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News and notes from around the A2 Community

Official blogs from Asian Access

Mongolia’s church may be young, but they have big plans

Mongolian gerMongolia (MNN) — Mongolia’s Church is younger than most. Many pastors have only been ministering for just over 20 years, but they’re already facing challenges on a national scale.

“In our country, materialism is kicking in so people are more interested [in] having status in society. They want to have all the privileges that mainstream people would like to have,” says Chinzorig Jigjidsuren, the National Director for Asian Access in Mongolia. He’s worried that more interest in earthly treasures means less interest in spiritual ones, and he wants Mongolia’s pastors to unite to reignite hunger for the Gospel. Because so many pastors are young and spread out, it’s easy for believers to feel alone or abandoned. ”The DNA of Asian Access keeps that from happening,” Jigjidsuren says. “A lot of lonely pastors would be burdened with all of their personal and ministry issues, but they have a community where they can openly share their struggles.” But that doesn’t mean Mongolia’s Christian leaders don’t face challenges. “Sometimes you depend on people, you open your heart and invest into people, and you do not see the fruit you were envisioning,” Jigjidsuren says. “There can be a lot of...

strawberriesOne of the principles in Asian Access is that healthy churches grow. It’s why we spend so much time investing in key leaders’ personal walk with God and their growth in him. Because, when we are deeply embedded with Christ, we are naturally very fruitful. Many of those leaders were on display in Tohoku (Northeast Japan) for a few days at Vision Festa, a gathering of pastors, missionaries and NGO leaders coming together to share God’s vision for Japan. I was deeply touched by them and many pictured in these photos are key partners of Asian Access/Japan. They shared about Strawberry Patch Evangelism. That even small little strawberry plants are quick to reproduce because they shoot stems into the soil nearby and next thing you know you have an entire patch. And, they shared about Pomegranate church planting where a single fruit has hundreds of seeds to spread around and start new fellowships...

woman sharingThe lady sharing in this picture was saved by a bridge in her local fishing village. She was driving back to her home where her husband’s family has led a fishing business for several generations. As she drove onto the bridge, the tsunami swept away most of her friends, their homes, and their cars. The town was devastated and all she could do is sit there and watch her friends get swept away. Her husband, just a few minutes earlier was able to marshal a few people to several boats he owned and fled into the sea before the waves crushed the village. He’s standing in this picture to her right. He was gone for three days at sea and she had no idea where he was or if the tsunami took his life. They were both saved that day… For a purpose! God had a plan for them and their village. Pastor Kishinami, who...

rapid reproduction E 500pxA few weeks ago, I was in a SE Asian country teaching as part of our two-year cohort. It was such a joy spending time with the pastors and seeing how eager they were to learn. One pastor, whom I’ll call NV to protect his identity, quickly came up to me sharing that he had already taken what he learned in the first session a few months prior and was sharing it in several contexts. Here’s what he later shared with me:

“All the lessons of the first session were really significant to me and others whom I reproduced it. My purpose is to contribute for the revival at the very heart of the capital city, so, since 2008, I have 2 trips each year on May and October for pastoral training for all pastors and church workers for churches of 8 denominations, including the government sanctioned church in three large cities (they came from many cities at N region). Last May I trained SHAPE and TIMELINE for over 120 pastors and main workers. They all said that it was so good and they will continue to retrain at their local churches. I plan to retrain the session "the heart of the ministry" next Oct.”

(Representative photo courtesy of Asian Access)New law ramping up pressure on churches

Southeast Asia (MNN) — In many communities, the local church exists to serve people and be a beacon of Christ’s love. But not everyone sees it that way. In many countries, the government sees the body of believers as a threat to their way of life. That’s what one pastor who’s been trained by Asian Access says is happening in a country in Southeast Asia. In one case, a congregation meeting in a pastor’s house raised enough money for a church building, only to have it shut down by authorities. “Right after they finished building the chapel, the local authority came with policemen, and they locked the doors,” the pastor says. “They made a paper, with the promise of the pastor, they are not allowed to use the new building for the church activities or worship service.” That kind of pressure doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. “As I know, the government, they just approved a new religious law,” the pastor says. “And they will put it...

Here is a review of Eastern Voices, Volume 1 that appeared on Amazon several weeks ago. It is reposted on our site with permission from the reviewer, Peter T. Sommer.

EV1 final title slide 2017 04 25 flat 700pxUsually Pretty Far from the Benefits of Globalization

Reading Eastern Voices is a different book. It’s not Western reporting on churches and movements. It’s not Asian believers working for West-based churches or NGOs. Rather it’s the voices of men and women, usually pretty far from the benefits of globalization. They lead and evangelize via Asian churches or agencies. The nine people here, from India, Bangladesh, Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar and three unnamed-for-security-reasons nations, don’t even raise money from the West, much...

japan no church prefectsI’ve been inspired by pastors in Japan this past week. 70 or more gathered in Northern Japan for a movement called Vision Festa. It’s a movement of people with a passion for church planting and I’m eager to share their stories… Those will come later though. For now, why is church planting so important? When so many people are down on the local church these days, why would I believe church planting is so important and why are these leaders coalescing around this fresh vision? Missiologist Peter Wagner once said, “Planting new churches is the most effective evangelistic methodology known under heaven.” Pastor Tim Keller picked up on this theme as well. Check out his post on the same subject, Why Church Planting? Everywhere I have gone, I’ve seen these truths displayed...

leaders emergeWhere have all the leaders gone?

