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Gospel For Asia Bibles

Gospel For Asia Bibles

GfaLogo

Logo of Gospel for Asia

Gospel for Asia (GFA) is a Christian missionary NGO founded by K. P. Yohannan in 1979, which states they focus on evangelizing in India and Asian countries through the use of national missionaries. The organization, once based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suburb of Carrollton, Texas is now located in Wills Point, TX. GFA states their primary aim is to support indigenous missions to "serve the 'least of these' in Asia".[1]

GFA states that they are present in numerous countries, including India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Laos and Thailand.[2] GFA has serious allegations concerning fraud pending in lawsuits aimed at closing the USA office and the charities right to operate in India has been revoked.[3]

HistoryEdit

In 1981, current president K. P. Yohannan formed a branch of GFA in his native Kerala, with an Indian headquarters being set up in Tiruvalla in 1983. GFA directly administers bible colleges, whose graduates receive financial support to found new congregations. Increasing donations made GFA "one of the most financially powerful mission undertakings in India in the 1980s."[4] GFA directly supports more than 50 Bible colleges in various countries.[4][5]

In 1993, GFA began founding its own network of churches in Asia,[6] which is the Believers Church which uses a Episcopal Polity form of governance.[7]

Scholar Michael Bergunder considers it to have been "One of the most influential new foundations in the second half of the twentieth century".[8]

ProgramsEdit

The goal of GFA focuses on the formation of missionaries native to the nation the missionary is serving, with special emphasis on Asia. The organization has defined its primary mission field as being those people that live in the 10/40 Window, a rectangular region extending from west Africa to east Asia and between 10 and 40 degrees north longitude. By concentrating on this region GFA ministers to a dense population of largely poor communities that have had limited or no exposure to the Christian faith.[9]

Although GFA accepts trainers for Bible translation, the ministry discourages direct missions of Western countries. Yohannan considers that the sending of Western missionaries to areas that are inaccessible to foreign missionaries can result in a waste of resources. He also believes that the imposition of western culture and neo-colonialism should be avoided. In order to increase efficiency and achieve its goals, GFA has become a repository for donations and financial support of Asian missionaries by non-Asian cultures. GFA administers these resources to the various programs listed below within its organization.[10][11][12]

National MissionariesEdit

GFA's main focus is to train and equip national missionaries. Yohannan has stated that he does not limit "national missionaries" to formal nation-states, instead focusing on differences in culture and language to define nationalities. This approach might result in several specialized missionary groups within a single nation-state, from large cities and regions down to small tribes and villages. GFA says that they have over 16,000 missionaries and church planters in over 10 Asian nations[13][14][15] In 2016, GFA-supported workers serve in 865 slums throughout Asia.[16]

Church buildings, bibles and gospel literature Edit

GFA raises funds for the building of simple Christian worship centers in small villages to educate new disciples as well as provide a visible meeting place for Christians. However, they have built several large cathedral type buildings in major cities. Examples are St. Thomas Believers Church Cathedral in Thiruvalla[17] and another in upscale neighborhood Hauz Khas.[18] They claim approximately 16 churches or mission stations are created every day. Similarly, GFA states they distribute native-language bibles and evangelical Christian literature to the region in order to strengthen churches and promote proclamation of the Christian faith.[15]

Radio and television broadcasts Edit

Radio in Asia is a broadcast that is especially designed to reach Asian communities. Yohannan brags that Athmeeya Yathra (Spiritual Journey) radio programs "reach more than a billion people and are translated into 11" languages. He claims that his Road to Reality is aired on more than 900 radio stations across North America, Europe and Australia.[19] However, some of those stations have dropped his broadcast in recent years because of controversies.[20] Athmeeya Yathra was recently expanded to include a television station and print media.[21]

Bible colleges Edit

GFA has over 56 bible colleges serving a whole range of cultures and dialects with the purpose of training native missionaries within their own dialects and cultures so that they will be effective ministers.[22] The program includes three years of instruction, including field instruction and experience. They claim that over 9000 native missionaries have been trained through these institutions.

