December 21, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX — Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia CanadaDiscussing new report stating how COVID 19 pandemic has “cemented human trafficking as the 3rd biggest illicit trade on the planet.”

COVID-19 is feeding the “growing evil” of human trafficking, pulling more of the world’s children into slavery and sexual exploitation, a new report reveals. The pandemic has “cemented human trafficking as the third biggest illicit trade on the planet, behind illegal arms sales and drugs,” says the report by Texas-based humanitarian agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World).

“The global pandemic has only heightened the desperation of those at risk and deepened the cunning of the traffickers,” says the report, (https://www.gfa.org/press/human-trafficking/), citing worsening poverty and hunger as key drivers of the $150 billion a year global slave trade.

“The horrific exploitation of children and young adults for sex and forced labor is the most vile crime,” said GFA World founder K.P. Yohannan. “We must act now to cut off this growing evil.”

Travel and border restrictions — intended to slow the spread of the virus — have driven traffickers underground and made victims more difficult to identify, the report says. Of the estimated 20-30 million slaves in the world today, four out of every five are women or girls.

The COVID 19 pandemic has "cemented human trafficking as the 3rd biggest illicit trade on the planet," says Gospel for Asia (GFA World)
COVID-19 ‘FEEDS GROWING EVIL’ OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: COVID-19 is feeding the “growing evil” of human trafficking, pulling more of the world’s children into slavery and sexual exploitation, a new report by humanitarian agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World) reveals.

A Wider Net

The surge in online activity due to lockdowns is giving traffickers a wider net to entrap potential victims, including children. Police in Canada warn that “chatter in dark web forums” shows predators view the pandemic as an opportunity to lure children into the sex industry.

In some parts of Asia, traffickers enlist or coerce parents and other relatives to sell their children to “placement agencies” — fronts for domestic slavery.

Predators are even “masquerading as helpers” to find new victims. “Forced prostitution and chosen sex work are going to acquire a new momentum in the post-COVID-19 world,” the report says.

Interpol, the international police agency, says the pandemic “has not blunted the determination of organized crime groups to prey on the vulnerable.”

Traffickers are taking even greater risks, too often resulting in the tragic deaths of their victims. In March, 64 African migrants suffocated in a shipping container; in May, 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck in England; and in June, a former official in Arkansas pleaded guilty to smuggling women into the U.S. to put their babies up for adoption.

In Europe’s lucrative soccer industry, it’s estimated there are 15,000 trafficking victims every year.

Emergency Interceptors

Faith-based humanitarian groups like GFA World and International Justice Mission are on the frontlines in the fight against slavery — with GFA World’s indigenous workers acting as “emergency interceptors” in city slums and remote villages where millions are easy prey for predators.

“Through vocational training for women, protecting girls by providing safe water access, and our Bridge of Hope children’s program, we’re saving tens of thousands from falling victim to traffickers,” said Yohannan, author of Never Give Up. “This is how we confront the evil of human trafficking head-on, and show people the love of God.”


Read another story on how the Lord is using Gospel for Asia to bring relief to those in need during COVID 19.

Those interested in supporting GFA World’s COVID 19 relief efforts in Asia, should go to: http://www.gfa.org/press/covid-19.

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


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. 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 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 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

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Source: GFA World Press Room, COVID-19 ‘Feeds Slave Trade, Sexual Exploitation’ Says Gospel for Asia (GFA World)

November 6, 2018

Wills Point, Texas – GFA Special Report (Gospel for Asia) – Discussing the global problem of modern slavery – despite being difficult to eradicate, there is still hope.

Champions of Change

Clearly, governments have a major role to play in ending slavery, and leaders are taking steps in places like India, where tougher anti-trafficking laws have been pursued.

The 100 Million campaign works to end child labor - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
The 100 Million campaign works to end child labor (Photo Credit 100million.org)

In 2016, child rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi launched the global “100 million for 100 million” campaign, which challenges the world’s children living in better circumstances to speak up on behalf of disadvantaged children. Then-President Pranab Mukherjee’s support of the campaign has been acknowledged as part of a “historic move towards ending child slavery in India.”

Of 161 countries profiled in the Global Slavery Index, 150 governments provide some kind of services for victims, 124 have criminalized human trafficking, and 96 have national action plans to do something about it.

Perhaps fittingly, the strongest government lead has been taken in England, where William Wilberforce and other campaigners led the fight to end the slave trade of the 19th century.

William Wilberforce, the British anti-slavery activist - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
William Wilberforce, the British anti-slavery activist (Public Domain)

Naming modern slavery the “greatest human rights issue of our time,” the U.K. government appointed a slavery commissioner to lead its efforts and became the first to develop a modern slavery initiative in 2014. The following year it passed the Modern Slavery Act, requiring business action. It means that U.K.-based companies with total annual global incomes of more than $50 million have to publish transparency statements that detail what they are doing to ensure that the supply chains they are part of do not use slave labor.

Global trade is so complex these days that “it is near certain that slavery can be found in a supply chain of every single company, and it is near impossible to guarantee a slavery-free product,” Anti-Slavery International acknowledges.

Indeed, the U.K. slavery commissioner estimates that 16 million of the world’s enslaved people are somehow working for companies.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor has a list of almost 150 goods from 75 countries believed to be produced by child or forced labor. It includes matches and footwear from Bangladesh, bananas from Belize, fireworks from China and soccer balls from India.

Many migrant workers are lured from their home country by promises of a new life—only to find a darker reality.

Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat was named a hero for fighting human trafficking - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat was named a hero for fighting human trafficking in India (Photo credit Facebook)

The complexity doesn’t give businesses a pass, however.

“Our homes and our businesses carry the imprint of modern slavery,” says Forrest, the billionaire founder of Walk Free Foundation. “As business leaders, it is our responsibility not to turn a blind eye, or to pretend that we are unaware, or believe that the issue is too complex to deal with.”

An example of effective action is IKEA’s IWAY code, in which the furniture giant sets out standards for its suppliers, including the right to make unannounced site visits to direct partners and contractors. In the U.K., there has been a move among hotel operators to start a network to tackle human trafficking in the industry.

GFA’s Work Among Victims of Modern Slavery

Among the many unnamed helpers are scores of Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers. They care for women and girls ensnared in the red-light districts of some of Asia’s major cities, and they run Bridge of Hope (BOH) centers that provide schooling and medical care, aiming to help children escape forced labor and provide them with a better future.

