January 6, 2023

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 Child Sponsorship — Does it Lift the Young Out of Poverty?

Dhitha was once a Gospel for Asia (GFA World) sponsor child herself. After finishing high school and attending college, she returned to become a teacher for other sponsored children. She is able to be a unique help as she was once in the exact situation many of these children are in right now. Dhitha, like the other teachers and social workers she serves with, loves the children in her care deeply and they are thriving as a result.

Sponsorship Success

Bruce Wydick, Economics Professor, University of San Francisco
Bruce Wydick, Economics Professor, University of San Francisco
Photo by University of San Francisco

One of the most newsworthy developments of the past decade on this topic has been leading academic research that proved a central point: child sponsorship works. University of San Francisco (USF) economics professor Bruce Wydick and two associates made that discovery in a study that attracted attention from national magazines in the U.S. and other media across the world. Their study found sponsorship made large, significant impacts on years of schooling and the probability and quality of employment.20

Conducted over two years, the research analyzed data from six countries (Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, the Philippines and Uganda) for children sponsored by Compassion International. In an abstract, Wydick, University of Minnesota professor Paul Glewwe and USF graduate student Laine Rutledge wrote, “Early evidence suggests that these impacts are due, in part, to increases in children’s aspirations.”21

One media report said about the study:

To give you some specific statistics, it was found that formerly sponsored children stayed in school…

were 27 to 40 percent more likely to finish secondary school than those who were not enrolled in the Child Sponsorship Program;

were 50 to 80 percent more likely to complete a university education than non-sponsored children.22

In some respects, the ministry’s projects are similar to government and international programs that promote education, Wydick and his associates wrote in their 2013 paper, published in the Journal of Political Economy. Sponsors pay for children’s school tuition and program, nutritious meals, health care and tutoring. However, they added, what distinguishes Compassion from most government, international, and some other sponsorship programs is children spending at least eight hours a week in an intensive after-school program that emphasizes spiritual, physical and socioemotional development23.

“In the sample, the average duration of sponsorship was 9.3 years,” they wrote. “So … by the end of their childhood, sponsored children have participated in about 4,000 hours of Compassion programming, including extra activities such as retreats and camps. A primary objective of this extended contact is to raise the child’s self-esteem, aspirations, and self-expectations.”24

“Locally-run child sponsorship [programs] that invest in the lives of children over a number of years ensure that these children do not fall through the cracks. They grow up better educated, healthier, more confident and spiritually connected.”

What’s more, recent economics studies suggest that internal constraints that reflect low aspiration can lead to poverty traps. After the professorial team reported on adult life outcomes, they presented a summary of evidence from three follow-up studies of 1,380 Compassion-sponsored children in Bolivia, Kenya and Indonesia. The studies found that sponsored children exhibited higher levels of self-esteem, aspirations and self-expectations—and lower levels of hopelessness.25

The summary table included such results as the following:

  • Total years of education: Mean, sponsored individuals, 12.03; non-sponsored individuals, 10.24.
  • Completed secondary school: Mean, sponsored individuals, .646; non-sponsored individuals, .449.
  • Completed university: Mean, sponsored individuals, 0.78; non-sponsored individuals, .043.26

Ian McInnes, former CEO of Tearfund—a charity that partners with churches in 50 of the world’s poorest countries—said the study was a particularly heartening one that illustrated why the London-based group and Compassion choose to work directly with children in need.27

Paul Brown
Paul Brown spent over 15 years serving as CEO for ChildFund New Zealand and helping to grow it into one of the country’s leading international aid agencies. Photo by ChildFund.org.nz

Locally-run child sponsorship [programs] that invest in the lives of children over a number of years ensure that these children do not fall through the cracks,” said McInnes, who stepped down in 2015. “They grow up better educated, healthier, more confident and spiritually connected.” Added former ChildFund New Zealand CEO Paul Brown: “It confirms what sponsored children tell us; that not only is practical support important but the knowledge that someone far away cares about them and provides encouragement helps them believe in themselves and succeed.”28

It wasn’t just sponsorship organizations that lauded the study. BBC News interviewed a former Compassion sponsoree named Peace Ruharuza, who grew up in Uganda and later moved to the United Kingdom before returning to her homeland to raise her three children.29 The charity she founded, Fountain of Peace Children’s Foundation, is still in operation. Based in the UK, it provides support for children across the Kyenjojo region of western Uganda. One of 14 children, Peace spent much of her childhood passed around between family members and experienced considerable neglect and abuse. Sponsored by a Canadian family at the age of nine, she told BBC that sponsorship gave her the boost she needed: “It gave a new lease in life, helped me become what I am and to change a generation.”30

Ruth, a Child Sponsorship alumni, now a Business Owner in Ecuador
Through Compassion, a young girl named Ruth was matched with her sponsor Debby who helped her dream of one day being able to attend university. Years later, Ruth not only fulfilled this dream and became a journalist, but she and her husband (also a former sponsor child from the same center Ruth attended) were able to start a tourism business which provides a livelihood for many others in their community. Photo by Compassion, 7 People Who Defeated Poverty With Their Sponsors

Continuing Benefits

Young girl pays attention in class in GFA World's Child Sponsorship program
A tsunami hit Sir Lanka at the end of 2004 leaving devastation and refugees in its wake throughout the country. The slum area where this girl lives was no different. Gospel for Asia (GFA World) began their sponsorship program here shortly after the disaster and it became a long-lasting benefit and blessing to the community.

Another abstract by Wydick, Rutledge and USF graduate student Joanna Chu outlined how child sponsorship programs have been in existence since the 1930s. Over the next 75 years, they grew to the extent that nearly 3.5 million children in developing countries are now sponsored through the eight largest sponsorship programs.31

They said this means that a conservative estimate would put the current flow of funds to sponsored children from developed countries at $1.6 billion US per year, with total international transfers over the past two decades at $30 billion US. Given this “non-trivial” flow of resources, Wydick’s group said it was surprising that so little had been done to evaluate the impact of sponsorship programs.32

The exception: a randomized field experiment looking at the impacts of a Dutch program that funded new classroom construction. The program also gave students in randomly selected schools a $6 uniform and $3.44 in textbooks. That study found that even low-cost interventions resulted in beneficiaries attending school half a year longer than in the control group and advancing a third of a grade further in their education.33

In their study focused on Uganda, Wydick’s group found that

child sponsorship increased formal education by 2.9 years over a base of 8.4 years,

increased the probability of formal employment to 72.1 percent from a base of 55.15 percent,

and increased the probability of white collar employment to 37.1 percent from 19.1 percent.

