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January 7, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this 2nd part of a Special Report update on the extraordinary pressures and hardships of widows intensified by the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Continuing Problems in Developing Nations

Smiling widow despite isolation and suffering.
Despite her smile, as a widow in Assam, Sukra was not only despised and reviled by her community, but also her own brothers shunned her.

“Although most African and Asian farmers are women, only 15 percent of the world’s farmland is owned by women.” states Landesa, a land rights charity.10 A research report in the spring of 2020 from the World Bank showed that in 40 percent of countries, women face persistent barriers to land ownership, including unequal inheritance rights and authority over assets during marriage—a situation worsened by the pandemic, and one that especially affects widows.

The World Bank’s Victoria Stanley said among the new obstacles widows now face the following:

  • If their male relatives succumb to the pandemic, the standing of already highly dependent women can weaken because of limited legal protections, lack of documentation, and restrictive social norms. They are also at risk of their husband’s relatives trying to grab their land.
  • Pandemics can reduce economic assets like wages and savings, making housing, land and other property even more important. Yet, when conflicts arise over them, women may lack the resources or support to enforce their rights.

Stanley believes, in the short term, it is critical to implement broad protective measures that ensure no one will lose their home during the pandemic; for inheritances, it’s important during the crisis that countries not allow female heirs to sign over their property. Over the long term, she said, reforming inheritance laws and marital property regimes will be key to improving the implementation and enforcement of women’s rights to housing, land and property.

Victoria Stanley
Ms. Stanley, Senior Land Administration Specialist at the World Bank: “the pandemic is placing [widows] in a precarious situation.” Photo by Victoria Stanley, Twitter
“It’s time we break down the barriers to women’s access to land around the world, and make sure to protect women’s rights while the pandemic places them in a precarious situation,” Stanley said.11

Such legal steps are advocated by two members of the law school faculty at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria. Fatimah AbdulRasq and Ayinla Lukman say it is hard to gauge COVID-19’s legal impact on widows, and there is no assurance of established parameters to guarantee relief packages aimed at widows and other needy citizens are implemented.12

“Despite the relief packages and palliatives provided by government, private individuals and organizations to the populace, much ought to be done to specifically target the welfare of widows and ensure that their plight is positively addressed,” the professors said in an article for the Institute for African Women in Law.13

Jeeva, already a widow, lost her family home and all that she owned when the tsunami wave hit her village in Tamil Nadu. She had nowhere to go or anyway to survive with her two children. It was during this time that Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers discovered her plight and began to immediately help her with relief supplies. Eventually, as they determined Jeeva was a widow with no other means to recover her loss, it was decided Gospel for Asia (GFA) would provide her with a house that her family could live in. Jeeva was deeply touched by God’s love demonstrated through their actions.

Providing Direct Aid

In addition to the United Nations’ observance of International Widows Day, a variety of charities, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations work year-round to shine a spotlight on the plight of widows and relieve their suffering. The Global Fund for Widows calls it an “epidemic,” with widows subject to such problems as food insecurity, poor health, poor education, human trafficking, extremist groups, a lack of shelter, and no access to justice.14

Stand in the Gap Widows Team
Staffers Melissa Phenicie and Glenda Love are speaking up for widows in Tulsa, OK by voicing their common needs to church leadership and offering the tested and proven Stand in the Gap for Widows program to churches for free.

Photo by Stand in the Gap Ministries

Some organizations come from a faith-based perspective, like Stand in the Gap Ministries, which advocates that more churches establish ministries to widows and offer practical help, like hosting regular widows-only social gatherings, offering education in home maintenance, and facilitating small groups.

Then there is the practical assistance offered in the field by NGOs like Gospel for Asia (GFA World). While long active in widows’ assistance, the organization instituted specific relief measures soon after lockdowns began in the first quarter of 2020.

In March and April, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers in one region of Asia visited three different villages to distribute more than 400 food kits consisting of three kilograms of mixed vegetables, four kilograms of rice and one liter of oil to widows.

“I am a poor widow,” said one recipient named Sabella, 37. “Due to the lockdown, my survival became so hard. Like me, there are many in our village who are starving. Pastor Lesharo with the compassionate heart distributed raw food kits to many people in our village. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the church for providing the food supplies.”

In mid-April, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers in another area gave essential items to 50 widows and other individuals. After receiving permission from local authorities, the pastors organized a program to provide for those struggling amidst the lockdown with a package that included 11 pounds of rice, two pounds of lentils, six pounds of potatoes and a bar of soap.

“During this untimely crisis, [the church] in my village stood beside us to help the poor families by providing them with food items,” said a member of the village council. “I feel proud of them. I want to thank [them] for their great help.”15

Such gifts reflect the aid given throughout the years via GFA World’s widows ministry, which provides women in desperate situations with tangible necessities. K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World), said this kind of aid has long been needed because in some Asian cultures a widow can be stripped of her dignity, worth and human rights. When coronavirus struck, the need grew, he said.

Woman toiling in labor to provide for her family.
Serving as farm laborers in various parts of South Asia, women working in cultivation and farming earn less than $2 for one days’ work. Becoming widowed can jeopardize even that modest income.

“These women are typically daily wage laborers, the very group hit hardest by the government shutdowns instituted to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” reported GFA World. “Already struggling to feed their families, they were suddenly unable to work. Widows often are victims of poverty, ostracism and humiliation, and they can be vulnerable to abuse. Many receive little help from relatives as they care for their children.”16

However, by helping lift their burdens by providing income-generating gifts (like sewing machines) and vocational training, clothing, basic essentials, and the comfort, encouragement and assurance of God’s love, generous donors can help these widows hear promises like that found in Isaiah 41:9–10: “I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Many widows are waiting for those who will join their hands with God’s. Their suffering, grief and pain can be alleviated, in part, through practical expressions of God’s loving kindness.

Through GFA, your donation can help widows in practical, tangible ways.


Give to Help Widows »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to do something today about the plight of widows around the world, please share this article with your friends and consider making a generous gift to GFA World to help widows in South Asia and other locations.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Coronavirus Intensifies Hardships for Widows  Part 1


About GFA World

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Read more blogs on GFA World, WidowsWorld Missions and the Coronavirus Pandemic on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Widows Face Uphill Battle After Losing Spouses — The plight of widows, whether in affluent or developing nations, can be a desperate struggle


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Widows & Coronavirus | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

October 24, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this 1st part of a Special Report update on the extraordinary pressures and hardships of widows intensified by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Widows due to the Coronavirus Pandemic endure extraordinary hardships
Gospel for Asia (GFA) Sisters of Compassion visit Asian widows regularly to talk, help and provide hope and prayer.
Widow receiving relief package amid Coronavirus Pandemic
While visiting a famished, poor widow living among huts in this slum area in Telangana, Gospel for Asia (GFA) provided a food packet consisting of mixed vegetables, rice and oil to sustain her, and ten others, during the pandemic. She said: “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for providing these food supplies.”

