December 19, 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 last part of a Special Report on a surprising antidote and solution to world poverty: farm animals.

Cursed No More

A woman receives goats from GFA World's Christmas gift distribution
Like this woman, Raylea received a pair of goats at a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Christmas gift distribution. The animals allowed her to feed and cloth her children and even be a blessing to others as she gave one of her goats to the church in thankfulness for all she had received.

Raylea’s plight was, if anything, even more dire than Taden’s.[12] She was a widow in an Asian society where widows are not highly esteemed. They are commonly considered cursed and are even blamed for their husbands’ deaths. Raylea was the mother of two young children. From her humble position, she struggled to provide for them every day. But her outlook was bleak indeed.

Things changed for Raylea when she received two income-producing goats through a Gospel for Asia (GFA World) Christmas gift distribution. The goats’ milk provided her children with much-needed protein and calcium for their growing bones. Importantly, the goats also enabled Raylea to earn money that would change her family’s circumstances for good. At last, she was able to provide her children with new clothing, more food and even school uniforms. Raylea expressed her gratitude by donating a goat to her local church, so another needy family could enjoy the same blessing she had received.

Family in poverty with an income generating gift of a pig

Pigs may not be the most elegant of creatures, but they provide more meat for people around the world than any other animal.[13] There are some obvious reasons for this. Pigs are remarkably prolific, typically breeding twice a year and producing 12 piglets in each litter.[14] The phrase eating like a pig has some basis in reality; pigs can and will eat most anything, from grain-based feed to our leftover food scraps.[15] Having little to do but eat, they grow very large very fast; a pig can be ready for slaughter in two to three months. Or it can be allowed to grow for up to eight months for an even bigger yield. Pigs require little space, are docile and, contrary to myth, are actually quite clean.[16] It’s no surprise that pigs fetch a good price in the marketplace and can provide the basis for a very profitable farm business.

Girl and an income generating gift of a chicken

Even a severely impoverished family can usually afford to raise a few chickens. These birds can provide protein-rich eggs, often on a daily basis, as well as a healthy source of meat. They’re happy roaming in virtually any yard or field and require little in the way of food and maintenance. Donors who may not be able to fund a larger animal for a family can usually help provide a chicken for just a few dollars. And that chicken can mark the beginning of a turnaround for a family that has nothing.

Besides providing for their families, livestock farmers contribute to the welfare of their communities by helping to alleviate malnutrition, which is still rampant in developing countries. Meat is a primary source of protein as well as vital micronutrients.[17] But in many places, it’s hard to find. Instead, villagers rely on scant vegetation and grains, which can’t supply all their nutritional needs. By providing animals for food to these deprived communities, relief organizations and their donors can enhance the general health of entire regions.

Man and an income generating gift of a water buffalo

Of course, farm animals are good for more than just food. Their manure helps to fertilize the land, aiding in crop growth. It is also used for fuel in many places. Water buffalo are almost unheard of in the West, where plowing and transportation are handled by machines. But in developing countries, especially Asia, these huge creatures are known as “living tractors.”[18] It’s not unusual in Asia to see villagers on the roads with water buffalo hauling heavy loads. Using a water buffalo to plow, a farmer in Asia can plant five times as much as would be possible by hand.[19] That advantage can mean the difference between poverty and plenty. Water buffalo are also used for their meat, hides, horns and milk. In some places, cows also perform these same functions.

Man and woman in poverty and income generating gifts of sheepAlong with providing mutton, which many people rely on for food, sheep produce valuable wool that can be sold at a good price. Some sheep farmers spin the wool themselves, providing yarn for clothing that they can sell or use for their own families. For farmers with limited space, sheep have many of the same advantages as goats and serve many of the same uses.

Any or all of these animals can make a lifesaving difference for people in the developing world. They are all relatively inexpensive to provide and can bring a family or an entire community into lasting health and prosperity. This is why so many relief agencies now focus on this approach, rather than well-intended but ineffective methods of the past. Most people in the world are accustomed to agriculture. Providing them with living assets they can put to immediate use is a wise, compassionate way to help them succeed.

Love that Makes a Difference

Some people are so impoverished that affording even a chicken seems out of reach. That was the case with Mayra, another widow in Asia who was struggling to survive.[20]

Mayra receives a pair of chickens from GFA World Sisters of Compassion
Mayra had longed to own chickens, but couldn’t afford them herself. She was so happy to see the love and concern shown to her when she was given two chickens to raise.

“I actually wanted to have chickens for a long time,” she said, “but I did not get the chance to buy them because I do not have any source of income now.”

Mayra had lived with her son since the death of her husband and daughter. Her son had a paying job, but it couldn’t come close to meeting their needs.

Mayra was one of 10 widows who caught the attention of the Sisters of Compassion, a Gospel for Asia (GFA World) group of specially trained women missionaries. They had determined to give a pair of chickens to each of these widows with the hope of providing them with some income for the long term.

“These widows are extremely poor,” observed Anhithi, one of the Sisters of Compassion involved with the project. “Some of them don’t even have proper utensils or basic household things in their house. I believe giving this small gift will really mean a lot to them. They can earn something for their family.”

Mayra was especially grateful to receive her unexpected gift.

“I am really happy to receive this pair of chickens,” she said. “But I am so happy because of your love and concern for me. … I believe this chicken will help me to raise at least some amount of income in the days to come.”

“I have never received any gift before …”

Neha receives a pair of chickens from GFA World Sisters of Compassion
Neha, a mother of four, and was overjoyed to receive the unexpected gift of chickens which will help with her children’s schooling.

Neha was another of the widows who received a gift of chickens from the Sisters of Compassion.[21]

It changed her circumstances for good. She had spent much of her life struggling to provide for her four children, raising pigs and working as a day laborer.

“I really did not expect anything like this,” she said after receiving her birds, “and I have never received any gift before.”

Years of struggling on her own, expecting no help from anyone, were now in the past. At last, Neha’s dream of a better life for her children seemed within reach.

“I am so thankful to you for giving [me] this pair of chickens,” she said. “I believe they will be a great help in raising some amount of money and will help with my children’s schooling. I will take care of them safely so that they will produce many chickens.”

A Cruel Challenge—and an Inspired Solution

This leprosy patient received a goat as a CHristmas gift through the work of GFA World Sisters of Compassion
Through the work of Sisters of Compassion, a gift distribution was able to happen in a leprosy colony in Odisha a few years back. This woman received a goat as a Christmas gift and she’s been carefully nurturing and caring for it since then and now has three goats, which is a great financial help.

One of the most dramatic illustrations of how raising animals can benefit the disadvantaged comes from a sequestered leprosy community in South Asia. For many leprosy victims in these regions, the stigma associated with this condition often pushes those afflicted with it to the margins of society. Their physical handicaps and separation from society make it difficult for them to earn a living outside of begging. But in one community, the residents have discovered an ingenious way to overcome their challenges: raising goats.

Because leprosy often results in nerve damage, leaving fingers disfigured, leprosy patients can’t perform many of the strenuous tasks that would be required for rearing large animals or shear sheep. But they can raise goats, which require little hands-on care—an answer to their dilemma. With their goat herds, they can earn what they need to survive each month—and live with dignity instead of begging in the streets.

These stories reveal the life-changing benefits that can come from raising farm animals. And they show the profound impact compassionate gifts can have on those who are struggling in life.

Even a Small Gift Can Make a Big Impact

Alleviating extreme poverty around the world remains one of the most daunting challenges of our time. But there are effective ways to help poor families overcome impoverishment, like the gifting of income-producing farm animals.

It’s easy to change a life by donating a goat, cow, pig or even a chicken to a deserving family in the developing world. There are many organizations that facilitate this, and many opportunities to do so. A gift that entails only a small sacrifice can bring a lifelong change for people struggling to survive. And for those who give, the blessings far outweigh the sacrifices.


Give Animals to Help Poor Families in Need »

If you want to help impoverished families with a gift that can provide them life-saving income for many years to come, consider a one-time donation to give farm animals – a surprising antidote to overcoming persistent poverty.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: A Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals 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 Poverty Solution, Christmas Gift Catalog, the COVID 19 Pandemic and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about how the simple gift of an income-generating animal can be the turning point for an impoverished family—one their family has likely been desiring for generations.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Fighting Global Poverty with Ideas — Uprooting poverty requires education that transmits values


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | 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 18, 2021

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 on a surprising antidote and solution to world poverty: farm animals.