They also found modest evidence that sponsored children lived in higher-quality homes as adults, were more likely to use mosquito nets (a simple tool to prevent mosquito borne illnesses), and were less likely to smoke or drink alcohol.34

Ironically, even though sponsorship has been around for so long, it isn’t necessarily understood, according to a 2017 study of 1,000 American charitable donors. The study was completed by Grey Matter Research Consulting of Phoenix and Opinions 4 Good, a philanthropic online market research firm based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It found that while 87 percent of American donors were aware of child sponsorship, only 24 percent felt very familiar with it.35

Ron Sellers
Ron Sellers, President of Grey Matter Research. Photo by GreyMatterResearch.com

The Donor Mindset Study found that, overall, 74 percent of all donors believe child sponsorship is a legitimate, credible way of helping children in need, yet only 26 percent believe that strongly. Among people who were currently sponsoring a child, 98 percent believed that sponsorship is legitimate and credible, but only 68 percent felt that strongly. The other 30 percent had some doubts.36

The study also found significant confusion about how sponsorship actually works. Three of four donors believe that, despite what sponsorship organizations claim, the money doesn’t really help one child but is used for the charity’s overall programs. Seventy-seven percent wrongly believe that sponsored children have more than one sponsor, although major sponsorship organizations all state each child has one sponsor. Ron Sellers, president of Grey Matter Research, noted that this research showed a charitable sector that needed to go beyond high levels of awareness to build familiarity and comfort.37

“Most donors are aware of sponsorship and are generally positive toward it, but there is not a lot of real familiarity with how it works,” Sellers said. “It’s notable that most donors don’t hold any of their positive or negative perceptions about sponsorship strongly, but only somewhat. That shows a lot of donors aren’t entirely sure of their position on child sponsorship. … The interest is there but so are doubts or concerns. It would be wise for sponsorship organizations to explore deeply what these obstacles are and how they can effectively overcome them.”38

“I have seen these meetings take place dozens of times and I can tell you it is powerful every single time. There’s nothing like watching a sponsor hug his/her sponsored child for the first time.”

Despite such ambivalence, researchers found mechanisms that allow donors to be able to visit their child (offered by major sponsor organizations) serve as a “sort of warranty” for donors. Eighty-one percent of donors say the ability to visit their sponsored child makes sponsorship more legitimate and believable.39

Indeed, a national magazine story about the Donor Mindset Study quoted Compassion International spokesperson Tim Glenn about the difference this option makes: “I have seen these meetings take place dozens of times and I can tell you it is powerful every single time. There’s nothing like watching a sponsor hug his/her sponsored child for the first time. Sponsors can walk into the classrooms at the Compassion child development center and see the very desk where their child sits. They can meet the volunteers who cook hot meals for the child or chat with the teachers who give their time to tutor and mentor each child. It’s a life-changing experience for everyone involved.”40


Sponsor a Child »

You can be part of the solution that is setting children free from a life of poverty. Simply visit the GFA World website: https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild/. You can sponsor a child living in South Asia or Africa. You can also find a child who shares your birthday or pick a child to sponsor who has a specific age or gender. Your decision to sponsor can make a substantial difference in the life of an impoverished or underprivileged child.


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 880 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 163,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through broadcast ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of this GFA World Special Report: Child SponsorshipDoes it Lift the Young Out of Poverty?  Part 1, Part 3

Read more blogs on Child SponsorshipPoverty AlleviationChildren’s Education and GFA World Special Reports 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 | Malaria Vaccine | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNewsChristianPostNYPostMissionsBox


Read what 30 Christian Leaders are affirming about Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.


Footnotes:

  1. Wydick, Bruce; Glewwe, Paul; and Rutledge, Laine. “Does international child sponsorship work? A six-country study of impacts on adult life outcomes.” Journal of Political Economy. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/670138. April 2013.
  2. Wydick, Bruce; Glewwe, Paul; and Rutledge, Laine. “Does international child sponsorship work? A six-country study of impacts on adult life outcomes.” Journal of Political Economy. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/670138. April 2013.
  3. Margerison, Gemma. “You can’t argue with numbers.” Christian Today Australia. https://christiantoday.com.au/news/you-cant-argue-with-numbers.html. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  4. Wydick, Bruce; Glewwe, Paul; and Rutledge, Laine. “Does international child sponsorship work? A six-country study of impacts on adult life outcomes.” Journal of Political Economy. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/670138. April 2013.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Margerison, Gemma. “You can’t argue with numbers.” Christian Today Australia. https://christiantoday.com.au/news/you-cant-argue-with-numbers.html. Accessed May 11, 2022.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Buchanan, Emily. “Is child sponsorship ethical?” BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-22472455. May 9, 2013.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Wydick, Bruce; Rutledge, Laine; and Chu, Joanna. “Does child sponsorship work? Evidence from Uganda using a regression continuity design,” (pg. 1). University of California. http://eml.berkeley.edu/~webfac/bardhan/wydick.pdf. May 2009.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Wydick, Bruce; Rutledge, Laine; and Chu, Joanna. “Does child sponsorship work? Evidence from Uganda using a regression continuity design,” (cover pg.). University of California. http://eml.berkeley.edu/~webfac/bardhan/wydick.pdf. May 2009.
  16. “How Do Donors Perceive Child Sponsorship?” Grey Matter Research & Consulting. https://greymatterresearch.com/sponsorship/. September 19, 2017.
  17. Ibid.
  18. “How Do Donors Perceive Child Sponsorship?” Grey Matter Research & Consulting. https://greymatterresearch.com/sponsorship/. September 19, 2017.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Zylstra, Sarah Eekhoff. “What current, past, and ‘never’ child sponsors think. Christianity Today. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/december/child-sponsorship-donors-survey-compassion-world-vision.html. December 19, 2017.
December 19, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX – GFA World (Gospel for Asia) founded by K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like GFA World Canada, to help the poor and deprived worldwide, issued this first part of a Special Report on Child Sponsorship — Does it Lift the Young Out of Poverty?

