April 17, 2023

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (previously Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide, discussing GFA World missionaries meet the need for pure water, fighting waterborne diseases, with BioSand Water Filters.

Water shouldn’t have a distinct red color when pulled from a well—but that’s exactly what thousands of impoverished families see when they go to draw water. Water shouldn’t make you sick—but that’s exactly the threat thousands of poverty-stricken people face from their only available source of drinking water.

A Global Water Crisis

Access to clean, pure water remains a major issue for destitute communities in Africa and Asia. Close to 785 million people collect water from contaminated sources, and around 144 million draw their water directly from ponds, rivers, lakes and streams.[1] Those same water sources can harbor numerous contaminants and are among the causes of 485,000 diarrheal related deaths every year.[2]

That is why Gospel for Asia (GFA World) missionaries make it a point to identify communities in need of pure water and help meet that need. Whether it is to raise awareness of the importance of clean water on World Water Day or provide solutions to water crises, Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastors and missionaries will provide Jesus Wells or BioSand water filters to villages and individuals who need them most.

The Fight Against Unclean Water

Discussing Gospel for Asia (GFA World) missionaries meeting the need for pure water, fighting waterborne diseases, with BioSand Water Filters
Kaigan and his children, pictured, are now able to drink pure water thanks to their new BioSand water filter.

In their respective areas, Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastors Gaige and Rainart discovered many people struggling with dirty water.

For those in Pastor Gaige’s region, the water was red—a color water should never be. Apparently, their water was highly contaminated with iron. Unfiltered, it was unfit for drinking. Most of the villagers had no filters they could use; farmers and daily laborers, they more than likely could not afford them. So, Pastor Gaige distributed 30 BioSand water filters. With the filters, the villagers no longer needed to fear drinking the red-colored water; they now had pure, clean water instead.

Families in Pastor Rainart’s area, including Kaigan’s, faced a similar situation. There was a pump well near Kaigan’s house, but it was improperly drilled. As a result, mud entered the well during the rainy seasons, contaminating the water and drastically increasing the risk of infection from disease. Kaigan noted his children would fall ill almost every week, complaining of stomach pains, a tell-tale symptom of dysentery.

The well wasn’t safe to drink from, period. But it was the only source of water available to them.

After hearing of Kaigan’s children constantly falling ill, and of similar reports from other families in the village, Pastor Rainart stepped in and distributed 42 BioSand water filters to Kaigan and other families in need. After that, Kaigan’s children didn’t fall ill every week. Their new BioSand water filter helped keep them safe from waterborne diseases, including dysentery.

Within the communities they serve, GFA missionaries like Pastors Gaige and Rainart step up to identify the most pressing needs. But it’s because of gifts from our donors that GFA missionaries can meet these critical needs and demonstrate Christ’s tangible love to men and women in deprivation.


See how you can join GFA missionaries in helping provide families with pure, clean water.

[1] “Drinking Water.” World Health Organization. 14 June 2019. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water
[2] “Drinking Water.” World Health Organization. 14 June 2019. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/drinking-water

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Fighting Waterborne Diseases with Water Filters

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

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

Learn more by reading these Special Reports:

Read more on National Missions, Clean Water Crisis and Jesus Wells on Patheos from GFA World (Gospel for Asia).

March 9, 2023

WILLS POINT, TX — Mission agency GFA World (Gospel for Asia) is helping to provide vital aid to traumatized survivors of the massive earthquake and aftershocks in Turkey, as the number of deaths now stands at more than 47,000.

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) relief teams are distributing vital aid to traumatized survivors of the massive earthquake & aftershocks in Turkey
Photo by: Lisa Hastert (CC BY-ND 2.0) © European Union, 2023

“Right now, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is working with our partners to bring relief to the earthquake survivors,” said K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan), founder of the Texas-based organization. “The need they’re encountering is enormous, especially among (Turkey’s) Christian minority.”

