflected, "Our joy, if that's the right word, is just to be here through people's sadness, through their remembering, through their fear of what might happen, through the aftershocks, and to just walk with the people in this community. And it's an amazing privilege to be able to do that."

Indeed.

 

Jeff Johnston

 

More Information…

Read original post... https://www.asianaccess.org/latest/blogs/a2-community-blog/1038-five-years-after-the-triple-disaster-journeying-with-the-japanese

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Fri, 11 Mar 2016 15:00:00 +0000
Noah's prayer leads a family to seek https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/487-noahs-prayer-leads-a-family-to-seek https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/487-noahs-prayer-leads-a-family-to-seek

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Recently one of our missionaries told me a story about her seven year old son, Noah, who was playing at a friend’s house. Michiko, the mother of his friend made them lunch and called the boys to eat. When Noah came to the table, he innocently asked,

“Can I pray?”

Praying over a meal was not a custom for this family, and it took a...

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Recently one of our missionaries told me a story about her seven year old son, Noah, who was playing at a friend’s house. Michiko, the mother of his friend made them lunch and called the boys to eat. When Noah came to the table, he innocently asked,

“Can I pray?”

Praying over a meal was not a custom for this family, and it took a while for her to understand his question. When she did understand, she was touched by this little boy’s faith and eagerness. She asked Noah if he could teach her how to pray. Of course he said "Yes!" and proceeded to bless the meal with simple confidence and joy.

 

The God who listens to little a boy's prayers

When he returned home, he didn't mention anything about this exchange. It was Michiko who told Noah’s mother how touched she was by his sincere faith and kindness. He had taught her to pray, and she was feeling some of his confidence. She brought her kids to the next event at church and has continued to search for more understanding of the God who listens to a little boy’s prayers.

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Sometimes we think leading is in the big things we do, but God often uses the simple, unassuming gestures that flow out of our loving relationship with him. It may be in these simple things that God’s power rests—things that even a child can do. Or maybe these are the things children do best. May we learn from Noah’s prayer how to love God faithfully and bring others along in kindness and joy.

 

More Information

imageMary Jo Wilson serves as VP for Missional Engagement with Asian Access. She spent nearly 20 years in Japan partnering with Japanese leaders to start churches and now oversees our missionary staff.

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Featured Japan Blog Japan Asia Sat, 26 Dec 2015 11:30:00 +0000
Following disaster, Japan gives back to Nepal https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/484-following-disaster-japan-gives-back-to-nepal https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/484-following-disaster-japan-gives-back-to-nepal

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"If you give the driver chocolate, he will drive you wherever you need to go."

This joke didn't actually come from our taxi driver, but from a successful pastor who has been a part of planting over 300 churches, starting multiple children's homes, and having a voice in the creation of Nepal’s new constitution that will protect religious...

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"If you give the driver chocolate, he will drive you wherever you need to go."

This joke didn't actually come from our taxi driver, but from a successful pastor who has been a part of planting over 300 churches, starting multiple children's homes, and having a voice in the creation of Nepal’s new constitution that will protect religious freedom of minority groups. Last week I had the privilege of serving alongside this pastor and his colleagues with three of my Japanese friends.

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Growth Resulting from Redeemed Suffering

Following the 3.11 (3/11/2011) disaster in northeast Japan, volunteers and relief came from all over the world to bring help. God has been redeeming the pain and suffering to cause growth in the church in Japan. When Nepal was devastated by an earthquake in April 2015, it caught the attention of believers throughout Japan. Having been the recipient the last few years, many churches gave generously and sacrificially to help Nepal. Within Asian Access, we began to discuss if we could help facilitate a group going directly from the area impacted by the tsunami to serve our brothers and sisters in Nepal.

Giving Back to Nepal

Last week was a national holiday in Japan, which allowed us to go for a quick trip with four work days. The first two were spent cleaning up debris around a children's home on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Repairs on the main building are progressing, and they hope to be able to move the children back into their home within a month. It was satisfying to look at the yard at the end of our second day and see that children would soon be able to play there again. As we left, hugs and tears were exchanged between a team member and a girl she had grown close to over our few days together.