This woman received the gift of a goat that would help lift up her family from generational poverty
Farm animals, like the goats shown above, can help a poor family in a variety of beneficial ways: 1. They provide milk for nourishment; 2. They typically breed and multiply providing young that can be sold off for income or used to increase the size of the herd.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with a Cow

Taden
Taden worked hard from the time he was a young boy and dreamed that one day he would no longer be hungry and be able to give his children a life outside of poverty. “I couldn’t afford a very nice life for my family, and I used to feel very angry at myself at times, very sad with myself because of the situation I was in.”

Taden’s story is typical of the kind of transformation a single animal can make in a family’s life.[6]As a laborer in a poor Asian community, Taden had few options and little hope. He despaired to think his children would have to endure the same multi-generational poverty he had inherited.

“I couldn’t afford a very nice life for my family,” he recalls, “and I used to feel very angry at myself at times, very sad with myself because of the situation I was in.”

A local pastor saw Taden’s plight and arranged for him to receive a cow, funded by Gospel for Asia (GFA World).

“We were really overjoyed,” Taden recalls, “because we did not have anything in our house to call our own. But we felt that if we got the cow, we could really improve our lives.”

Soon, the cow gave birth and began producing milk. Taden and his family began milking the cow twice daily and selling the milk. That enabled them to meet their basic needs and do something that would have been unimaginable before: send their children to school. The cycle of poverty, which seemed so unbreakable for so long, was finally ending.

Now, with two cows in his possession, Taden began to think entrepreneurially.

A gift of a cow helps lift Taden's family from poverty
A gift of a cow grew into a means out of poverty for Taden and his family. They now have a cow, five goats, and hopeful plans for the future.

“I had observed others who were raising goats,” he says, “and I came to know that the goats, they bear kids once every five months.”

Seeing a potential second source of income, Taden sold one of the cows and bought a pair of goats. They soon gave birth to two kids, which Lavish sold, earning as much as he would have made in six months of working. Now, he could afford new clothes and schoolbooks for his kids. Life was looking up at last. Taden was overcome with gratitude.

“I would like to thank those who have helped me get the cow as a gift,” he says. “My life has definitely been blessed 100 percent.”

World Vision, another NGO, has refined the practice of providing microloans—funds that help aspiring farmers and entrepreneurs get started in their chosen enterprises. The amount needed to begin a thriving business in a developing country can be astonishingly small compared to Western standards. And for many, it all starts with the acquisition of a single animal.

A woman received the gift of a water buffalo, a game changer for her family trapped in debilitating poverty.
The gift of even just one animal can be a complete game changer for a family trapped in debilitating poverty. They get a source of income along with hope for a better future for them and their family and the knowledge that they are seen and loved.

Like World Vision, Heifer International leverages support from governments and private organizations along with individual donations to create opportunities for aspiring farmers. The organization recognizes that “ending poverty begins with agriculture” and works to build “inclusive, resilient economies” in the areas it serves.[7]

For over 40 years, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) has been serving people’s physical and spiritual needs. Now active in 18 Asian countries, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) has also recently begun ministering in Africa. Along with providing animals for families, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) missionaries serve the community through providing things like educational opportunities for children, vocational training and resources for life. In water-starved regions of Asia, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) installs wells using local labor, and trains the local pastor and congregation on how to maintain them for the long term.

Like other similar organizations, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) offers donors a range of suggested gift amounts, which can provide chickens for a needy family or improve an entire village. It describes the cows, goats, pigs, lambs and chickens as “income-producing animals,” which affirms their real purpose of providing ongoing, sustainable food or financial resources for the family. Donors can feel confident they’re providing more than a few meals for the families they help. Their gifts can actually spark a permanent change for people who just need a helping hand to get a fresh start.

Faith-based organizations help their recipients create prosperous family enterprises, often starting with a single cow or goat. The goal is not a quick fix, but a long-term program that can lift families out of poverty for good.

Relief agencies that work in the developing world recognize that providing live, useful farm animals to people in need is more effective than simply giving money. With that well-established principle in mind, they can approach potential donors with a simple, attractive proposition. “Donate a goat” is a straightforward message with immediate appeal to those who want to help the less fortunate. For a gift as small as $140, a donor can provide a family with two goats that will help lift them out of destitution. Those who give can feel confident their contributions are providing real, lasting benefits to real people.

Bishop Danny Punnose - Vice President, GFA World
Bishop Danny Punnose Vice President, GFA World

For these nonprofits, helping people defeat poverty is a tangible expression of their faith. “God’s love must be demonstrated in more ways than just through words,” says Bishop Danny Punnose of GFA World. “It must be seen, felt and experienced! Providing these life changing gifts to these precious people who are in great need is an opportunity for us to love them practically and see their lives lifted out of their hopeless state.”

If obtaining an animal seems like an unlikely way to achieve success, it’s important to remember what the alternatives are for the poorest of the poor. They often work as day laborers, barely making a subsistence wage—when they can find work at all. Some will resort to picking through garbage for food and usable items. And for others, the sex trade is a cruel option of last resort. But with even a few animals, those same people can enjoy a wide range of new opportunities.

The first benefit is having enough food to eat—which is always an urgent priority for the desperately poor. Besides the meat they provide, cows and goats supply nutrient-rich milk that can sustain an entire family and more. And when animals begin to reproduce, things change dramatically. Families can sell their animals or the meat. Then, with a surplus of funds, they can begin to consider things that would have been out of reach before, such as health care and medicine. Family members who were incapacitated by disease can become productive again. The children can go to school instead of being condemned to a lifetime of manual labor. Families can improve their dwellings and acquire amenities that make life tolerable—even enjoyable—instead of miserable. In other words, they can begin to experience the enhanced quality of life that people in the developed world routinely expect. With their basic needs met, they can start to focus time and attention on more rewarding pursuits. Instead of a cycle of poverty, they can enter a cycle of prosperity. And, perhaps for the first time, life can seem worthwhile.

This woman received a gift of a cow that would help provide income for her family amid generational poverty
Trapped in generational poverty, many families have no way out and their children may be forced to work at a young age just to survive. A gift of an animal can provide things like milk, eggs, help in the field, meat, and offspring to sell. The family now has an income – a way to grow and expand, sources of nutrition, a means for the children to go to school, and HOPE.

Creating a Manageable Menagerie

Boy and an income generating gift of a cow

A family’s choice of animals to raise depends on several factors: resources, land area, topography, market conditions and climate, to name a few. For farmers with access to large areas of land, cows provide a viable source of meat, milk and income. The farmers can breed the cows, use some of them for food, and sell others in the marketplace. Raising cattle has been a profitable enterprise for people the world over, and with good reason. A lactating cow can produce up to six or seven gallons of milk per day.[8] And a single 1,200-lb. steer can yield an astonishing 490 pounds of edible meat.[9] Clearly, owning even one cow can change life drastically for a struggling family.

Boy and an income generating gift of a goat

For those with limited land or capital, goats can be an ideal option. They require a smaller area than cattle and can forage virtually anywhere—on anything. Farmers who can’t afford a cow may be able to purchase a goat with limited funds and begin their journey to prosperity. Nanny goats can bear several kids in a year, allowing for a quick expansion of the herd. In India, an adult goat can sell for an amount equal to an entire month’s income for many people.[10] Although goat meat is not yet popular in the United States, it is actually a good source of clean, nutritious protein, being lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than chicken, beef or pork.[11] And goats are relatively easy to raise, requiring little in the way of maintenance. For many families, their escape from poverty begins with a humble goat.


Give Animals to Help Poor Families in Need »

If you want to help impoverished families with a gift that can provide them life-saving income for many years to come, consider a one-time donation to give farm animals – a surprising antidote to overcoming persistent poverty.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: A Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals 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 Poverty Solution, Christmas Gift Catalog, the COVID 19 Pandemic and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about how the simple gift of an income-generating animal can be the turning point for an impoverished family—one their family has likely been desiring for generations.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Fighting Global Poverty with Ideas — Uprooting poverty requires education that transmits values


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | 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 17, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which has been the model for numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this first part of a 3-part Special Report on a surprising antidote and solution to world poverty: farm animals.

GFA World (Gospel for Asia), founded by KP Yohannan, issued this Special Report on a surprising solution to world poverty: farm animals.

A family in poverty
Knowing nothing besides poverty, this poor family in harsh conditions in Asia represents the over 700 million who attempt to scratch out a living on less than $2 a day in earnings.

Recent decades have seen a general trend toward prosperity in much of the world, but too many people are still being left behind.[1] Alleviating extreme poverty remains one of the most daunting challenges of our time. But for poor families, prosperity can come in surprising ways: through the gift of a farm animal.