Aid workers at the scene of the Feb. 6 disaster — one of the deadliest quakes in a decade — are distributing food, clean water, clothes, and medicines, Yohannan said, while shelter and heating fuel remain top priorities as thousands of homeless and displaced survivors face bitterly cold weather.

Following hundreds of aftershocks, another 5.6 magnitude quake struck southern Turkey on Monday, injuring dozens and killing at least one person.

Compassion, Hope Amid Agony

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) invites people to pray for survivors, including heartbroken parents who’ve faced the agony of being unable to save their children buried under the rubble of their homes.

“As they waited for rescue crews, hours turned into days, and the voices became faint and finally fell silent,” said Yohannan.

“Jesus was deeply moved by suffering humanity, and we share his heart of compassion. Please pray for the ongoing disaster relief efforts.”

For more than 40 years, Gospel for Asia (GFA World) has helped victims of disasters and millions of the world’s poorest people across Asia, bringing hope and “showing the love of God.” In 2021, the Christian organization — which helps everyone regardless of religious belief — announced it was “going global,” launching compassion projects in Africa.


Source: GFA World Digital Media Room, GFA World Aids ‘Traumatized’ Turkey Quake Survivors

Learn more about the need for Disaster Relief Work, Gospel for Asia’s “Compassion Services” with relief teams who love the Lord who are focused to help victims of natural disasters find a firm foundation.

Read more on National Missions and Disaster Relief on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

December 11, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, discussing Saeran, his injuries, the healing God wrought through prayer and Gospel for Asia (GFA World) Vacation Bible School.

Saeran woozily noted his surroundings. He was in the hospital. Something had happened to him, but the memory of what eluded him. Why did everything hurt? The 15-year-old boy had been climbing a tamarind tree, trying to pick fruit, and fell 50 feet. He had been knocked unconscious from the impact, and his body sustained deep injuries that needed immediate treatment. But there was a problem: Saeran’s family couldn’t afford to pay for the treatment.

Important Teachings at VBS

GFA World (Gospel for Asia), discussing Saeran, his injuries, the healing God wrought through prayer and GFA World VBS.
After Saeran’s miraculous healing, he attended a Sunday school class like the one pictured, where he could learn more about Jesus.

The money Saeran’s parents made was not enough to pay for the treatment he needed, and there was no one to help them. The most the family could do was wait, which, given Saeran’s injuries, was excruciating.

While they waited, the family received a visit from GFA pastor Hallan. A couple of months before Saeran’s fall, the boy had attended Sunday school at Pastor Hallan’s church. It was there that Saeran first learned of Jesus and of His great love for him. Then came an event that would change Saeran’s life.

Through the Sunday school, the boy was invited to a Vacation Bible School event held for the children. Every song and story revolved around a singular theme: connecting with God. The teachers and volunteers impressed upon every child, including Saeran, that they can live in the love of God every day. One verse stood out to Saeran: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Saeran had truly seen how much God loved him—and he had decided to live in that love.

So when the young boy spent a week in the hospital after his fall, and went home without the treatment he really needed, he didn’t seem worried. Much to his parents’ surprise, Saeran was calm about the current dilemma. Jesus would heal him, he told his parents, and he urged them to pray for him in Jesus’ name. It was part of what he had learned at VBS, after all. If he believed and prayed God would heal him, He would. They would just have to wait.

Faithful Prayer Brings Healing, Love

Pastor Hallan visited Saeran at home every day to pray for the hurt boy and anoint him with oil. After a month of prayer, the pain caused by Saeran’s fall was gone. Despite the depth of his injuries, Saeran could walk as if no accident had ever happened. He had been completely healed of any lasting effects.

It was a miracle—one Saeran’s parents couldn’t ignore. The family began attending Pastor Hallan’s church together, and Saeran’s parents decided to put their trust in the One who had healed their son. It was the same faith, the same love that Saeran had found at VBS. And now, his parents had found it, too.


Read how another child found direction in his life through VBS.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Family Believes in Christ After Son’s Healing

Learn more about how you can give toward Gospel for Asia VBS scholarships, where the gift of VBS materials for one of these precious children will guarantee that he or she will hear about Jesus’ love again and again through skits, Bible songs and teaching and will have colorful Gospel literature to take home.