As I conveyed in a previous Special Report, the plight of widows, whether in affluent or developing nations, can be a desperate struggle. In this update, I share how the coronavirus has compounded their hardships even further.

For women worldwide who have lost husbands during the COVID-19 pandemic, grief and pain are an overwhelming experience. But for many of these women, their sorrow has been multiplied to an unbearable level due to isolation, expulsion from family, loss of property rights, and other extraordinary pressures that are often overlooked.

In America, while pandemic fears started to ease as vaccine distribution ramped up in the spring of 2021, for widows who lost spouses during the past two years, the pain is only beginning. Many young widows forged support bonds through Facebook, Zoom or other electronic means even as lockdowns and social distancing practices prevented them from gathering in person. A recent NBC News investigation discovered the following:

Among the newly grieving spouses is Pamela Addison of Waldwick, New Jersey. She became a widow in April 2020 at age 36 after her husband was exposed to the virus while conducting swallow evaluations on speech pathology patients.

“All my friends had their husbands, they were healthy,” Addison told a reporter from NBC News. “I knew only me. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, nobody else is going to understand what I’m going through—and that was a whole other part of my grief.”1

Graphic representation of different kinds of women widows.
The Modern Widows Club provides various services for widows, including one that helps locate support groups in person or online for ongoing empathy. Photo by Modern Widows Club

After receiving inspiration from a sympathy card, Addison launched the Facebook support group Young Widows and Widowers of Covid-19. In its first two months, it surpassed 80 members from the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Another member, Kristina Scorpo, 33, of Paterson, New Jersey, commented: “We didn’t plan to be widowed at 36 or 33. We didn’t plan to raise our kids without our partners that we saw our lives with and we saw a future with. It was like [people in the group] knew exactly what the other was going to say, because we had been through all the same things, and it’s a really great thing that life brought us together.”2

Some who have lost spouses find common identity in their ethnic background, like those who are part of Black Women Widows Empowered. It was launched by Sabra Robinson of Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2015 after she lost her husband to cancer in 2012. Last year, the more than 700 members included at least 20 who had lost spouses to COVID-19.

“I feel for all these ladies, black or white,” Robinson said. “There’s so many COVID widows now, and they don’t have to be COVID widows.”3

Widow from Nepal toiling in labor
Nepal: Having lost her husband, Esther’s life is difficult, although she’s grateful to still have her land. She sows corn manually by hand to grow a life-sustaining crop for her family during the rainfed conditions from April to August.

Yet there is strength in their affinity, says member Erika Taylor-Ruffin of Apple Valley, California, who credits the group with “saving her life.”

“When you’re an African American widow, it’s like you still have to be strong,” Taylor-Ruffin said. “We can’t show weakness. This group allows us to be vulnerable and to show our pain without being judged. [There] is something about being around women who understand your pain.”4

While the grief and sorrow of COVID-19 widows is profound in developed countries like the United States, in developing countries of the world, the painful losses widows experience are amplified to an entirely different level.

“COVID-19 is a widow-maker,” Karol Boudreaux, chief program officer at the land rights charity Landesa, said in a webinar organized by the Land Portal online platform. “[The virus] exacerbates an already unequal situation for men and women.”

Boudreaux referred to a Tanzanian widow who was unable to stop the illegal sale of her property in another city due to limited land rights and COVID-19 travel restrictions as an example of this inequity.

It’s been a decade since the United Nations organized International Widows Day, which is observed annually on June 23. The UN says there are 258 million widows worldwide, with a ratio of nearly 1 in 10 living in extreme poverty.

258 million widows worldwide, with a ratio of nearly 1 in 10, are living in extreme poverty.On last year’s International Widows Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said when countries build back from COVID-19, they must also work to dismantle laws that discriminate against women. He said the isolation and economic hardships brought on by the pandemic can further compromise widows’ ability to support themselves and their families and cut them off from social connections during their greatest time of grief.

“The death of a partner at any time can leave many women without rights to inheritance of property,” Guterres said. “In times of a pandemic, these losses are often multiplied for widows and accompanied by stigma and discrimination.”5

The UN also says that the actual number of widows is likely to grow much higher and expand further as the coronavirus and its related impact on health continues: “The pandemic has just worsened the situation during the past several months with a devastating human loss, and one that is likely leaving tens of thousands of women newly widowed at just the time they are cut off from their usual socio-economic and family supports.”6

This family of a widow is planting an entire field completely by hand.
Uttar Pradesh, India: When a husband is lost to COVID-19, for example, the remaining widow will often need to mobilize her remaining family to survive. This family, fortunate to have land, is planting an entire field completely by hand.

Widows Rights Routinely Violated During Pandemic


An article reported from Johannesburg, South Africa, on the same Tanzanian story referenced by Karol Boudreaux—written by Kim Harrisberg for the Thomson Reuters Foundation—said that women often only earn legal or socially recognized rights to land and property through a husband or father. These rights are regularly violated during times of disaster, whether that be a war, the HIV/AIDS crisis or the coronavirus.

She quoted Patricia Chaves, head of the women’s rights charity Espaco Feminista, as saying that in Brazil when a man dies, women are approached at the funeral about selling their land.

Widows supported by Widow's Might program of Kenya Hope
Kenya: Because polygamy is practiced widely, when a husband dies from COVID-19, he often leaves behind several wives with multiple children. These vulnerable women are frequently preyed upon. The Widow’s Might program of Kenya Hope supports these women by providing them with food assistance each month, giving them five goats in the first year to start their own self sustaining herd, and by training them with marketable skills, all in God’s love. Photo by Kenya Hope, Widow’s Might Program

Chaves said that poor women have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic because they are forced to put themselves at risk to feed their families while isolating in poor housing conditions.

In Kenya, there are reports that widows were forced out of their homes by their in-laws during quarantine because they were seen as an extra burden and not really part of the family, said Victoria Stanley, a World Bank land specialist.

“Widows depend on their (deceased) husbands for their property rights. There may be pressure from families to return properties or they may be forced into marriages with other family members. This could be devastating if we aren’t paying attention,” said Stanley, who called for a moratorium on evictions to protect women’s rights during the pandemic.7

Of course, when it comes to suffering, widows have experienced this long before last year’s lockdowns.

A widow begs on a busy road
Afghanistan: A widow begs for food on a busy road in Kabul; the two loaves of bread she has are the entire dinner for her family of eight. According to Sharia teachings, widows only get an eighth of the inheritance from their spouse’s death if the husband has children (if not, then one quarter). The rest is distributed amongst other family members. Photo by Lacuna Magazine, Widowhood in Afghanistan

One example is in Afghanistan, home to “the hill of widows.” The term refers to women who eke out independence in a society that shuns them and condemns them as immoral. The first residents settled on a stony slope outside Kabul in the 1990s, hoping to escape the stigma attached to women who have lost their spouse.

The war-torn nation was home to approximately 2.5 million widows in 2017. Often uneducated and shuttered away at home, the women have few options when their husband dies. According to a report by a French news agency, “At best, they receive $150 a year from the government if their husband was killed in fighting. They survive by doing household chores, a little sewing, or by sending their children to beg in the bazaar.