Progress Interrupted

From 2015 to 2019, the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide was projected to drop from 744 million to 655 million.[2] The downward trend was on track to continue, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In 2020, the projected number of people in extreme poverty shot back up to 732 million. For 2021, the projected number was marginally better at 711 million.

That means a population twice that of the United States still lacks even the most basic necessities of life. They can’t afford the simple improvements that would make life easier. They can’t access decent medical care. They can’t send their children to school. These are people who live on $1.90 or less per day, which is just enough to keep them alive until the next day. By contrast, many Americans spend nearly twice that much for their daily cup of coffee without giving it a second thought.

Mother and child trapped in generational poverty
This desperate Asian mother looks at her child with despair. Trapped in generational poverty, without many options for escape, this mother cannot provide a good future for her children, unless something occurs to alter their circumstances.

Poverty is present in all parts of the world, but is concentrated especially in Africa. Most of the 30 poorest countries in the world are in Africa, with Central African Republic, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo topping the list.[3] Relentless war, political upheaval and public corruption have all contributed to the troubles in these nations, but drought, disease and poor farming methods are also to blame.

The countries of South Asia, with their huge populations, are only somewhat better off. One-third of the world’s poor live in this region, most of them in undeveloped rural areas.[4] In recent years, industrial development and rising living standards in these countries inspired high hopes. But the COVID-19 epidemic hit Asian nations especially hard. The region was already afflicted with high poverty rates and inadequate infrastructure. Most people in Asia have only limited access to clean water, sanitation facilities or medical care. And the dense population has made it all but impossible for people to maintain the social distancing required to stem the effects of the pandemic. Predictably, these conditions led to a severe COVID-19 outbreak in India and other South Asian countries, necessitating lockdowns, which exacerbated the already-severe economic problems.[5] As a result, the high hopes of many people were cruelly dashed.

A poor family from Himachal Pradesh
Poverty is present in all parts of the world, and this poor family from Himachal Pradesh is no exception. But there is a path out of persistent poverty, which includes the provision of farm animals which can multiply, to help families like these escape an endless cycle of generational impoverishment.

The Limits of Education

For those who remain impoverished—the poorest of the poor—what is the best way out? One answer is education. But for many in the developing world, pursuing and completing an education can seem almost unattainable. It may also feel of secondary importance to families struggling just to meet their immediate, everyday needs for food and shelter. People living in abject poverty have one priority: survival. Their daily agenda consists of finding enough food to live another day. And for those living in remote rural areas, even traveling to a place where education is available can be impractical at best.

But for many in the developing world, pursuing and completing an education can seem almost unattainable. It may also feel of secondary importance to families struggling just to meet their immediate, everyday needs for food and shelter. People living in abject poverty have one priority: survival. Their daily agenda consists of finding enough food to live another day. And for those living in remote rural areas, even traveling to a place where education is available can be impractical at best.

A woman in Uttar Pradesh blessed with two cows from GFA World gift distribution
Cows seem to be everywhere in India but many poor families don’t own one. Once acquired though, they can perform a variety of useful functions to benefit a family. In this photo, a woman in Uttar Pradesh is blessed to be able to use these two cows to thresh out the hay.

But there is a path to dynamic prosperity that relies on the inherent growth potential in nature. It is accessible to people even in the poorest, most remote regions. And it has been a reliable engine of wealth creation throughout human history. Instead of investing in stocks or real estate, people of any background in any locale can invest in animals.

That’s a strange notion to those of us whose only connection to the animal world is the pets on which we lavish our attention. We buy our meat, eggs and dairy products at a market, neatly dressed and packaged. We know someone somewhere is raising the cows and chickens that feed us, but we don’t give it much thought. And the fact that these people are able to earn a living from these farm animals also escapes our attention. Yet, the same growth principles that have sustained food producers in America can also lift poor families out of poverty in Asia or Africa.

The wonderful thing about animals (and all life forms) is that they grow and reproduce. With the right care and attention, they will increase and provide their owners with lasting benefits. Just as people in the developed world rely on financial investments for their security, people in less-developed regions can rely on farm animals for their security. And like a good equity fund, that investment can grow indefinitely.

Family received the gift of income generating goats
This family in Uttar Pradesh looks so happy! They received one goat three years ago in an animal distribution from Gospel for Asia (GFA World), and they now have eighteen goats! With a herd of goats this size, they’re able to sell goats as needed to stabilize their family’s finances. Plus, the goats provide milk for drinking and selling which enables them to secure many essentials for themselves that they could only dream about before.

Animals as a Sign of Blessing

A little girl and an income generating gift of a goat
Goats are hardy animals and flourish in the Asian climate. A single female goat can produce seven to nine goats in just two years and generates plenty of milk to drink and sell. The gift of a goat, given with the love of Jesus, is a great way to bring joy into a poor family’s world.

In the ancient world, wealth was often measured in terms of livestock. The Bible notes that “Abram [later Abraham] was very rich in livestock” (Gen. 13:2). This was confirmed by his servant, who declared, “The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds” (Gen. 24:35). Abraham’s knack for prosperity was also shared by his son Isaac, who “became very prosperous; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds” (Gen. 26:13b-14a).

In the Bible, the increase of one’s livestock was recognized as a blessing from God. That belief is shared by the many faith-based groups that now provide animals for people living in poverty. Gospel for Asia (GFA World), World Vision, Compassion International, Lutheran World Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, and SIM are among the agencies that provide people in poor rural areas with goats, cows, chickens, pigs and other productive animals to help impoverished people succeed. They also offer guidance to help the recipients properly care for their animals. The farming innovations that have enhanced yields in the developed countries can be applied with great success in poorer ones. Most importantly, faith-based organizations help their recipients create prosperous family enterprises, often starting with a single cow or goat. The goal is not a quick fix, but a long-term program that can lift families out of poverty for good.


Give Animals to Help Poor Families in Need »

If you want to help impoverished families with a gift that can provide them life-saving income for many years to come, consider a one-time donation to give farm animals – a surprising antidote to overcoming persistent poverty.


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: A Surprising Antidote to World Poverty: Farm Animals Part 2, 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 Poverty Solution, Christmas Gift Catalog, the COVID 19 Pandemic and GFA World on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

Learn more about how the simple gift of an income-generating animal can be the turning point for an impoverished family—one their family has likely been desiring for generations.

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

Learn more by reading this Special Report from Gospel for Asia: Fighting Global Poverty with Ideas — Uprooting poverty requires education that transmits values


Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Poverty Solution – Farm Animals | 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 13, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by KP Yohannan, issued this Special Report on the massive challenge of reducing extreme poverty worldwide, mainly through providing education, transmitting values.

Chain Reaction

One individual whose values have enabled him to rise from poverty and whose children are benefiting from his foundation can make an impact that expands to his society.

Integrity is one of the qualities employers look for most. Billionaire Warren Buffett explains,

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
Photo by Javier, Flickr
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”

The workplace quickly turns dark when negative ideologies are present. But on the flipside, business benefits mankind in beautiful ways when positive values define the scene.

A business owner’s upright values will dictate the way he treats his employees. He will not stoop to exploiting any of the world’s 24.9 million forced laborers

or 152 million child laborers.

On the other hand, an employee with positive values will not take advantage of his boss. His honesty will strengthen the company, which in turn will strengthen their local economy.

Values also determine whether a person will be marked by crime. Education alone helps people to respect justice, and their values will only solidify that position.

A report examining the correlation of education rates and crime reduction in the U.S. revealed that increasing the male high school graduation rate by just five percent would:

decrease overall annual incidences of assault by

nearly 60,000

decrease of larceny by

more than 37,000

decrease of motor vehicle theft by

more than 31,000

decrease of burglaries by

more than 17,000

It would also prevent nearly

1,300 murders

prevent occurrences of more than

3,800 rape crimes

prevent and more than

1,500 robberies.

When an individual has the unique experience of rising out of poverty himself, he knows what others in poverty around him need. When he has the chance to be a help to others or a voice for poverty alleviation, his firsthand experience will serve him well.

Kanal with his family
“By selling the piglets, we have bought a goat and chickens, which will be another source of income for our family. We do not have any problems now paying the school fees for our children. We also purchased roofing sheets to construct our house. I thank God for all the blessings this pig has brought.” —Kanal from Arunachal Pradesh

Kanal, a father in Asia, experienced this very thing.

After years of desperately struggling with poverty, he received a piglet at a Gospel for Asia (GFA) gift distribution organized by the local church. Later, the pig had a litter of eight piglets. He sold seven of them for a sizable profit and finally had the financial breakthrough he needed to start rising out of poverty.

Over the following months, Kanal’s pig bore another 10 piglets. Each one propelled the family farther out of poverty.