One who was helped is Nadish. He was held as a slave for two years from age 9. During his years in slavery, he was locked overnight in a room near the animals whose waste he had to clean up and was given very little food. Though he eventually managed to escape and find his way back home, he continued to struggle with the effects of his imprisonment and ill-treatment. Throughout his recovery, Nadish had his Bridge of Hope teachers to comfort, pray for and love him.

“A,” who was mentioned in the first part of this report, was eventually rescued from her enforced laborer by authorities. She has been healing from her ordeal at a home for abandoned and at-risk children where Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers serve. No longer made to work, “A” can be a child again. Playing with children her age and learning songs and dances with other girls, she enjoys being able to attend the home.

“I like this place so much; I like all these didis (older sisters),” “A” says. “They work hard for me and for all of us. I like this place and I don’t [want] to leave this place and go to any other place or orphanage because of the love and care that we get here.”

"A", who is no longer trapped in bonded child labor - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
“A”, who is no longer trapped in bonded child labor

Through GFA’s ministry, children and their families don’t only receive practical help; they also hear about God’s love for them.

“It’s amazing how the love of Christ brings hope to the poorest of society and fills the hearts of these children with joy,” says Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia (GFA).

Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported work with children like Nadish and “A” is a critical part of the anti-slavery effort. Prevention is a major part of the battle. Giving children and families hope for a better future through education offers them something to turn to other than child marriage or bonded labor, and children who have people carefully watching out for them—like Bridge of Hope teachers—and who will be missed if they vanish are less vulnerable to trafficking. The daily meal, medical care and school supplies provided for students ease parents’ financial burden, enabling them to focus their hard-earned income on other crucial family needs.

While slavery is a global problem that’s difficult to eradicate, there is still hope. As Forrest said, “This is the choice of man, so the choice of man can stop it.”


21st Century Slavery & Human Trafficking: Part 1 | Part 2

This article originally appeared on gfa.org

To read more on Patheos on the desperate issue of ongoing modern slavery, go here.

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

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November 4, 2018

Wills Point, Texas – GFA Special Report (Gospel for Asia)Discussing the horrors of modern day human trafficking, slavery and forced labor throughout the world.

Human Trafficking: Cashing In on Chaos

Like a virus, human trafficking continues to mutate. Women have long been considered to be the main victims, and that is certainly true in the sex trade, where they comprise 99 percent of those used and abused.

However, GRETA (Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings) found that, in some countries, labor trafficking has emerged as “the predominant form.” And while there are “considerable variations in the number and proportion of labour trafficking victims amongst evaluated countries, all countries indicated an upward trend of labour exploitation over the years.”

As the numbers of those trafficked for forced labor have increased over the last decade, so has the number of trafficked men, who can be subject to particularly brutal treatment. Survivors of forced labor in the Thai fishing industry have told of being made to take amphetamines to enable them to work long hours and of being dragged through the water with a rope around their neck for complaining.

Those who tried to escape were executed and their bodies thrown overboard.

Some men working on fishing boats in Thailand are subject to forced labor - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
Some men working on fishing boats in Thailand are subject to forced labor and brutal working conditions, according to recent Human Rights Watch research. (Photo credit Environment Justice Foundation)

Human trafficking has also grown and morphed in the wake of the refugee crises in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia.

“Refugees and unaccompanied children are some of the most vulnerable targets of labor and sex traffickers,” warns the UN.

Mass movements of people in times of great upheaval leave many vulnerable to being taken advantage of and provide opportunities for traffickers to move even more freely.

“In the chaos of conflict and violence, a perfect storm of lawlessness, slavery, and environmental destruction can occur—driving the vulnerable into slave-based work that feeds into global supply chains and the things we buy and use in our daily lives,” say the GSI publishers.

“Modern forms of slavery prosper in these environments of conflict, corruption, displacement, discrimination and inequality,” they add. “Given this, it is critical that national and international responses to humanitarian emergencies and mass migration take account of the very real risks of modern slavery on highly vulnerable migrant and refugee populations.”

“In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide.”

If selling trafficked bodies is grievous, then selling trafficked body parts is gruesome, but it happens. As many as 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained by traffickers every year as demand outstrips the supply of organs legally available for transplant, says Fight Slavery Now. This organization references a refugee camp given the nickname Kidneyvakkam, or Kidneyville, because so many women there had sold their kidneys.

“A black market thrives as well in the trade of bones, blood and other body tissues,” says the organization.

A particularly disturbing aspect of human trafficking is how often perpetrators take advantage of people’s hopes and desires to prosper. Many migrant workers are lured from their home country by promises of a new life—only to find a darker reality.

Maya was 22 when she fled the fighting in her native Syria, destined for Lebanon where she had been promised a job working in a factory. But upon her arrival, she found herself forced into prostitution with many others, enduring “severe physical and psychological violence,” before finally being rescued.

It’s all too common for migrants trying to get into a new country without the proper papers to be tricked by those claiming to help them, but they are not the only ones to find they have been duped.

Hundreds of welders and pipe-fitters who were recruited to help fix oil rigs damaged by Hurricane Katrina arrived in the United States legally—some having paid as much as $25,000 in recruiting fees for the opportunity.

But upon arrival, things were very different. They found themselves in an isolated, barb-wired compound with armed guards, where they were forced to live in crowded shipping containers—as many as 24 men in one unit—and for which they were charged $1,000 monthly rent. Underfed, they had to work round the clock for virtually nothing by the time a slew of deductions was made from their wages.

After 2005's Hurricane Katrina, Signal International allegedly recruited hundreds of workers to fix oil rigs - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia
After 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Signal International allegedly recruited hundreds of workers to fix oil rigs like this one—but unfortunately many of the workers were forced into terrible working conditions with little pay.

Traffickers lure their victims with false promises and then keep them imprisoned, sometimes literally and sometimes by threats of violence. When victims have been taken to a different country, they can be reluctant to go to the authorities for help for fear of being deported. As a result, traffickers may not keep their victims in locked rooms but “hide them in plain sight,” knowing they will not try to escape.

That “plain sight” may include the local hand car wash. In the U.K. there is concern that “endemic exploitation” occurs at the 20,000 such operations in the country.

