Every part of God’s creation is distinct. Every person, every animal, every tree is unique and different than all others of their kind. The same can be said of every church, every business and every organization. Something about each is distinctively different. Often, it is not one thing that makes something distinct and different. It may be a combination of distinctives that makes that entity unique in its own right. Gospel for Asia (GFA) cites five GFA distinctives that describe its function as a faith-based organization (FBO).
1) Focusing on the “Least of These”
Like so many faith-based organizations (FBOs), GFA distinctives focuses its mission on ministering to people Jesus referred to as “the least of these”—the approximately 3 billion people who are disadvantaged, disabled, uneducated and often disenfranchised and ostracized. Gospel for Asia ministers to the physical needs of slum dwellers and people living in abject poverty in remote villages throughout Asia.
Meeting the physical needs of these people is a way to demonstrate the incomparable love of Jesus Christ and to share the good news of what He has done for us.
Gospel for Asia expresses God’s love and care by providing food, clean water, sanitation, education, vocational training, health care and disaster relief so people may discover a life of hope beyond their experience of despair.
2) Supporting National Missionaries
Dr. Yohannan also understood that there was a revolution happening in world missions as developing countries began to look upon Western missionaries as persona non grata.
His passion and his prophetic insight contributed to creating Gospel for Asia as a means for supporting, training and equipping national missionaries who would live and work among their native people.
Many FBOs today ascribe to the practice of supporting national missionaries. Not that these faithful servants are without resistance—that is a product of unbelief. However, they have an enormous advantage when it comes to knowing the language, the culture, the customs and the perspective of their fellow countrymen.
3) Developing Better Communities for Children and Families
Gospel for Asia is about loving the Lord and loving others to see communities changed, both for this life and eternity.
The Lord transforms communities where GFA-supported national missionaries serve the least of these in places where no one else is serving.
Leaders of groups that advocate for the marginalized on a global level are slowly beginning to realize that true change does not happen by making broad declarations and setting global goals. Change happens at the personal, family and community level when people with true servant hearts labor unselfishly to bring real hope and change and encouragement.Our Bridge of Hope program embodies these GFA distinctives.
4) Tremendous Impact by God’s Grace
The Lord proves daily that He is faithful to supply the needs of local workers on the field as they demonstrate His loving kindness by being, as it were, His hands and feet.
5) Loving the Lord and Dying to Yourself
Whether on the Gospel for Asia campus in Wills Point, Texas, or in Asia, the godly men and women engaged in the Lord’s work commit themselves to maintain a Christ-centered lifestyle described by Jesus in Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
When we are willing to come and die to self, the Lord is able to abundantly bless us beyond all we are able to ask or think.
That is exactly what He has done through Gospel for Asia for 40 years. We trust He will continue to do so regardless of trial or tribulation, sunshine or scandal, communion or criticism.
Our mission is to be devout followers of Christ and to live lives fully pleasing to Him. God has given us a special love for the people of Asia, and it is our desire to minister to them and help them through ministries such as education, health and practical gifts, or through the spiritual transformation of peaceful hearts, restored relationships and mended lives.
Source: Gospel for Asia, GFA Distinctives
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