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On our third and fourth days, we went to a village on the top of a hill that had received minimal help since the disaster. Although around 150 people had lived there before the earthquake, only a handful remained. Homes were still sitting where they had collapsed. We learned that nine people had been killed including a child who was in Sunday school at the time.

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Over two days, the team helped clear the land where six homes had stood. The work involved digging through mud and clay to remove supports, staircases, and other materials that had once made up the homes. We then flattened the remaining soil so that the residents—Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists—could begin to rebuild. Although we could communicate very little, there was a warmth communicated through smiles and other gestures as we worked and sweated alongside a few local Christians as well as other residents of the community.

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On our final work day, a 3,000 liter tank arrived that will supply water to the village in the future. Residents currently have to carry water up from the river below. Our partners are committed to continuing to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of this community.

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Applying Lessons

"How can we apply what we have learned this week to our context in Japan?"

image This was one of the themes for our team during our time in Japan. While we were in Nepal to help with an immediate physical need, we also wanted to learn from our Nepali brothers and sisters. In a time of political unrest and following a natural disaster, they are still seeing people steadily place their faith in Christ. We were challenged by how the church is engaged in multiple levels of society as they strive to see the Kingdom of God come to this mountain kingdom. With limited resources, they are aggressively and compassionately reaching out to their nation.

Although back in Japan now, all four of us desire to return to Nepal. It is exciting to see how Christians from multiple countries, languages, and cultures can come together for mutually beneficial trips like this. It’s my prayer that this relationship continues and that the churches of both Japan and this beautiful mountain country will be blessed through their interactions.

Robert Adair

 

More Information

Asian Access has just reached it's goal for Nepal Family Rebuilding Packages!

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (A2 Community) Featured Japan Blog Japan Asia Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:45:00 +0000
Are relief funds getting to the people in Nepal? https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/482-are-relief-funds-getting-to-the-people-in-nepal https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/482-are-relief-funds-getting-to-the-people-in-nepal

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In an article entitled "Nepal Earthquake 2015 - Petition to Transparency International, CIAA Nepal and United Nations," Sanju Lama levies pretty harsh allegations of corruption in Nepal that have kept relief funds and supplies from the quake victims. Following the initial devastating 7.8 magnitude...

In an article entitled "Nepal Earthquake 2015 - Petition to Transparency International, CIAA Nepal and United Nations," Sanju Lama levies pretty harsh allegations of corruption in Nepal that have kept relief funds and supplies from the quake victims.

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Following the initial devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25-April-2015 and the 7.3 aftershock on 12-May, bureaucracy and corruption severely hampered the distribution of aid. She writes,

It has been reported that the government of Nepal has received funds and pledges of Billions of Nepalese Rupees from countries all over the world (Wikipedia article; Financial Tracking Service report). The generosity has been overwhelming, but most of these funds have not reached to people who are in desperate need of it, due to ongoing corruption and bribery which is deeply rooted inside the political system of Nepal.

Sanju Lama goes on to further say:

"Most people have not even received the basic needs like tents and food supplies which does not tie up with the billions collected so far by the government. It is as simple as that. Committing to transparency and actually implementing it are two different things."

At this time of adversity, everyone is helping out each other in their own ways and the work of volunteers, NGOs, INGOs, Armies and civilians have been commendable. We would still need lot more funding and aids to get back to normalcy so please carry on donating to credible organisations and groups. Every little helps.)

Aljazeera reported that, "Giving reconstruction funds directly to Nepal quake survivors could cut out corruption and administrative waste."

This is precisely why it is recommended to give through NGOs, who have delivery systems on the ground. Asian Access is delivering aid directly through a network of local churches right to quake victims.