GFA World (Gospel for Asia, founded by K.P. Yohannan) - Part 1 Special Report on Child Sponsorship — Does it Lift the Young Out of Poverty?

In existence for many years, child sponsorship has been adapted by Christian ministries and NGOs alike as it provides education, sustenance and other benefits impoverished children might otherwise never have. But does it work? Does sponsoring children really help kids escape a life of poverty? This article is intended to get to the bottom of those questions, and more.

Many children face poverty, hardship and crippling crisis without a hope of anything better in their future. Child sponsorship organizations seek to come alongside them, let them know they are seen and loved and provide a helping hand so their future can be one where these children can not only dream, but see those dreams fulfilled. Photo by Compassion, Prayer for Children in Conflict
Many children face poverty, hardship and crippling crisis without a hope of anything better in their future. Child sponsorship organizations seek to come alongside them, let them know they are seen and loved and provide a helping hand so their future can be one where these children can not only dream, but see those dreams fulfilled. Photo by Compassion, Prayer for Children in Conflict

About two years ago, Compassion International joined the billion-dollar charity club. That put it alongside such noted names as United Way, Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the YMCA. Its 2020 fiscal year income topped that mark by $1.2 million, growing 4 percent over the previous year despite its major spring fundraising initiative getting canceled because of COVID-191.

A key element of this news is Compassion’s status as one of the best-known organizations built on child sponsorship, a valuable component of lifting children out of poverty worldwide. Sponsors help provide kids with such opportunities as education, medical care, protection against malnutrition, and clean water. That such purposes resonate with donors is demonstrated by the Colorado Springs-based ministry’s record of 21 years of consecutive growth2.

Our sustained growth is a testament to our faithful supporters who are committed to the work we are called to do in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name,” Controller and Vice President of Finance Amanda Whitmire told the city’s Gazette newspaper. “[It is also] our ability to continue that work with increasing effectiveness and efficiency through our workforce and dedicated church partners.”3

Child Sponsorship: A popular model

While groups like Compassion offer one-on-one matches between a sponsor and a child, others put donations to work through community development. Some organizations utilize other methods, but no matter how the money is used, child sponsorship is purported to offer children a chance to escape the cycle of poverty that can trap people for a lifetime. (One recent estimate places the number of sponsored children worldwide at 10 million.4)

GFA World national missionary pastors help tutor children in this community
In Rajasthan this pastor and another pastor have taken it upon themselves to help tutor the children in the community each evening between 4:00-5:00 as the children have been having trouble learning in the local classroom.

According to the World Bank, 53 percent of children living in low- and middle-income nation are classified as “in-school non-learners,” meaning they are enrolled in school but do not retain the things they learn.5 The agency found that children in this group cannot read or comprehend a short, age-appropriate story by the time they finish grade school. In poorer countries, the agency says the number can range as high as 80 percent.6 What’s worse, those who fail to finish school can easily join the ranks of the world’s 160 million child laborers.7

This was the kind of bleak situation facing a boy in South Asia named Neale not too long ago. The eight-year-old lives in a rural mountain village with his parents, who are employed in the area’s fertile tea fields. Their meager earnings aren’t enough to cover necessities, meaning Neale sometimes doesn’t have bus fare to make it to school. Because of sporadic attendance, his grades were dropping. This was devastating for the boy as a good education would be instrumental for him to be able to one day get a good job and be able to fulfil his dream of helping his mother.8

That’s when one of Neale’s teachers, who had noticed his situation, showed up at his home to tell him about a way to receive tutoring. The solution: a child sponsorship program operated by Gospel for Asia (GFA World), a non-governmental organization that operates in Asia and Africa. It meant Neale could receive the attention and time he needed to thrive. The following week, Neale sat with dozens of children like him listening to their tutor. After school, child sponsorship staff helped reinforce the lessons and helped him complete assignments.

Children receiving guidance and encouragement from GFA World child sponsorship staff
Like these children, Neale (not pictured) sat with his peers, receiving guidance and encouragement from Gospel for Asia (GFA World) child sponsorship staff.

“Neale also received a nutritious meal, tips on proper hygiene and school supplies—greatly relieving his mother of additional financial expenses,” Gospel for Asia (GFA World) reported. “The staff saw to his every need, wanting to help Neale achieve his dream. They offered all sorts of guidance, instilling within him the discipline he needed to advance his education and grow as an individual. Little by little, as Neale’s grades rose, so did his hope. That good job he wanted didn’t seem so distant now; helping his mother didn’t seem so impossible now.”9

This is a key attraction for sponsors; such programs afford them the opportunity to help desperately needy children who otherwise face a bleak future. In its materials, Compassion International outlines a variety of benefits, beginning with holistic child development that blends physical, social, economic and spiritual care to help each child fully mature. Thousands of churches in low- and middle-income nations tailor this model to the contextualized needs of the children in their community.

Other benefits the ministry lists include the opportunity to hear the gospel, better health, better nutrition, education and vocational support, safety and protection, and socio-emotional development.10 Plus, personal correspondence; in 2020, Compassion translated and sent 4.9 million letters from sponsored children to U.S. sponsors. Spokesperson Tim Glenn says the ministry’s growth is “a testimony of the power of relationship. The relationship between sponsor and child, the relationship between our ministry and our church partners, and of course, the relationship between God and his people.”11

 

Child reads a letter from her sponsors
The letters from their sponsors tell children they are loved, they are remembered, and they are important. These letters are often some of the most treasured possessions these children have. Photo by WorldVision.org

Approaches Vary When it Comes to Sponsoring a Child

Another sponsorship charity founded four decades ago by a group of five Catholic lay workers (four siblings and a friend) reached the $2 billion in total aid distributed last year. Based in Kansas City, Kansas, Unbound serves 300,000 people in 19 countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia.12