Kanal’s children saw how one person’s generosity changed their family—and then they saw their father do the same thing. Even though his family had many needs, Kanal’s gratitude for his amazing gift led him to donate one piglet back to the church so another family could receive a life-changing gift. Then Kanal approached one of his neighbors who also struggled with poverty and gave them a piglet as well. His neighbor would raise the piglet, and when it was ready to go to market, they would share the profits. Kanal is on his way out of poverty, and he plans to bring others out with him, too.

Ashima, a young girl in Asia, received help much as Kanal did. Her help, however, came in the form of tutoring, moral lessons, food and school supplies through GFA World’s Bridge of Hope Program.

Bridge of Hope Teacher
Bridge of Hope teachers, like this gentleman in West Bengal, typically serve children from impoverished situations, including those kids whose parents are affected by leprosy. They provide their students with a quality education, a daily nutritious meal, loving care and practical supplies like soap, schoolbags, and school uniforms.

“Before coming to the Bridge of Hope,” Ashima said, “I was not able to study seriously because of the problem and inconvenience at home, and the financial problem that we are going through.”

Ashima’s problematic home life and lack of guidance led her to skip school and waste her educational opportunities. Sadly, Ashima’s instructor scolded and punished her instead of teaching her the values she needed to succeed.

But then through Bridge of Hope, Ashima received the guidance she needed to develop positive character traits and values, which enabled her to excel in her studies—and in life. Less than a year later, Ashima’s story was quite different.

“My future ambition is that I want to become a medical doctor,” she shared. “Especially I want to serve the poor from our society because … once we were very poor, and because we were poor, we were not able to buy so many things. It affected us very badly. And now, because Bridge of Hope is here, this is helping poor and the needy people like us. I also want to help and serve all the poor children and poor people who are suffering.”

Ashima is one more person being lifted out of poverty because of empowering values—one more life being equipped to help others escape extreme poverty.

Girl receiving school supplies from Bridge of Hope center
Most parents of Bridge of Hope children are unable to afford their child’s school fees let alone other essentials, such as stationery and other school supplies, uniforms, and toiletries, so Bridge of Hope provides all these essentials through sponsors from America and Canada, relieving the parents of a great financial burden. Here, Ashima receives a few supplies that will help her and meet some of her family’s needs.

What Can We Do?

Children studying in Bridge of Hope Center
These children are being tutored at a GFA Bridge of Hope center in Nepal. Each child is given the education and opportunity to have the courage they need to transform their generation and the ones after them.

As astonishing as it may be, one person can make a significant impact on global poverty. Jesus changed countless cultural and societal norms when He came to earth and taught profound new ways of thinking. Notably, the values Christ embodied have a life-altering impact, and even today, where the Church serves, lives improve. As far back as Apostle Paul’s time, values led the early church to share among each other to the extent that “nor was there any among them who lacked” (Acts 4:34). Uprooting extreme poverty community by community is not impossible, but it requires determination and positive foundational values.

A person looking for ways to fight extreme poverty will find countless organizations to partner with through donations. That is the easy part.

But each person must, in addition, consider the following: What values are they promoting? What are their children and co-workers learning from them? Do their daily activities uplift others? Or are they reinforcing negative values, even if those values are a few steps removed?

In recent years, more people have become aware of the human rights issues present throughout many supply chains. And because people are choosing to live in accordance with positive values, they are supporting the companies that reflect those same values, such as treating employees well and paying them an honest wage. Taking steps as simple as supporting companies with ethical supply chain practices can diminish the world’s poverty.

Another critical step toward poverty eradication is equipping and supporting excellent teachers. Education workers play a vital role in children’s development, for obvious reasons. Their influence, knowledge and teaching skills have the potential to transform a child’s life—or to destroy it.

Zaid Adil Sultan, a manager at a refugee camp in Iraq, relates a sobering example. When a militant group gained control of the region, its leaders inserted new teachers and programs into schools. The ideologies held by the group infiltrated curriculums, teaching children as young as 6 or 7 to use weapons.

“They gave them ‘courses’ that encouraged violence,” Sultan said. “In math, instead of teaching them that one plus one equals two, they taught them that one bullet plus one bullet equals two bullets.”

Bridge of Hope teacher with student
Education transmits values. As individuals and nations, we bear the responsibility to teach the next generation the ideas and values that will promote upward movement, not deeper poverty. This Bride of Hope teacher in Karnataka is assisting this student to improve in his studies and in building his character.

He went on to explain how children have been severely scarred by the indoctrination. Specialized workshops have opened to help children recover, but removing the damaging ideologies from young minds has proved difficult.

“The hardest age to treat is boys from 14 years old to 17,” Sultan said. “People have told me that before their sons went to those schools, they were okay, but after they went, they were coming home hitting their siblings and threatening to kill them.”

Education transmits values. As individuals and nations, we bear the responsibility to teach the next generation the ideas and values that will promote upward movement, not deeper poverty. Amazing teachers and professors around the world are helping children learn the skills and values necessary to thrive in life—and we thank them for their dedication. Yet many children live in places where negative values dominate ways of thinking, even among educational staff, and where poverty abounds.

Every culture is susceptible to damaging ideologies and to the poverty those ideas can generate. But great change is possible as individuals examine what values they are reinforcing and partner with educators who promote the positive values every child, family and community needs to rise out of extreme poverty.

A closing word from Dr. King:

Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. Martin Luther King
“Education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals…
The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.”

Provide a Values-centric Education to Children at Risk in Asia

If you want to help children at risk in South Asia, consider a one-time donation to stand in the gap for boys and girls who need to be freed from hopeless situations into Bridge of Hope, where they can receive an education that transmits positive values, and provides a hope-filled future.


Provide Values-centric Education to Children at Risk in Asia »

If you want to help children at risk in South Asia, consider a one-time donation to stand in the gap for boys and girls who need to be freed from hopeless situations into Bridge of Hope, where they can receive an education that transmits positive values, and provides a hope-filled future.


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.


Read the rest of Gospel for Asia’s Special Report: Fighting Global Poverty with Ideas — Uprooting poverty requires education that transmits values  Part 1

Learn more by reading these Special Reports from Gospel for Asia:


This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

Read what Christian Leaders have to say about Gospel for Asia.

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

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May 12, 2021

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by KP Yohannan, issued this Special Report on the massive challenge of reducing extreme poverty worldwide, mainly through providing education, transmitting values.

GFA World, founded by KP Yohannan, reports on the massive challenge of reducing extreme poverty worldwide - through providing education.

In my original special report for Gospel for Asia titled Solutions to Poverty-line Problems of the Poor and Impoverished, I explored education’s impact on extreme poverty eradication. This update explores the idea that uprooting poverty requires education that transmits positive values.

Reducing extreme poverty is a massive challenge. Groups around the globe approach the issue in a variety of ways, the most common of which is by providing education. A strong, multifaceted link bonds poverty and lack of education, so experts around the globe are attempting to bring education into poverty-stricken areas.

E.F. Schumacher
E.F. Schumacher

Photo by The Schumacher Institute

But even with academic lessons and increased school attendance among low-income families, children will be short-changed if in the end they don’t gain the ultimate endowment: ideas and values that empower them to thrive.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” According to Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

E.F. Schumacher writes in his influential economics book Small Is Beautiful, “The task of education would be, first and foremost, the transmission of ideas of value, of what to do with our lives. There is no doubt also the need to transmit know-how, but this must take second place, for it is obviously somewhat foolhardy to put great powers into the hands of people without making sure that they have a reasonable idea of what to do with them.”

“When people ask for education,” Schumacher continues, “they normally mean something more than mere training. … I think what they are really looking for is ideas that would make the world, and their own lives, intelligible to them.”

Why do ideas and values matter so much? Because they have the power to transform the world—to uproot global poverty.

Concepts like honesty, diligence, respect, compassion and valuing human life are widely acknowledged as good—yet in many communities around the world these values are not being demonstrated or taught to children. When one individual has a foundation of beneficial values like these, he or she can impact other lives, from their own family to the entire world. For the sake of simplicity, our individual will be referred to as “he,” although both males and females are able to make incredible changes to the world around them.

Children listening intently in Bridge of Hope center class
The staff at this Bridge of Hope Project Center in West Bengal provide their children with an ongoing education and transmit positive values with utmost care and responsibility.

Personal Impact of Ideas, Education

Schumacher defined education’s primary purpose as being the transmission of values. Positive values and ideas make a significant impact on one individual, and global change is impossible without changed individuals. The story of a young boy in Asia exemplifies the life-changing power of education plus ideas.