“The truth is that ordinary people everywhere in the world … unwittingly come into contact with victims of modern slavery every day,” says Forrest. “We might walk past a little girl trapped in a forced marriage, a hotel cleaner that has had her passport confiscated, or touch this crime through the clothes and products made through illegal forced labor that we use every day.”

Traffickers will also play on victims’ vulnerabilities. When Gowri, who was tricked into bonded labor, tried to leave the brick kiln where she was being held, the owner attacked her children and then her.

Nigerians recruited for supposed good jobs in the U.K. have been made to take part in spiritistic practices, locked in coffins and making a blood oath not to try to escape or speak to the authorities.

The widespread exploitation of children isn't limited to working in fields and factories - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Children at Risk

The widespread exploitation of children isn’t limited to working in fields and factories. Cruelly, they also may be enslaved in a place that is supposed to be a haven.

Many children are at risk of being exploited in orphanages, home to some 8 million children worldwide—and four out of five of whom are not actually without a parent or parents.

They may have ended up in care because their desperately poor parents thought they would be better cared for by others.

But that does not always turn out to be the case. Some orphanage operators have deliberately withheld food and proper living environments to keep the youngsters looking malnourished “to attract more sympathy and therefore more money via donations.”

So-called “paper orphans” are said to be used as moneymakers in countries like Nepal, Cambodia, Ghana, Uganda, Guatemala and Haiti, tapping into the growing “voluntourism” market of the West, combining travel with a dash of doing good.

And there is “a strong but largely unrecognized connection between institutionalization and trafficking.”

It is bad enough that many of those who volunteer at orphanages don’t have any credentials and that the high turnover of visiting caregivers is believed to lead to attachment disorders among the children. Yet even more alarming is that orphanages can be a rich target for pedophiles.

“Modern forms of slavery prosper in these environments of conflict, corruption, displacement, discrimination and inequality.”

For being such a large criminal operation, human trafficking sees limited disciplinary action. According to the U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons report, there were only 14,897 prosecutions and 9,071 convictions for human trafficking globally the previous year. In South and Central Asia, the number of prosecutions rose between 2010 and 2016—but only from 1,500 (with 1,000 convictions) to 6,250 (2,200 convictions).

Partly this is because of limited manpower and other resources. International Justice Mission (IJM) notes that many police departments in Asia “often lack the most basic office supplies—paper, folders, functional phones, copiers and computers—let alone forensics evidence kits, DNA testing equipment, and cameras necessary to do their job.”

Gary Haugen, Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission (Photo Credit IJM.org)

But there is a darker reason for the widespread impunity with which many human traffickers work: corruption. As the UN has observed, “most poor people don’t live under the shelter of the law, but far from the law’s protection.”

IJM founder and CEO Gary Haugen says the last half-century has seen “the almost total collapse of functioning criminal justice systems in the developing world.”

When cases are investigated, it’s not uncommon for them to be settled out of court in parts of Asia because the victims’ need for money trumps justice, allowing the offenders to continue their trade.


21st Century Slavery & Human Trafficking: Part 1 | Part 3

This article originally appeared on gfa.org

To read more on Patheos on the desperate issue of ongoing human trafficking, go here.

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

Go here to know more about Gospel for Asia: GFA.org | Facebook | Youtube | Twitter | GFA Reports

November 2, 2018

Wills Point, Texas – GFA Special Report (Gospel for Asia)Discussing the present day tragedy of modern slavery & human trafficking, where there are more slaves today than at any time in history.

Gospel for Asia: Scandal of 21st Century Slavery & Human Trafficking (Part 1) - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Around 10 million people are currently behind bars somewhere in the world. Some have yet to face trial, a few have been wrongly convicted, but most are prisoners for a crime they have committed.

Meanwhile, four times as many people are being held against their will because of a crime committed against them—they are part of the global slave population estimated to be more than 40 million.

That number is higher than the entire population of Canada. Many of these victims are literally kept under lock and key, while others are effectively imprisoned by coercion, manipulation and extortion.

Slavery: Stronger Today than Ever

Slavery may long have been officially outlawed, but difficult though it may be to believe, numerically there are more slaves today than at any time in history.

Among them:

  • Twin brothers, Aimamo and Ibrahim, who at age 16 left grinding poverty in their native Gambia for what they hoped would be a better new life in Libya.
  • Instead of well-paying jobs, they found themselves enduring beatings and threats as they labored on a farm alongside scores of other sub-Saharan Africans, locked in at night to keep them from escaping.
  • “A,” who was sent by her desperate mother to live with another family in Asia as a servant after the death of her father.
  • Forced to work from morning to night cleaning dishes and washing clothes, the small girl was beaten and slapped when she didn’t keep up. And when she fell asleep one night while massaging the legs of her “owner,” the woman smeared chili powder into her eyes as punishment.
  • “K,” who was sold at age 5 by family friends and then taken to truck stops along route 80, one of the busiest interstate highways in the United States.

There, anesthetized by drugs and alcohol, this little girl would be forced to knock on the doors of the trucks and sell herself to the drivers.

Since 2011, almost 90 million people have experienced some form of modern slavery for periods of time ranging from a few days to several years.

Total profits from this trade in slave labor are dwarfed only by sales of illegal drugs and illicit arms.

Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking,” says the United Nations, “whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims.”

So concerning is the issue that it is spotlighted by not one but two of the UN’s annual international awareness days.

The World Day Against Child Labor (June 12) highlights the plight of nearly 170 million children worldwide who have to work—half of them in “hazardous” situations—and whose number includes those in bonded labor. Though the number of working children has dropped significantly since the turn of the millennium, that pace of decline has “slowed considerably” in the past few years, says the International Labor Organization.

Meanwhile, children comprise a third of all victims of human trafficking, which is the focus of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons (July 30).

Money from Misery - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Money from Misery

That human trafficking relates to two UN days of awareness also hints at the complexity of the issue. Because the particularly harrowing nature of sex trafficking means it garners a lot of headlines, many people assume this is the main area of human trafficking.

However, research tells another story: Of the 25 million people ensnared in forced labor in 2016, only 5 million were involved in sexual exploitation.

Sex trafficking doesn’t only generate more headlines than other forms, though; it also generates a lot more money.

One in five trafficking victims may be sexually exploited, but they bring in two-thirds of the total global trafficking profits.

A typical woman forced into prostitution makes around $100,000 a year of profit for those who control her, six times the average profit of other forced workers.