Estrella and her daughter Hannah who received sponsorship
Through Unbound, not only did Hannah receive sponsorship, but after their home was destroyed by a fire, the organization provided funds for Hannah and her mother, Estrella’s house to be rebuilt. Photo by Unbound, Coping in the Pandemic

Originally the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, the organization says most sponsored children have representation through small parent/guardian groups that direct how the funds are allocated. They commonly go toward food, education and skills training, health care, improved living conditions, and seed capital for a farm or small business.13

One 25-year-old woman, who is now a nurse in South Asia, said without sponsorship, it would have been impossible to achieve her goals. President and CEO Scott Wasserman said the number of lives Unbound has helped in its history is “humbling,” with the $2 billion marking a milestone in providing sponsorees with dignity and a path out of poverty.14

“The World Bank estimates 120 million more people will fall below the poverty line because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wasserman said. “[That] just strengthens our resolve to continue helping marginalized people around the world emerge from poverty as happier, healthier, contributing members of their communities.”15

Unbound’s approach shows the difficulty of trying to place sponsorship in a neat box. This is further illustrated by one of the larger sponsorship organizations, World Vision. The Seattle ministry, which takes in more than $1 billion annually, tweaked its sponsorship model in 2019. World Vision’s “Chosen” program allows children to select their donors instead of donors choosing them.16

“The World Bank estimates 120 million more people will fall below the poverty line because of the COVID-19 pandemic. [That] just strengthens our resolve to continue helping marginalized people around the world emerge from poverty as happier, healthier, contributing members of their communities.”

Initially done through a pilot project with seven churches across the U.S., the following year World Vision expanded the system to 22 countries, potentially affecting 180,000 children. The move came partially in reaction to criticism that allowing sponsors to choose children gave them a sense of power while diminishing that of poor children.

Still, whether the child picks the sponsor or vice versa, Hillary Kaell—an associate professor at Montreal-based McGill University and the author of a book about child sponsorship in the U.S.—said that the ministry sees God at work in either direction.

Child choosing a sponsor
In a unique twist on the normal sponsorship process, World Vision began their Chosen program which allows the child to pick their own sponsor. Photo by World Vision, Chosen

“In promotional videos for its Chosen program, World Vision makes it clear that God is still the guiding force…” wrote Kaell. “Sponsors say, ‘There are so many things that are bigger than us. … Through God we’re intertwined.’ Or they marvel at how a child across the world is serving as God’s ‘mouthpiece’ by choosing them. [Sponsor] Nichole feels it, too. After watching a video of [child] Junayet choosing her, she told me, ‘I could see God in the moment. Junayet came up with all of the joy in the world. He literally ran to my photo. God’s hand is in all those moments.’”17

Not all child sponsors, or sponsorship programs, come from a religious perspective. One example is Children International, a secular nonprofit formed in 1936 to provide food baskets for women and children in two Israeli cities. Over the next two decades, it expanded to an orphanage, a medical clinic and an orthopedic hospital.18

In the 1970s the organization experienced expansion and growth, with the Kansas City-based charity making a gradual shift to a sponsorship model that helped children in Asia and Latin America. Today it maintains 67 community centers in 10 nations (including the U.S.) on five continents. According to the organization’s website, “As a secular organization, we respect and honor the religions, cultures and languages of all our children and families. Sponsored children and our staff work together to achieve our goal of ending poverty for good through programs that focus on health, education, empowerment and employment.”19


Sponsor a Child »

You can be part of the solution that is setting children free from a life of poverty. Simply visit the GFA World website: https://www.gfa.org/sponsorachild/. You can sponsor a child living in South Asia or Africa. You can also find a child who shares your birthday or pick a child to sponsor who has a specific age or gender. Your decision to sponsor can make a substantial difference in the life of an impoverished or underprivileged child.


About GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 880 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 163,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through broadcast ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read the rest of this GFA World Special Report: Child SponsorshipDoes it Lift the Young Out of Poverty?  Part 2, Part 3

Read more blogs on Child SponsorshipPoverty AlleviationChildren’s Education and GFA World Special Reports 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 | Malaria Vaccine | Endorsements | 40th Anniversary | Lawsuit Response | International Offices | Missionary and Child Sponsorship | Transforming Communities through God’s Love

Notable News about Gospel for Asia: FoxNewsChristianPostNYPostMissionsBox


Read what 30 Christian Leaders are affirming about Gospel for Asia.

This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.


Footnotes:

  1. Rabey, Steve. “Compassion International crosses $1 billion milestone.” Colorado Springs Gazette. https://gazette.com/life/compassion-international-crosses-1-billion-milestone/article_4131990a-187b-11eb-9f03-5ff71a170a62.html. November 1, 2020.
  2. “Accountability Report.” Compassion International. https://www.compassion.com/multimedia/OCFO_AccountabilityReport2020.pdf.
  3. Rabey, Steve. “Compassion International crosses $1 billion milestone.” Colorado Springs Gazette. https://gazette.com/life/compassion-international-crosses-1-billion-milestone/article_4131990a-187b-11eb-9f03-5ff71a170a62.html. November 1, 2020.
  4. Kaell, Hillary. “When a child chooses a donor to sponsor them, it’s a new twist on a surprisingly old model of international charity.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/when-a-child-chooses-a-donor-to-sponsor-them-its-a-new-twist-on-a-surprisingly-old-model-of-international-charity-148209. November 12, 2020.
  5. “Ending Learning Poverty.” The World Bank. Last updated, https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/education/brief/ending-learning-poverty. October 20, 2021.
  6. Ibid.
  7. “Child labor: Facts, FAQs, and How to Help End It.” World Vision Inc. https://www.worldvision.org/child-protection-news-stories/child-labor-facts. July 7, 2022.
  8. “Keeping His Future Intact.” GFA World News. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/keeping-his-future-intact-wfr21-10/. October 2021.
  9. “Keeping His Future Intact.” GFA World News. https://www.gfa.org/news/articles/keeping-his-future-intact-wfr21-10/. October 2021.
  10. “What the Benefits of our Child Sponsorship Program?” Compassion International. https://www.compassion.com/how-we-work/benefits-of-the-program.htm. Accessed May 19, 2020.
  11. “Compassion International crosses $1 billion milestone.” Colorado Springs Gazette. https://gazette.com/life/compassion-international-crosses-1-billion-milestone/article_4131990a-187b-11eb-9f03-5ff71a170a62.html. November 1, 2020.
  12. “Our History.” Unbound. https://www.unbound.org/OurImpact/WhoWeAre/OurHistory. Accessed August 29, 2022.
  13. “Our History.” Unbound. https://www.unbound.org/OurImpact/WhoWeAre/OurHistory. Accessed August 29, 2022.
  14. “Unbound Reaches Significant Milestone with $2 Billion in Aid.” Unbound. https://www.unbound.org/Media/2021/August/Celebrating2Billion. Accessed August 29, 2022.
  15. “International Nonprofit Unbound Disburses $2 Billion in Aid for Children and Elders Overcoming Poverty.” Globe Newswire. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/08/17/2282277/0/en/International-nonprofit-Unbound-disburses-2-billion-in-aid-for-children-and-elders-overcoming-poverty.html. August 17, 2021.
  16. “Chosen: The Power to Choose Is in the Child’s Hands” World Vision Inc. https://www.worldvision.org/sponsor-a-child/chosen. Accessed August 29, 2022.
  17. Kaell, Hillary. “When a Child Chooses a Donor to Sponsor Them, It’s a New Twist on a Surprisingly Old Model of International Charity.” https://theconversation.com/when-a-child-chooses-a-donor-to-sponsor-them-its-a-new-twist-on-a-surprisingly-old-model-of-international-charity-148209. Accessed August 29, 2022.
  18. “Children International Is a Secular Nonprofit.” ChildrenInternational.com. https://www.children.org/learn-more/history/non-religious-charity. Accessed May 10, 2022.
  19. Ibid.
December 15, 2022

WILLS POINT, TX — For the world’s poorest children, one thing increases their chances of graduating from university by up to 80% — being sponsored by someone in the U.S. or other Western country.

Child sponsorship makes university dream alive for world's poor, escaping the generational poverty trap, says Gospel for Asia (GFA world)
CHILD SPONSORSHIP ‘TURNS DESPAIR TO REMARKABLE HOPE’: A new report (http://www.gfa.org/press/sponsor) by global mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA World) says research suggests the sponsor-a-child model adopted by many leading nonprofit organizations gives children in abject poverty a much higher chance of graduating from university and achieving their dreams.

A new report (http://www.gfa.org/press/sponsor) says research conducted in six developing countries around the world over a two-year period suggests the sponsor-a-child model adopted by many leading nonprofit organizations makes “significant impacts” on sponsored children’s education, health, well-being, and aspirations.

Researchers from the University of San Francisco (USF) and University of Minnesota found sponsored children in South Asia, Africa and Latin America stayed in school longer, were much more likely to complete high school, and were 50-80% more likely to graduate from university, says global mission agency GFA World (Gospel for Asia).

Escaping Generational Trap

When children in abject poverty have no prospect of going to school, their dreams are crushed and they have no hope of escaping the generational poverty trap,” said Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founder K.P. Yohannan, also known as Metropolitan Yohan.

Child sponsorship “provides the opportunity to go to school, receive basic healthcare, and have clean water–meeting whatever needs the child’s community might have,” he said. “It turns utter despair to remarkable hope. Many sponsored children grow up to be teachers, nurses, and even doctors.”

Sponsored children — most of them supported by donors in the U.S., Canada and other Western countries — show “higher levels of self-esteem, aspirations and self-expectations, and lower levels of hopelessness,” says the report titled Child Sponsorship Helps Lift the Young Out of Cycle of Poverty (http://www.gfa.org/press/sponsor).

Created For So Much More

For thousands of children — like Bir, a boy who used to scavenge in trash piles to survive, and Divena, a five-year-old girl abandoned by her mother — when a sponsor steps up it speaks to their hearts, showing them “they’re created for a higher purpose and that God really loves them,” Yohannan said.

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) donors have helped support 142,000 children across South Asia, and the organization aims to sponsor 500,000 children worldwide by 2030.

Millions of children living on the streets and in slums today is truly heart-breaking,” said Yohannan. “We must rescue them and give them hope in Christ’s name.”


About GFA World

GFA World (Gospel for Asia) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across the world, especially in Asia and Africa, and sharing the love of God. In a typical year, this includes thousands of community development projects that benefit downtrodden families and their children, free medical camps conducted in more than 880 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 163,000 needy families, and teaching to provide hope and encouragement in 110 languages in 14 nations through broadcast ministry. GFA World has launched programs in Africa, starting with compassion projects in Rwanda. For all the latest news, visit the Press Room at https://gfanews.org/news.


Read more blogs on Poverty Alleviation, Children’s Education, and Child Sponsorship on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

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

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

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


Source: GFA World Digital Media Room, Child Sponsorship Makes University Dream Come Alive for World’s Poor, Says Gospel for Asia [GFA World]

December 8, 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 Madock, the challenges of poverty, and the alleviation a bicycle from Gospel for Asia (GFA World) gift distribution brings.

Madock was a busy man. A daily laborer by trade, the 32-year-old father of three walked three miles to work every day. Every morning, he awoke early, hauling his tired body out of bed to ensure he made it to work on time. The long hours and constant journeys back and forth to provide for his family drained him of all energy. With each passing day, Madock found it more and more difficult to keep up with the demands of his labor.

The Encroaching Exhaustion

GFA World discussing Madock, the challenges of poverty, and the alleviation a bicycle from GFA World gift distribution brings.
Like this man pictured, Madock can more easily make a living for his family through the gift of a bicycle, which staved off the exhaustion suffered from constantly walking.

A year prior, Madock’s mother had been sick with an unknown ailment, and multiple doctors could not discern what was wrong. Eventually, Madock heard about a church led by Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Rafferty and asked for his help.

By God’s grace, Madock’s mother was completely healed, which led to Madock and his entire family embracing God’s love. The family began attending Pastor Rafferty’s church, wanting to grow in that love. Or at least, they tried to attend.