Children in Bridge of Hope center posing together with teachers
Where this GFA Bridge of Hope center is located, around 40-50 percent of children drop out of school after fifth or sixth grade. Thankfully, these children pictured will have a higher success rate because of the help and encouragement that Bridge of Hope is to them and their families.

Six-year-old Bir helped his farming family by scavenging for plastic bags they could use to take their produce to market. His community held fast to time-honored traditions, which ensured stability but also locked families into generations of poverty.

Even though Bir’s family lived in poverty, the young boy still had the gift of attending school. But he floundered in the classroom. His books were filled with valuable information, and his teachers taught lessons that had the potential to change Bir’s life, but Bir lacked the discipline of listening and didn’t know how to get the knowledge from his books into his mind. The shame from his terrible grades stamped out the little boy’s motivation. Education was in his hands, but it wasn’t enough.

Then a GFA World Bridge of Hope center opened in his village. Bir and dozens of other kids in the village enrolled, eager to receive free tutoring and supplemental education.

Most of the children attending Bridge of Hope live in deep poverty. Many reside in places where impoverished children grow up hearing they aren’t important, they can’t ever amount to much, and they don’t deserve anything better. But at Bridge of Hope, they hear something very different.

Alongside their schoolwork, Bridge of Hope children learn lessons on values such as diligence, honesty, kindness, respect and more. They learn their lives matter—no matter how poor their families are or how behind they are in their studies. Students thrive under the enriched education they receive from their Bridge of Hope teachers, and they gain courage and motivation to make the best of their lives.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” According to Aristotle, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Through these foundational teachings at his Bridge of Hope center, Bir changed. He saw his potential and diligently applied himself to his studies—and to his chores at home. He learned to honor his parents, and he worked hard. By the time Bir completed 10th grade, he stood at the top of his class. Armed with impressive grades and strong values undergirding his choices and habits, Bir could pursue a college education with every reason to hope for continued success in life.

Education changed Bir’s life, but it wasn’t through academics alone. The right values enabled Bir—and thousands of other children like him—to succeed in schooling and find a better way of life. For the rest of their lives, Bridge of Hope children like Bir will know they, along with every other person, have worth and purpose. They will have the know-how to pursue their goals and to help those around them. They will become promising citizens any nation would be proud to claim as their own.

Bridge of Hope teachers and students
At the center, Bridge of Hope teachers have fun with the children to compliment their studies. In addition, BOH staff periodically visit their children and their families at their homes, which helps strengthen their relationship further. The children enjoy talking and interacting with BOH teachers whenever they visit, and the values of love and kindness get transmitted beyond their school life into their home life as well.

Ideas’ Impact on the Family

375 million children are living in poverty, UNICEF estimates.Thanks to quality, value-centered education, children become well-rounded, capable, confident adults. They know how to implement knowledge to better themselves and others, and they have a sense of participation in the world around them.

How will they impact their future families?

Parents play an undeniably important role in children’s lives. According to an article on parenting skills from Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, “Many of the skills children acquire during the early years are fundamentally dependent on the quality of their interactions with their parents. For instance, parents play an important role in fostering children’s early learning (e.g., language and problem-solving abilities) and in shaping their social-emotional skills (e.g., emotion regulation, reactivity to stress and self-esteem).”

The article goes on to state how the parents’ involvement with their child heavily influences the future success of the child’s cognitive potential, social skills and behavioral functioning.

Anna J. Egalite
“In most studies, parental education has been identified as the single strongest correlate of children’s success…” —Anna J. Egalite

Photo by @annaegalite

Anna J. Egalite, assistant professor of education at North Carolina State University, reaffirms the impact of parents’ education on a child’s success. She writes, “In most studies, parental education has been identified as the single strongest correlate of children’s success in school, the number of years they attend school, and their success later in life.”

Values are always passed along from one generation to the next—but they can be beneficial or detrimental. A parent who values the rights and dignity of others will teach their children to do likewise, even if they live in poverty and their society mistreats them because of their low status. A parent whose diligence and integrity enabled them to overcome financial and societal obstacles will encourage their child to press on in the same way. Their message to their children will be, “You can do it!” Conversely, a parent who doubts their worth and that of others, or who was discouraged from rising above “their station” will likely pass a dooming message to their children, squelching aspirations for a better life.

Poverty is a heritage millions of children receive—and wrestle to be free of. UNICEF estimates 375 million children are living in poverty. But when parents or teachers pass an education, filled with empowering ideas, into those young hands, the horizon holds incredible opportunity. The foundation of global poverty quivers, just one generation later.

GFA Pastor teaching children by the street
In this village in Meghalaya where not one person was literate, a Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor is teaching these little children how to read and write, and showing the love of God in the process.

Ideas’ Impact on Society

History provides ample examples, some inspiring and some horrifying, of how ideas and values impact society and poverty.

A widow with her children
Assam: In many parts of Asia, when a mother is widowed, she is often shunned by her community, friends and family, leaving her and her children in a pressing state of survival, with often no hope for a better future.

Some values led to the formation of the slave trade, while other values led to its abolition. Some ideologies spurred violence, while others prompted the construction of relief camps and orphanages. The ideas propelling men like Stalin and Hitler left behind a wake of death and poverty. These examples reveal the importance of having positive guiding values.

The plight of the world’s 258 million widows, and hundreds of thousands of people with leprosy, reveals how harmful ideas actively reinforce poverty in our time.

Widows and leprosy patients in Asia typically live in positions of great need. Misfortune has made their lives very challenging, yet very few people around them consider them worthy of generosity.

Despite living where honor is a key fiber of the culture, widows of any age may be cast out of the home, abandoned to fend for themselves or easily taken advantage of. Many cultures hold the idea that a husband’s death is the fault of the wife; thus, when the husband dies, the widow “deserves” to be shunned. Over the decades, that idea has irreparably harmed the lives of countless widows and their young children, who also suffer the consequences of their mother’s rejection and subsequent poverty.

Similarly, leprosy patients are commonly expelled from their homes, disowned by their family members and even divorced on the grounds of their diagnosis. Poverty quickly fills the void created by retreating family members.

Neither a husband’s death nor a disfiguring disease justifies neglecting a human being. But in many societies in Asia and other parts of the world, this neglect is the norm and is even supported through legislation.

When individuals have the unique experience of rising out of poverty, they know what others in poverty around them need. When they have the chance to be a help to others or a voice for poverty alleviation, their firsthand experience will serve them well.

But look at what happens when positive values enter a widow’s life and replace damaging ones.

Last year, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) shared the story of a woman in Asia named Prina. When her two sons had grown, she discovered she had leprosy. Not long after her diagnosis, her husband was murdered during a land dispute. Prina now bore the double burden of leprosy and widowhood, both of which brought great ostracism from her community.

Prina
People with leprosy, like Prina, are often shunned, banished or ostracized in Asia and are often transformed when treated with respect and given unconditional love and compassion.

Prina was not forced to make her own way in the world, as many others have been, nor did she fall into extreme poverty as a result. But her son’s family, with whom she lived, banished her to one room in the house. None dared enter it. They brought her food once a day but only stood at the door. Prina was alone.

Then one day, some women from a local GFA Women’s Fellowship came to Prina’s home. Unlike most others in their culture, they did not fear Prina’s status as a widow or her disease. The women treated Prina with respect and love—something Prina had not experienced for many years.

The Women’s Fellowship team explained that Jesus loved her. Hearing this, Prina’s heart lifted. She mustered her courage and ventured out of her home to attend a worship service with her new friends. There, she received love and acceptance. And soon, after much prayer, Prina received healing from the physical pain her disease caused.

Prina’s son and the entire community witnessed a better way to treat widows and leprosy patients, and it left an impression. The values of unconditional love and compassion, lived out by a few women in the name of Christ, transformed Prina’s situation. And these values can transform so many more.


Provide Values-centric Education to Children at Risk in Asia »

If you want to help children at risk in South Asia, consider a one-time donation to stand in the gap for boys and girls who need to be freed from hopeless situations into Bridge of Hope, where they can receive an education that transmits positive values, and provides a hope-filled future.


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.


Read the rest of Gospel for Asia’s Special Report: Fighting Global Poverty with Ideas — Uprooting poverty requires education that transmits values  Part 2

Learn more by reading these Special Reports from Gospel for Asia:


This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

Read what Christian Leaders have to say about Gospel for Asia.

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

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | SourceWatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update | 5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | 10 Milestones | Media Room | Fighting Global Poverty | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response |

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

December 18, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada – Discussing the desperate poverty that still afflicts millions upon millions worldwide and the hope that lies beyond through gifts of hope.