Human Rights First says that studies have shown that sexual exploitation can yield a return on investment ranging from 100 percent to 1,000 percent, while an enslaved laborer in less profitable markets—such as agricultural work—can generate something over 50 percent profit.

Such numbers underscore how human trafficking is really big business. As with so many of the world’s major problems, the causes are complex. Politics and prejudice, commerce and corruption, disasters and discrimination are all part of the roots of this diseased tree.

“Vulnerability to modern slavery is affected by a complex interaction of factors related to the presence or absence of protection and respect for rights; physical safety and security; access to the necessities of life such as food, water and health care; and patterns of migration, displacement and conflict,” say those behind the sobering 40 million statistic.

Meanwhile, Anti-Slavery International (ASI) lists “strict hierarchical social structures and caste systems; poverty; discrimination against women and girls and lack of respect for children’s rights and development needs” among the fertilizers.

However, one thing distinguishes human trafficking from many other key global issues.

Andrew Forrest, anti-slave campaigner (CC BY 3.0 AU / Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

“This is a human condition,” says Australian businessman and anti-slavery campaigner Andrew Forrest. “This isn’t AIDS or malaria or something which is thrust upon us by nature. This is the choice of man, so the choice of man can stop it.”

There are widespread efforts being made to do that, from those advocating for changes in the law to those pushing for businesses to take more responsibility for the shadow side of globalization. Others work with authorities to free people from brothels and brick factories or, like many Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported workers, care for and help to rehabilitate the victims left with physical and emotional scars.

Those shocked by the scale of slavery in the 21st century, imagining it had effectively been abolished in the 1800s, may be equally surprised by its many forms. They range from sex trafficking and forced marriage—some 15 million people in 2016, many of them young girls—to forced labor and bonded labor.

The latter is especially common in Asia, where exorbitant interest rates by lenders can lock generations of families into working to pay off what began as a small debt—likely for an essential such as food or medicine—that keeps mushrooming.

“This isn’t AIDS or malaria or something which is thrust upon us by nature. This is the choice of man, so the choice of man can stop it.”

“Modern slavery takes many forms and is known by many names,” says the Freedom Fund.

“Today’s slaves are trapped in fishing fleets and sweatshops, in mines and brothels, and in the fields and plantations of countries across the world. It can be called human trafficking, forced labor, slavery, or it can refer to the slavery-like practices that include debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, and the sale or exploitation of children.”

According to Free the Slaves, today’s trade has two chief characteristics: It’s cheap, and it’s disposable.

“Slaves today are cheaper than ever,” says the group. “In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide.”

Human trafficking may be a global disease, but it is more virulent in certain parts of the world, where poverty and social inequality more readily enable it to thrive. The 2016 Global Slavery Index (GSI) found that just five countries accounted for almost 60 percent of the global slave population.


21st Century Slavery & Human Trafficking: Part 2 | Part 3

This article originally appeared on gfa.org

To read more on Patheos on the desperate issue of ongoing 21st century slavery, go here.

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

Go here to know more about Gospel for Asia: GFA.net | Wiki | Flickr | GFA

January 29, 2018

Recently, January 2018 was declared as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Gospel for Asia deals first hand with the scandal of slavery and human trafficking by helping our field partners who minister among the poverty stricken in Asia, where over two-thirds of the worlds human trafficking victims reside.

The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are living in some form of modern slavery. Over 30 million reside in Asia. Five countries are home to 26.5 million men, women and children trapped in the grips of slavery and human trafficking.

Gospel for Asia Addresses the Scandal of Human Trafficking - KP Yohannan

Another source estimates 36 million victims worldwide, with 23.5 million in Asia.

Regardless of the exact number, any number of this magnitude is scandalous.

Many of the tens of thousands to whom Gospel for Asia ministers are victims of this scandal or of its results.

“The United Nations estimates that some 64% of human trafficking in Asia is for forced labor, servitude and slavery, while 26% is for sexual exploitation . . . In Asia, 36% of trafficked victims are children.”

The effects of slavery and human trafficking include destitution, poverty, humiliation, hunger and lack of access to nutrition and education.

The irony of the scandal is that, while millions suffer from its impact, others profit from its perpetuation.

Gospel for Asia understands that we cannot prevent slavery and human trafficking. Neither can we sit idle and do nothing. We, too, believe this is a crime against humanity and that it should be recognized and dealt with as such. That is clearly a governmental responsibility. But rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s does not absolve us from rendering unto Christ what is Christ’s.

Jesus said that while He was in the world, He was the Light of the World. When He has preparing to leave, He told us that we are now that light as we let His love shine through us.

He told us to love one another. He gave us a task to minister to the widows and the GFA Blog - Gospel for Asia Addresses the Scandal of Human Trafficking3fatherless and all those in need. And so, we must go.

GFA-supported national missionaries witness first hand and minister to the deepest physical and spiritual needs of tens of thousands throughout Asia, many of whom are victims of the results of slavery and human trafficking.

GFA’s Bridge of Hope Program helps minister to more than 82,000 impoverished children in Asia, rescuing them from the effects of the scandal of slavery and human trafficking.

GFA’s programs to provide compassionate care and our community programs help tens of thousands to have basic necessities, which they would not otherwise have for a healthy life.

You can learn more about how you can help to support Gospel for Asia’s efforts to reduce the effects of the scandal of slavery and human trafficking in Asia by clicking on any of the above links.

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

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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

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.

February 27, 2019

Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This message is a sincere promise that guides the hands and hearts of parents around the world. Children are a blessing and an enormous responsibility. They are also little sponges that quickly soak up knowledge and experience to apply in their lives. A child will not forget their upbringing; God promised it. But when children—the most innocent people on Earth—are abused, neglected or pulled into a life of slavery, that “training” also stays with them for life and will shape the person they will become.

Human trafficking is not just someone else’s problem; it’s everyone’s problem. It takes place in developing countries and in cities and small towns in the Western world every day. There are numerous reasons given, but they primarily distill to one thing: Profits for their owners.

For Victims of Slavery and Child Trafficking There is Hope - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Make no mistake, human trafficking is a slightly more palatable term pasted over an age-old, ugly word: slavery. Some children are stolen away from their parents. Some are taken from the streets. And some are given away or sold by the very people who should care for them most.

The life of a child enduring slavery bears no resemblance to a child safe in the loving care of their parents or guardians. It’s filled with physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, hunger, disease and forced labor. But in all of this darkness, there is light.