In fact, Asian Access has been distributing funds since June through dozens of local churches that have a pulse on where the greatest needs are. Due to the enormous homelessness, A2 is currently raising funds for Family Rebuilding Packages, which can get directly to homeless family with in a matter of a couple weeks. Each package is only $130 and includes:

  • Tin sheets and bamboo poles to construct a simple shelter; a supply of rice, lentils, cooking oil, and salt; bowls, plates, utensils; towels; soaps - for personal washing and for clothes washing; blankets to provide flooring and bedrolls; mosquito nets; and even candy for the kids.

Would you consider giving $130 to help a homeless family get back on its feet?

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JPY¥

...or send your check to Asian Access,PO Box 3307, Cerritos, CA 90703.

After this Family Rebuidling Package campaign, Asian Access will continue distributing funds through local churches that have the flexibility to get relief to the victims who need it the most.

We can't speak for all groups, but we can say with integrity that relief funds donated to Asian Access are getting directly to the people of Nepal.

Jeff Johnston

 

More Information

 

Related articles on inefficiency and corruption:

Read original post... https://www.asianaccess.org/latest/blogs/a2-community-blog/994-are-relief-funds-getting-to-the-people-in-nepal

 

 

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Wed, 30 Sep 2015 14:00:00 +0000
Bold Bangladeshi leaders empowered by Holy Spirit https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/bangladesh-blog/481-bold-bangladeshi-leaders-empowered-by-holy-spirit https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/bangladesh-blog/481-bold-bangladeshi-leaders-empowered-by-holy-spirit

image When you spend time with Byron MacDonald, you quickly sense the peace in his life, as well as his love for the Word of God. That's what participants of A2/Bangladesh class 2 (and I) recently enjoyed. Byron gave quality time to invest deeply in the lives of fourteen A2/Bangladesh leaders. He led the group in an in-depth study of 1 John,...

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When you spend time with Byron MacDonald, you quickly sense the peace in his life, as well as his love for the Word of God. That's what participants of A2/Bangladesh class 2 (and I) recently enjoyed.

Pastor MacDonald ministered in Bangladesh for a couple weeks in August. He brought a team from his church Rolling Hills Covenant Church in an ongoing partnership with a national leader. They visited children at several orphanages and also trained many church leaders. It was evident to me that this congregation has been passionate about Bangladesh for quite a while.

In his second week, Byron gave quality time to invest deeply in the lives of fourteen Asian Access/Bangladesh leaders. He led the group with an in-depth study of 1 John, teaching principles of hermeneutics—equipping them to be "workers approved"—and how to deliver God's Word to His people. I watched the leaders wrestle with interpreting passages and grow in drawing out practical principles from the text. It was a great week of learning!

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Bangladesh has clearly gotten into Byron's heart. Upon returning home, he preached a sermon, "The Ultimate Gift" about the Holy Spirit, who indwells and empowers believers. In this message, he included his reflections on Bangladesh and some pastors there who impressed him by their boldness coming from the Holy Spirit—even in the midst of persecution. Listen to these brief excerpts in this informative video clip:

Asian Access is privileged to have high-caliber faculty with this kind of character, heart and passion. Our participants are fortunate to enjoy the teaching from these mature believers. You can hear deep admiration whenever the graduates all across Asia share of the impact of these faculty mentors.

A love for the Word of God and a commitment to life-on-life mentoring are just two of the reasons I'm honored to serve with Asian Access.

Jeff Johnston

 

More Information

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Bangladesh Asia Thu, 17 Sep 2015 14:17:00 +0000
How does Labor / Sabbath Rhythm Really Change Us? https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/480-how-does-labor-sabbath-rhythm-really-change-us https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/480-how-does-labor-sabbath-rhythm-really-change-us

imageHow do you Sabbath?

Recently I've heard a lot about the importance of Sabbath. It's easy to realize that I definitely need it, but not so easy to nail down what it means for me today. I asked friends and collegues how they "Sabbath". I consistently heard words like rest, or go to church, take time to slow down, prayer, etc. For many Sabbath is...

imageHow do you Sabbath?