Tavish’s father died when he was just a small boy. His death not only created a hole in their family unit, but it plunged them into a state of financial crisis.

Young Tavish and his mother cultivated the land they owned, leaving the boy with no opportunity to go to school. Their survival was dependent on his toil—his situation mirrored that of more than 200 million children worldwide who are involved in labor.[1]

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing the desperate poverty that still afflicts millions upon millions worldwide and the hope that lies beyond through gifts of hope.
Tavish worked alongside his widowed mother. Like this woman in Sri Lanka, Tavish’s mother labored in fields to keep her family alive.

Much of Tavish’s childhood consisted of trying to make ends meet, but he came up dry. Sometimes crops didn’t produce enough, and this caused one financial tragedy after another.

When Tavish grew older, he married, and he and his wife were blessed with two children. Tavish continued to labor in fields around his village with barely anything to show for his backbreaking work. It was as if all his efforts were one single drop in the midst of a vast ocean of needs and wants.

Faced with a Difficult Choice

Though Tavish was doing all that he could by working multiple jobs, he felt helpless to provide for his family and mother. He never gained ground on their desperate poverty. He was then faced with a difficult decision: Stay in their village and watch his family starve, or deprive his children of education and a stable home to keep them alive.

Tavish and his family, like many in his region, traveled to a neighboring country to live and work for six months out of the year, in sugarcane fields.[2] The conditions were primitive—no toilet facilities, no home, no privacy and no school. The future for his children looked as bleak as his own childhood. The toil of poverty slowly stole away Tavish and his family’s peace and joy.

Tavish (not pictured) worked from the time he was a young boy. Because of his family's poverty, he missed out on school. He worked hard to provide for his family, but all his efforts seemed like a drop in the ocean.
Tavish (not pictured) worked from the time he was a young boy. Because of his family’s poverty, he missed out on school. He worked hard to provide for his family, but all his efforts seemed like a drop in the ocean.

Hope in the Midst of Crisis

It was during the off months of the sugarcane fields that Tavish encountered a glimmer of hope through a message of peace. Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Naimish visited Tavish and his family one day to ask if they needed prayer and to offer encouraging words. Tavish shared his life story, marked by desperate poverty and hardship, with the man of God.

Pastor Naimish could see the family was burdened by the weight of survival. He shared with them about the One who gives hope and new life to weary souls. Tavish and his family felt truth penetrate their hearts.

Faith in Jesus began to anchor the family, while a hopeful future stretched before them. A peace that poverty had stolen swooshed in as new life began to change Tavish and his family. The God who clothes lilies and keeps His eyes on the sparrow was taking care of this family, and they started trusting Him to provide in their lack.

A Gift that Changed the Future

The following year, Tavish was invited by Pastor Naimish to attend a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Christmas gift distribution program. Through the love and care of people across the globe who had provided gifts throughGFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, Tavish and his family received a cow.

As the cow grew, the family’s joy grew along with it. It was providing more than four liters of milk a day, and they were able to make and sell ghee, a type of butter, each month. The profit they made from this liberated them from needing to face the harsh conditions of desperate poverty.

Because of this, Tavish’s children were able to get a consistent education. Their future not only blossomed full of new life, but their new source of income also paved the way to escape poverty through education.

After Tavish received a cow through GFA's Christmas Gift Catalog, his family's financial status improved greatly! They become doubly blessed when their cow gave birth to a new calf, providing more hope for their future stability.
After Tavish received a cow through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog, his family’s financial status improved greatly! They become doubly blessed when their cow gave birth to a new calf, providing more hope for their future stability.

The family’s joy doubled as their cow gave birth to a calf, and the income from these two cows relieved burdens the family carried for many years.

“We came to know the true love of Jesus in our lives,” Tavish said. “He has removed all our burdens and sorrows.”

You can be part of delivering families from poverty’s grip by providing an income-generating gift, such as a cow, for a family in need. Give a gift of hope, and help blaze a path toward a promising future and a chance for new life!


Source: Gospel for Asia Features, Moving Poverty Out of the Picture

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Click here, to read on the topic of desperate poverty on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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November 5, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada, founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan) Special Report dicusses the staggering number of children living in crushing poverty globally — equal to the entire populations of the U.S. and Canada combined.

Around 375 million children worldwide — including nearly one-in-six children in the U.S. — live in crushing poverty, says a new report recently released in tandem with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Oct. 17.

375 million children worldwide live in crushing poverty, says GFA report coinciding with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
CHILDREN IN CRUSHING POVERTY: The staggering number of children living in poverty globally — equal to the entire populations of the U.S. and Canada combined — is revealed in a special report by mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World), as the U.N. marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Oct. 17.

The staggering global number — equal to the entire populations of the U.S. and Canada combined — is revealed in a special report by leading mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World), as the U.N. marks its annual awareness day, aimed at stirring action to fight poverty.

The report — Fighting Global Poverty With Ideas — says education and ideas, along with teaching values such as compassion and integrity, can help catapult the next generation out of the jaws of poverty.

“The ability to eradicate extreme poverty is here,” said Texas-based GFA World founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Ideas and values together can transform the world.”

A Global Scourge

Grinding poverty is most often associated with developing nations in Africa and Asia, but it’s a scourge in wealthy, developed countries, too.

According to PovertyUSA.org — a Catholic initiative — nearly one-in-six children in the U.S. lives in poverty. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is around $25,700 a year.

And, the group says, one in every four Americans with a disability lives in poverty.

Globally, millions of widows — and millions more living with the disease leprosy — are shunned by their families and neighbors, plunged into extreme poverty and struggling to survive as outcasts in their own communities. They’re seen as cursed, and excluded from the mainstream of life and business.

‘Don’t Deserve Anything Better’

“In Asia — the world’s most populated continent — people are often kept in deep poverty by superstitions, prejudices, and the belief that their lives are not important and they don’t deserve anything better,” said Yohannan, author of Never Give Up: The Story of a Broken Man Impacting a Generation.

Children like six-year-old Bir, who scavenges plastic bags for his parents, are led to believe they’re as worthless as the trash they sort through.

“When GFA World’s Bridge of Hope center opened in his village, Bir and his friends discovered they were created for a higher purpose, and that God loves them,” Yohannan said. “This knowledge sets kids free and completely transforms their lives.”

Bridge of Hope not only provides spiritual hope and academic tutoring for more than 70,000 children living in poverty in Asia, but also models Christian values such as honesty, kindness, and good work ethics — character traits that can eventually lead to better employment, spark entrepreneurial ideas, and break the generational cycle of poverty.

“It’s critical that this generation does not give up, that it’s empowered to break free from the stranglehold of poverty,” Yohannan said. “Otherwise, countless millions of children will be doomed to a life of misery in the world’s gutters and slums. They deserve so much better than that.”


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.


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February 29, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, issues the third part of an extensive Special Report on Poverty: Public Enemy #1 – discussing extreme poverty worldwide, and how poverty reduction and poverty elimination is possible, but not inevitable.

Poverty Reduction: These four women were provided micro-loans. They now work a piece of land together that they are renting with the loan.
These four women were provided micro-loans. They now work a piece of land together that they are renting with the loan.

This is Part 3 of a Three-Part Series on Poverty Reduction & Poverty Alleviation. Go here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

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The ‘Good Neighbor’ Phenomenon in Poverty Reduction

One reason microfinance may not always seem to be clearly beneficial is hinted at in a 2013 study of three programs in Namibia. It found the approach “playing a positive role in alleviating poverty amongst its members,” though it also noted that many participants who reported improved living standards said their income still wasn’t enough.

“This shows that income is not the only measurement of living standards,” the report observed. “The increase of members’ income also led to an increase in the number of household members that each member supports … an average member … supports at least three to four household members who depend on him or her for food, clothes and shelter, and, typically, each member supports three family members at school.”

This “good neighbor” phenomenon has been widely observed by those engaged in relief and development work—that as people start to climb out of poverty, they can often find themselves carrying others with them, in effect shortening their own strides to help others. For example, one person employed at a tourist lodge in Ethiopia “can lift up to 10 family members out of poverty,” reported the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (WTO).

It’s an investment in a business but also in people.

Helping an individual to realize poverty reduction, whether by giving them training or tools or a loan, doesn’t only impact the recipient. It can also be good for those providing the resources, helping them realize they are making a dent in a big problem that might otherwise overwhelm them and keep them from action.

Literacy training helps equip women to succeed in society and experience poverty reduction.

For Corie, a Texas mother of three, providing resources for some of those in need through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog has been “a tangible way for my kids to see that Christmas is about more than presents.” They are helping incarnate God’s love through practical gifts that improve the recipients’ quality of life.