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

Read more on National Missions and Vacation Bible School on Patheos from GFA World (Gospel for Asia).

December 5, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide, discussing the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, the devastation and tragedy it dealt, and the Gospel for Asia (GFA World) workers that brought relief, help and hope to the victims.

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, taking around 9,000 lives, injuring more than 23,000 people, and damaging or destroying more than 700,000 homes.[1] The disaster caused widespread devastation.

One village hit hard by this tragedy was in desperate need of food and supplies. Nearly all the houses had been destroyed. The residents’ belongings, food, clothes and livestock—all essential to their livelihood—were buried, destroyed or damaged. To make matters worse, the road into the village was blocked by a landslide, making it nearly impossible for the villagers to access outside food or materials. They were in dire need of help and hope.

Delivering Hope, Supplies

Discussing the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal in 2015, and the GFA World workers that brought relief and hope to the victims.
Through the compassion showed to them by the relief team, the earthquake victims were able to experience God’s love and care.

Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Manja knew the desperate needs of his fellow villagers and yearned to help them in their time of need. He organized a relief distribution in cooperation with the local church. The distribution workers distributed 11,352 pounds of rice and 378 pounds of salt to the disaster victims, which they received with gratitude and joy.

“Thank you for your support to us in our need,” said 54-year-old recipient Radamés. “We are very happy to see you. Though we are not familiar with one another, you remembered us and helped us. Thank you again.”

Balandis, another recipient, also expressed his gratitude to the relief team.

“Many, many thanks to you,” Balandis said. “This is the best work. To help the needy people is holier work than any other work. I am [grateful] to you all.”

The relief team also assisted Gaerwn, the oldest surviving villager, and their kindness touched his heart.

“Thank you so much for supporting us,” Gaerwn said. “[Others] forgot us; you remembered us. May God bless you in each of your steps in life!”

Through the work and ministry of Pastor Manja and the local church, these village residents were able to experience God’s love and care for them in their time of need. Though they felt forgotten after the tragedy of the earthquake, they were encouraged and uplifted by the support of the relief team, which brought both the help and the hope they so greatly needed.


Partner with GFA World and continue to help bring relief in the face of disasters like flooding and COVID-19.

Read how a flood’s devastation led to a village’s celebration.

[1] “M7.8 Nepal Earthquake, 2015 – A Small Push to Mt. Everest.” USGS. https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/science/m78-nepal-earthquake-2015-a-small-push-mt-everest?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects. October 1, 2016.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Youth Fellowship Gives Dying Man Hope in Christ

Learn more about the need for Disaster Relief Work, Gospel for Asia’s “Compassion Services” with relief teams who love the Lord who are focused to help victims of natural disasters find a firm foundation.

Read more on National Missions and Disaster Relief on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

August 29, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, discussing Raimon’s physical ailment, two years of near-constant pain, and how God heals through the power prayer.

Gospel for Asia discussing Raimon's physical ailment, two years of near-constant pain, and how God heals through the power prayer.
Like the pastor pictured, Pastor Seamus brought hope and help to families in need through the love of God.

When pain first flared in Raimon’s stomach, he immediately journeyed to the hospital. But the doctors could find no remedy for the pain that beset the 31-year-old father of four. When medical treatment didn’t take away the pain, Raimon turned to spiritual treatment.

Two Years of Near-constant Pain

Raimon; his wife, Perley; and their four children lived in a rural village without basic amenities such as clean water. The roads to their village were rough and unpaved, making necessary trips difficult. With the nearest hospital 18 miles away, only an emergency—like Raimon’s sudden pain—could persuade the family to make the trip.

Once Raimon made it to the hospital, however, the doctors had only bad news for him: They had no idea what was affecting him, and they could not offer any help.

So Raimon turned to the local witch doctors, but they could offer no help either, only the pronouncement that the unfortunate father was likely under the spell of black magic. And with that, the family gave up hope. For the next two years, Raimon lay in his bed, enduring the pain and writhing in hopelessness.