In the following months, the hard labor Madock performed, combined with the journey he made day and night, took its toll. The fatigue never truly left, and Madock often found it difficult to make it to work.

Sometimes, Madock and his family couldn’t make it to church, despite his desires and best efforts. He wanted to worship the Lord with other believers and grow in his faith, but his tired body would not let him. He also needed to save what little energy he could muster for his job. No matter how much Madock wanted to do both, he couldn’t.

Blessing on Wheels

Pastor Rafferty, seeing the conflict in Madock’s life, decided to alleviate both concerns. There was an upcoming gift distribution, where those in need could come and receive tools to help them in their lives. After consulting with his leadership for approval, Pastor Rafferty added Madock’s name to the list of recipients.

At the distribution event, Madock received a bicycle, which immediately lifted the burden of his daily travel—and eventually eliminated the mounting weariness that had tried to control his life.

Riding his bicycle to work every morning brought great joy to Madock, for the ability to save his energy for work meant he could effectively provide for his family and faithfully grow in God’s love and joy.


Learn how you can bring about change in the life of an individual in need of a bicycle.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, A Father’s Fight Against Fatigue

Learn more about how generosity can change lives. Through GFA World (Gospel for Asia) and its Christmas Gift Catalog, gifts like pigs, bicycles and sewing machines break the cycle of poverty and show Christ’s love to impoverished families in Asia. One gift can have a far-reaching impact, touching families and rippling out to transform entire communities.

Learn more by reading these Special Reports from GFA World:

Read more on GFA World Missionaries and Christmas Gift Catalog on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

December 1, 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 Ragnar, his thieving and negative influence, and the change God wrought through a Gospel for Asia (GFA) worker.

Ragnar’s village was a poor one. Most of the families relied on farming for their livelihood, but they struggled to attain anything beyond survival. Without resources, most couldn’t afford to give their children a proper education.

discussing Ragnar, his thieving and negative influence, and the change God wrought through a Gospel for Asia (GFA) worker
Once a troublemaker nearly ousted from his village, Ragnar (pictured) is now a positive influence on the community’s youth.

With little hope for a better life, many teens turned to worldly, and sometimes criminal, pleasures. It was common for boys and young men to sneak around under the cover of night to steal neighbors’ hens and ducks, then enjoy a clandestine barbecue with friends.

Ragnar was a natural leader, but he used his powers for evil, encouraging younger boys in these criminal activities and causing trouble in his village. He got away with it for a time, but soon the other villagers found out.

At first Ragnar claimed innocence. He was not involved, he said. He had scolded the younger boys for those bad practices, he testified. But Ragnar’s accomplices came forward with fingers pointed, insisting he was not only involved but the ringleader.

With a severe warning, village authorities released him. Ragnar’s thievery momentarily subsided, but soon his criminal activities resumed.

Now he stood before the village council again. His parents pleaded with the authorities to give Ragnar another chance.

“If he will not change his bad habit, you can do whatever you want to do to him,” Ragnar’s parents told the council.

To their relief, the council relented. But Ragnar’s father, Kagan, knew that a different outcome required different action this time. This could be his son’s last chance to turn his life around, and it needed to count.

A Different Direction

Desperate, Kagan sought out Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Manu. The pastor was a good man; perhaps he could do something with the boy.

Pastor Manu became a mentor for Ragnar, counseling and guiding him, and sharing Christ’s love. The pastor also prayed for Ragnar. One day, as tears flowed from Pastor Manu’s eyes during his prayer, Ragnar was deeply touched by the man’s love.

As God began working in Ragnar’s life, the young man’s heart began to change. Curious about the man investing so much time in his life, Ragnar visited Pastor Manu’s church, where he learned more about the man’s faith and encountered God’s love.

Ragnar’s life transformed. He put aside his thieving ways and began using his powers of leadership for good.

“I will surely stop the young boys from stealing others’ hens and ducks,” Ragnar said. “I will tell them about the good news that Jesus loves them, too, as He loves me. I will tell them individually.”

The villagers perceived the drastic change in Ragnar. Once ready to expel him from the village, his neighbors now appreciate his presence. Ragnar’s life, and its trajectory, is forever changed because a Gospel for Asia (GFA) worker lovingly invested in him.


Read about a 16-year-old girl whose life was changed after observing a peculiar family during a village-wide excursion into the forest.

*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, Stealing a Second Chance

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 GFA World National Missionaries and Poverty Alleviation on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

November 30, 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 Nevan and Kairah and their struggle in poverty to care for their disabled son, Jimi, and workers that help alleviate their burdens.

Though Nevan and Kairah’s son, Jimi, was 42 years old, they still provided basic care for him, such as feeding, clothing and bathing him. They loved their son, but his condition required constant hands-on care, keeping Nevan and Kairah from working regular jobs. It drained their energy and their resources, but what else could they do? He was their son.

Burdened by Care

The house Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers built for Jimi is on high ground to keep it safe from flood waters and has a ramp for Jimi’s wheelchair.

Jimi was born with physical and mental disabilities. He couldn’t talk, walk or do anything by himself.

In a society where such impairment often brings discrimination and shame, Nevan and Kairah did the best they could for Jimi. Still, managing all of Jimi’s care brought daily challenges. Navigating the wheelchair around their small house was difficult. The medications he needed were expensive.

Many nights, they couldn’t even sleep. Jimi would sometimes disturb others at night by shouting and spitting, forcing his parents to watch over him and attempt to calm their son. Sometimes Jimi soiled his clothes and Nevan and Kairah had to change his clothes in the presence of others, leading to everyone’s discomfort.

The couple’s two younger children, now married, helped financially support their parents and older brother, but it wasn’t enough. Then their riverside house was submerged in more than four feet of floodwater, adding to the family’s troubles. Fortunately, they had shifted their valuables to higher ground, but life was still difficult.

The burdens of these challenges pushed Nevan and Kairah to the brink of despair. Though weary, they held on to hope, praying for help. They loved their son, but as they aged it became only more challenging to care for him. Their small shanty was overcrowded, but it was all they could afford.