Brad Goode, a pastor in Florida, was drawn to making microloans through “the simplicity of the plan and the magnitude of the impact,” helping one young man in Honduras launch a potato chip company and another buy chickens to sell eggs.

“There are times to give handouts, but I think more often a hand up is the better path forward for everybody,” Brad comments. “I think it’s also human nature that if you work for something, you appreciate it more. For folks paying back these loans, there is an intangible pride and commitment that begins to shape the person and not just the outcome of making a few bucks. It’s an investment in a business but also in people.”

Ethical Consumption

Providing income-generating gifts, tools, training or small business loans are all ways of taking direct action to support poverty alleviation, but they are not the only things people in the West can do. We can move beyond being charitable givers to becoming ethical consumers, spending our everyday money in ways that can have an impact on poverty.

The fair trade movement has grown significantly over the past couple of decades. It is now a $9-billion-a-year enterprise, as shoppers buy everything from coffee and chocolate to clothes and gifts from suppliers who seek to help ensure “a living wage and living income for producers and workers.”

Women working on a fair-trade coffee farm. Photo by StumptownCoffee.com

Meanwhile, a growing number of big-name businesses are reviewing their global supply chain practices to ensure they are not supporting sweatshop conditions further down the line. The move is in part an effort to appeal to the rise of “conscientious consumers,” with a 2015 survey finding that 9 in 10 Millennials would switch brands to one associated with a more ethical cause. In another study, researchers discovered that supermarket sales of two coffees rose by 10 percent when they carried a Fair Trade label rather than a generic one.

Playing a part in eradicating poverty isn’t just the right thing for companies to do; it’s also good business.

“The world’s poor are now viewed as the largest untapped market on earth,” says The Borgen Project. “As people transition from barely surviving into being consumers of goods and products, U.S. companies gain new populations to which they can market their products.”

Innovative Startups Help in Poverty Reduction

Another way of investing in poverty alleviation is by supporting innovation startups. Kenyan Anthony Mutua Gofunded the development of his battery-charging shoes, earning an Africa Youth Award. A chip in the soles helps power mobile phones, which have been called “the most effective technological weapon against poverty” for connecting users to banking, health care, and education resources previously inaccessible.

Even taking a vacation can help with poverty alleviation in a small way if it is done thoughtfully, making tourism “a catalyst for positive change,” says the WTO. Because it is labor-intensive, tourism creates a lot of service jobs, which many times are more convenient, less demanding and safer for people living near resorts, according to the organization’s “Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism” report.

If the idea of making a dent in world poverty seems overwhelming, perhaps think instead of just trying to be a good neighbor to someone in difficult circumstances in another part of the world. Among the small steps you might make are these:

Forgo that special cup of coffee for a season and donate the money you save to an organization or charity involved in poverty-alleviation efforts.
Identify one long-term change you could make in your spending to free up money to support the ongoing work among the poor facilitated by GFA or other groups.
Educate yourself more about the economic, political, cultural and other issues that create and maintain inequality in some parts of the world.
Pray for the hearts of world leaders to be turned to the poor and for them to find the political and economic will to make decisions that undo structural and systematic obstacles to development.
“Adopt” a specific “neighbor nation” God puts on your heart on which to focus your prayers, advocacy and giving.

Small actions like these in the face of massive problems may seem insignificant, but they are not to God. In the story of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25), Jesus said that anyone who helped someone who was thirsty or hungry or needing clothes was actually helping Him.

An $8 solar lantern won’t end poverty, concedes John Hatch, founder of microfinance lender and poverty reduction group FINCA International. But “it will give an ultra-poor family a real ‘lift,’ ” he says. “Children will be able to study longer. Households will be safer. Expensive kerosene costs can be redirected to other household needs. This lift can create new incentives for an ultra-poor family—to read, to work, to dream.”

Such has been the case for Bhrithi, a young Asian widow with two sons who struggled to get by selling vegetables from a mat at the side of the road. When the local authorities decided to widen the street and evict her, she had to find somewhere else to trade.

Her options were severely limited, until a Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor in the area decided she should receive a gift from the organization’s Christmas Gift Catalog—a $120 pull cart. That simple piece of equipment has proved to be invaluable.

“With the pull cart, I can travel around and sell onions and potatoes,” said Bhrithi, who was moved by the help she received. “Wherever I find a suitable place, I stand and sell. My earnings have also increased.”

The gift she received was simple, yet it equipped her enough to dramatically change her life. The problem of global poverty reduction is huge, but if we each do our part, we can change the world.


Poverty: Public Enemy #1 — Eliminating Extreme Poverty Worldwide is Possible, But Not Inevitable: Part 1 | Part 2

February 26, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org) founded by K.P. Yohannan, issues the second part of an extensive Special Report on extreme poverty worldwide, and how poverty elimination and poverty alleviation is possible, but not inevitable.

Poverty Elimination via a Water Buffalo in Asia
This water buffalo provides this woman and her family with about 10 liters of milk a day. They are able to sell this milk, providing them with additional income for their family, and a means for poverty elimination.

Small Steps, Big Change to Poverty Elimination

In the face of such overwhelmingly large numbers, the price of a cup of coffee can seem insignificant—but it doesn’t have to be. Small amounts of money can be leveraged to make a big difference in the lives of the poor, as Gospel for Asia knows well.

For the price of just two large frappuccinos, you can buy a pair of chickens that will help lift an Asian family from below the poverty line. The eggs from the chickens can be sold or hatched to provide ongoing income.

That’s not the only livestock-for-livelihood option in GFA’s annual Christmas Gift Catalog. For $65, you can provide a family with a lamb, while $140 purchases a pair of goats, all of which provide milk to sell or drink and offspring to expand the herd. A water buffalo ($460) not only makes plowing fields easier but also produces milk for drinking and dung that can be used as fuel and fertilizer.

This woman was blessed by the gift of a goat from Heifer International, helping lift her out of poverty.
This woman was blessed by the gift of a goat from Heifer International, helping lift her out of poverty. Photo by Russell Powell for Heifer International

Ministry supporters have helped Gospel for Asia provide these kinds of poverty-alleviating gifts at Christmastime for more than a decade. So far, almost 2 million families have been helped through gifts that generate income or increase quality of life.

Many other organizations have launched similar programs, prompting media coverage of how “charity gift catalogs are proliferating, offering donors the opportunity to ‘buy’ everything from a goat to a sewing machine to a herd of cows.” Heifer International has been distributing livestock for more than 70 years and has helped more than 31 million impoverished families experience poverty elimination.

All of those gift purchases combine to help a lot of families, who in turn can have an impact on their wider community. Such was the case with 44-year-old Kanal, a day laborer trying to support his family of three children on his meager earnings of $3 a day.

Then Kanal received a pig through a GFA-supported distribution, and everything changed for his family. The sow delivered eight piglets, seven of which he sold for almost $40 each. From a second litter, Kanal gave a piglet to a neighboring family in need, setting them on an upward cycle out of poverty, too.

The pig he received as a gift unlocked a chain of benefits, Kanal said. With the money gained by selling some of the offspring, “we have bought a goat and chickens, which are also going to be another source of income for our family. We do not have any problems now to pay the school fees for our children and to meet all their needs in school. … We also have purchased roofing sheets to construct our house.”

An important part of poverty elimination through income-generating gifts is not only how these practical gifts improve recipients’ circumstances but also how they restore their dignity and sense of value. Rather than leaving them dependent on future help, they are equipped and encouraged to have an active part in creating their own better futures.

Breaking the Chains of Debt

Supplies are only part of the answer to poverty, though. People need to be able to develop new skills, too, in order to escape poor-paying circumstances, in which they are often trapped because of lack of education.

With this in mind, GFA’s poverty elimination efforts include general and specific education—from literacy training to hands-on job skills like sewing and welding. Women who receive a sewing machine and begin working as seamstresses can increase their daily income to four or five times what they made doing menial labor.

But even with new skills, many people are kept back because of lack of access to opportunities to better themselves; for example, banks have traditionally been reluctant to provide loans to those without some financial stability and collateral. That severely limits opportunities for self-advancement in places like Pakistan, where only 1 in 5 adults—and just 1 in 14 women—has a financial account.

This husband and wife were trapped in slavery. The International Justice Mission worked with local officials to rescue them and 10 other families. First photo: The day they were rescued. Second photo: Years later, they’re now helping rescue others. Photo by IJM.org

As a result, people have been forced to turn to the informal money lenders when they need to borrow money, leaving them open to being taken advantage of financially. Exorbitant loans have fueled the bonded labor population, estimated to be around 20 million—most of them in South Asia. Typical of the victims is Haresh, who borrowed around $110 from a local landowner to get married.