“Women are perceived as being owned by their father before becoming their husband’s property. Widows are often rejected as immoral or regarded as burdens: they suffer violence, expulsion, ostracism and sometimes forced remarriage, often with a brother-in-law, as reported by the UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a rare study published in 2014.”8
Widow from Nigeria
Nigeria: Deborah’s husband was shot and killed in raids by Muslim extremists. After her husband’s death, her in-laws wanted her to leave her home so they could profit from it. They consistently abused her and pressured her to leave. Soon, she gave in, left her home and rented a house. She was hopeless, alone, and filled with grief. And ready to give up on life, until she received help to survive from an Open Doors trauma center. Photo by Open Doors USA

Similar difficulties face widows in Nigeria. In one state in the geopolitical region of South East Nigeria, legislators enacted laws in 2001 prohibiting widows from being compelled to do such things as shave their heads, be locked in the room with their husband’s corpse, or be compelled to remarry a relative of her late husband’s. Yet nearly two decades later, some of these practices were being kept alive through sociocultural norms, said an early 2020 report by a group of health researchers.

“There are often frictions between cultural practices and state policies/laws, as well as human rights, which obstruct policy implementation,” they wrote. “The lack of resources in low-resource regions adds to the difficulty in enforcing laws and policies, especially in rural areas, giving room for abhorrent cultural practices to thrive. These conditions prolong and intensify the traumatic experiences of widows.”9


Give to Help Widows »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to do something today about the plight of widows around the world, please share this article with your friends and consider making a generous gift to GFA World to help widows in South Asia and other locations.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Coronavirus Intensifies Hardships for Widows  Part 2


About GFA World

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Read more blogs on GFA World, WidowsWorld Missions and the Coronavirus Pandemic on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Widows Face Uphill Battle After Losing Spouses — The plight of widows, whether in affluent or developing nations, can be a desperate struggle


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Widows & Coronavirus | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

May 6, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this second part of a Special Report update on Malaria making a comeback amid the worldwide impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

Progress Ebbs and Flows in the Fight to Beat Malaria

Recent developments in the fight against Malaria have placed a heightened spotlight on World Malaria Day, observed on April 25. Fortunately, despite the high death toll and other troublesome signs lately, not all the news about malaria treatment is bad. There are gains amid the setbacks.

Woman receives mosquito net.
This woman in West Bengal was very grateful to Believers Eastern Church and its leaders for providing her with a mosquito net to protect herself and her family from vector borne diseases like malaria.

One positive example is Myanmar, where the annual malaria death toll of 3,800 a decade ago has decreased to approximately 170. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria credits the efforts of 17,000 community volunteers who provide rapid testing and treatment, with serious cases referred to health facilities. Volunteers also educate the public through national antimalaria campaigns.14 Unfortunately, it’s unknown if the recent military coup in Myanmar will adversely impact the recent progress it’s achieved in the prevention of malaria.

News of another positive development appeared last October in Legion. About the same time the United States revealed a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by the end of 2020, the Canadian magazine reported that a noted medical journal announced a new approach to fighting malaria.

Legion reported a clinical researcher for the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has developed a vaccine for mosquito-borne diseases, based on mosquito spit. It causes the immune system to recognize mosquito saliva proteins and produce antibodies. The antibodies promote immunity by binding to pathogens to prevent them from damaging cells, plus coating pathogens and alerting other immune cells to attack and remove them.

“Those antibodies recognize the proteins the next time they’re encountered, sparking an immune response that goes into action to impair or prevent infection—and not just to malaria, it turns out,” wrote author Sharon Adams. “In animal studies, saliva vaccines impaired development of mosquito-borne Zika virus and sandfly-borne leishmaniasis.”15

In the first human trial of this vaccine in 2017, Adams said a strong immune response was observed among 49 volunteers, with only minor side effects. Next it will be tested on larger groups; if clinical trials continue to prove successful, the first effective malaria vaccine may be just around the corner.

Mother and child resting inside their mosquito net
Maya from a village in Uttar Pradesh was given a mosquito net as a Christmas gift by Gospel for Asia. She can now protect her family from mosquito bites that transmit vector-borne diseases like malaria, Zika, dengue, encephalitis and more.

In addition to this promising development, a European magazine carried a report from a healthcare company official saying there are antimalaria positives to be gained from the COVID-19 fight. Hogan Bassey, a Nigerian native who experienced several bouts with malaria as a child, noted that the pandemic highlighted system failings in global healthcare. He said if we are able to address those problems, the world will be better positioned to eradicate malaria and other diseases.

The chief innovation officer and founder of LivFul said his company is working with others—including nonprofits—to develop a repellent that it hopes will prove an efficient control tool. It has been working on a project in Ghana with a pharmaceutical company to improve one of the repellant’s ingredients, using LivFul’s technology to drive access.

Hogan Bassey
After moving to the USA from Nigeria, Hogan Bassey began to work on an insect repellent formula to change the world. The true breakthrough for his new company, LivFul, came after partnering with a physical chemist to create a brand-new technology which allows insect repellent to remain on top of the applicant’s skin for 14 hours at a time. Photo by Terry News

“When we developed a revolutionary family-friendly insect repellent to halt the transmission of diseases like malaria and Dengue fever, we knew we could have a significant impact on insect-borne disease,” Bassey wrote in EPM Magazine. “If people in malaria-prone areas can purchase and use our repellent, these diseases can be stopped before they destroy lives, families, communities and industries.”16

Such a product won’t be the first tool developed. National Geographic recently reported hundreds of thousands of children across Kenya, Malawai and Ghana have been receiving the RTS,S vaccine, whose development has taken 35 years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. While some African health professionals have asked if the expense and logistics of multiple vaccinations are worth it, the magazine said some Chinese scientists have been utilizing a new approach: preventing malaria from even occurring.

It goes back to 1972, when the Chinese discovered Artemisinin, a drug used to treat malaria. Now, scientists there believe Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) can be delivered to an entire community simultaneously, through Mass Drug Administrations. The goal is to reduce levels of the malaria parasite in human blood, so mosquitoes won’t contract it and spread it.

“The life cycle for a mosquito is 30 days,” explains Ethan Peng, senior manager in Kenya for the Chinese company New South, which manufactures ACTs. “So by mass medication, we can clear the source from all human beings (so) the mosquitoes cannot pick up on the malaria parasite again with their short lifespan.”17

Crowd and woman walking away happily after receiving the gift of mosquito nets
People in rural villages in West Bengal often suffer from malaria, but these folk were very happy to receive mosquito nets for their families. Over eight hundred mosquito nets were gifted to the villagers who come from economically poor backgrounds, and might not have been able to afford to buy them on their own.

Mosquito Nets Still the Leading Tool for Protection

Children sleeping peacefully under the protection of a mosquito net.
Vandana and Vaibhav are sleeping peacefully on their bed in Maharashtra under their mosquito net which protects them from mosquito bites. They received their bed nets from a Christmas gift distribution from Gospel for Asia.