The Pastor’s Prayers

As Gospel for Asia (GFA World) pastor Seamus wound his way through the area he served, he came to Raimon’s village. There, the pastor did as always: He offered words of love and encouragement to any who wanted to hear, and he listened to the people’s troubles and prayed for them. Perley, hearing of a man in their village offering prayers for the sick, immediately tracked the pastor down.

After explaining Raimon’s mysterious sickness, Perley begged the pastor to come and pray for her husband. They had tried everything, she said. Nothing had worked.

Pastor Seamus followed Perley to her home. He saw Raimon lying in his bed, writhing in pain. Taking his hand, Pastor Seamus prayed for the ailing man.

Later, the family visited Pastor Seamus’s church for more prayer. Pastor Seamus and the other believers welcomed the family with open arms and prayed for Raimon’s healing. From that day on, Raimon did not suffer from any more stomach pains; he had been totally healed!

After Raimon’s miraculous healing, he and his family expressed to Pastor Seamus that they wanted to learn more about his God. When all other avenues of finding healing and peace had failed, and there was no hope, the Lord had intervened and sent Pastor Seamus to bring healing for Raimon.


Read how a man found healing for his daughter through the prayers of a pastor.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Prayer Heals Father’s Pains

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

Read more on National Missions and Prayer on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

July 6, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, which inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to assist the poor and deprived worldwide, discussing Nala, a widow, the desperation her sickness and pain brought, and God’s work through the prayer of a Gospel for Asia (GFA World) pastor that brought healing and transformation.

Discussing a widow, her sickness and pain, and God's work through the prayer of a GFA World pastor that brought healing and transformation.
Nala, her son and daughter-in-law are grateful for the prayers, encouragement and friendship of Pastor Chinua. Their lives will never be the same.

Nala lay helpless in bed. The pain in her spine stubbornly refused to relent, and the widow didn’t have the energy to fight it anymore. For a long time, Nala’s son, Abebe, dutifully escorted her to see various doctors and local religious leaders, looking for a way to relieve her back pain. But the proposed remedies failed to improve Nala’s condition. Nala grew weaker and her family grew poorer as her condition and the expense of seeking a cure took their toll.

As Nala lay wondering if there was anywhere left to turn for help, she received a visit from Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Chinua.

Turning Point

Pastor Chinua lived in Nala’s village. When word of her declining health reached his ears, Pastor Chinua decided to visit Nala and offer her encouragement and hope. Nala and Abebe welcomed Pastor Chinua and a few people from his church into their home. During their visit, the group prayed fervently for Nala’s healing and shared with the despairing woman good news from Scripture.

“Jesus said, ‘Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me,’” Pastor Chinua told her. “Therefore, if you believe in Jesus, He will heal you and bless you. Trust in Him.”

Miraculous Healing

The day after Pastor Chinua’s visit, Nala noticed a decrease in her pain. She told her son, “Through prayers, my health is improving.”

Abebe was surprised by his mother’s quick change in health. He had been by her side as they tried medication after medication, ritual after ritual, to no avail. Now, just one day after Pastor Chinua and his friends prayed, she already experienced a visible improvement.

Watching the effect of prayer evidenced in his mother’s body, Abebe and his wife recognized the power of God. They invited Pastor Chinua to return to their home to pray and answer their questions about this God named Jesus.

Pastor Chinua willingly returned, sharing hope from God’s Word and inviting them to church.

Not only did the family begin attending Pastor Chinua’s church, but they also began hosting a prayer meeting in their home.

“If the pastor did not come to my home, I might have died,” Nala said. “Though I went to consult with many doctors for my health and also sacrificed many animals … for my healing, nothing helped me. Now I understand that it was God’s plan to save my life, and I am getting better day by day.”

Thanks to a compassionate pastor willing to visit his neighbor, Nala and her family are forever changed by the power of prayer to a God who hears and answers.


