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News and notes from around the A2 Community

Official blogs from Asian Access

Pew study reveals heightened pressure on Christians and Muslims.

A nationalist is defined as “a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government.” Photo by Mike from PexelsInternational (MNN) — According to the latest Pew study, Christians and Muslims faced more religious restrictions than any other group in 2016. Christians faced governmental and societal pressure in 144 of the 198 countries studied. Furthermore, international religious restrictions reached the highest levels since 2007. A nationalist is defined as “a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government.” In many countries, restrictions were a direct result of nationalist agendas. As just one example, nationalist parties in approximately one-third of European countries targeted religious minorities in their political statements. This was up from 20% of countries in 2015...

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Asian Access is announcing that it is receiving donations for the current flooding crisis in Japan and is directing those funds to provide relief where most strategic in terms of long-term impact. In response to this crisis, Asian Access has decided to help Japan in important ways consistent with our mission. Our first priority is always the nationals. Asian Access prioritizes its response based on the three types of people/organizations involved in disaster relief...

Asian Access equips believers to respond in Christ’s name during a flood crisis

photo courtesy Kyodo News, JapanJapan (MNN) — Large sections of Japan are underwater following a typhoon and record rainfall over the weekend. The storm has claimed at least 100 lives and dozens are still missing. Two million people are under evacuation orders.Asian Access is equipping Japanese Christians to respond. “It’s getting difficult to find out all the information, but each time we have a disaster, [the] Japanese Church is getting more equipped, more prepared,” says Takeshi Takazawa, VP for Strategic Engagement...

photo courtesy Kyodo News, Japan85 Dead, Millions Forced to Flee

According to CNN, dozens of people have been killed and 2 million forced to flee their homes across eight prefectures after record rains pounded southwest Japan, triggering widespread flooding and deadly landslides. Japanese news NHK reports 85 people are dead, 6 are in critical condition and at least 58 are missing. "The Japan Meteorological Agency upgraded its alert system to the highest level in large areas of western Japan, while lifting the warning in other regions." "About 364 millimeters (14.3 inches) of rain fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the city of Uwajima -- approximately 1.5 times the average monthly rainfall for July." ...

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I have great news to share on two fronts! First, we are so pleased to report that we have reached our recent match grant goal by raising $177,353. Because of friends like you, the $167,000 match is not only met—it was exceeded by $10,353! Combined with the match that means an additional $344,353 is now available to launch new A2 programs in more Asian countries. We are now capable to do much more...

Bono Grace over KarmaI was in flight to one of our countries hoping to get some sleep as the day had been long and I was on my second of three flights to get to one of our sessions. The fellow sitting next to me leaned over and spent the entire flight talking to me. He began by networking wanting connections for a business deal but the more we talked, the more he explored what was happening in his country and revealing his own perspectives. I listened and eventually tried to plant some seeds for Jesus. Only Christ will know if the conversation turned fruitful...

Dee Silk Joe coffeeThis past Sunday Silk and I had the privilege of spending a meal and afternoon with Dee Wirz. Dee is completely 43 years of ministry in Japan with us next month and we wanted some special time with just the few of us. What a joy it was being with her. It came following our annual staff retreat where many staff honored Dee and a letter was read from our founder, Ken with his wife Jan, as well as a skype from my predecessor Doug and his wife Jeanie. The impact Dee has made for the kingdom in Japan (and China)...

U30 2018 candid1Asian Access/Japan Developing Emerging Leaders

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...

 Treatment of Christians has taken a turn for the worse

Nepal UnsplashNepal (MNN) — For the past several years, the Gospel has moved more in Nepal than almost any country in the world. Christians were showing the nation that the Gospel was more than just a political agenda. But Joe Handley of Asian Access says that recently, things have taken a turn for the worse. Thanks to the Church’s work with orphan care through orphanages and human trafficking through rescue centers and job-training facilities, Nepal...

fish out of the water free 500pxTen years ago, Pastor Paul started a church, and for the past three of those ten, he’s been part of Asian Access in a South Asian country. He’s now planted eight churches from that first church plant but he learned something profound the last few years that will impact his ministry for years to come. As Pastor Paul was sharing his strategy paper, he said: “A relationship without God is like a fish out of water.” Paul was referring to serving as...

Christians are coming together in support of one another

nepal, church, cementary, pixabayNepal (MNN) – There have been significant changes in Nepal’s recent history which have introduced uncertainty for the nation’s future. In 2015, the nation declared itself a secular state through a new constitution. It seemed that religious freedom was growing in Nepal. However, earlier this year Nepal also adopted a new law, criminalizing religious conversion. The law is about to go into effect in August. And another big change just took place last...

A2.business session with Promod HaqueA few weeks ago, renown venture capitalist Promod Haque shared with one of our A2 cohorts for marketplace leaders. What a profound week we had learning together! Promod prompted some significant dialog and conversation as he shared his own life story and how he integrates the Bible and Christian worldview into his life, business, and philanthropy. My colleague Elliott Snuggs who has been spearheading our work with A2.biz as we call it shared the following...

A2 Summit 2018 doug and mengDoug Birdsall, former president of Asian Access and member of the A2 Board of Directors, also serves on the A2 Vision Council—a group of men and women who help to discern God’s “big picture” vision for the movement. Recently, the Vision Council meeting was scheduled back-to-back with our annual Summit, when Asian Access gathers its national leaders together for spiritual refreshment, vision-casting, and strategic planning. Doug arrived early enough to attend the Summit—and got a very encouraging surprise...

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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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