When it comes to fighting malaria, the bed net still appears to be the leading tool. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, WHO malaria scientist Pedro Alonso expected the biggest malaria disaster in 20 years after African countries temporarily suspended bed net campaigns.

That didn’t seem to be happening, the scientist said five months later. He credited lobbying by WHO’s Global Malaria Programme and its partners, which persuaded countries to resume their net distribution campaigns. Despite concerns over continuing COVID-19 problems, Alonso said, “We probably stopped the first big blow.”18

Among the many non-governmental organizations doing their part to distribute mosquito nets is Gospel for Asia (GFA).

Since 2010, GFA has distributed more than 1.3 million nets to at-risk residents in mosquito-prone areas, including 380,000 in 2019 (many are treated with insecticide, with availability depending on local conditions).

These efforts are augmented by distribution of malaria pills at GFA’s medical camps. In 2019 the organization hosted nearly 1,300 camps, which are free to attendees.

The difference net distributions make can be seen in the stories of people like Baharupa, a 55-year-old farmer and father of three who felt pressured to drink alcohol at many village-wide events. Not only did he often wind up drunk, he developed an addiction. That all changed after Satyam, a GFA worker, organized a distribution of 4,000 nets.

Bhranti
After 71 years, Bhranti, a widow, no longer has to worry about mosquitoes biting her in the night thanks to the new bed net she received from a distribution event.

“Who can give us mosquito nets without money?” Baharupa wondered. “This shows [the believers’] love towards us.”19This experience so touched Baharupa that it began a transformation in his life.

Another story of relief involves a 71-year-old widow whose husband had died more than a decade prior. With four daughters all married, Bhranti spent evenings alone, worried about the tattered net providing her only protection from mosquitoes. She received a new net through a distribution organized by a GFA worker.

“I am so grateful to the [GFA workers] for their love and care and for providing a mosquito net,” Bhranti says. “Now I do not need to worry about buying a mosquito net as I have been provided a new one.”20

Even amid the problems COVID-19 has caused in poorer parts of the world, GFA’s supporters have been able to help local workers in the field save lives and prevent more tragedies during the pandemic, says Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder, Dr. K.P. Yohannan.

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, GFA Founder
Dr. K.P. Yohannan,
GFA World Founder

“Without proper prevention or treatment, the consequences of a simple mosquito bite are very serious in many places of the world,” Yohannan says. “But for just $10, we can protect numerous lives, one net at a time.”


What can we do about mosquito-driven scourges? »

One simple way to fight mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, is to consider giving a needy family a simple Mosquito Net. For only $10, Gospel for Asia’s field partners can distribute one of these effective nets to an at-risk family in Asia and provide them with safety from insects during the day and at night.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Malaria Makes Comeback Amid Pandemic  Part 1


About GFA World

GFA World (formerly known as Gospel for Asia) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. In the years ahead, GFA World expects to launch programs in numerous African nations, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Read more blogs on GFA World, Malaria, Mosquito Nets and the COVID 19 Pandemic on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Winning the Ancient Conflict Between Man and Mosquito — Know Your Enemy or Succumb to Vector-borne Diseases

KP Yohannan has issued two statements about the COVID-19 situation found here and here.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Water Stress | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

Read what 24 Christian Leaders are affirming about Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

November 22, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada Discussing GFA World’s report citing the lifesaving impact of malaria-fighting efforts across Asia as the world searches for a cure for COVID-19.

The hunt for a cure for COVID-19 draws attention to another “forgotten” health crisis that continues to claim more than 400,000 lives around the world every year — mosquito-borne malaria.

Hunt for COVID 19 cure highlights "forgotten" malaria health crisis that continues to claim more than 400,000 lives worldwide yearly.
ANOTHER DEADLY SCOURGE: Political leaders and doctors suggest readily available anti-malarial drugs may be beneficial in treating coronavirus patients as Gospel for Asia (GFA World) and other organizations highlight the much-overlooked “deadly scourge” of malaria.

As some political leaders and doctors suggest readily available anti-malarial drugs may be beneficial in treating coronavirus patients, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) and other organizations are highlighting the much-overlooked “deadly scourge” of malaria.

World Malaria Day — an annual awareness event — is April 25 each year, and malaria-fighting organizations like Gospel for Asia (GFA) are eager to see that the ongoing battle against the mosquito-spread menace doesn’t get ignored or forgotten because of COVID-19.

Almost half the world’s population is at risk from malaria — spread by infected mosquitoes — and children under five years are the most vulnerable, says a new Gospel for Asia (GFA World) report, titled Mosquito-Driven Scourge Touches Even Developed Nations.

Despite the effectiveness of anti-malarial drugs like chloroquine — recently touted as a treatment for coronavirus — malaria still kills more than 400,000 people worldwide every year, more than double the global coronavirus death toll to date.

Each year, there are more than 200 million reported cases of malaria, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. So far, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide stands at about 2.5 million and rising.

Mosquito Nets: Ten Dollar Lifesavers

Describing malaria as a “deadly scourge,” GFA World’s report is one of a series of in-depth special reports by the Texas-based mission agency examining critical global issues, promoting awareness, and challenging people to respond. A life-saving mosquito net costs as little as $10 — but that’s more than many of Asia’s poorest families, who earn less than $2 a day, can afford.

“For many years. . . teams across South Asia have been engaged in malaria prevention,” said Dr. Daniel, director of Believers Eastern Church’s medical ministry in Asia. “These committed local workers, often trekking miles on foot, distribute free mosquito nets — some 360,000 last year alone – to prevent malaria infection and provide clean water and community sanitation to help reduce mosquito breeding grounds.”

Although malaria has a lower mortality rate than coronavirus, the financial toll of malaria is huge. According to estimates, malaria costs the African economy $12 billion every year through healthcare and loss of productivity and investment.

With much of South Asia currently under COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is supporting outreaches to those most severely impacted — including impoverished day laborers unable to earn money for food. Teams are providing free meals as well as mosquito nets.

“Even in lockdown amid COVID-19, we in the West have the opportunity to pray at home and support local workers in the field to save lives,” said India-born Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan, whose mission has served the poor in Asia for 40-plus years and has become one of the biggest mission organizations in the world.


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA) is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear the “good news” of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 clean water wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Learn more by reading these Special Reports:

KP Yohannan has issued two statements about the COVID-19 situation found here and here.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

Source: Gospel for Asia: Digital Media Room

April 27, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed the nation of India under a 21-day Janata (all people) curfew to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic among the country’s 1.3 billion residents. He announced the nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed India under a 21-day Janata curfew Coronavirus pandemic lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.Although the number of reported cases and deaths due to the Coronavirus remain relatively low in India, the population density is a matter of significant concern. The higher the population density, the easier it may be for the virus to spread. India is home to an average of more than 450 people per square kilometer. The major metropolitan areas of Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai each have more than 20,000 people per square kilometer.