Gospel for Asia supports many selfless workers who care for and help protect children rescued from a life of slavery and abuse. Every child who enters the safety of a loving, caring environment has an opportunity to dilute the effects of the past and build a future of hope.

Slavery Isn’t a Problem Relegated to History

In America, the word “slavery” brings to mind a horrifying low point in history with no redeeming qualities. The mere idea of “selling” and “owning” another human being is beyond comprehension for most of us today.

But slavery is not a historical problem.

Right now—today—many children around the world live the realities of slavery without any hope for rescue.

The United Nations calls human trafficking a “global, multi-billion-dollar enterprise, affecting nearly every country in the world.” In that quote lies the reason why, in the 21st Century, children are still at risk. There is money to be made in human trafficking, and the amount of money is non-trivial.

“Children are, by definition, vulnerable. They rely on the adults around them to care for and protect them. Who will intervene when those adults not only let them down, but plot against them for personal gain?”
Men, women and children are all affected by human trafficking. With men, the result is usually forced labor, physical abuse and virtual imprisonment. Seeking work, men—many of them refugees—may enter a situation believed to be employment but in reality is slavery. The brutality inflicted on men in forced labor is almost beyond imagination.

According to a report by Human Rights Watch, migrant workers held captive in the Thai fishing industry face excessive work hours, forced amphetamine use, little or no safety protections, no rights, little pay, severe abuse and even torture or death for workers who complain or try to escape. Bodies found floating in waters go unidentified, and the deaths are rarely investigated by authorities.

Women and children, however, make up a greater portion of those living in slavery. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime explains that more than 70 percent of victims are women and children.

Children may be sold or given by parents or guardians into slavery, either as payment for a debt or in the hopes of a better life for the child. A widow with no property, no rights, no source of income and several children to feed may send a child to live with a relative. But the same child may then live a life of abuse and neglect.

Certain predatory orphanages are also emerging as a shocking perpetrator. In Nepal, for example, a veritable fortune has been given to aid orphaned children who, in reality, are only orphaned on paper. And while these orphanages are charged with caring for children, real life is not the same.

Meals and care are withheld from these paper-orphaned children. Many are at risk of sexual abuse by the very people who operate the profit-seeking orphanages. A hungry, sickly, abused and frightened child garners more sympathy and more donations for the orphanage’s coffers.

Children are, by definition, vulnerable. They rely on the adults around them to care for and protect them. Who will intervene when those adults not only let them down, but plot against them for personal gain?

Children May Suffer Long-term Effects of Slavery - KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

Children May Suffer Long-term Effects of Slavery

Any abuse can have lasting effects on a child. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) asserts that all types of child abuse and neglect can spill over into other areas of the child’s life.

As an example of the chain reaction, physical abuse that injures the brain can lead to psychological, cognitive and emotional problems. Those problems may lead to depression and high-risk behaviors.

Not every abused child will have the same experience throughout life. The DHHS report goes on to explain that several factors can affect the outcome. For example, the relationship of the abuser to the child, the frequency and intensity of abuse, the type of abuse and the age of the child when the abuse happened work in concert to shape the child’s future. But any type abuse lays the groundwork for a lifetime of pain and suffering.

“Proverbs 22:6 tells us that the life experiences of a child will form who they become. Although abused children have terrible life experiences, there is still space in the garden and time to sow the seeds of God’s love and compassion.”
Even when the abuse is stopped, children have ongoing needs. For some, love and support will help them heal, both physically and emotionally. For others, the scars are deeper. The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, Brief No. 7, shows that within three years of maltreatment, a “chronic health condition” is diagnosed in nearly 30 percent of children.

Some of the possible physical and psychological outcomes include:

  • Abusive head trauma leading to impaired brain development, spinal injury and death
  • Impaired language and cognitive development
  • General poor health
  • Isolation and fear
  • Inability to trust
  • Anxiety, depression and other psychiatric issues
  • Poor academic achievement
  • Antisocial behaviors
  • High-risk behaviors
  • Abusive behavior later in life

Action, Dedication and Prayer Can Save Little Lives

What would you do if you saw a little child in harm’s way? If you’re like most people, you’d try in some way to help. For scores of children around the world, even in America, there is no one to step in. Maybe no one cares. Oftentimes, no one notices. A lost or abandoned child is easy to victimize, and it happens more often than you think. A child given away or sold has suffered the ultimate betrayal.

Gospel for Asia is dedicated to supporting those who help these little ones. The result can be transformative. Boys and girls who have lived a life of fear, hunger, hard labor and abuse can shed the past and just be children.

“Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6 tells us that the life experiences of a child will form who they become. Although abused children have terrible life experiences, there is still space in the garden and time to sow the seeds of God’s love and compassion.

GFA’s field partners take care of abandoned and orphaned children, where they can learn to live in safety—and learn to trust again. GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers also help at-risk children in many ways.

Bridge of Hope workers offer nutritious meals, tutoring, medical care, school books, uniforms, special programs and an environment that’s conducive to learning. Where a child may have no one at home to help with schoolwork and no meal to count on, Bridge of Hope helps them succeed in their studies, which helps them succeed in life.

Bridge of Hope also helps prevent child trafficking before it happens. When parents have more options and a helping hand, fewer girls may be turned over to the abusive practice of child marriage. Fewer boys and girls may be sent into bonded labor or to live with abusive relatives. With a caring, watchful Bridge of Hope staff, children are less likely to vanish unnoticed into the hands of human traffickers.

Gospel for Asia helps devoted missionaries and workers do the jobs that God has called them to do. Your support can save a child from the abuse of slavery and give them a real chance at life.


Read more about the Stories, Statistics and Solutions of Slavery & Human Trafficking.

To read more on Patheos on the global problem of slavery, go here.

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

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May 25, 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 first part of a special report on fresh water: an increasingly scarce resource more vital than oil or gold.

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, issued this special report on fresh water: an increasingly scarce resource.

Increasing demand on rivers, lakes and streams, compounded by changing weather patterns, population growth and economic development, is leaving us in a world where many people are struggling to find enough fresh water to survive. (I’ll develop this topic below, to add to our previous essays on water stress globally, solutions to the world water crisis, and those that are dying of thirst.)

