From the President

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What a month this has been… Silk and I were in Japan for our annual staff retreat… Then, I got to be with my colleague Pastor Yoshiya Hari for several days in America.

I was so encouraged as Pastor Yoshiya shared at my home church, Rolling Hills Covenant.

He showed picture after picture of mission teams seeking to plant churches around Japan. See the teams in these photos. I had no idea the reach of our teams. It made my heart leap for joy.

Fukushima Team


kumamoto team 2024

Kumamoto Team


nextgen kumamoto team 2024

Next Gen Kumamoto Team


mie team 2024

Mie Team


miyagi team 2024

Miyagi Team


nara team 2024

Nara Team


saitama team 2024

Saitama Team


You’ll see Yoshiya with his core leadership team (below), and what they are doing is incredible. As you’ll see in another photo here, they set a goal (collectively across Japan) to double the Christian population and these teams are key to that expansion.

A3J staff 2024

In addition, as Silk and I got to hang out with our missionary team at the retreat, we got to meet so many new missionaries. We have more new people than I can remember during my entire (nearly 16-year) tenure. Wow!

It feels like a fresh wind is blowing in Japan.

Pray for us… As we seek to double the Christian population and to plant 50,000 churches. They estimate that we lost about 1,000 churches during covid so we have 7,000 presently. That means there is a lot of work ahead for us.

But, wow, these teams are on the move and proactive.

May we double the Christian population from roughly under 1% to 2% in the coming decade! Rev. Yoshiya Hari also shares this summary:

  • We hope that local leaders with a philosophy of church multiplication will be established in each area of Japan, and that a church multiplication movement will be started through which churches will be born in unreached areas.
  • As churches become more missional, existing churches will be revitalized.
  • In 2023, the 7th Japan Evangelism Conference was held, and A3/Japan was used to set forth a vision for Japan as a whole:
    • to reach 2% of the Japanese population with the gospel...
    • to produce 50,000 churches...
    • and to produce a church in every town, village, and city.
  • To this end, an important seven-year effort has begun for the 8th Japan Evangelism Conference.


Thanks for praying!

Joseph W. Handley, Jr., Ph.D. 

Joe & Silk Handleyx/twitter@jwhandley

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More Information

  • Photo credits: Yoshiya Hari



Joe Handley | My bio
handley joe 2021 headshot8834 lr 300x300pxJoe joined A3 as president in 2008 and has logged many miles traveling across the Asia and the world. One thing he has learned is to platform other leaders. In this blog, he hopes to share some of their stories that will encourage you to engage with A3 that strives to change the few, who change the many.

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