Subsequent loans for basics like medicine and repairs to the family’s hut, along with interest that topped 100 percent a year, forced Haresh and his family into working 14-hour days with barely enough food and water and little hope of ever being free.

Twenty years later, he and his wife, together with their married children, still worked at a brick kiln for the man who gave them the loan.

“One day my grandchildren will work for the landowner,” said Haresh. “There is no way to repay these debts. We will only be free when we die.”

Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen bank, providing microloans to women in Bangladesh.

Photo by University of Salford Press Office / CC BY 2.0

Such all-too-common stories provided inspiration for the microloan or microfinance movement born in the 1970s that sought to provide access to financial resources for the disenfranchised, especially women. Muhammad Yunus founded what became the Grameen Bank in the 1970s, making small loans to women in Bangladesh.

The idea has since spread to other parts of the world, with Yunus and Grameen jointly being awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006 for their part in developing micro-credit into “an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.” Many organizations have embraced a similar model, including GFA’s field partners, which provide small loans to help women start income-generating projects.

With financial institutions also recognizing a market for small loans, microfinance has collectively grown from its small beginnings and has become a big business. According to the Institute for Microfinance Research, there are more than 75 million micro-borrowers worldwide.

“Using a low-cost microloan to repair a leaky roof, purchase school clothes for their children, maintain a farm and keep food on the table, or pay off a hospital bill can give poverty-stricken communities a fighting chance,” says the group. “Microloans in the form of farm financing have proven doubly effective in that both increased income and food supply are provided as a result of the loan.”

However, not all of the early promise of microfinance has been realized. While a study by big bank ING of small loans in India and Ghana found “many positive effects from having access to financial services,” it also concluded that “microfinance is not the silver bullet to poverty elimination it once promised to be.”

More cautiously, economics professor Dean Karlan co-wrote a 2016 New York Times opinion piece that noted that six randomized evaluations of microloan programs “found that microloans, though helpful for the poor, didn’t actually increase income for the average borrower.

The fact is that poverty is this massive, incredibly difficult problem. There is no silver bullet.

However, in the opinion of Simone Schaner, an economist at Dartmouth University, while microloans may not have proved to be as transformative as initially hoped, neither should they be written off.

“Microfinance is a victim of an unfortunate tendency in development, which is that everybody wants to find a silver bullet to solve poverty,” she said. “And the fact is that poverty is this massive, incredibly difficult problem. There is no silver bullet.”

The microfinance movement was shaken by a crisis in one of India’s states in 2012, when a string of suicides among small loan recipients was linked to high interest rates, prompting the state to ban the practice there. Yet two economists who looked into the consequences of that move found the loss of credit had a measurable impact on the overall economy.

“Because people had less money to spend, consumer spending, investment, and entrepreneurship also dropped,” Emily Breza and Cynthia Kinnan noted in their report in 2018. The episode showed that “microfinance, despite its small loan sizes, can have meaningful impacts on rural economies.”


Poverty: Public Enemy #1 — Eliminating Extreme Poverty Worldwide is Possible, But Not Inevitable: Part 1 | Part 3

February 24, 2020

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org), founded by KP Yohannan, issues the first part of an extensive Special Report on extreme poverty worldwide, how poverty alleviation and elimination is possible, but it is not inevitable.

© UNICEF/UN0271230/Tremeau

If the modern world is truly a “global village,” that means everyone on earth is our neighbor—and Jesus was very clear about how we are to treat our neighbors. We have a responsibility to help them out of difficult circumstances.

While issues such as health care, education, the environment, equality for women and protection for endangered children are all major global concerns with their own particular challenges, they are also, in part, fueled by a common force: poverty.

In the United States, $1.90 is mere pocket change—the cost of a serving of wake-up java from your favorite coffee shop. But in other parts of the world, $1.90 represents a bitter cup as the official marker of extreme poverty—the daily income line below which too many struggle to eke out an existence.

Globally, around 736 million people are in this group, many of them children. Lacking adequate housing, hygiene, health care and education because they simply don’t have enough money, they pay a high price: disease, discrimination and, often, early death.

Indeed, poverty might well be viewed as the tip of a Titanic-like iceberg. According to The Borgen Project, poverty’s hidden impacts include:

  • “Almost 3 billion people with no access to toilets, and almost 1 billion lacking clean drinking water.
  • “The poorest 20 percent of the world’s children twice as likely as the richest 20 percent to be stunted by poor nutrition and to die before their fifth birthday.
  • “2.7 million newborns worldwide die within their first month of life.
  • 161 million children do not attend primary school.”

With such far-ranging impact, it is not surprising, then, that world leaders have declared poverty to be public enemy No. 1. Indeed, they have gone so far as to set a goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. “No Poverty”—which would mean just 3 percent of the world’s population still left surviving on less than $1.90 a day—heads the list of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015.

Bill Gates on a recent visit to Tanzania.
Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik for TIME

Lofty as that may seem, it’s not just wishful thinking. Software-billionaire-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates is among those who think the 2030 deadline is doable.

“We are confident that this is not only possible, but that we will see major breakthroughs along the way, which will provide unprecedented opportunities to people in poor countries,” Gates said. “Indeed, we think their lives will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history—and that their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.”

Gates’ optimism is based on some solid evidence. The good news is that the number of people below the poverty line has dropped significantly over the last three decades.

“Since 1990, nearly 1.1 billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty,” says the World Bank. It notes that “in areas ranging from child survival to primary school enrollment, the improvements to people’s lives have advanced with a momentum that few could have imagined when the World Bank was founded more than 70 years ago.”

The trend is certainly going in the right direction. But that still leaves 1 in 10 of the world’s population—about the equivalent of every person living in Indianapolis—below that coffee-cup-poverty-zone indicator.

This plaque was erected in memory of 18 village children who died from starvation.

Extreme Poverty: Millions Are Still at Risk

According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, “Progress is heartening, but it is not enough.” Gates himself has cautioned that “while progress is possible, it is not inevitable. Success will require political will, global cooperation, and human ingenuity.”

Like the last stages of a marathon, finishing the task will prove the most difficult part of all. The remaining poorest of the poor will be more difficult to help up and out of their circumstances because they are in parts of the world where extreme poverty is entrenched in an even more complex tangle of roots. Prejudice and inequality have long kept different groups economically disadvantaged, while natural disasters and wars only add to their problems.

Progress in the fight against global poverty can be tracked at the World Poverty Clock, whose graphics show the rate at which people are rising above the $1.90-a-day desperation line in different countries. Meanwhile, trackers at the Brookings Institution think tank warn that poverty is actually likely to rise in almost 30 countries over the next few years.

…While progress is possible, it is not inevitable. Success will require political will, global cooperation, and human ingenuity.

While the eradication of extreme poverty in parts of the developing world by 2030 is “ambitious, yet achievable,” according to World Bank, it is much less likely to be achieved in what a cautionary World Bank policy paper calls “fragile and conflict-affected countries (FCS)”—those wracked by war and natural disasters. Here, analysts anticipate a “32% poverty rate for fragile states by 2030 given current conditions and trends.”

They warn: “As the difference between the projected poverty rate for the FCS group as a whole and the 3 percent target suggests, most of the countries in the fragile country grouping, or at least enclaves of the poor within them, are at great risk of being ‘left behind’ with respect to the eradication target.”

These “chronically poor” are mainly found in South Asia—where GFA is widely active—and sub-Saharan Africa.
“Intensified efforts are required to boost the incomes, alleviate the suffering and build the resilience of those individuals still living in extreme poverty,” notes the World Bank soberly.

There may not be a more fitting time to assess what progress has been made in the war on poverty, and what still needs to be done, than now. The year 2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris.

Excerpts from the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work…

“the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity…

“the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Achieving those goals, in part through eliminating poverty, will come at a price. Leading economist Jeffrey Sachs has calculated that ending extreme poverty worldwide would cost about $175 billion a year. Although that is certainly a hefty figure, it represents less than 1 percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world—and it is less than a third of the nearly $700 billion spent during the 2017 Christmas holiday season in the United States alone.


Extreme Poverty: Public Enemy #1 — Eliminating Extreme Poverty Worldwide is Possible, But Not Inevitable: Part 2 | Part 3

This Special Report originally appeared on GFA.org.

Learn more about how the simple gift of an income-generating animal can be the turning point for an impoverished family—one their family has likely been desiring for generations, rescuing them from poverty.

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

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