Bridge of Hope Edit

Bridge of Hope is a child sponsorship program for poor families in under-served communities, especially lower-caste families and Dalits. Child sponsorship provides education, three daily meals, and access to medical care. The program also presents the Christian faith to the child as well as to the child’s family. Religious conversion is not required for participation; rather, the service increases exposure to the family and community.[23][24] In 2016, there were 82,000 children enrolled in Bridge of Hope throughout Asia.[16]

Jesus Wells Edit

GFA digs wells in communities where water is scarce during parts or most of the year. These wells are built for long-term use near churches, bible colleges or Bridge of Hope centers, and each well is maintained by a local pastor. These wells provide free, clean water to individuals regardless of caste, class, social designation or religion.[25][26] In its 2016 Special Report, GFA reports 6,822 Jesus Wells drilled in communities needing clean water.[16]

Believers' Church Hospitals and Schools Edit

BC owns and operates a variety of hospitals, colleges and public and residential schools. Most of these are for profit enterprises. Narada News has reported that BC will be expanding their investments by building as many as 500 additional international schools.[27] The list of what is currently operating includes some hospitals and clinics, some colleges, 9 schools located within small towns of southern Rajasthan, and at least four public schools.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.gfa.org/about/who-we-are/
  2. http://www.gfa.org/regions/
  3. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kochi/mha-no-fgn-funds-for-believers-church/articleshow/60962612.cms
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bergunder, Michael (2008). The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-2734-9.
  5. Philip, Shaju. "An archbishop's spiritual factory"The Indian Express. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  6. Anderson, Allan; Tang, Edmond (2005). Asian and Pentecostal: The Charismatic face of Christianity in Asia. Regnum Books International. ISBN 1-870345-43-6.
  7. "In Service to God". believerschurch.com.
  8. Bergunder, Michael (2008), The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, page 53
  9. Gospel for Asia official website.“Gospel for Asia: What We Do.” Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  10. Stout, Ken. “Fostering Sustainability and Minimizing Dependency in Mission Finances.”Reformed Theological Seminary Masters Thesis, October 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  11. Bergunder, Michael (2008), "The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century", Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, page 54-55
  12. Klaus Fiedler (1994), The Story of Faith Missions, page 404 (26)
  13. Houston, Rickey. “Loving Your Neighbor: A Guide to Developing and Sustaining Community Service Projects.” Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry Thesis, March 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  14. Jaffarian, Michael. “The Statistical State of the North American Protestant Missions Movement, from the Missions Handbook, 20th Edition.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research. Vol.32, No. 1. January 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Wooding, Dan. “K.P. Yohannan’s Long Road To Helping India’s ‘Broken People’.”ASSIST News Service. 14 July 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Gospel for Asia 2016 Special Report. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  17. https://www.youtube.com/user/StThomasBCC
  18. https://www.ixigo.com/believers-church-new-delhi-india-ne-1353795
  19. New Release Today, A Division of NRT Media Inc. “K.P. Yohannan Author Profile and Bibliography.” 1 September 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  20. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2015/10/19/csn-international-radio-removes-gospel-for-asia-ceo-k-p-yohannans-road-to-reality-show-from-program-schedule/
  21. Athmeeya Yathra Official Website. “Athmeeya Yathra TV: About". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  22. Cooper, Bill. “Gospel for Asia President, K.P. Yohannan.” ChristiNet Christian News Service. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  23. Gospel for Asia official website. “Gospel for Asia: Bridge of Hope.” Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  24. The Christian Post: Crossmap. “Anti-Christian Death Threats Force Closure of Bridge of Hope Center for Children in India.” Crossmap.com. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  25. Wooding, Dan. “Jesus Wells bring ‘living water’ to thousands in India and South Asia.”ASSIST News Service. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  26. Christian Today. “5000 Jesus Wells Bringing Clean Water Across India and South Asia.”christiantoday.com. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  27. http://naradanews.com/2016/07/self-appointed-bishop-kp-yohannan-now-declares-himself-saint-starts-for-profit-schools-in-the-name-of-st-johannes/

Revolution in World Missions.

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