Boy from Nepal collects dirty water from a puddle for drinking
Nepal: As the water levels underground started shrinking, people in this remote Nepali village had to resort to collecting water from small puddles in the forest for drinking. This boy was asked by his parents, who were working in the field, to fetch water from one of these puddles, but the water from these open areas is often full of germs and bacteria as animals also use them.

Water is a resource that is becoming more precious than gold, according to various headlines from around the world.[1][2] One news story included a somber prediction by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that future climate instability will create serious water shortages.[3]

In the IPCC August 2020 report, the Geneva-based organization forecast that rising temperatures over the next two decades will spark changes in the world’s water cycle, with wet areas becoming wetter and arid lands prone to greater drought.[4]

“There is already strong evidence that we are seeing such changes,” said Professor Mike Meredith, a lead author for IPCC and scientist at the British Antarctic Survey. “In some dry regions, droughts will become worse and long lasting. Such risks are compounded by knock-on consequences, such as greater risk of wildfires, [which] we are already seeing.”[5]

Just after the report’s release, the Cable News Network (CNN) reported that Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Iraq and Jordan are pumping vast amounts of water from the ground for irrigation to improve food self-sufficiency. Charles Iceland, global director of water at the World Resources Institute, told the network that while this can compensate for a decrease in rainfall, it also results in falling groundwater levels.[6]

The four-person CNN team report noted areas around the globe where that’s happening, like in Iran, where a vast network of dams sustains an agricultural sector that drinks up about 90% of the water the country uses. “Both declining rainfall and increasing demand in these countries are causing many rivers, lakes, and wetlands to dry up,” Iceland told CNN. “The consequences of water becoming scarcer are dire: Areas could become uninhabitable; tensions over how to share and manage water resources like rivers and lakes could worsen; more political violence could erupt.”[7]

Lake Mead and Hoover Dam - Year comparison 1983 and 2021
Western US: In the 1980s the waters of Lake Mead flowed rapidly over the Hoover Dam spillway, but after many years of drought along the Colorado River, the water level has dropped dramatically. Photo by LasVegasNevada.gov

The situation threatens wealthier countries, too. The New York Times reported larger future cuts in water consumption are likely for 40 million people in the West who rely on rivers. For the first time ever, last August, the U.S. federal government declared a water shortage at Nevada’s Lake Mead, a main reservoir for the Colorado River. Initially, that will mostly affect farmers in Arizona. In addition to seven U.S. states, two in Mexico draw water from the Colorado. Besides providing drinking water, it irrigates desert crops and generates hydroelectric power. Scientists say the only way to alleviate the problem is to reduce demand.[8]

“As this inexorable-seeming decline in the supply continues, the shortages that we’re beginning to see implemented are only going to increase,” said Jennifer Pitt, who directs the Colorado River program at the National Audubon Society. “Once we’re on that train, it’s not clear where it stops.”[9]

Water is a resource that is becoming more precious than gold, oil or gas, according to various headlines from around the world. But the consequences of water becoming scarcer are dire — as areas become uninhabitable, tensions worsen and violence could erupt.

Weeks before this news, analysts at the London-based financial giant Barclays issued a research note that identified water scarcity as the most important environmental concern for global consumer staples, affecting everything from food and beverages to agriculture and tobacco.[10] Circle of Blue reported that major companies are increasingly concerned about water’s availability, with the average price between 2010 and 2019 increasing by 60 percent in the 30 largest U.S. cities.[11]

Beth Burks, director of sustainable finance at S&P Global Ratings, told CNBC, “Water scarcity is really important because when it runs out you have really serious problems.”[12]

Dried up river around the area of Mharashtra in the month of April and May
India: During the months of April and May this area in Maharashtra and the villages around it face drought and a severe shortage of fresh water. The rivers, canals, and wells completely dry up, causing great difficulties for people and their animals.

Fresh Water Scarcity – the “Invisible” Hand Behind Many Global Crises

Water problems especially affect the 1.1 billion people who lack access to a basic drinking source.

Then there are millions more who devote many waking hours to obtaining it. According to the non-governmental organization H2O for Life, women and children in many communities spend up to 60% of each day collecting water.

In Africa, more than 25% of the population spends more than 30 minutes (sometimes up to six hours) walking nearly four miles to get enough water for the day.

In addition, 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation, including handwashing facilities.

A 2021 report for the Council on Foreign Relations identified the Middle East and North Africa as the worst for physical water stress. In addition to receiving less rainfall, the countries’ fast-growing, densely-populated urban centers require more water. It’s estimated that 70% of the world’s fresh water is used for agriculture, with another 19% going to industrial use and 11% for domestic, including drinking.[16]

A mother and her child walk long distances to acquire water that is often times unclean and contaminated
Assam: Before a Jesus Well was installed in her village, this 30 year old mother of four had to make the fifteen minute walk from her home to the closest water source. She would fetch water four-five times in a day, carrying the heavy load on her head. This water was contaminated though, and the family would suffer from skin diseases and other health issues like diarrhea, typhoid, stomach problems, etc.
Water problems directly affect 1.1 billion people who lack access to a basic drinking source. Then there are millions more who have to spend up to 60% of each day collecting water.

The report for the CFR said water scarcity is usually divided into two categories: 1) Physical scarcity related to ecological conditions and 2) Economic scarcity because of inadequate infrastructure.[17]

“The two frequently come together to cause water stress,” wrote Claire Felter and Kali Robinson in their report entitled: “Water Stress: A Global Problem That’s Getting Worse.” “For instance, a stressed area can have both a shortage of rainfall as well as a lack of adequate water and sanitation facilities. Experts say that when there are significant natural causes for a region’s water stress, human factors are often central to the problem.”[18]

Shaz Memon (centre), founder of Wells on Wheels.
Shaz Memon (centre), founder of Wells on Wheels. Photo by Wells on Wheels

Water scarcity is the “invisible” hand behind many humanitarian crises, said Shaz Memon, a British entrepreneur and founder of the charity Wells on Wheels. In a recent commentary, he named Yemen as one of the world’s most water-scarce countries, a condition leading to social and political upheaval. For example, he notes that in Nigeria the Boko Haram insurgency in 2010 arose because of a demand for clean drinking water. Drought and water scarcity was also a pivotal factor behind Syria’s civil war as well, according to Memon.