Recently I've heard a lot about the importance of Sabbath. It's easy to realize that I definitely need it, but not so easy to nail down what it means for me today. I asked friends and collegues how they "Sabbath". I consistently heard words like rest, or go to church, take time to slow down, prayer, etc. For many Sabbath is another word for taking a day off and doing something spiritual for a couple of hours. If I'm honest, on some level I too had the read your Bible and take a bubble bath mindset.

An Asian Perspective

At our leader summit in Cambodia earlier this year the topic came up. I was especially interested in how these leaders from southeast Asia observed Sabbath. I have to admit I was surprised to hear what a struggle it was for them and the reasons specific to their context. Low wages and economic uncertainty drive people to work long hours and taking time off is seen as a luxury reserved for the wealthy. In many cultures the pastor is considered a kind of guru, always with the answers and always available when someone has a need. For a pastor to say no to a request because it happens to be the Sabbath would cause him or her to be judged harshly by the neglected congregant and could spell misunderstandings down the road. I left the summit thinking God must have intended more for us than simply a day off and church attendance when he etched the fourth commandment in stone. I knew I had to dig deeper to get closer to the heart of his intent.

The Sabbath / Labor Interface

While I have not concluded this journey of discovery, Walter Brueggemann's Sabbath as Resistance has been particularly helpful in changing my mindset. He skillfully points out that the rhythm of work stoppage for a full day every week forms in me God's perspective on the gift of work. Sabbath was postioned in contrast to the slavery of Egypt. Today it helps me embrace my "humanness" (I am not a machine constantly producing) and opens my heart to neighborliness (I relate to you as a human and not a machine or producer of goods/services).

Sabbath—a Transforming Pause

Taking the bold step of stopping production each week expresses my trust in God to provide all I need. It quiets the voices that scream acquire more, bigger, better to feel secure and nurtures contentment deep in my soul. I can receive what I have as gifts and share freely with others. This makes me more aware of how greed and a drive for acquisition can lead to oppression of the vulnerable (Psalm 73). My tendency toward greed (which is equated with idolatry in the New Testament) and self-sufficiency is exposed—observing Sabbath rightly is my starting point—my way out. God connects our transformation with neighborliness and how workers, especially those without power, are treated. Brueggemann says,

"Sabbath is a school for our desires... when we do not pause for Sabbath, these false desires take power over us. But Sabbath is the chance for self-embrace of our true identity" (p.88).

...something a bubble bath alone cannot accomplish! And more importantly, this kind of Sabbath is something we all need, in every culture and at every economic level—a Sabbath that helps me embrace my true identity in Christ and better express that in my world.

imageThis Labor Day

On Monday Canada and the U.S.will celebrate their workers. It seems a great time to pause and consider both the gift of work and how I might observe Sabbath in ways that change my heart toward God's design.

imageMary Jo Wilson

 


Mary Jo Wilson serves as VP for Missional Engagement with Asian Access. She spent nearly 20 years in Japan partnering with Japanese leaders to start churches and now oversees our missionary staff. See her staff profile here...

 

More Information...

  1. Walter Brueggemann, Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now (Louisville, Kentucky:Westminster John Knox Press, 2014).

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Mary Jo Wilson) Featured Asian Access News Articles Thu, 03 Sep 2015 12:06:00 +0000
Partnering church and corporations to impact communities https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/479-partnering-church-and-corporations-to-impact-communities https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/479-partnering-church-and-corporations-to-impact-communities
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ELC 2015 gets underway today and A2 is there!

Asian Access is a silver sponsor of the Eagles Leadership Conference, held at Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre from July 23-25, 2015. The theme of ELC 2015 is The Art of Partnership: Collaboration – Creativity – Community.

Our own Takeshi Takazawa is one of the speakers. Takeshi is the Vi...

ELC 2015 gets underway today and A2 is there!