Sponsor a Missionary like Pastor Chinua.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Prayer Transforms Widow from Invalid to Hostess

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

Learn more about the GFA World Widows Ministry, and how you can help alleviate the many struggles widows face.

Read more on Widows and National Missions on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

June 17, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by K.P. Yohannan, whose heart to love and help the poor has inspired numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada, to serve the deprived and downcast worldwide, discussing Moira and her dream to be a teacher hindered by distance and exhaustion, relieved through GFA World gift distribution of a bicycle.

Finally, Moira had made it to school through the day’s deluge of rain. Many days the young teenager arrived at school either soaked from the pouring rain or exhausted from walking in the hot sun. The five-mile trek hindered Moira’s ability to make it to school on time. There were mornings that, as the sun rose, Moira wondered if the agonizing trip was worth it.

Continue in School, Continue in Exhaustion

Discussing Moira, her dream to be a teacher hindered by distance and exhaustion, relieved through GFA World gift distribution of a bicycle.
Moira, pictured here with her bicycle, no longer worries about having to walk to school.

At 14 years old, Moira was well on her way to completing her secondary education. She wanted to be a teacher, and education was the only way she could attain that goal. But walking to and from school every day was taking its toll. Sometimes, in the evenings, Moira would fall asleep without eating dinner, exhausted from her trek home and from completing her homework assignments.

Some of Moira’s friends biked to school, and Moira had long wanted a bicycle. But she could only watch as her friends sped by.

Moira’s father, Anrai, saw his daughter’s struggles. The fact that he couldn’t afford to purchase a bicycle for his daughter distressed him. A farmer by trade, Anrai earned barely enough to both feed his family and send Moira to school as it was.

So Moira could only watch her friends on their bicycles and dream of how much easier it would be to go to school with one, how much time and energy it would save her. Her drive to continue her education slowly waned.

A Simple Gift to Help Achieve Her Goal

Then something amazing happened. Moira, along with several other school-age girls in her area, received a bicycle. Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Seeley, after having been made aware of Moira’s struggles, shared with his leaders about the young girl’s need and asked that she be included in the distribution. Thanks to him, Moira attended the gift distribution and received what she had wanted—and needed—for so long.

After Moira got her new bicycle, the burden that had weighed on Anrai for so long finally lifted. Moira was ecstatic. Now she could join her friends riding their bicycles to and from school, saving both time and energy for her studies.

“My dream has come true,” Moira told the pastor. “I cannot explain how happy I am now to have my own bicycle. … Now, I can concentrate on my studies.”

Now that Moira’s dream of owning a bicycle has been achieved, her goal of becoming a teacher can become ever more realistic. The bicycle was a small but helpful step to attain Moira’s dream.


Read how a bicycle helped another girl attend school after a devastating accident.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Bicycle Helps Young Girl Follow Her Dreams

Learn more how to demonstrate God’s love through the gift of a Bicycle — to Missionaries, school children, farmers and daily laborers. Through these gifts, people experience Christ’s love.

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

Read more on National Missions and Christmas Gift Catalog on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

May 20, 2022

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

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

Fostering Safety and Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fighting Injustice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A New Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Give to Help Girls at Risk »

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


Read the rest of this Gospel for Asia – Transforming Communities (GFA World) Special Report: Young Victims Remain Hidden in Pandemic’s Shadow  Part 1, Part 2


About GFA World

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


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

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

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


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

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

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

January 14, 2022

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

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

A Pandemic of Abuse and Exploitation

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

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

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

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

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
Executive Director of UN Women
Photo by New African Woman Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turning the Tide of the Pandemic’s Impact on Girls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Give to Help Girls at Risk »

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


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


About GFA World

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


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

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

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


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

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

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

January 10, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19: A Long-lasting Threat to Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Girls Pushed into Adult Responsibilities

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

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

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

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

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

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


Give to Help Girls at Risk »

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


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


About GFA World

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


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

GFA’s Statement About Coronavirus

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


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

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

Read what 25 Christian Leaders are affirming about GFA World.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.


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