A Room of His Own

GFA World discussing Nevan and Kairah, their struggle in poverty to care for their son, and the workers that help alleviate their burdens.
Jimi, pictured with his parents, is very happy to be in his new home provided by Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers.

Unbeknownst to Nevan and Kairah, local Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers had seen their struggle and sought to help. They requested financial support from church leadership to build an annex to the family’s existing house for Jimi. They even specified the structure should be at least three feet above ground level to protect it from flooding.

Soon, a 10’x16’ adjoining structure was constructed, complete with a ramp for Jimi’s wheelchair and passage to the bathroom. With the separate living quarters for Jimi, the family’s difficulties were alleviated. Joy abounded for Jimi and the entire family.

“We are very happy that we were able to build this house for our disabled son,” Kairah said. “After 42 years, we will take care of him in a new, safe and clean environment. We owe all our gratitude and thankfulness to [the church] for this wonderful gift.”

Through this gift, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers demonstrated Christ’s love for people with disabilities—people whom society may disregard—and those who care for them. The burden Nevan and Kairah bear has been eased by caring neighbors willing to share the load in Christ’s name, and Jimi can live with greater dignity in his own space.


Click here to read how Sisters of Compassion cared for Chablis, a leprosy patient who couldn’t even leave her bed.

*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, Walls Alleviate Family’s Burden

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 GFA World National Missionaries and Poverty Alleviation on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

November 28, 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 the negative effects of poverty to the elderly and the care brought through GFA World Sisters of Compassion

Vitality waning, the aging men and women struggled to care for their own everyday needs. With a negative correlation between poverty and health, the diminishing well-being of these impoverished seniors meant they had greater need of daily care and assistance with everyday activities.[1] Yet they had no one to care for them.

Some of them still worked hard to support themselves, despite their aging bodies, having no pension or retirement plans to depend on.

At 60 years old, Adey still worked in the field until a bad fall rendered her unable to stand. She had a son nearby, but he neglected his mother, even beat her at times. With no one to care for her, Adey was injured and all alone, or at least until a daughter came to help her.

Aili, 61 years old, was fortunate enough to live with her daughter, but she was unable to work. She couldn’t walk and required constant care.

GFA Team Cares for Elderly

GFA World discussing the negative effects of poverty to the elderly and the care brought through GFA World Sisters of Compassion
Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers massage an elderly woman’s arm.

A group of Gospel for Asia (GFA World) Sisters of Compassion and Women’s Fellowship members saw the condition of elderly citizens like Adey and Aili. Their hearts burdened with the seniors’ plight, the Sisters sought to take care of them. They trimmed fingernails, massaged weary muscles and prayed for these precious people. The love shown by these Sisters brought tears to the eyes of the elderly as they thanked the team.

Adey had severe pain in her legs and hands. The Sisters tenderly applied oils and massaged her limbs. The caring hands of healing warmed Adey’s heart.

“I thank God for the Sisters of Compassion team and your ministry,” Adey said. “No one has ever come to know my well-being, but these sisters came and cut my hair, gave me a bath, and massaged my hands and legs. I am truly thankful to them.”

The Sisters also visited Aili, trimming her nails and encouraging her with kind words. Their thoughtfulness overwhelmed the elderly woman, who gave an emotional thanks before the Sisters moved on to their next stop, where they prayed and cared for more people.

The women’s ministry team was thankful for the opportunity to serve.

“I thank God for this privilege that I could do something for the needy people,” Sani said. “When I see these old mothers and fathers whose children have left them alone to struggle, my heart breaks.”

These sisters’ own hearts were warmed as God’s love flowed through them in practical service to aged community m embers in dire need of care.

“I feel so good to see smiles on their faces,” Dahiana said. “I thank God for this day.”


Read how Pastor Pekelo brought medical help to a destitute village.

[1] Ye, Feng. “Aging and Poverty in Asia.” https://borgenproject.org/aging-and-poverty-in-asia/. September 3, 2018.

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


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, A Father’s Fight Against Fatigue

Learn more about the GFA World Sisters of Compassion – those who are specially trained woman missionary with a deep burden for showing Christ’s love by physically serving the needy, underprivileged and poor.

Read more on Sisters of Compassion and Women’s Fellowship on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

November 25, 2022

STONEY CREEK, ONTARIO — October 22, 2022 St. Cyprian BEC (https://www.bechurch.ca), mission partner of Gospel for Asia (GFA World, founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan, has been the model for numerous charities like Gospel for Asia Canada), hosted a free Fall Festival for the community. We gratefully took advantage of one of the last warm weekends of the year for this event. Families and individuals were welcomed to the property we share with Gospel for Asia (GFA World) from one to five in the afternoon. Donations were accepted to support the local Stoney Creek Food Bank.

St. Cyprian Believers Eastern Church, a GFA partner, welcomed the local community for an afternoon of fun to help strengthen relationships
St. Cyprian BEC took advantage of one of the last nice weekends in October to welcome the Stoney Creek community for a free Fall Festival (https://www.bechurch.ca/).

This event featured fall treats made by parishoners, games, face painting, a bouncy castle, and the opportunity to interact with other community members. Dave Coruzzi, a local musician and guitar teacher, also provided live music during the event. Almost 150 people attended the festival.

Stoney Creek is a multi-cultural community, and we were delighted to have families from different backgrounds in attendance. We love being able to share small pieces of our cultural heritage with those from other backgrounds! Sometimes we do so through teaching adults how to play checkers, or playing giant-sized jenga. Or just sharing some of our favourite fall-time snacks and treats like caramel popcorn and chocolate chip cookies.

Around the world, Believer’s Eastern Church parishes seek to meet the needs in their communities. Partnering with Gospel for Asia (GFA World), we have helped organize free medical camps in remote areas. Also, we have been able to provide mosquito nets to many impoverished people in various communities.


About Gospel for Asia – GFA World

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based global mission agency, helping national missionaries 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/.

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


Source: GFA World Digital Media News Room, Enjoying the Fall Season at the Stoney Creek Pumpkin Fest

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 Humanitarian Services and GFA World Canada on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

November 23, 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 the impoverished communities that Gospel for Asia (GFA World) national missionaries reach, helping protect lives through hand-washing and sanitation.