Social distancing and isolating in place have already proven to be effective in staving the spread of the virus. A Janata curfew, ordering everyone to stay home, appears to be the best means the Prime Minister has at this time to protect his people.

Nonetheless, a complete cessation of activity could undermine a nation’s economy, even if it has been the fastest growing in the world.

So, what should churches do during a lockdown? Should they shut their doors, or should they continue to meet?

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia (GFA World), has set an example for all church leaders by issuing a statement regarding is instructions to GFA-supported churches impacted by the curfew.

“The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, called on the nation to show ‘resolve’ and ‘restraint’ as we together face the menace of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of the speech, I would like to reiterate the fact that we stand together with the Prime Minister and the citizens of the country and are determined to do all we can to keep ourselves and our country safe. Heeding to the call of the ‘Janata curfew’ on Sunday the 22nd, I have instructed … that all our Sunday services … stand canceled all across the country. We must also avoid house visiting and prayer meetings unless it is an absolute emergency.”

What makes Yohannan’s message so significant is that is an example for all Christians, regardless of where we live. Yohannan’s commitment to Scripture is without question. Read Romans 13:1–2.

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Complying with a government shutdown, whether in India or in the United States, is not a matter of politics or personal preferences. It is a matter of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and His written Word. Failing to comply with a government order is not courageous. It is disobedience. Following the Prime Minister’s directive is the biblical thing to do. The right thing to do.

Pray for the examples of the all the believers in India and around the world to demonstrate obedience. Obedience is another hallmark of our faith. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” May we all be found doing so. The world is watching.


KP Yohannan has issued two statements about the Coronavirus situation found here and here.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus


Sources:

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March 24, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan – Hundreds of millions of people around the world can’t take the most basic precaution against the coronavirus or other diseases — because they don’t have clean water or soap to wash their hands, mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World) warned recently.

Marking World Water Day, March 22, GFA says millions worldwide don't have clean water, soap to wash hands in battle against coronavirus
HANDWASHING CRISIS: Hundreds of millions of people around the world can’t take the most basic precaution against coronavirus — because they don’t have clean water or soap to wash their hands, warns mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org) on the eve of World Water Day, March 22.

Experts say one of the most effective ways to halt the deadly virus — which has killed almost 8,000 people worldwide so far — is to wash hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds.

“Many people are terrified and living in fear right now,” said GFA World founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan, to mark World Water Day, March 22, an annual awareness event. “But with more than 2,000 people—mostly kids—who die every day from diarrhea alone, simply because they don’t have access to clean water to drink or wash their hands, that helps put things in perspective.

“For hundreds of millions of people, the coronavirus, though dangerous, is the least of their problems.”

The coronavirus — known as COVID-19 and declared a global pandemic — has spread to more than 160 countries and every U.S. state, with numbers climbing daily.

Stepping up its campaign to promote handwashing as the “frontline defense” against the coronavirus, the Global Handwashing Partnership, a coalition of health agencies, said handwashing with soap could reduce acute respiratory infections like the coronavirus by nearly 25 percent.

“Handwashing with soap is easy and saves lives,” the coalition said.

But for more than half the world’s population, “handwashing with soap and clean water is not easy at all,” said Yohannan. “It’s a problem we as a ministry have been actively helping to combat for years.”

According to the United Nations, 4.2 billion people around the world lack basic sanitation, including handwashing facilities that many in developed nations take for granted.

Under ‘Water Stress’

To make matters worse, the UN reports two billion people worldwide — one in every four people on the planet — live in regions experiencing “high water stress” or acute water shortages, primarily in South Asia and Africa. And a quarter of Earth’s major cities face a water crisis too, as detailed by Gospel for Asia in The Global Clean Water Crisis.

“While we simply turn on a tap and press a soap dispenser, countless millions of people have to trek miles on foot to a communal well if they’re fortunate — or to a dirty watering hole if they’re not,” said Yohannan, whose Texas-based mission has helped the extreme poor in Asia for four decades, providing thousands of clean water pumps called Jesus Wells that supply entire villages.

In Asia’s slums, GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers teach tens of thousands of children how to protect themselves against viruses like COVID-19 by practicing safe hygiene habits such as frequent handwashing.

“GFA applauds the efforts of agencies and governments around the world to promote handwashing and stop the coronavirus,” Yohannan said. “As our ministry serves the poorest of the poor in the name of Jesus, we also want to draw attention to the fact that, as we mark World Water Day, millions upon millions of people are unable to even properly or safely wash their hands — and we have to change that.”


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA World, and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear the “good news” of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 clean water wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Media interested in interviews with Gospel For Asia should contact Gregg Wooding at InChrist Communications @ 972-567-7660 or gwooding@inchristcommuications.com


Source: Christian News Wire

Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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February 27, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, is challenging Christians around the world this week to pray about the coronavirus, and fast for divine intervention during the upcoming Lent season.

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is calling for Christians to pray and fast during the upcoming Lent season for those who are suffering from the Coronavirus outbreak.
CALL TO LENTEN PRAYER: Mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA) today called for Christians to pray and fast during the upcoming Lent season for God’s mercy on those who are suffering, especially those who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Gospel for Asia (GFA) has unveiled a new devotional website for Lent 2020, https://www.gfa.org/press/lent/.

Unveiling a new devotional website for Lent 2020, https://www.gfa.org/press/lent/, Gospel for Asia (GFA) called Christians to pray and fast for others who are suffering — including those impacted by the deadly coronavirus outbreak, victims of human sex trafficking, children enslaved in forced labor, and others suffering social injustice.

Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, focusing on fasting, repentance, and charity. Many Christians who observe Lent refrain from eating certain foods such as meat for a period of time, using the cash savings to help others in need. Others voluntarily give up an activity they enjoy, and instead use the time to pray and encourage others.

“Our world today desperately needs God’s intervention and grace,” said Danny Yohannan, Gospel for Asia (GFA) vice president.

“The Lenten season is a purposeful opportunity in which we seek God and ask him to give us his heart for the suffering people of the world. At this time, it’s especially important and appropriate to pray for his mercy upon all those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as other tragedies such as sex trafficking and exploitive labor.”

The coronavirus is just one of many critical issues facing the world today. Billions of people around the world are surrounded by rampant poverty, hunger, disease, and sexual exploitation, leaving them with no hope.

“Lent is a time when we can choose to make a simple sacrifice to embrace a cause that is close to the heart of God,” said Yohannan.

“Tangible actions and conscious choices we make during the season of Lent should bring us closer to Jesus, help us to become more like him, and provide us with a real opportunity to be Christ’s hands to those who need to know he loves them.”

Regarding Coronavirus: One Billion Lenten Adherents Asked to Observe in Prayer, Reverence & Holy Awe

According to estimates, this year more than a billion Christians around the world will observe Lent. The Lenten tradition is practiced by the majority of Christians globally.

“Many Christians are rediscovering the richness of the Lenten tradition, and are growing closer to Jesus through self-denial, sacrificial giving, fasting, and times of fervent prayer,” Yohannan said.

