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Our History

Launching Ministry in Japan

Asian Access' presence in Japan has paralleled Japan's spectacular emergence and development as a world leader in trade, finance, and technology. The incorporation of Asian Access began in Japan in 1965, the year after Japan had hosted the summer Olympic Games. Ministry was launched in 1967. [top]

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Early Years of Asian Access

During the first fifteen years of the history of Language Institute For Evangelism, the focus was primarily on evangelism, and the staff was made up most exclusively of short-term missionaries who were teaching English conversation. Asian Access was a pioneer in the area of summer ministries. During the 70s and 80s, the ministry of Scrum Dendo (arm-in-arm evangelism) became widely-known at Christian colleges and churches all across the country. About 2,000 students participated in this pioneering summer ministry. A good number of them returned for period of one to three years to serve as year-round English teachers. They were involved in Asian Access' innovative strategy of using English conversation schools as centers for establishing new churches.

This ministry was an extremely fruitful one with thousands of students being exposed to the Gospel and many of them coming to faith in Christ. Today there are over 100 Japanese pastors, missionaries, and Christian workers who came to faith in Christ through the witness and outreach of Asian Access' English conversation centers. [top]

The Years of Expansion

The second distinct phase of Asian Access' was a second fifteen-year period from 1980 to 1995. During these years there was a significant influx of career missionaries. The majority of them had originally served on Asian Access' summer program or as one-to-three-year missionaries.

LIFE Ministries logoThe name of the mission was changed from Language Institute for Evangelism (L.I.F.E.) to LIFE Ministries. The name change reflected the fact that the Mission was involved in more than its original focus on English teaching. During this time of influx of new staff, the Mission was characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit. Many new ministries were started to serve the more than 500 churches that made up LIFE Ministries' network across the country. The new ministries reflected the interest of the missionaries and also responded to opportunities that existed to serve the church in areas such as music, worship, sports, church planting, and leadership development. It was an exciting time of growth and a fruitful time of ministry. [top]

A More Focused and Powerful Ministry

A third phase in the work of LIFE Ministries began about 1995, when a decision was made to focus in the primary area of church multiplication. It was determined that this was the most strategic area in which the ministry could possibly be involved. It was also determined that it would most significantly maximize the relationships with more than 500 churches and national leaders that had been developed in the early years of the Mission's history. [top]

20/20 Vision of Asian Access/Japan

in the early 1990s, the 20/20 Vision was articulated as the integrating vision:

To deploy 100 church multiplication teams

  • To establish 1,000 reproducing congregations
  • To enfold 1 million new followers of Christ,
  • who will in turn send 1,000 missionaries from Japan to the cities of Asia that will be home to
  • 1 billion people by the year 2020 AD.

With church multiplication as the singular objective of Asian Access, the most strategic means for accomplishing that vision was determined to be the selection, development and resourcing of Japan's most visionary pastors and congregations. To implement this strategy, Asian Access' leadership development program, the Japan Church Growth Institute (now JCGI Networks) was re-designed under complete Japanese leadership to take the results of fourteen years of investment in leaders and make it more widely accessible to pastors across the country. As such, the Regional Training Networks were designed to be established in each of ten major regions of Japan. This ministry is now flourishing under the leadership of a Board made up of national leaders and a national director, Rev. Hiroshi Kawasaki.

The participants are being selected and trained so that they can then become part of church multiplication networks throughout Japan. That work will be based upon Asian Access' innovative model of church planting networks that have been developed in an area in northern Japan, Yamagata. [top]

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A New Name and An Expanded Mission

A2|40th AnniversaryIn 1996, work was expanded outside of Japan for the first time, as the first pastor training session was launched in Mongolia. This expansion represents the fourth phase in our mission.  Eight other countries have since been added to the work since 1996, with a vision to be established in 20 countries as the Lord opens the doors. In 2002, the Board of Directors approved the new name Asian Access. (more about our new name...) [top]

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