“Water is a precious, life-giving commodity; it becomes more scarce because it isn’t treated as such,” Memon wrote. “Unlike gold, oil or gas, it is not priced in relation to its global scarcity. … However, there are some who understand water’s status as a valuable commodity. Goldman Sachs has said water could be the ‘petroleum of the 21st century.’”[19]

Such observations underscore the significance of the United Nations’ World Water Day, set for March 22 with the theme ‟Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible.” The UN calls groundwater a vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, sustains ecosystems, maintains the baseflow of rivers, and prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion.[20]


Make a donation to provide clean, fresh drinking water »

If this special report has touched your heart and you would like to help give clean water to a needy village in Asia, then make a generous one time or monthly gift toward Jesus Wells and Water Filters.


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 a typical year, this includes 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 to provide hope and encouragement 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 the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of this GFA World Special Report: Fresh Water: An Increasingly Scarce Resource More Vital than Oil or Gold  Part 2

Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Water Shortage, the Global Water Crisis and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about how to provide pure, clean water to families and villages through GFA World Jesus Wells and BioSand Water Filters.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Water Scarcity | 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 Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

May 20, 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 third 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.

Mother with her son and daughter in front of an outdoor toilet gifted through GFA World donors
This mother no longer needs to worry about her young daughter as her family now has safety and dignity through the generous Christmas gift of a toilet provided through a Gospel for Asia (GFA) donor.

Fostering Safety and Education

While meeting the basic needs of girls, non-profits and communities and families must also work to value and protect girls and their education. Malala Fund is partnering with organizations and governments in several developing nations to promote digital learning, secure education funding for girls and ensure girls’ mental and physical well-being during school closures.[33]

Malala Yousafzai, Malala Fund Co-Founder
Malala Yousafzai, Malala Fund Co-Founder Photo by Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Instagram

“Our goal should not be a return to the way things were but instead a renewed commitment to the way the world should be, a place where every girl can learn and lead.”[34]

Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers have encouraged communities to promote girls’ education, even during the pandemic. Last October, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers in one community held a small International Day of the Girl celebration at the local church, where regional pastors and a Women’s Fellowship leader shared about the importance of valuing girls.

“Children are a gift from God; they are His reward,” explained the Women’s Fellowship leader, referencing Psalm 127.

International Day Of The Girl Child observed in GFA World church
To mark the International Day of the Girl Child, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) held an event at a local church during the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020, to promote the importance of girls’ education, and highlight ways to value daughters, and to distribute pens and chocolate bars to those in attendance, and pray for each girl present.

One of the pastors then prayed for each girl present while the other attendees lifted their hands toward the girls in a sign of agreement with his prayer of blessing. At the end of the program, the girls each received a pen and a chocolate bar.

These may seem like small gifts, but even small ways of showing respect for girls can impact a community.

“I acknowledged the fact that a girl child is a great blessing for the family, church and in our society, who must not be considered as a burden, rather an instrument for source of blessings,” said one woman present.

“A girl child must not be shown any partiality from her parents nor put down without knowing her potential. … She must be educated well and needs to be motivated,” shared a 15-year-old girl who attended.

As churches, non-profits and governments work together to help girls reach their potential, girls will most likely have safer communities. Parents who value their daughters will probably spend more time with them, engage them in conversation more often, and help them to develop healthy relationships. In countries where technology is available, this means parents will safeguard their daughters’ online experience.

As families and communities choose to embrace and educate their daughters, girls will face a lower risk of trafficking, violence and abuse.

Group of young women / girls
Over the next three years, Malala Fund is addressing the immediate and long-term implications of the pandemic on girls’ education in five ways: 1. Keep girls learning through school closures; 2. Re-enroll girls to catch up on missed lessons; 3. Support teachers with resources and training needed to deliver a quality education; 4. Strengthen education systems against future crises; 5. Ensure girls’ physical and psychological well-being in the classrooms. Photo by Dr. Flavia Bustreo, Instagram

Fighting Injustice

A mother, daughter and child in Ethiopia, where child marriages are common.
Ethiopia – east of Addis Ababa: The Hunger Project is actively working with Her Choice to end child marriages by setting up Girls Clubs and making sanitary pads available. In this way teenage girls can attend school as much as possible. Alemtsheya was able to ask the Girls Club for help when her parents wanted to marry her at the age of 15. “My step-mother suddenly found me a man who wanted to marry me and he had a good income. My parents liked that. But I didn’t like that at all! I wanted to stay in school and learn a profession. But my parents didn’t want to listen to me.” Photo by Her Choice

While creating safe environments for girls is key, organizations and governments must also work together to end child marriage and trafficking and provide justice and care to girls who have already been victimized.

In 134 countries, child marriage (marriage where at least one partner is under age 18) can happen if a parent, judge or authority consents.[35] In the United States, several states allow for child marriage if a parent consents. North Carolina and Alaska allow a girl to be married at 14 if she is pregnant.[36] In 2002, North Carolina received a marriage application from a 57-year-old wanting to marry a 17-year-old.[37] Because of exceptions in the law, a teenage girl may be pressured or even forced into marriage by her parents or others, so advocates suggest that governments should keep the marriage age at 18—with no exceptions.[38]

Calling on governments to remove exceptions to the legal marriage age can protect girls from experiencing statutory rape and/or being forced to marry someone who may have abused them. It can help these girls grow up with a better chance of finishing school and choosing a partner when they are old enough to know what is right for them.

As churches, non-profits and governments work together to help girls reach their fullest potential, girls will most likely have safer communities. And as families within communities choose to embrace and educate their daughters, girls will face a lower risk of trafficking, violence and abuse.

The Dominican Republic reached a milestone this year in the fight against child marriage: On January 6, the nation’s president approved a bill removing any grounds for child marriage.[39] Now that marriage is prohibited for anyone under age 18 in the Dominican Republic, girls there will be less vulnerable to human trafficking and abuse.

Portrait of a girl
It is estimated that nearly 30 MILLION people are being trafficked worldwide. The average lifespan of a trafficking victim is 7-10 years, and the average age of sex trafficking victims is 13 years old. Girls are at a higher risk.

Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, organizations such as International Justice Mission, Freedom Firm and Exodus Cry have continued their work to rescue girls (and other victims) from trafficking, bring justice to traffickers and provide care to survivors.