“There are beautiful elements of this Christian tradition that are important to hold on to. Observing Lent is a hands-on way to help our hearts recapture the reverence and holy awe of God in our lives.”

Gospel for Asia (GFA) has produced a booklet titled The Seasons of Lent: Stepping Stones to Spiritual Renewal and Growth, authored by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, president of the Texas-based agency that he founded in 1979 to help Asia’s extreme poor. The booklet — a practical guide to observing Lent — is available free at www.gfa.org/press/lent/.


About Gospel for Asia

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear the “good news” of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 clean water wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Media interested in interviews with Gospel For Asia should contact Gregg Wooding at InChrist Communications @ 972-567-7660 or gwooding@inchristcommuications.com


Source: FoxNewsChristian News Wire

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January 14, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide, issued this second part of a Special Report update on girls facing decreased opportunity and increased violence, the young victims who remain hidden in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pensive mother and child
The most pressing question is what will happen to a generation of girls whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic?

A Pandemic of Abuse and Exploitation

Woman and little girl from South Asia
Delhi: Born into an area with one of the highest female suicide rates in the world, this little girl’s mother, most likely, cannot offer a hopeful future to her daughter.

As girls face an increased risk of child marriage, they are also becoming more vulnerable to violence and trafficking.

In May 2020, World Vision, a Christian community development organization, suggested up to 85 million children worldwide would be exposed to physical, sexual or emotional violence for three months over the COVID-19 quarantine.[22] Imagine how many more children have now been impacted—lockdowns in many nations extended to well over a year! And while all children can face violence, girls and young women may also face abuse from a husband or boyfriend, rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

UNICEF reports that approximately 120 million girls and young women under age 20 have been raped or forced to perform sexual acts.[23] According to the World Health Organization, around 1 in 3 women endure physical or sexual violence from a romantic partner or sexual violence from some person during their lifetime.[24]

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,

Executive Director of UN Women
Photo by New African Woman Magazine

“It’s deeply disturbing that this pervasive violence by men against women not only persists unchanged, but is at its worst for young women aged 15-24 who may also be young mothers,” commented Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women. “And that was the situation before the pandemic stay-at-home orders. We know that the multiple impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a ‘shadow pandemic’ of increased reported violence of all kinds against women and girls.”[25]

Human trafficking woman survivor enabled to book a rescue flight
Gifts to Polaris enable them to book airplane rescue flights for human trafficking survivors who need to access services, testify in court, and reunite with their families. Photo by Polaris, Facebook

The pandemic has also increased girls’ risk for human trafficking. In April 2020, the anti-trafficking organization Polaris Project observed a 40-percent spike in the number of crisis calls to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline requiring intervention within 24 hours.[26]

This increase in human trafficking didn’t just occur in the United States, though, and it may have the worst impact on developing nations, some of which have been hardest-hit by the virus. The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime has predicted trafficking rates will increase, especially in places where unemployment rates have rapidly increased, and people from poor communities will likely be trafficked to places recovering more quickly.[27]

According to the World Health Organization, around 1 in 3 women endure physical or sexual violence from a romantic partner or sexual violence from some person during their lifetime. According to 2018 findings, girls comprised about 20 percent of total trafficking victims and 25 percent of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Vectors by Freepik, www.freepik.com
Girl with access to technology
Becuase of COVID girls are spending more time online, which places them at risk to predators who might target them for sexual exploitation or abuse.

This may continue even years from now, due to the pandemic’s ongoing financial and social impacts. Times of economic need make children especially vulnerable to trafficking, and if a girl comes from a dysfunctional family situation or a home where one parent is absent, that also increases her risk for trafficking.[28] Furthermore, in places where children can easily access technology, they are spending more time online, which places girls in the sights of predators who might target them for sexual exploitation or abuse.[29] As the pandemic continues to strain both the economy and family relationships, girls will be increasingly at risk for trafficking. According to 2018 findings, girls comprised about 20 percent of total trafficking victims and 25 percent of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation,[30] but those percentages may increase due to changes in society, such as children’s increased time online, emotional stressors on parents (which may distract their attention from their children) and increased financial burdens on families (which may cause parents, especially in developing countries, to send their daughters to work, thus making them more available to traffickers).

Turning the Tide of the Pandemic’s Impact on Girls

Save the Children’s 2020 Global Girlhood Report
“Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit, progress for girls on some issues was under threat. Now, with reports of gender-based violence increasing across the world … and the number of children living in poverty estimated to climb by around 100 million,” COVID-19 is exacerbating the impacts of gender inequality for girls today. Photo by Save the Children

As reports and predictions increasingly forecast a grim future for girls, it’s clear the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global crisis for girls in a unique way.

Save the Children’s 2020 Global Girlhood Report sums it up: “The worst health impacts for girls might not result from infection with the virus. Instead, the greatest impacts on girls of the COVID-19 crisis are likely to be losing access to other health services, increasing poverty, food insecurity, losing access to education and being exposed to violence.”[31]

Even one year of financial and social upheaval can sow years of consequences. Women like Alexis can attest to the toll taken by years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse or trauma. What will happen to a generation of girls whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic? How many years will it take to overcome the consequences of limited or halted education and increased chances for abuse or exploitation?

Now is the time to stand with non-profit organizations and governing authorities to ensure girls don’t fall through the cracks. Fostering safe communities for girls and promoting their nutrition, health and education can help protect and nurture girls to have a strong future despite the setbacks of a long pandemic.

Child sponsorship programs, including GFA World’s, World Vision’s and Compassion International’s, play a key role in creating safe, healthy communities and ensuring girls receive adequate care, even when lockdowns have prevented students from gathering for their usual tutoring programs.

Pervasive violence by men against women is at its worst for young women aged 15-24 who may also be young mothers. And that was the situation before the pandemic stay-at-home orders. Since then, multiple impacts of COVID-19 have triggered a ‘shadow pandemic’ of increased reported violence of all kinds against women and girls.

Throughout the pandemic, GFA World’s child sponsorship program has worked to meet the basic needs of children in the program, along with their families and communities. Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers provided COVID-19 relief to 2 million people during the pandemic in 2020 alone, and child sponsorship centers became community kitchens.

GFA wWorld food distribution event during the COVID 19 pandemic
Tamil Nadu: The Gospel for Asia (GFA World) child sponsorship center organized dry ration kit distribution to needy families in August 2020. The center provided rice, oil, toor dhal, turmeric powder, mustard seed and fenugreek seed – 1 packet each to 78 girls and their families.

At one food distribution event during the pandemic, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers met Ajia, a 13-year-old girl who was caring for two younger brothers. They have parents, but their parents were living in a different country to find work and were sending money home to their children—until they lost work due to the pandemic. This left the children without money for their basic living expenses. The Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers were able to give Ajia and her siblings needed supplies and groceries.

“Thank you for your love and care toward us,” Ajia said. “You are the one who knew about our situation and fulfilled our needs.”