Could there be any more desperate cry than this in our world today? We have facilitators, administrators, managers, academics, coordinators and people with various titles and qualifications, but very few leaders. So we are left to recruit staff from elsewhere, or raise up volunteers who are given leadership positions and a roster of helpers, or we overload the few leaders that are around. These options often result in a gradual decline or at best a plateauing in our churches and the few leaders that remain, ultimately burn out. We send those in leadership positions to quick fix courses that end up achieving little because courses don’t develop leaders. And so those in leadership positions end up being overtrained and underdeveloped. Often, it is only when a situation reaches a crisis point that desperate measures are taken, if it is not already too late. It took the intervention of Moses’ father in law, Jethro, to realise the desperate need for leaders that existed when he questioned Moses, “What is this you are...

Joe and MikeA Penetrating Question

Not long ago I had the privilege of taking part in the Leader Development Consultation. Asian Access was one of the co-sponsoring organizations and it was a joy being there with so many global leader development specialists. Many were there from Asian Access teaching and facilitating various workshops and training sessions. One highlight for me was connecting with Asian Access leaders and one encounter caught me by surprise: though it shouldn’t have! I was sitting next to Mike Hoisington, one of our faculty members who asked me this penetrating question, “Joe, are you spending time in the Word?” You gotta love Mike. He puts it right out...

brother jakeA2.business trains leaders to work in the marketplace

East Asia (MNN) — Asian Access has been training pastors and Christian leaders for over three decades in 12 countries with great success. Their programs set up small groups of pastors to take classes that promote Christlikeness at home, at work, and in their daily lives. “This model of developing pastoral leaders through a cohort program has been very successful in developing Christlike leaders who have a vision to reach their cities and transform their communities,” said Brother Jake. “With this being so successful, Asian Access came up with the idea that the same program could be run for business leaders as well, and that’s how A2.business has come about.” Brother Jake is a regional coordinator of Asian Access in his country, and he hopes the program will do the same thing for the business world of East Asia that it did for ministry. In fact, the two systems are so similar they even have the...

The belt and road in AsiaNot long ago I was in Hong Kong and the talk of the town was China’s One Belt, One Road plan to catalyze business ventures across Asia and into Europe. For those of you never hearing of the idea, check out this interview by McKinsey & Company: China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it reshape global trade? It’s certainly a breathtaking economic initiative and many wonder if it’ll come to fruition because of the massive infrastructure costs it will take to pull everything together. One thing we can say, China is ambitious! For me, the talk was all about how important this enterprise will...

Christian minority feels safe under martial law

map & flag image, courtesy Voice of the MartyrsPhilippines (MNN) — The Filipino military declared a brief ceasefire Sunday, allowing Muslims to peacefully celebrate the end of Ramadan. The lull in the fighting also allowed for the rescue of six civilians trapped in the city of Marawi. Government forces are forging progress toward peace, but it’s slow-going. Earlier last week, about 200 suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) took hostages and holed up for hours inside a school, then took five civilians with them after fleeing. Some say the attack could be a diversion for the Islamic State to gain more ground in Marawi. “That is a common perception because the BIFF is sympathetic to the radical group,” says Herman Moldez with Asian Access, an organization that trains and equips Christian leaders throughout Asia. “In fact, there had been some effort for reinforcement coming from Salou and these areas, and so one of the reasons for the declaration of martial [law] of the entire [island of] Mindanao is for the military to be able to respond quickly and not to complicate the whole matter in Marawi City...

Meet Prasanna Vuppula, A2/India Alumnus

pras-and-company.pngRecently, we had the opportunity to meet with an Asian Access graduate who has seen God use his Asia Access experience to prepare him for his new ministry. Prasanna Vuppula (who goes by Pras) is based in Hyderabad, Telangana, in south-central India. A long-time pastor, he realized several years ago that while on the outside his ministry looked good, inside, he was struggling spiritually. “By 2011, I had to face the fact that I was struggling spiritually,” Pras told us. “Unfortunately, I did not feel free to share my struggles with the church community where I ministered. In India, the Church can often be a legalistic place where we are afraid to reveal our true selves.” It was at this time that Christopher Uputuri, who helps to lead Asian Access/India, approached Pras with an invitation to join the upcoming South India cohort...

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From the President blog by Joe Handley

A2 Community blog with posts from a variety of contributors around Asian Access

Stories about Asian Access published by Mission Network News, a mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world. In doing so we hope to educate and motivate Christians to prayer, participation, and support of missionary work to help further the Great Commission.

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