WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing what national workers do daily to spread God’s love across Asia. “They need to think about what is needed, not what is possible because possible can change. A major problem I see . . . is not having visionary leaders.” —R.D. Thulasiraj, Director of Operations, Aravind Eye Care System
Mr. Thulasirai’s sage observation, although having nothing directly to do with missions, might be worthy of our consideration of what it really means for indigenous, national workers to be supported by GFA and its generous donors.It is difficult for us to imagine the role of pastors and other national workers in Asia because we have not seen what they have seen, nor have we experienced what they have. One thing is for certain, these pastors and workers do not have the same routine that most Western pastors do.
Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Marty grew up in an Asian slum where, as a young boy, he often dug for food in the bottom of dirty garbage bins to avoid starvation. He describes life in the slums as a vicious, generation cycle.
Garbage litters the streets. Dirty drinking water and the absence of simple hygienic practices like hand-washing cause disease rates to soar. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and other crimes hold countless people in bondage with no escape. 
Now, Pastor Marty and his family minister to families in the slum where he was raised. One believer in his church said, “He is a great example for us as he represents Jesus. He does what Jesus would have done. Helping the poor and needy and loving people. He is always willing to help people.”
Another Gospel for Asia-supported pastor, Kanak, witnessed people in his village drinking from the same pond in which they bathed and washed their livestock and dirty dishes. He’s seen mothers unable to feed their children because they have no source of income. He ministers to children and adults who have no education. He works among people who barely have what they need to survive let alone prosper.
“When I see the condition of [these] people, their poverty, . . . it hurts me. It pains me to see them suffering. I wish I could bring changes in their lives.” —Pastor Kanak 
Like Pastor Marty, that’s exactly what he is doing. He spends time with the villagers and becomes acquainted with their struggles, assessing what would help them the most and show them Jesus’ love. These men, and multiple others like them, spend their days considering the needs of the people to whom they are called to serve.
They demonstrate spiritual leadership by “thinking about what is needed.” Because they understand the people’s needs, they are able to discern what they can do to help those individuals, families and villages according to what they need most.
If people need clean water, the pastors may arrange for the installation of Jesus Wells or distribution of BioSand water filters. If the people need education, national workers help establish Bridge of Hope centers for children and literacy classes for adults. If a rural household needs a source of income, they may arrange for the most appropriate farm animals for the individuals in need. In the slums, they may organize vocational classes to train women to generate income to provide for their families.
People with vision are those who see a need and then make every effort to meet that need. Vision in ministry is all about seeing the need, then doing something about it.
Once we see their needs and minister to them, they will already begin to see Christ in us.
To read more about these national workers, click on the their stories below:
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