Asian Access is a silver sponsor of the Eagles Leadership Conference, held at Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre from July 23-25, 2015. The theme of ELC 2015 is The Art of Partnership: Collaboration – Creativity – Community.

image Our own Takeshi Takazawa is one of the speakers. Takeshi is the Vice President for Strategic Engagement for Asian Access, as well as the National Director of Asian Access Japan. Takeshi was born, raised and lives in Tokyo. He helped pioneer and develop a Church Multiplication Network throughout Japan. He is involved in leadership training for pastors in eleven Asian countries. Currently he is also involved in various special projects in Japan and Asia, including disaster relief and leadership renewal and development.

Takeshi's workshop is entitled, Partnering Church and Corporations: Making Community Impact and he will share from his experiences in forging partnerships between church and marketplace. Listen to Takeshi's introduction...

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIK_TrZQEY0{/youtube}

 

Workshop 13:Partnering Church and Corporations: Making Community Impact

by: Takeshi Takazawa & Chew Weng Chee

Partnership between Church and Marketplace organizations seem so remote and difficult. How do we navigate through obstacles and forge a meaningful partnership? Come and join Takashi Takasawa, VP, Strategic Engagement with Asian Access and Chew Weng Chee, Senior Pastor, SIB KL in their respective efforts and strategies.

 

More Information

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Asian Access News Articles Mon, 10 Aug 2015 17:11:00 +0000
Japan tsunami - 4 years later: Church Plant Building Project Update https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/478-japan-tsunami-4-years-later-church-plant-building-project-update https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/478-japan-tsunami-4-years-later-church-plant-building-project-update

Would you consider helping a church reach out to tsunami victims in Japan?

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Early Response to Disaster

Just 10 days after the devastating tsunami and earthquake of March 11, 2011, Pastor Itoh and the Christians from Izumi Gospel Chapel in Sendai began responding to the needs around them. God led them to a neighborhood in Higashi Matsushima, (one hour...

Would you consider helping a church reach out to tsunami victims in Japan?

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Early Response to Disaster

Just 10 days after the devastating tsunami and earthquake of March 11, 2011, Pastor Itoh and the Christians from Izumi Gospel Chapel in Sendai began responding to the needs around them. God led them to a neighborhood in Higashi Matsushima, (one hour away) that hadn't been receiving food and supplies. That relationship has continued to grow. Seven months later they began leasing a tsunami flooded building which they restored, providing a much needed community meeting place.

Since 2012 Asian Access has been partnering with this ministry through the teamwork of Pastor Itoh and the Boehme family.

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Current Ministry

Now, 4 years later, there are worship services held weekly that are well attended. Many have already put their trust in Christ. This has been exciting to witness in a country with less than a 1% Christian population. There are numerous monthly community outreach opportunities.

Here are just a few examples of ministry activities:

  • children's community outreach;
  • Amazing Mama Club - young moms come with their pre-schoolers to build friendships with Christian women and gain Bible based parenting skills;
  • new believers Bible studies, and children's and adult English classes.
  • community wide outreach festivals... Because of the trust built between the community and the church, many non-Christian people from the community provide assistance and serve alongside the Christians.  

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Growing Need for Amazing Grace Relief Center

Since 2012 relief work and church activities have been held at a rented facility. The monthly costs to rent and run this facility is too high for a new church plant. In answer to this problem, a building will be built. The building will be paid for and the only ongoing costs to the church plant will be a small rental fee for the land and utilities. This will allow the new church a long term meeting place and a continued community presence among the disaster survivors.

 

$25,000 Still Needed

There is currently only $25,000 needed to complete this project.  Won't you consider a gift toward this need and invest in the ongoing transformation happening in this tsunami devastated community.

 

Ways to Get Involved

1. Learn More: If you'd like to read more about the Amazing Grace Relief Center, download the 3-page flyer here...

  Amazing Grace Relief Center...

2. Give: If you want to invest, please click this button and select "Amazing Grace Relief Center."

To give online, click the red “Give Now!” button below or or visit: https://give.asianaccess.org. Be sure to choose "Amazing Grace Relief Relief Center" on the Designation drop-down menu

SING$  |  JPY¥

Or send your check to Asian Access, PO Box 3307, Cerritos, CA 90703.