“Clean hands save lives.” It’s a slogan that sounds like a simple solution to an enormous problem, but according to the Center for Disease Control, clean hands do indeed save lives by helping prevent the spread of disease and infection.[1] For impoverished communities, prevention may be better than seeking treatment when infections or diseases do come, especially because treatment may not be affordable or available.

Discussing the impoverished communities that GFA World national missionaries reach, helping protect lives through hand washing & sanitation.

In Defense of Health

Annually, on October 15, organizations around the world celebrate Global Hand-washing Day to highlight the importance of hand-washing in preventing the spread of disease. Gospel for Asia (GFA World) missionaries, pastors and workers also organize programs that aim to inform and teach the communities they serve how to protect themselves from sicknesses that are spread through unclean hands, knowledge that is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The area where Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Reinhard serves is particularly rife with diseases, including typhoid. Because the village is devoid of proper medical facilities, the villagers must either make a long and expensive trip or let infections take their toll. Many villagers, a field correspondent reported, were losing their lives to these sicknesses at a young age.

Seeing the great need in his area to help people stay healthy, Pastor Reinhard and other volunteers organized a Global Handwashing Day program to teach people how they can protect themselves from disease by washing their hands. At the program, the workers demonstrated handwashing techniques and shared about the increased risk of becoming sick when people do not properly wash their hands.

Bringing Help Where It’s Needed

Like Pastor Reinhard, hundreds of other Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers serving in impoverished areas brought the same message to those who need it most. In one region, more than 400 men, women and children across dozens of villages were taught how to protect themselves from disease through proper handwashing.

Addressing the gathered families in his village, Pastor Reinhard summed up the message he and thousands of workers like him brought to many:

“Wash your hands properly … and it will help you to keep yourself physically sound and healthy, by washing away germs that can cause preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea and [typhoid]. On the occasion of Global Hand-washing Day, we should help others by teaching them about [how] ‘clean hands save lives.’”


Read more about GFA workers protecting impoverished communities from sickness and infection.

*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.

[1] “Show Me the Science – Why Wash your Hands?” CDC. September 10, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/why-handwashing.html


Source: Gospel for Asia Field Reports & Updates, Protecting Lives Through Clean Hands

Learn more about the need for medical ministry — Prevention is better than cure. But what if you can’t access either? GFA World medical ministry is helping thousands who are in need of medical attention, all while displaying the love of Christ.

Read more on Medical Ministry and Medical Camps on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.

November 20, 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 the despair of Kalyska, her husband’s betrayal, her brother’s thievery, and the hope and peace that God brought through a friend and a Gospel for Asia (GFA) missionary.

“Frustrated” didn’t begin to describe how Kalyska felt. Her younger brother had effectively stolen the money she had lent him. Nearly all her savings were now gone. It was a heavy blow to the single mother of two. Kalyska already had difficulty providing for her son and daughter, but this was the final straw. How could she recover?

A Mother’s Struggles

GFA World discussing the despair of Kalyska, and the hope and peace that God brought through a friend and a Gospel for Asia missionary.
Kalyska, pictured here, is thankful for the love she was shown and the opportunity to provide for her children.

Things hadn’t always been like this. Kalyska had once had a happy home, if not a perfect one. Kalyska’s marriage had started out happy, but three years and two children later, she discovered her husband was seeing another woman. Her husband, confronted with his infidelity, hurled physical and verbal abuse on Kalyska. Then he left.

Kalyska was left alone to take care of their children. Fortunately, with some savings and the small income she now earned through tailoring, Kalyska was able to send her children to school once they were old enough.

But the reality of her situation shattered any semblance of peace. Many individuals, hearing of Kalyska’s plight, offered to help—but all they wanted was to use Kalyska for their own gain. Fear and despair took hold in Kalyska’s heart. She didn’t feel safe; she wasn’t safe.

Then Kalyska’s brother visited. Jobless, he needed a place to stay while he looked for opportunities. Kalyska graciously let him stay at her home. Eventually, he found a job, but it was an international posting, and he needed money to get there. So Kalyska loaned him most of her savings on his promise he would send the money back once he started his job. But no money came; the brother stopped all contact; Kalyska had virtually nothing left for her children.

An Opportunity for Hope, Peace

Not long after her brother absconded with her money, Kalyska was out at her local market. There, she happened to meet a lady named Peleria. A conversation ensued, during which the stressed mother shared all the horrible things she had recently endured. It was all too much—first her husband’s betrayal, then the predators’ threats and finally her brother’s thievery.

Peleria listened to Kalyska bare her heart with patience and compassion. As the talk progressed, Kalyska invited Peleria to her home the next day; they could continue talking then.

At Kalyska’s home, Peleria shared with Kalyska about her sister, Idalis, who happened to be a Gospel for Asia (GFA) missionary. Idalis ran a small program teaching women—specifically, single mothers and widows—how to sew, and Kalyska could help Idalis teach and earn a regular income. An opportunity to provide for her children? Kalyska took it.

When Kalyska began working at Idalis’ home, the sisters shared of God’s love. They shared of the comfort He brings to the helpless and the aid He brings to the needy. They also invited Kalyska to the weekly prayer meetings held at Idalis’ home.

When Kalyska sat with her children in the meeting, a feeling washed over her that she hadn’t felt in a long time—peace. And, oddly enough, joy. She wanted more.

The peace she felt at that first meeting is now a permanent staple in Kalyska’s home. After embracing God’s love, Kalyska began attending the local church and became a frequent visitor at Idalis’ home every week for prayer. Instead of living in constant fear and insecurity, Kalyska had found safety and love in the Lord through Peleria and Idalis. Kalyska didn’t need to bear her burdens alone anymore—she had help.


Learn how you can help other women facing similar situations of abandonment or bereavement.

*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, The Despair of a Single Mother

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.

Learn more about GFA World programs to bring value, hope and love to women and their families, and break the cycle of poverty by helping through Vocational Training, Sewing Machines and Literacy Training.

Read more on GFA World National Missionaries and Poverty Alleviation on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.


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