Monday, February 29, 2016

Resilience: Missionaries And Disaster Relief

Image source: gfamedia.org
Missionaries not only spread inspiring words to various communities, but also share kindness through quick response and assistance during and after natural disasters. Sadly, many countries that are susceptible to these destructive forces of nature are those with already-existing depressed economies. In some cases, previous disasters have left these nations with high levels of poverty and even damaged infrastructure, making them highly vulnerable to a variety of risks when more environmental crises strike.

Many missionaries aim to help people in these countries in times of emergency. They are trained to prepare for relief operations and to respond to crises.Through donations from sponsors, both private individuals and organizations around the world, these missionaries are among the first to respond to the basic needs of disaster victims.

Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and similar tragedies all put victims in an insecure situation. Missionaries are able to provide basic needs like food, clean water and clothing. They can also provide temporary shelters (called tent cities) or even help rebuild homes which may have been damaged in landslides or floods. They also provide hygiene kits and medical supplies. As part of their immediate response, some missionary teams are able to conduct medical missions by sending teams of doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other medical staff to areas where they are needed the most.

Image source: gfamedia.org
Missionaries are highly committed to their social work. They not only provide immediate and temporary relief, but they may also stay for months, or even years, to make sure that these communities have fully recovered and can take care of themselves should another tragedy head their way.

Gospel for Asia is a religious organization active in a wide range of volunteer work in areas such as education, healthcare and disaster relief. Help the ministry fulfill its purpose by visiting this website.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Believers Church in India Responds in Earnest to Nepal Earthquake Victims

Members Who Lived Through Previous Disasters Now Providing
Prayer, Food, Clothing, Funds and Relief Workers for Others

KATHMANDU, Nepal – Members from Believers Church in India are responding unconditionally to the disastrous April 25 earthquake in Nepal with widespread prayer, fasting, sacrificial giving, clothing and food drives, as well as sending relief teams to help restore the neighboring South Asian country.

Gospel for Asia supports Believers Church, a denomination with 2.7 million members, which has a strong emphasis on ministering to those in need in their own communities. Members, regardless of their own financial need, are taking their own initiative to help bring relief to those affected by the earthquake in Nepal. And some even out of their own poverty are sacrificing to bring hope to these hurting communities in Nepal.



Gospel for Asia-supported missionaries, Believers Church pastors and Bridge of Hope
staff pass out rice to earthquake victims in the Nuwakot District of Nepal.
Twenty Believers Church members in the district lost their homes in the quake.


Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA shares: “Many who have personally experienced the devastation of powerful earthquakes and storms are now responding to help others. Believers are praying, fasting and sharing from their limited resources. I am reminded of Paul talking about the churches in Macedonia freely giving to help others, despite their own need (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). It makes me so happy to see the Lord pour out His love through the joyful sacrifice of these precious brothers and sisters.”

Among those responding are Believers Church congregations in the Uttar Pradesh region of northern India. Churches from this area have already sent truckloads of blankets, rice, flour, bread and other foods, and are collecting funds to send more.  In addition, individuals who had set aside money to buy clothing for their children gave that money to the relief fund. A few churches that had a fund to raise money for a new music system also gave it to the victims.

One of the most generous responses is being organized in Delhi. After suffering through an earthquake in 2001 that killed more than 10,000, one of the leaders on the field, Dr. Simon John, said he can personally sense the sadness many Nepalese are suffering. “As soon as we heard about the earthquake, our staff individually and collectively started praying for bereaved families and working to collect relief supplies and financial help,” he said.

In the Punjab area, floods and landslides destroyed thousands of homes a year ago, with heavy rains again badly damaging wheat crops this spring. Yet field leader Pastor Martin said churches there immediately collected an offering to support victims in Nepal. “Three days after the earthquake, we had collective prayer and fasting,” Martin said. “Our churches will be continually praying for the people as we trust God to rebuild Nepal.”

Churches in Kolkata have contributed enough donations to set a goal of rebuilding at least 100 homes, providing rations to 200 families for two to three weeks, and providing for children’s educational needs. Members also plan to collect donations of clothing and send it when conditions in Nepal make that feasible. In addition, pastors, missionaries and staff members have committed to donate a tenth of their financial support—not counting their tithes to local churches—to earthquake victims.

Believers Church’s Women’s Fellowship and Sisters of Compassion – specially trained women missionaries – have also been active through prayer, raising funds, mobilizing groups to gather clothing for victims and doing relief work in Nepal.

Numerous churches have already been involved in fasting and prayer, such as in Bihar, which called for a three-day period of special fasting and prayer for God’s grace, peace and healing in Nepal. Church-wide observances are scheduled for May 8 in Delhi and May 12 in Udaipur.