One victory in the fight against trafficking occurred in the success of the Traffickinghub campaign, which has been shining a light on the prevalence of the abuse of women and children found on the website Pornhub.[40] The Traffickinghub campaign, along with a New York Times editorial by Nicholas Kristof, drew attention to this and eventually encouraged government leaders and businesses to investigate allegations that Pornhub was profiting from child pornography and rape.[41] Eventually, Visa, Mastercard and Discover refused to process transactions on the site, and Pornhub had to remove nearly 80 percent of its videos. Meanwhile, senators have introduced two bills in Congress to help protect women and girls from pornography being posted online without their consent; one bill makes it easy for victims to sue platforms like Pornhub, and another requires such platforms to provide proof of age and consent for the individuals appearing in videos.[42]

Malala Yousafzai, Malala Fund Co-Founder
130 million girls were already out of school before the pandemic. Now 20 million more might never return. COVID-19 is creating a global girls’ education crisis. That’s why Malala Fund is working to ensure girls can keep learning during and after the crisis. Around the world, they’re funding local activists and education leaders, helping girls continue their education from home and fighting for policies that will allow them to safely return when schools reopen. Photo by Malala Fund, Facebook

A New Beginning

Portrait of a girl in darkness
COVID-19 has been making the lives of girls more difficult and dangerous. Months of poverty, neglect and violence have the potential to derail girls’ futures. For girls, a single mistake—or a single experience of abuse—can yield years of pain or injustice.

Serena, one of the women interviewed by Kristof, was 14 when a classmate asked her to send him a naked video of herself. She did, and he posted it on Pornhub without her consent. As classmates mocked her for it, she fell down a spiral of shame, suicide attempts and drug addiction.[43]

“A whole life can be changed because of one little mistake,” she told Kristof.[44]

Making mistakes is a normal part of a child’s development. But for girls, the cost of a “mistake” is often too high. Trusting someone who turns out to be untrustworthy or failing to stay safe online could entrap a girl in years of abuse and exploitation. For some girls, lacking a strong family or support system simply endangers them, apart from any decisions they have made. Girls’ risks are increasing, whether they are making “mistakes” or not.

For Alexis Martin, one mistake was trusting a man who ended up trafficking her.[45] Now, although life on parole has its hardships, she is free from trafficking and free from prison. She has been living with a mentor and working to save money, buy a car and attend college. She now goes by Kee, a shortened version of her middle name, to remind herself that she is a new person.[46]

Young girl holding a chalkboard with Education written on it
“If girls learn one thing from my life so far, I hope it’s that speaking out about the issues they care about can make a difference, no matter their age.” — Malala

For girls, a single mistake—or a single experience of abuse—can yield years of pain or injustice. COVID-19 has been making their lives more difficult and more dangerous. Months of poverty, neglect and violence have the potential to derail girls’ futures. Like Alexis, girls who have endured trauma can gain a fresh start, but they will need support, advocacy and help to break the grip of destructive forces on their lives. That’s why it’s more vital than ever to provide girls with safe, nurturing environments and to bring justice and aid to those who’ve been abused.

There is much work to be done, but organizations, communities and governments can work together to equip girls with education; protect them from trafficking, child marriage and violence; and help girls who have been exploited find restoration. The COVID-19 pandemic will have years of consequences, but with God’s help, we can prevent it from destroying girls’ lives. We can witness a new beginning.


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 2


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

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 18, 2022

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, reveals a troubling new report for World Water Day on March 22 — a growing shortage and scarcity of the planet’s most “precious” resource, water, could lead to “dire consequences” worldwide — including the Western U.S. — as hot, arid regions get thirstier.

Growing scarcity, shortage of the most precious resource, water, could lead to dire consequences worldwide -- a new GFA World report reveals.
WORLD ON BRINK OF ‘DIRE’ WATER SHORTAGE: Growing scarcity of the planet’s most “precious” resource could lead to “dire consequences” worldwide — including the Western U.S. — as hot, arid regions get thirstier, a troubling new report for World Water Day on March 22 reveals. The report, Water: An Increasingly Scarce Resource That Is Precious As Gold, from GFA World says global demand is expected to surge more than 50% in the next 20 years.

Surging global population, urban development and rising temperatures could leave billions worldwide struggling to find enough water to drink within the next two decades, according to the report Water: An Increasingly Scarce Resource That Is Precious As Gold.

“The consequences are dire,” says the report by global humanitarian agency GFA World. “Areas could become uninhabitable; tensions over how to share and manage water resources like rivers and lakes could worsen; more political violence could erupt.”

Water shortages contributed to both the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria and the civil war in Syria, the report says, noting: “Water scarcity is the ‘invisible’ hand behind many humanitarian crises.”

Citing a New York Times article, the report says 40 million people living in 7 states in the Western U.S. who rely on water from the Colorado River could face severe shortages in coming years.

‘Runaway’ Crisis

In the next 20 years, demand for water is expected to surge more than 50%. “Once we’re on that train, it’s not clear where it stops,” the report quotes Jennifer Pitt, director of the Colorado River program at the National Audubon Society, as saying.

The looming water crisis could also hugely impact agricultural output, including staple crops, meaning people could struggle to find food and beverages in the stores, according to London-based financial giant Barclays.

Worst affected will be those living in the world’s hottest — and poorest — regions, including Africa and South Asia. Already, 1.1 billion people — one in every 7 people on earth — lack reasonable access to drinking water. In Africa, more than a quarter of the entire population spends several hours every day walking miles to get to a water source, the report says.

Drilling for Life

Humanitarian agencies such as Gospel for Asia (GFA World) are drilling thousands of deep-water wells, supplying reliable, clean drinking water for millions in remote places where children often suffer and die from waterborne parasites and diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and cholera.

“This desperate situation is especially acute in Asia, where millions of families get their drinking water from the only source available to them — often a dirty river or stagnant pond,” said Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founder K.P. Yohannan.

The faith-based organization has provided enough wells — called “Jesus Wells” — and simple sand-gravel filters to supply more than 38 million people with safe drinking water.

“Just as Jesus offered people ‘living water,’ we’re striving to do the same as an expression of God’s care for them,” Yohannan said.


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 a typical year, this includes 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 to provide hope and encouragement 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 the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read more blogs on Human Trafficking, Water Shortage, the Global Water Crisis and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about how to provide pure, clean water to families and villages through GFA World Jesus Wells and BioSand Water Filters.

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Water Scarcity | 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


Source: GFA World Digital Media News Room, Earth On Brink of ‘Dire’ Water Shortage, GFA World Warns


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