menu
May 13, 2021

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

Chain Reaction

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

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

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

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

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

or 152 million child laborers.

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

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

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

decrease overall annual incidences of assault by

nearly 60,000

decrease of larceny by

more than 37,000

decrease of motor vehicle theft by

more than 31,000

decrease of burglaries by

more than 17,000

It would also prevent nearly

1,300 murders

prevent occurrences of more than

3,800 rape crimes

prevent and more than

1,500 robberies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can We Do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A closing word from Dr. King:

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

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

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


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

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


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


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

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


This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2021

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

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

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

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

E.F. Schumacher
E.F. Schumacher

Photo by The Schumacher Institute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personal Impact of Ideas, Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ideas’ Impact on the Family

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

How will they impact their future families?

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

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

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

Photo by @annaegalite

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

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

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

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

Ideas’ Impact on Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


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

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


This Special Report originally appeared on gfa.org.

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

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

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

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

December 18, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faced with a Difficult Choice

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

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

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

Hope in the Midst of Crisis

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

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

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

A Gift that Changed the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Learn more on Gospel for Asia’s Special Reports on:

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

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

Go here to know more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | Sourcewatch | Integrity | Flickr | GFA | Lawsuit

November 5, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Global Scourge

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

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

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

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

‘Don’t Deserve Anything Better’

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

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

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

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

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


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


About Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA World) is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.


Learn more by reading these Special Reports:

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

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

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

Source: Gospel for Asia: Digital Media Room

February 29, 2020

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

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

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

=====

The ‘Good Neighbor’ Phenomenon in Poverty Reduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethical Consumption

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

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

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

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

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

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

Innovative Startups Help in Poverty Reduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

February 26, 2020

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

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

Small Steps, Big Change to Poverty Elimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking the Chains of Debt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by University of Salford Press Office / CC BY 2.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

February 24, 2020

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

© UNICEF/UN0271230/Tremeau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extreme Poverty: Millions Are Still at Risk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpts from the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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

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

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

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


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

This Special Report originally appeared on GFA.org.

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

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

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

June 27, 2019

WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing how one man was able to sew his way out of extreme generational poverty by making clothing for customers on the side while still doing his daily labor in the tea fields.

Nalah pulled fabric away from his sewing machine to show his customer the finished product. He had just finished telling his client, one of his neighbors, the story of Jesus—the God who saved his life. When the customer left, Nalah started up his machine once more to fill another order. As the sewing needle bobbed up and down and the hum of the machine filled the air, Nalah was grateful for his new life in Christ.

But sewing wasn’t just something Nalah enjoyed. It wasn’t a hobby or a chance to express his creativity. For Nalah, sewing meant getting his family out of extreme poverty—a treacherous cycle they had been in for many generations.

Much like these men working in a tea garden in Asia, Nalah and his family lived and worked long hours trying to scrape up enough money to live on. Often the wages simply weren’t enough for his family.
Much like these men working in a tea garden in Asia, Nalah and his family lived and worked long hours trying to scrape up enough money to live on. Often the wages simply weren’t enough for his family.

Born in the Tea Gardens Made Life Hard

Nalah grew up watching his father labor in the tea fields, trying to maintain his family’s livelihood. He knew well the desperate poverty all the tea workers endured. Soon, their daily struggle became his own as he had to forsake his education to work alongside his father.

Life carried on as it did for every boy in the tea gardens. Inadequate living conditions, lack of clean water and proper sanitation, and malnourishment was the norm for Nalah and all the other tea worker families.

Despite his challenging childhood, Nalah grew up and started a family of his own. He became the father of three daughters and one son, all of whom needed to eat each day and get an education. The problem was Nalah couldn’t provide for them as he longed to. He sank into a depression and turned to temporary liquid pleasure to find relief.

While Nalah drank, he gambled his hard-earned money with his friends, trying to crowd out his sorrows like so many of the other men in the tea gardens have done for years. Nalah’s life was spent in misery, while his wife and children suffered all the more from the distance alcohol and gambling brought to their family.

Nalah Finds Something Worth Living For

But just as life was spiraling downward, Nalah met a servant of God who listened to his sad story. After Nalah had shared about his sorrows, he heard something that would change him forever: The Christian man shared with Nalah the testimony of Jesus’ life and ministry. Afterward, Nalah considered the sacrifice and love Christ offered to him and the whole world.

“If Jesus Christ is the only God, and the One who can change my life,” Nalah said, “then I am ready to give my life in His hand. I also don’t want to live a life that does not have any meaning. I want to live a good life for my family, as well as for my society.”

At that moment, Nalah gave his heart to Jesus, placing his insecure life securely in the hand of Christ.

Like GFA-supported pastor Ekanpreet (pictured), the Christian man who listened to Nalah’s life story and shared the story of Jesus’ life was like a breath of fresh air to Nalah’s depressed heart and soul.
Like GFA-supported pastor Ekanpreet (pictured), the Christian man who listened to Nalah’s life story and shared the story of Jesus’ life was like a breath of fresh air to Nalah’s depressed heart and soul.