Gospel for Asia has worked in Nepal for more than 25 years. For decades, the ministry has also provided disaster relief throughout South Asia when tragedy strikes areas it serves, such as after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

GFA supports 450 churches, 20 Bridge of Hope children centers and Bible schools in Nepal. Some were destroyed or damaged by the earthquake, Nepal’s worst in 80 years. Many church leaders and members have lost their homes or can no longer safely live in them.  


More information about GFA’s disaster recovery efforts in Nepal can be obtained at www.gfa.org/info/nepal-earthquake

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gospel for Asia Continues to Minister to Quake Victims in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal – With the death toll from last weekend’s massive earthquake in Nepal rising daily, Gospel for Asia’s (GFA) Compassion Services teams continue to supply life-giving relief to victims and obtain important updates on the devastation.

A GFA video report regarding Nepal is available at www.gfa.org/earthquake/nepal.

Various news media reported the death toll has surpassed 5,500, with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala predicting it could rise to 10,000. Hundreds of thousands remain homeless. At least 8 million people have been affected by the earthquake, and at least 1.4 million victims are in need of food and clean water. With electricity also in short supply, officials fear outbreaks of disease.

Pastors and members of GFA-supported churches serve hot meals
to Nepal earthquake victims.

In one village in eastern Nepal, a GFA-supported pastor reports that 90 percent of the people are affected by the quake, with many people living in their courtyards and cowsheds. Some families from the congregation have been staying in the church because of damage to their homes. Such conditions reflect the situation in the capital of Kathmandu, where thousands are still living outdoors because of fear of aftershocks.

Between 30 and 40 GFA-supported missionaries serving in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state bordering Nepal, are helping with recovery efforts. Along with pastors, leaders and believers, they have been distributing fresh water, noodles, sugar, rice and dal. One GFA-supported church has provided shelter, food, water and medicine to 400 people, while a church in Narayanthan fed 350. GFA missionaries also distributed relief materials to nearly 66 families in Gokarna Village.

Latest reports indicate 10 GFA-supported churches have been damaged. Many church leaders and members have lost their homes or can no longer safely live in them.  

“In the midst of situations like this, with the unbelievable amount of death and destruction, it’s so important to remember that God’s grace is still present,” said Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA. “Although the magnitude of this disaster is overwhelming, the Lord is allowing us to show His love to a hurting world.”

Despite these efforts, communication with pastors and missionaries living and serving in remote regions has been limited. The government sent helicopters to rescue some people who are trapped, with evacuees describing entire villages being demolished by the 7.8-magnitude quake. One of the leaders on the field, Narayan Sharma, said people have felt more than 100 aftershocks since the quake, with rain in between them making life more painful.

Gospel for Asia has worked in Nepal for more than 25 years. It supports 450 churches, 20 Bridge of Hope children centers and Bible schools throughout the country. 

For decades, the ministry has also provided disaster relief throughout South Asia when tragedy strikes areas it serves, such as after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Yohannan said that while people living on the other side of the world can feel helpless during times of crisis, they can still make a difference by helping through recovery organizations and praying for those who have lost loved ones or homes, or who have suffered injuries in the devastation. 

“We can also pray for the safety, strength and grace for missionaries ministering to the suffering,” he said. “Pray for our Compassion Services teams as they minister to earthquake victims, for the energy and endurance of rescue workers as they search for more survivors. Pray, too, for God’s protection over our pastors, leaders, missionaries and believers.”

More information about GFA’s disaster recovery efforts in Nepal can be obtained at www.gfa.org/earthquake/nepal.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Gospel for Asia Assessing Nepal Quake Damage to Churches, Bible Schools and Children’s Centers

Sends Missionary Workers from India to Assist in Disaster Recovery Efforts


GFA Compassion Services teams are working to bring relief to the earthquake
survivors, offering assistance where needed.


KATHMANDU, Nepal -- After the worst earthquake in 80 years hit Nepal over the weekend, Gospel for Asia (GFA) immediately began assessing the quake's impact on the people there, as well as damage to churches, Bible schools and children's centers. It also initiated disaster response efforts for survivors in the region.

Gospel for Asia has 450 churches, 20 Bridge of Hope children centers and Bible schools in Nepal, some of which were destroyed or damaged by the quake. Many church leaders and members have lost their homes or can no longer safely live in them.

Between 30 and 40 GFA-supported missionaries serving in Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state bordering Nepal, have been sent to the region to help recovery efforts. On Monday a team of pastors, leaders and believers in Kathmandu Valley provided relief supplies, such as fresh water, noodles, sugar, rice and dal, to quake victims.

“Tragedy can strike at any time. It is our aim in times like this to help as many people as we can, both with basic physical care as well as with a heart of compassion to listen and care for them individually,” said Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and international director or GFA. “When we minister to the hurting in Jesus’ name, we minister unto Him.”

