Celebrating the past, looking to the future in Asia

MNN’s Ruth Kramer traveled to Indonesia last week with Asian Access as they celebrated 50 years of ministry with Jubilee in Jakarta. Kramer shares her reflections.

Indonesia (MNN) — It’s not every day that you can mark a jubilee in ministry by snowball growth, but that’s what is happening to Asian Access (A2).

(Photo courtesy of Ruth Kramer)

I’ve spent the last few days with them, not only celebrating what God’s doing through them, but also hearing about big dreams for the future. Between 1967 and 2001, A2 was in pioneering mode. They had a call from a Japanese pastor to come and train their church leadership to help them figure out a strategy to multiply churches.

Laying the groundwork was painstaking, but well worth-it when, in 2002, believers in Mongolia asked A2 to come alongside their church leaders. From there, came requests from Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, and several creative-access Southeast Asian nations — with the newest cohorts being trained in the Philippines next week.

Admittedly, the snowball growth is a God-thing, but the next question the ministry leadership team had to answer was, ‘How do they finish well?’ The answer: it’s all based on relationships. When believers are in fellowship with God, it follows that they would be in fellowship with each other.

Easy to say, harder to accomplish, especially as many of the nations face shifting governments, political changes, and other instabilities. A2 is equipping the Next Generation of church leadership to be ready to stand in the face of adversity.

One theme that emerged over the last few days of jubilee was unity: unity through prayer, through revival, and through growth. It’s a vision A2’s President Joe Handley is excited to execute. He’s hoping to see Asian Access go global in the next decade, as requests for their training curriculum come in from Africa and South America. Handley challenged the delegates from 12 nations to join him in standing together and dreaming big…and the responding shout was, “Hallelujah!”