By providing something as basic as food, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers are helping girls stay healthy—and keeping girls from begging on the streets, which may lead to exploitation. Hopefully, these free meals and groceries will not only provide for girls’ basic nutrition but also ease families’ financial burdens and encourage hard-pressed parents, making the home environment safer and more positive.

To mitigate the effects of the pandemic on girls’ well-being, child sponsorship programs and other non-profits must be able to continue their community development work to meet communities’ basic health and safety needs. Gospel for Asia (GFA World) and other organizations provide practical care to communities that benefits girls, such as clean water and sanitation facilities. Clean water is vital for everyone at all times, but it is even more important for girls so they can practice good menstrual hygiene, which is often compromised during times of emergency.[32] Constructing toilets not only improves the health of entire communities, but it also protects girls. Girls who must walk to a distant field to go to the bathroom risk sexual harassment or assault, especially because many go at nighttime for privacy reasons.


Give to Help Girls at Risk »

If you want to support girls in South Asia and Africa, consider a one-time donation to help young victims who have been delivered from desperate situations in their lives, but are still struggling everyday. Your gift will provide for their pressing needs, while we locate permanent sponsors to cover their monthly needs to remain in school.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Young Victims Remain Hidden in Pandemic’s Shadow  Part 1, Part 3


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news/.


Read more blogs on GFA World, National Missionary Workers, World Missions and the COVID 19 Pandemic on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia on the Lord’s work in 2020 through GFA and the partnerships worldwide while following Him in His work in 16 nations, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Widows & Coronavirus | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

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Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

January 10, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide, issued this first part of a Special Report update on girls facing decreased opportunity and increased violence, the young victims who remain hidden in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) issued this Special Report on girls facing decreased opportunity, increased violence, hidden by the pandemic

Alexis Martin
Alexis Ke’Erica Martin, a child sex trafficking survivor, was recently released from life in adult prison for the murder of her trafficker, although another person committed the fatal shooting while Ke was trying to escape from the abuse. Photo by Alexis Ke’Erica Martin Support Fund GoFundMe

In April 2020, most people around the globe were adjusting to life at home as governments instituted lockdown orders intended to curb the spread of COVID-19. To many, the limitations on normal activities, travel and socializing felt confining.

But for 22-year-old Alexis Martin, April 2020 meant a taste of freedom after more than six years in prison—and before that, sex trafficking.[1]

In an article for The Washington Post, Jessica Contrera shares how Alexis ended up in prison. By age 15, Alexis had experienced so many of the most horrific things that can happen to a girl—sexual abuse, rape, a miscarriage and sex trafficking. Her trafficker, Angelo Kerney, didn’t allow her to attend school and beat her when she threatened to run away. In Alexis’ desperation to escape, she became involved in a robbery plot that ended in the murder of Kerney. The teenage girl was then tried as an adult and sentenced to decades in prison.[2]

Then, in April 2020, the Ohio governor commuted Alexis’ sentence, allowing her to go free with parole. Even with this taste of freedom, she continues to face challenges, such as finding a job, due to the trauma she faced as a teenager and the black mark of a prison sentence.[3]

Woman suffering
Pundits were anticipating that the pandemic’s economic strain on families and the shutting down of schools would negatively impact the general well-being of girls, including their safety, health and education.

Alexis’ story is one of many showing how the abuse and exploitation of girls can have devastating consequences. Her story happened in America, a country where girls typically have many freedoms and opportunities that girls in developing nations do not. And Alexis’ story happened before a pandemic that caused far-reaching social and economic impacts for the entire world.

In some places, such as the United States, the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of many restrictions have made the virus seem more distant. Yet lurking in its shadow is a crisis threatening the safety and health of girls. As social isolation and poverty have increased, girls have potentially become the most under-recognized victim group of the pandemic.

Globally, the pandemic has threatened girls’ education, increased their risk for the kind of abuse and trafficking that devastated Alexis’ teenage years, and made them more vulnerable to child marriage and teen pregnancy. While statistics from 2021 regarding girls’ well-being remain to be counted, in spring 2020 non-profit organizations were already predicting that the pandemic’s economic strain on families and the shutting down of schools would negatively impact the health, education, safety and general well-being of girls if communities didn’t prioritize giving girls needed attention, care and education.

Two girls posing on a school balcony
For the first time in human history, an entire generation of children globally have had their education disrupted. Now, more than a year later, many children have spent more than a year out of the classroom—and many may never return.

COVID-19: A Long-lasting Threat to Education

1.6 billion learners globally—91% of the total—were out of school in an early April 2020 effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.As COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe in the spring of 2020, governments around the world decided to keep people at home in hopes of slowing the pandemic. Large numbers of people could not work at all, while others lost income as business slowed or stopped due to the drop in customers. This especially hurt low-income workers who could not simply work from home, such as migrant laborers, daily wage laborers and others who lost their livelihood during the lockdowns. Gita Gopinath, an economist and director at the International Monetary Fund, suggests that the pandemic caused the greatest recession since the Great Depression.[4]

Now, with the pandemic further stretching struggling families’ resources, girls likely have faced, and will continue to face, lower chances of receiving needed nutrition and attending school.

As the pandemic curtails girls’ education by forcing them out of the classroom – a problem from which many may never recover – it is also puts them at risk for abuse and exploitation.

Being in a classroom protects girls from sexual predators, unhealthy relationships and abusive parents or relatives. But due to lockdowns, many girls no longer have the classroom as a safe space.

According to the global non-profit Save the Children, “In early April 2020, in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19, an estimated 1.6 billion learners globally—91% of the total—were out of school. For the first time in human history, an entire generation of children globally have had their education disrupted.”[5]

16 year old Tania
Tania’s once hard-working father was suddenly blind and unable to provide as a result of a brutal mugging and acid attack. Tania immediately dropped out of school and began working the overnight shift in a shrimp factory to support her family; while her father begged on the street. Combined, their income was still not enough to feed the family. Fortunately, peeling shrimp didn’t peel away at Tania’s dreams who has big plans to open her own tailoring business. To help her achieve this dream, World Vision provided her with a sewing machine, and fabric. After two months of training, Tania is now able to work at home, where she is safe and makes enough to afford food for her entire family. While she is still working, she now has more time to rest, watch television, play and… just be a normal 16 year old again! Photo by World Vision USA, Instagram

Now, more than a year later, many children have spent more than a year out of the classroom—and may never return.[6]

As girls stay out of school, they risk devastating consequences to their health, well-being and future opportunities. Studies from the Ebola crisis have suggested that once girls were taken out of school due to Ebola, many didn’t return, even long after schools reopened.[7]

School closures pose the greatest challenge for girls in developing nations, where families may be struggling financially and communities may not have access to the technology needed for distance learning. Sometimes girls bear a greater burden in supporting the family during challenging times. They may be given extra household responsibilities, including caring for younger siblings or sick family members; this can decrease their opportunities to do schoolwork at home—and their chances of returning to school when the pandemic subsides.[8]

As schools in some places reopen, the pandemic’s effects are starting to be seen. In Kenya, for example, only 84 percent of teen girls returned to school, while 92 percent of teen boys came back.[9] This could be just the tip of the iceberg. Malala Fund, an NGO supporting girls’ education, estimates 20 million girls in developing countries will not return to the classroom.[10]

As the pandemic is curtailing girls’ education, it is also putting them at risk for abuse, exploitation and violence. Being in the classroom can help protect girls from sexual predators, unhealthy relationships and even abusive parents or relatives. But due to lockdowns, many girls no longer have the classroom as a safe space.[11]

Girls who miss opportunity for education due to financial reasons
In a culture that de-emphasizes a woman’s education, many girls in South Asia leave school at an early age, often due to financial reasons. It becomes their responsibility to work at home taking care of their siblings, doing household chores, fetching water, or preparing meals, which enable their parents to go searching for work.