3. Pray: Please ask God to bless this new relief center. Pray for it to not only meet the needs to hurting people, but also to draw many to Christ.

God bless you and thank you for your prayers and financial support for Asian Access! Thank you for prayerfully considering this giving opportunity.

Warmly,

Erik Boehme

 

More Information

  Amazing Grace Relief Center...

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (A2 Community) Featured Japan Blog Japan Asia Wed, 05 Aug 2015 19:56:00 +0000
Pastors experiencing new level of intimacy with spouses https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/477-pastors-experiencing-new-level-of-intimacy-with-spouses https://johnstonjournal.com/new/asia/japan/58-japan-blog/477-pastors-experiencing-new-level-of-intimacy-with-spouses

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Pastors throughout Japan are experiencing a new level of intimacy with their spouses.  As The Marriage Course DVDs from Alpha International have recently been produced in Japanese, courses have been launched specifically for pastors with the hope that these leaders will then run the course at their own churches.

One pastors' course was held at...

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Pastors throughout Japan are experiencing a new level of intimacy with their spouses.  As The Marriage Course DVDs from Alpha International have recently been produced in Japanese, courses have been launched specifically for pastors with the hope that these leaders will then run the course at their own churches.

One pastors' course was held at Kobe Union Church. Over 100 local pastors were invited, but just four couples signed up—and just two of the four were pastors. But both had great need. One shared with me that he and his wife were looking for help and found just what they needed in The Marriage Course. They'll start running the course at their church in September and already have eight couples signed up; they're beginning to plan their second course as well.

The other pastor told me he and his wife want to have the kind of marriage that glorifies God. Through The Marriage Course, they have gotten onto a much better path—and will start running the course at their church August 2.

The DVDs make it easy for any church to begin running The Marriage Course right away. I'm grateful Asian Access and others chose to give generously to make this costly, but greatly-needed ministry tool possible.

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I was able to work with German missionaries in Nagoya to introduce the course to 25 pastors and lay leaders on July 13. Many pastors responded enthusiastically saying, "Not just our church members and their friends but my wife and I—we need this course." This event will probably lead to our largest Vision 100 course starting soon.   Pray marriages throughout the region will be deeply impacted by God through His Church in years ahead.

A solid foundation for far-reaching growth is being laid. 

One pastor who just completed the course told me:

"Every year several couples marry at our church. We've looked and looked for a program to support them after their weddings. At last, we have found The Marriage Course to meet this need. We expect to see much more of Lord's redeeming work among our church's families through it—and know this will become a great testimony throughout our community." 

At our small church plant here in Sagamihara City we completed the course July 18. I asked a friend how the course was for him and his wife—non-Christians who had no regular involvement with any church before The Marriage Course. "We're in our sixth year of marriage," he said, "and have never had conversation like that. It was really helpful. I think it might be good if many in Japan, especially young couples, could join."  

We agree—and pray that many will join! Please join us in praying this ministry will rapidly grow to where the Church is equipped in a new way to deeply impact society. 

Tim Clark

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Tim with Nicky and Sila Lee, creators of The Marriage Course

 

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Tim and Wakako Clark

 

Tim and Wakako Clark have been with Asian Access since 1990. They live in Tokyo with their two sons. To join them in equipping Japanese churches for ministry to families, go to http://www.sim.org/giveusa and click on “Support a missionary.” Their staff number is 39491.

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (A2 Community) Featured Japan Blog Japan Asia Wed, 22 Jul 2015 12:09:00 +0000
The Father Effect, part 1 https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/466-the-father-effect-part-1 https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/466-the-father-effect-part-1

Nail and crown of thornsLast Saturday night, CBC men at their retreat at Loch Leven watched a powerful video entitled "The Father Effect." It's about the power of dads, highlighting our impact upon our children—whether for good or for bad. Afterward, Tom Jenkins led us to look at Jesus and to look at the cross. He skillfully guided us through a poignant time of surrender. For some, it was time to...

