In 2017, GFA and its worldwide affiliates working in 18 Asian nations addressed women’s issues by empowering more than 350,000 women through various ministry efforts and installed 4,673 clean-water wells.
Wills Point, Texas, Discussing Women’s Issues in Asia — This month, 39 years ago, Dr. KP Yohannan founded the organization Gospel for Asia (GFA) with a commitment to serve “the least of these” in Asia, often in places where no one else was serving, so they could experience the love of God for the first time.
In some areas where GFA-supported workers minister, women’s issues are prominent and many women have it especially difficult. Some silently suffer violence at the hands of their husbands, their close and distant relatives and even strangers who exploit and abuse them.
In 2017, to make a positive difference, GFA helped provided free health care training to 289,033 women. This training focused on teaching women the basics of how to care for themselves and their families. They also learned how to keep a safe and hygienic home for their families and how to take care of themselves while pregnant. In addition, GFA taught 50,624 women in rural villages how to read and write, which will safeguard them from being cheated at the market and from entering into exploitative and usurious agreements with lenders. Another 10,965 women received vocational training that will provide them with valuable skills to make an honest living.
But more than this, as women experience the love of fellow human beings who are willing to serve and minister to them, their understanding of their worth and value in society is elevated. GFA-supported workers treat each girl and woman they meet with respect. They speak words of life into the hearts of women who’ve silently suffered violence, letting them know they matter, they are valuable and they are loved — even if the rest of society doesn’t believe so.
As Dr. KP Yohannan noted, “It’s heartbreaking to consider the unthinkable struggles so many women go through, many of these women’s issues are unseen by anyone else in the world. We want them to know that they are precious in God’s sight, that they have unique value and worth as people created in His image, and that they are not forgotten.”
Another problem that plagues around 2 billion people worldwide—both women and men—is drinking water from sources contaminated with feces. It is estimated that 502,000 deaths are caused each year by diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio, which are transmitted through contaminated water.
To meet the critical need for water in some of the neediest regions across Asia, GFA has spearheaded the “Jesus Well” project. In 2017 alone, Gospel for Asia was able to help provide 4,673 wells. That’s 4,673 sources of clean, fresh drinking water. One well typically provides clean water for at least 300 people and can last up to 20 years. GFA supporters around the world have allowed the rate of installation of Jesus Wells to continue and remain consistent, with tens of thousands of wells installed in the past several years. The Jesus Well project is one of the largest clean water initiatives in the world.
In regions where water might be available, but it’s just not safe to drink, GFA-supported workers provide BioSand water filters. These simple structures — locally built from concrete, sand and rocks — filter water to remove 98 percent of biological impurities, providing safer water for drinking and cooking. In 2017, GFA helped provided 11,324 BioSand water filters for families and individuals.
As critical as these needs are, they are just a sampling of all that God has done through GFA in 2017. Around 234,300 families received much-needed income-generating gifts. GFA-supported workers organized 1,245 medical camps in villages and remote communities. They also helped install 6,364 toilets in communities desperately in need of safe sanitation facilities—and so much more.
“These statistics serve as an aerial view of what God accomplished in one year throughout communities in Asia,” Dr. Yohannan said. “God has done so much through His servants, who are faithfully ministering to the poor, desperate and needy around them. We praise God for giving us the opportunity to join Him in his work, and we are deeply grateful for the love, prayers and sacrificial giving of our donors so others may experience the grace and mercy of Christ.”
To learn more about all that God accomplished in GFA, visit https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/gospel-for-asia-2017-update/
For more on women’s issues, visit our Essay on Ending Violence Against Women.
About Gospel for Asia & Women’s Issues
Gospel for Asia is a Christian organization deeply committed to seeing communities transformed through the love of Christ demonstrated in word and deed. GFA serves “the least of these” in Asia, often in places where no one else is serving, so they can experience the love of God for the first time.
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