International (A2/MNN) – Asian Access (A2) is a ministry that is usually ahead of the ‘trend’ curves in the world of missions.
A few years back, they announced big goals as part of their Vision2020.
- (Partners/training) 20 Countries in Asia
- 100 Church Multiplication Teams/Networks – Japan
- 1000 Reproducing Churches in Japan
A2 president Joe Handley says 2018 was a great year for implementation after years of laying a solid foundation for growth. As he looks back on 2018 and ahead to 2019, he keeps using the word ‘exciting’. What does ‘exciting’ mean for Asian Access? Doesn’t everyone use that word to describe an upcoming year?
Here’s why Handley might be a little ‘excited’. While he couldn’t go into detail yet due to some security concerns, he says the time is right and God is opening doors. “Right now, we have five new countries, I think, even six that might be looking to open with us. And these are countries that are completely closed to the development of leaders within their midst. “
This will be in addition to 15 Countries where A2 is now fully operational: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka plus five additional countries with select pastors/leaders and faculty.
Other national directors share his enthusiasm. A2’s Myanmar director, Pastor Wesley Thura shares:
Dear A2 Community,
New Year greetings from A2 Myanmar! This 2019 will be very exciting year for us as we are getting one year closer to our 2020 vision. I feel like that we have to try harder this year to reach God-given Vision. So each every day is so important for us, we have to pray more, work more, build each other up more, go deeper and in whatever God wants us to go further let’s go further as our Heavenly Father gives strength and resources. Personally, I really want to see our 2020 vision accomplished so I prepare myself in all ways as much as I can in my present reality. Lord may we see Asian Access to be Global Access before you bring us Home.
Investing in Women
Beyond church planting and leadership training, since 2014, A2 has been investing in women. They apply the following four outcomes to women leaders across Asia:
- Nurturing a love relationship with God;
- Growing in Christ-like character;
- Reproducing disciple-making leaders;
- Planting multiplying churches.
The reality: being a female leader can be difficult and lonely, but A2 is investing in these leaders to encourage them. In all of the training they offer for women, they try to help the women understand and answer this question: “How do you grow as a leader?” Since they’re in the A2 community, these women are also learning from each other. The approach is unique enough that more countries are inviting A2 to share their perspective on empowering women in ministry. In 2018, the ministry expanded to a brand-new country (also unnamed, due to security reasons); by years’ end, Asian Access leaders found the results of the many conversations and cohorts, thrilling.
What happens when you say ‘Yes’ to God
In fact, last month, says Handley, “I met leaders from three new countries (who) are saying, “Hey Joe, I’ve heard about what God is doing through women in these two countries. Can you bring that to our country?”” The answer is almost always ‘yes’—and that’s what led to a breakthrough year last year.
As he looks ahead to 2019, he added one more thing onto his already full plate: AsianAccess.biz, culminating from a journey that began four years ago. The goal is to care for, mentor and walk among entrepreneurs and marketplace leaders so they can be more Christ-like leaders in their spheres of influence. The venture is now bearing fruit with communities in the marketplace and among entrepreneurs in Asia. Handley explains, “We are looking at expanding at a rapid rate with business professionals. We have leaders from places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan that are saying, ‘We are hungry for the development of our capacity as Kingdom marketplace leaders.'”
When Joe Handley says things are ‘exciting’, he isn’t kidding. He’s at the front end of trendsetting curves, riding the wave of momentum, listening for God’s direction, covered in prayer, as he leads A2 into a 2019 full of probabilities and possibilities as they help change the few who will change the many.
Headline image courtesy Asian Access.