New Faith, New Growth

Nalah, with his new faith in Christ, needed direction. He didn’t know where any local churches could be found, and he never saw the Christian man again. This is when God brought Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor Gunesh to help walk with Nalah as he followed Jesus. Nalah and his family began to get established in Pastor Gunesh’s church and worshiped Jesus alongside other believers.

It didn’t take long for Pastor Gunesh to notice Nalah’s impoverished condition. He saw how the people in the tea gardens suffered and knew it would be impossible for Nalah to be freed from poverty merely by his meager income as a daily laborer in the garden.

Pastor Gunesh sprang into action and talked with his leaders, requesting that Nalah receive a sewing machine. Thanks to the Lord’s faithfulness and supporters across the globe, Nalah was given a brand new sewing machine during a Christmas gift distribution held at his church.

9,702 sewing machines were given to needy families in Asia in 2016, enabling many to earn a steady income and overcome their families' poverty.
9,702 sewing machines were given to needy families in Asia in 2016, enabling many to earn a steady income and overcome their families’ poverty.

Sewing Machine Lets Nalah Sew His Way Out of Extreme Poverty

Equipped with the new machine, Nalah was able to sew his way out of poverty by making clothing for customers on the side while still doing his daily labor in the tea fields. Because of his extra income from sewing, Nalah could care for all his family’s needs, and what’s more, he was also able to minister to those who came to him for business. With a new life and beautiful future, Nalah and his family drew near to God and saw Him transforming them.

Sewing machines are effective tools that not only offer a way out of poverty but are also symbols of hope—hope for the future and dignity for the lives of many. Gospel for Asia (GFA) helps give men and women the opportunity to learn a trade through tailoring classes and by gifting thousands with machines of their own. In 2016 alone, 9,702 sewing machines were given to needy recipients.

“I did not [just] receive a sewing machine,” Nalah said, “but I have received a source of income. I am stitching my neighbor’s clothes, and happy in this service because I can interact and share the [love of Christ] with them.”

Nalah’s story is just one of many who have experienced life change through a sewing machine. Will you join us in being part of more stories like Nalah’s? Give a sewing machine today and offer hope for the future!


Source: Gospel for Asia Features, Breaking Generational Poverty with a Needle and Thread

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

Learn more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | YouTube | InstaGramSourcewatch | Integrity | Lawsuit Update5 Distinctives | 6 Remarkable Facts | Media RoomPoverty Solutions | Endorsements40th Anniversary

For more information about this, click here.

June 10, 2019

The first time Tanul tried alcohol, it must have burned his throat and boiled in his belly. Unpleasant as it was, it would not be the last time he put his lips around the bottle. In fact—like the poverty he was born into—it became his constant companion. By the time Tanul was a teenager, he drank regularly. Like most young men in his rural village, Tanul filled his body with alcohol to erase the shame of poverty from his heart and mind. This destructive habit would follow Tanul as he began to build a life for himself.

When Tanul married, he did not lay aside his drinking. As the burden of caring for a family increased, so did his time with the bottle. Children came, and Tanul was unable to provide adequate food for his family or cover school fees—making a hopeful future for them impossible. Tanul was stuck in a vicious cycle, and the more he drank, the less hire-able he became.

The first time Tanul tried alcohol, it must have burned his throat and boiled in his belly. Unpleasant as it was, it would not be the last time he put his lips around the bottle. In fact—like the poverty he was born into—it became his constant companion.
In many rural villages plagued by poverty, men gather to gamble and drink in the absence of work.

Tanul’s journey is not an isolated incident. It’s a problem all over the world; alcoholism and poverty go hand-in-hand. Though it is not proven that one always leads to the other, there is an ugly, symbiotic relationship. As alcohol consumption increases, employability decreases. While employment dries up, many use drinking to ease the shame, which exacerbates the cycle. Often, the only work left for alcoholics in Asia is manual labor for which they are hired on a day-by-day basis. Because of the difficulty—and sometimes the impossibility—for the poor to rise above these employment options, many turn to alcohol to ease poverty’s sting. The stress of not knowing if you will find work each day inflates the problem.

Abuse Multiplied: Poverty, Alcohol, and…

As Tanul’s family fell apart, another near relation to the twin problems of alcoholism and poverty arrived: domestic violence. Coming home intoxicated and angry, Tanul began abusing his wife and children daily. The little money he earned went to supporting his addiction. This family, plagued by poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, was living out the well-worn path blazed by many of the world’s extreme poor.

In the village pictured, 80 percent of the rice crop is used to brew homemade alcohol— resulting in a high consumption of alcohol. This leads to frequent occurrences of domestic violence.
In the village pictured, 80 percent of the rice crop is used to brew homemade alcohol— resulting in a high consumption of alcohol. This leads to frequent occurrences of domestic violence.