The Father EffectLast Saturday night, CBC men at their retreat at Loch Leven watched a powerful video entitled "The Father Effect: Stories about the impact of fathers." It's about the power of dads, highlighting the effect we have upon our children—whether for good or for bad.

Tom Jenkins speaking at men's retreat 2014

Afterward, Tom Jenkins led us to look at Jesus and to look at the cross. He skillfully guided us through a poignant time of surrender. For some, it was time to forgive; for others a time to let go of the past. We learned about denying ourselves and following Jesus as His disciple. Each man had opportunity to privately write on an index card anything—a burden, a confession, a struggle, a hope, a request—they wanted to give to the Lord.

Nail and crown of thorns 1

During a garden of prayer, men were invited to surrender their cards by sticking them onto a large sharp nail, surrounded by a crown of thorns. Following the session and without reading any cards, Tom Jenkins, Kevin Payment and I prayed over them—that Christ would seal any commitments made, heal any brokenness experienced, and empower any hope requested. Then we threw all the cards into the fire, symbolizing their complete surrender to God.

God moved through the men that night. Many took another step toward deeper healing with their heavenly father. And that needs to be celebrated.

John Finch

More Information on The Father Effect:

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Sat, 15 Nov 2014 17:24:00 +0000
Need a visa for Bangladesh https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/453-need-a-visa-for-bangladesh https://johnstonjournal.com/new/news-updates/news-headlines/70-a2-news/453-need-a-visa-for-bangladesh

Trip to Dhaka coming up in a couple months

I'll be heading to Bangladesh soon, so I need to obtain a visa. Please pray that the consulate would be favorable to me when I apply in person.

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Asian Access News Articles Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:26:35 +0000
Walls coming down https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/458-walls-coming-down https://johnstonjournal.com/new/journal-blog/browse-articles/458-walls-coming-down

Berlin Wall comes downWant to know what happened at this weekend's men's retreat?

This past weekend was the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, marking the end of the division between East and West Germany.

In a similar way, at the men's retreat, our Heavenly Father broke down some walls that we may have erected years ago between us and our Dads, and consequently between our hearts and our Heavenly Father. We saw more clearly the great Father Heart of God. In His amazing love for us, He worked in us to begin restoring the damaged image we may have had of Him.

We experienced a meaningful surrendering to Christ to forgive, to deny ourselves, and to live under His Lordship...

This past weekend was the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, marking the end of the division between East and West Germany.

Berlin Wall comes down

In a similar way, at the men's retreat, our Heavenly Father broke down some walls that we may have erected years ago between us and our Dads, and consequently between our hearts and our Heavenly Father. We saw more clearly the great Father Heart of God. In His amazing love for us, He worked in us to begin restoring the damaged image we may have had of Him.

We experienced a meaningful surrendering to Christ to forgive, to deny ourselves, and to live under His Lordship.

And we continue to commit ourselves to moving ahead in the power of the Holy Spirit, striving to be the men He has called us to be. We will tend our family gardens as best we can in the hope that five generations from now, our families will still be loving and following the Lord.

We looked BACK. We looked UP. And we looked AHEAD.

We sang to Him. We played together. We listened to each other, encouaraged one another, and we prayed. And, ahem, a few of us may have shed a tear or two as we reflected on God's love, our Dads and our families we love so much.

All in all, an impactful weekend. I thank Tom Jenkins and the men's ministry team who with Dave Palmer's oversight put this retreat together. And thanks to Tom Nicoles and the worship team, as well as the tech team who all served us selflessly.

Finally, we especially thank all the ladies in our lives who made it possible for us to be together as brothers at Loch Leven... and we love every one of those kids and grandkids that we got to bear-hug when we got back home... because there's a garden to tend.

Japanese garden with maple and moss

This photo from a Japanese garden in Kyoto was taken by my son Zack when he was only 11 years old.

 

More Information

Community Baptist Church - http://www.findcommunity.com

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jjohnston@asianaccess.org (Jeff Johnston) Featured Johnston Journal Articles Wed, 12 Nov 2014 04:27:11 +0000