For more than 11 years, Gospel for Asia has published a Christmas Gift Catalog filled with opportunities for people in the West to be involved in helping transform the lives of families in Asia who live in poverty. Since that time, more than 1 million families have been helped and many reports about how Gospel for Asia is helping poor families can be read online.
Focused on Helping the Poor
- Read Manjira’s story about how a blanket helped
- Meaningful Christmas gift story
- Servant girl’s first Christmas
Many of the stories on these various sites and the stories mentioned above display GFA’s deep concern for families living in extreme poverty and who are looking for a way to escape this cycle of poverty.
Dr. KP Yohannan, shared in a recent letter paired with the Gospel for Asia’s 2017Christmas Gift Catalog, “That’s what this catalog is all about. By giving families gifts that lift them out of poverty, or by equipping our brothers and sisters to serve more effectively, we can see communities transformed by His love.”
As noted in a recent press release, “…the world observed International Human Solidarity Day on December 20, Gospel for Asia reaffirms its commitment to help eradicate poverty.
The United Nations designated December 20 as International Human Solidarity Day in 2005 to remind us that ‘those who either suffer—or who benefit the least—deserve help from those who benefit most.’
Gospel for Asia is relentlessly focused on administering aid to the poor, which meets their immediate needs, while providing resources to help them overcome the cycle of poverty and lead healthier, safer and more productive lives—all compelled by love for Christ.”
What is International Human Solidarity Day and How is Gospel for Asia Helping?
According to the United Nation’s (UN) website, International Human Solidarity Day has five parts which are all part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for the coming years. The five parts are:
- a day to celebrate our unity in diversity;
- a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
- a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
- a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication;
- a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.
Gospel for Asia (GFA) is a nonprofit organization focused on meeting the needs of the people regardless of the need and regardless of the people because the organization and its founder, Dr. KP Yohannan are motivated by their love for the Lord.
The GFA Christmas Gift Catalog is a prime example of their compassion for families who do not have the income needed for daily survival. A sewing machine provided along with vocational training for a mother of three in a small, rural village in India can make a transformational difference in her life and in the lives of her husband and children.
Gospel for Asia also started a child sponsorship program called the Bridge of Hope Program which partners with legitimate organizations in Asia to help give children get an education, a daily meal, medical check-ups and moral teachings. Often, these children would not have access to these services. In some areas, the families would need the child to work a daily job in order to provide the income needed for basic survival. Because of Bridge of Hope, a child can receive a meal and an education, which helps keep them off the streets.
Update from Gospel for Asia in 2017
Gospel for Asia has been helping the poor and impoverished since 1979 in more than 14 nations across Asia and has surprisingly come under criticism from disgruntled former staff who are campaigning to see the legitimate and effective nonprofit stopped from serving impoverished families in Asia. Some individuals were concerned whether Gospel for Asia was doing what the organization said it would do.
Gospel for Asia Serves Internationally in Complex Environments
Gospel for Asia operates and serves the needy in a variety of cultures and nations worldwide. The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) made the decision not to renew Gospel for Asia’s membership after concerns over GFA’s financial management practices were questioned by a blogger. A former staff member and development director at GFA who was interviewed by CT “doesn’t believe GFA has mismanaged money.”
Gospel for Asia was a charter member of the ECFA for more than 30 years and received the ECFA’s “stamp of approval” for more than 30 years as well. CT reported that GFA staff and leadership were “surprised” by the decision. In a statement to CT, GFA said that “no money was found to be missing” in ECFA’s review of GFA’s financial statements.
Based on various statements and answers to questions that when a donor gave toward something like a clean water well, funds were spent in Asia to provide a clean water well. Or if someone donated a chicken, funds were spent to provide a chicken. It must be noted that GFA serves people in nations across Asia. When someone in the U.S. donates to Gospel for Asia, GFA retains full control over how those funds are used and dispersed. If GFA did not retain control, they would be breaking IRS guidelines. This is true for any legally operating nonprofit in the U.S.
Gospel for Asia is just one of 1.5 million nonprofits registered in the United States according to the National Center of Charitable Statistics (NCCS), which includes nonprofits like Charity: Water, Liberty University, Feeding America and even a charity rating organization like Charity Navigator. None of these trusted, aforementioned nonprofits are members of the ECFA nor do they state an intention to adhere to the ECFA’s self-defined standards of stewardship.
Gospel for Asia Board of Directors
The Gospel for Asia Board issued a statement on GFA’s main website about recent developments in February 2016 stating, “The staff leadership of Gospel for Asia are working diligently to handle all of this responsibly and with integrity. We will come out of this stronger.
We thank our committed staff, our donors, prayer partners and friends, for walking with us all these years, especially during this challenging season.
As the Board of Directors, we take our responsibility seriously and we have full confidence in the ministry of Gospel for Asia.”
As of 2015, the Gospel for Asia Board consisted of Francis Chan, David Mains, Chuck Zink, Bob Felder, Daniel Punnose, Gisela Yohannan and K.P. Yohannan.
Despite Critics, GFA Continues to Serve Others
Despite Gospel for Asia helping drill thousands of clean water wells in Asia each year and despite GFA’s ability to minister to hundreds of thousands of families through gift distributions, some donors still thought a lawsuit was necessary to verify no funds were wasted or misused. In 2017, Gospel for Asia was able to share a special report update about some of the good things that were accomplished across Asia in 2016. You can review this report online here.
- 6000+ clean water wells drilled
- 10,000+ toilets installed by Gospel for Asia field partners
- 600,000+ mosquito nets distributed by Gospel for Asia field partners
- Thousands of women received literacy training
The Problem With Lawsuits Against Ministries
Ironically, the New York Post recently discussed how ridiculous lawsuits are wasting people’s time and their money.
“Lawyers know that if they file 10 cut-and-paste complaints, five may settle because many businesses are eager to avoid litigation expenses and liability risk,” the Empire Center says. “In many instances, the lawyers get paid by the defendant to ‘go away’ while consumers get little or nothing.” When lawyers do get a case that sticks, they can make big money.
When reviewing the plethora of reports supplied by GFA, one can only imagine that Gospel for Asia might be one of the most effective organizations serving in Asia. The Gospel for Asia update mentioned previously would seem to cause those who doubt Gospel for Asia to reconsider their motivations or opinions.
Surprisingly, even after GFA shared information about families being rescued from poverty through GFA and its worldwide partners, some individual or organization is paying for negative ads to appear on Google whenever someone searches for “gospel for asia”. The fact that websites have been created and funded to disparage the positive impact of GFA and its founder is concerning.
Gospel for Asia’s Campaign to Serve Poor Families in Asia
By reviewing the various campaigns and initiatives run by Gospel for Asia (GFA), it’s evident the organization is focused on helping poor families in Asia escape poverty and GFA is even paying to share the opportunity with churches in the West through websites and videos it has created. The campaign provides churches with a creative way to remind congregants to give to those less fortunate than them and to help the poor in Asia.
Forgotten Christmas is a great example of a video and campaign that Gospel for Asia staff spent time to create and creatively introduce the idea of blessing others during the Christmas season, especially helping the poor in Asia. The custom designed and written website connects with the GFA Christmas Gift Catalog. The video, reminds viewers to consider blessing others during the giving season and ends with practical ways a viewer could give to help those less fortunate around the world.
Watch the Forgotten Christmas video from 2017 below.
In the face of criticism and despite serving in an era when people are eager to read and believe negative reporting, Gospel for Asia has not wavered in its commitment to see communities transformed by God’s love and to continue on its mission in helping poor families escape the cycle of poverty. These acts of service and this mission is motivated by Gospel for Asia’s love for the Lord.