Step One on the Road Out of Poverty

Pastor Teja, who has a church in a nearby village, met Tanul’s family one day when he was offering prayer for families in need. The Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastor saw the pitiful condition of this family, and his heart was heavy. The family invited him back to pray for them, and a friendship began. Tanul’s family began to attend Pastor Teja’s church. Then members of the church continually prayed for Tanul’s deliverance from alcohol—the thing that bound them to the poverty they lived in. Through their faithful prayers and Pastor Teja’s counseling, Tanul overcame his addiction to alcohol. The Lord completely transformed Tanul’s heart!

For the first time, Tanul’s family experienced freedom—freedom as a gift from God above that trickled down into their hearts and flowed toward each other in love. This freedom from bondage gave them hope for the future. But in the present, they were still stuck in the poverty trap.

This predicament of the extreme poor—not being able to find work that will support a family’s daily needs—is one of the basic issues addressed by world leaders and organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty around the globe. One expert working with the Borgen Project, a non-profit dedicated to fighting global poverty, is convinced the first step[1] in reducing cyclic extreme poverty is helping the poor create their own businesses. This is the very thing many Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported pastors and missionaries can do with income-producing gifts provided by donors all over the world.

Pastor Teja knew that Tanul needed a way to earn enough income to support his family. He arranged to hold a gift distribution and presented Tanul with a rickshaw—something he never could have afforded on his own. Tanul was overcome with gratitude at God’s provision.

Tanul's whole family has been transformed since the Lord entered their lives.
Tanul’s whole family has been transformed since the Lord entered their lives.

A New Reputation

With his new gift, Tanul loaded vegetables onto his rickshaw and began selling throughout the village—even delivering produce to customers’ homes. God blessed Tanul’s diligence and hard work, enabling him to earn a good income selling vegetables. Setting his own prices and being able to keep all his earnings, Tanul had enough money to send Maahir to school to learn a skilled trade. Maahir completed his education and started working as a carpenter. The two men now adequately support their growing family, including Maahir’s wife and two children.

Self-employment frees those trapped in the cycle of poverty from discrimination, unfair business practices and job insecurity — circumstances to which the poor and uneducated are vulnerable. Gifts like rickshaws, sewing machines and water buffalo are the means to break free from the bondage of poverty and to set thousands of families on a new course of self-sufficiency and hope for future generations.

Income producing gifts, like these goats, help lift impoverished families in Asia out of the trap of poverty.
Income producing gifts, like these goats, help lift impoverished families in Asia out of the trap of poverty.

Join the Global Effort to End Extreme Poverty

The fight against extreme poverty is not finished—736 million people in 2015 were still living on less than $1.90 a day.[2] Almost half of these people reside[3] in the countries where GFA supports national workers. GFA believes that together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of those caught in the extreme poverty trap.

Join GFA in providing pastors, missionaries and other national workers with tools to lift those in their communities out of the harsh poverty trap.


[1] The Borgen Project, Top 10 Facts about Poverty in India

[2] The World Bank, Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues but Has Slowed: World Bank

[3] Our World in Data, Tree Map of Extreme Poverty Distribution

Source: Gospel for Asia Features, Rickshaw Unlocks a New Path


Learn more on Gospel for Asia’s Special Reports on:

Learn more about how generosity can change lives. 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.

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

Go here to know more about Gospel for Asia: Facebook | Sourcewatch | Integrity | Flickr | GFA | Lawsuit | Instagram

For more information about this, click here.

August 27, 2021

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 Palila and her family’s struggle with poverty, and the sewing machine gifted by GFA World that helped bring new hope to their life.

Sewing Machine gifted by GFA World Christmas Gift Distribution
Through the sewing machine gifted by GFA World, Palila was able to provide for her family and experience the love of Jesus.

Palila glanced at her three children, and her mind welled with worries that they would not be able to receive a proper education. Though her husband worked hard as a daily laborer in the agricultural fields near their home, his meager income, equating to less than $9 per day, was not enough to fully support the family. Palila knew something had to be done to bring in more money, but what?

An Unexpected Gift

The village where Palila lived with her family was also home to Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Taggart, who served a small church there. One December, after hearing about Palila and her family’s financial needs, Pastor Taggart submitted Palila’s name to receive a gift from a Christmas gift distribution conducted by his church. Palila was given a sewing machine that, for her, was a beautiful symbol of hope and possibility. Overcome with gratitude, she knew that by using this gift she would be able to better provide for her family.

Stitching a Future Together

Palila used her sewing machine to repair items for her fellow villagers as needed and earn an income. After only one year, Palila’s new job provided additional income to fully support her family when combined with her husband’s! Through her sewing, Palila could pay her children’s tuition for a good school and relieve the family’s financial stress.

Seeing their most pressing needs provided for through the gift of a sewing machine, Palila and her family obtained new hope as the pieces of their life were stitched together through the grace and mercy of God.


See how you can help families like Palila’s by giving the gift of a sewing machine.

*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, Sewing for Her Family’s Survival

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.

Learn more about how generosity can change lives. Through Gospel for Asia (GFA World) 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.

Read more on Sewing Machines and Poverty Alleviation on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.




Browse Our Archives