Girls Pushed into Adult Responsibilities

2.5 million more girls could be at risk of child marriage, and in 2020 alone teen pregnancies may have risen by up to 1 million.Mayawati, a teenager in Nepal, wanted to continue school and study agriculture. “But her family’s struggles during the pandemic made her feel guilty about being a burden to her parents,” wrote Bhadra Sharma and Jeffrey Gettleman for The New York Times.[12] “She dropped out of school, then married a man who worked as a menial laborer. Her dreams … have quietly slipped away.”

Mayawati’s story reflects that of others in Nepal and around the world.[13] Because of the pandemic, parents struggling to feed their children may feel the need to marry off their daughters to reduce the number of mouths they must feed.[14] In addition, as girls spend time out of the classroom, they may spend more time with men and more unsupervised time with boys, which increases their chances for teen pregnancy and child marriage.[15][16]

Save the Children predicts a “dramatic surge in child marriage and adolescent pregnancy”: Within a five-year span, 2.5 million more girls could be at risk of child marriage, and in 2020 alone teen pregnancies may have risen by up to 1 million.[17]

Dr. Flavia Bustreo
Dr. Flavia Bustreo is a leading physician, public health professional and advocate for the health and human rights of women, children, adolescents and the elderly. Photo by United States Mission Geneva, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This means that those girls may lose the chance to ever complete their education, which will limit their chances for jobs in the future. In addition, girls who marry young are more vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence.[18] Child marriage and teen pregnancy also threaten girls’ physical health. Girls who give birth at very young ages can face a host of complications, including miscarriage, obstetric fistula—and death.[19][20]

“Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death in young women aged 15–19,” says Dr. Flavia Bustreo, a leader in the World Health Organization’s Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. “Young girls who marry later and delay pregnancy beyond their adolescence have more chances to stay healthier, to better their education and build a better life for themselves and their families.”[21]


Give to Help Girls at Risk »

If you want to support girls in South Asia and Africa, consider a one-time donation to help young victims who have been delivered from desperate situations in their lives, but are still struggling everyday. Your gift will provide for their pressing needs, while we locate permanent sponsors to cover their monthly needs to remain in school.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Young Victims Remain Hidden in Pandemic’s Shadow  Part 2, Part 3


About GFA World

GFA World (www.gfa.org) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In GFA World’s latest yearly report, this included thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and teaching providing hope and encouragement available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news/.


Read more blogs on GFA World, National Missionary Workers, World Missions and the COVID 19 Pandemic on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia on the Lord’s work in 2020 through GFA and the partnerships worldwide while following Him in His work in 16 nations, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Widows & Coronavirus | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNews, ChristianPost, NYPost, MissionsBox

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

December 30, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide – Discussing Sherwynn, the sudden sickness of his daughter, and the healing that God brought through the prayers of a Gospel for Asia (GFA World) pastor and his church.

Sherwynn sat by his 33-year-old daughter’s bedside, muted hospital sounds in the background. It had been several days since Chantiel’s admission, and yet a solution for her immense leg pain and swelling had not been found. There had to be some way his daughter could be healed, Sherwynn thought.

No Answers for Sudden Sickness

Discussing Sherwynn, the sickness of his daughter, and the healing that God brought through the prayers of a GFA World pastor and his church.
Through meeting a Gospel for Asia (GFA) worker, Sherwynn, like the father and family pictured above, found hope and healing for his daughter, Chantiel.

Chantiel was a mother of three and often joined her husband as a daily laborer to help provide for their children. One night, after returning home from a long day of work, Chantiel awoke from sleep with pain shooting up and down her left leg. Chantiel’s husband immediately took her to the hospital using what little funds they had. Doctors prescribed some medicine, but the pain only increased and was accompanied by intense swelling. Her family took her to a second hospital for better treatment, but still she found no relief.

Chantiel’s father, Sherwynn, visited her during her stay at the hospital. Seeing his daughter in the hospital bed made his heart sink. The medicine wasn’t working, and the doctors didn’t have any other solutions. Was there anything he could do?

Then Sherwynn remembered something: Maybe there was a place where he could find some help, where sick people went and left healed. The doctors couldn’t help, so Sherwynn took his daughter home and decided to pay one of his neighbors a visit. After listening to Sherwynn’s woes, the villager picked up a phone and dialed the man he knew could help.

GFA World Pastor Help in Finding Relief, Hope

Soon after, Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Sanbourne visited Sherwynn. The elderly father told the pastor of Chantiel’s sudden mysterious illness. As Sherwynn shared his story, he broke down into tears.

“Please pray for my daughter,” he pleaded. “I cannot see her [in] pain.”

An hour of fervent prayer later, Chantiel felt the pain leave her.

“I felt as if someone touched me,” she explained. “There is no pain in my leg anymore.”

Sherwynn and the entire family immediately rejoiced; finally, some good news after weeks of crushing worry. A week later, Pastor Sanbourne received a call from Sherwynn: Chantiel was completely healed. The pain and swelling had vanished, and she could walk and go back to work.

The entire family began attending Pastor Sanbourne’s fellowship and were welcomed with open arms.

“I am so thankful to Pastor Sanbourne and [the believers] for their precious prayers and for helping me to know God,” Chantiel said. “I am truly grateful to merciful God, who gave me complete healing. Due to my sickness, I was unable to go for labor work, but now I am so happy because now I am going for my work and supporting my husband.”

The anxiety and fear Sherwynn had borne during the days Chantiel lay sick were gone, chased away by seeing his daughter healed through the ardent prayers of Pastor Sanbourne and the believers.

“I am indeed thankful to God for healing my daughter completely,” Sherwynn said. “Now we as a family will follow God.”


Read how another father found healing for his child through a film showing.

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are Gospel for Asia World stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, A Father’s Fears Relieved

Learn more about the GFA World national missionaries who carry a burning desire for people to know the redemptive fatherly love of God. Through their prayers, dedication and sacrificial love, thousands of men and women have found new life in Christ.

Learn more by reading this GFA World Special Report: National Workers: Unstoppable Compassion Force

Read more on Family and National Missionary Workers on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.




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