The death toll from Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake soared past 3,300 Monday, according to the Associated Press. How much higher it will rise depends largely on the condition of vulnerable mountain villages, which rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster. The quake also triggered an avalanche at Mt. Everest that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make summit attempts. At least 18 people died there, and 61 were injured.

GFA has worked in Nepal for more than 25 years. For decades, the ministry has also provided disaster relief throughout South Asia when tragedy strikes the areas it serves, such as with the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

“When we are on the other side of the world during times of crisis, we can feel quite helpless, but we can make a difference,” said Yohannan. “We can help through recovery organizations on the ground there, and most importantly, we can pray for those who have lost loved ones or homes or who have suffered injuries in the devastation. We can also pray for the safety, strength and grace for missionaries ministering to the suffering."

More information about GFA’s disaster recovery efforts in Nepal can be obtained at gfa.org.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Let love guide your life: Serving God through care and compassion

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, as Christ had taught: "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

Image Source: biblestudyquizzes.com

Christ and His apostles stressed how important it is for Christians to serve God, not encumbered by a sense of duty, but instead with a burning desire to serve and a genuine concern for those who have yet to hear of Christ. Without love as the guiding force of thoughts and actions, a person's faith is like a hollow vessel.

Christians can find different ways of proclaiming and demonstrating their love for God—tithing, donating food and other items, volunteering in the community and the like—but they all boil down to compassion—love—and a great sense of service.

Image Source: DepositPhotos.com

The greatest act of service, one Jesus calls all His followers to do, is partaking in the Great Commission. Christian groups around the world respond to this call by praying for, supporting and sending Christians to share the message of hope in Christ with people in the world who have not heard or understood Jesus’ call. As people in these places understand the love of Jesus, they in turn respond by sharing this Good News with their friends, families and other members of their community.

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Life on earth is too short not to take advantage of God's great invitation to serve the world in love and witness previously unreached people come to the Lord. They come with the hope of being healed and transformed by His amazing grace. Jesus told His disciples that people would recognize them by their love for one another, and as Christians share this love, the world does take notice.  

Through locally trained missionaries, Gospel for Asia makes God's love known to people living in unreached regions of the world. Learn more about the organization’s transformative mission on this website.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Not untouchable in Christ: Reaching out to the least of God’s children

The term “slumdog” has been popularized through films exploring the harsh realities of urban squalor and poverty rampant in South Asia. A considerable number of these men, women and children are Dalits, those at the lowest levels of the Hindu caste-system. Dalits are often treated with contempt because they are considered ritually unclean and are thought to have committed great sins in a previous life. Those who try to survive in cities face a great deal of scorn and abuse, though village life is not always an improvement. Dalits, commonly known as “untouchables” in the West, are often denied everything from meaningful employment and ample education to basic necessities like food and safe drinking water, even though caste-based discrimination has been illegal for decades.

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Many Dalits think they deserve a life of poverty and hopelessness from the time of conception to death, based on the widespread belief in reincarnation and the never-ending cycle of rebirth. Some people in South Asia think, “You must have been horrible in your past life to be born as a Dalit, so you deserve to suffer the consequences now.” However, Christ sees differently. Missions such as Gospel for Asia are reaching out to the Dalit peoples to provide these precious individuals with the message of hope, forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ. Many missions and missionaries not only work to bring hope to those rejected by traditional and contemporary South Asian society, but also give these men and women access to the basic necessities that were once denied them.

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Missions like Gospel for Asia have brought the light of hope to many a former “slumdog,” sharing about the God who became human and started His life on earth in a lowly cattle shed. By knowing Jesus, people at all levels of society, including Dalits, are finding the hope they never knew existed.  

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For more on the mission’s work and all God is doing through them, visit this page.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Inspired giving: Various ways to promote and teach about charity

Reaching out to others in need whenever there is an opportunity to help is important whether one gives time or money. Speaking out further for a good cause encourages people to campaign for a better world. The act of charity and the spirit of giving have been elevated in the past few years following the natural disasters, state conflicts, and terrorist attacks that threaten the lives of the marginalized and disadvantaged around the globe. People dig deeper into their pockets to offer needed relief to survivors of unprecedented tragedies.

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So how can charity become a habit? There are different ways, such as the following, to promote and teach the value of charity to others:
1. Make a donation. Scour closets and root out clothes that haven’t been worn in a while which can be given to charities. Encourage children to select toys they wish to donate, this way kids are involved early about the idea of charity. Donating a sum of money, regardless of amount, is a very practical way to help, too.

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2. Give blood. Donate blood and invite others to do so as well. Talk to them why you choose to donate blood and how this charitable act will help save lives. To promote the cause further, register to host a blood drive and involve the community to take part in saving lives.
3. Volunteer. There are different types of volunteer activities that one can be involved in depending on skills or training, and sometimes just for socialization and fun. Serving others is a good chance to give back and promote community service.

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There are those who go beyond the confines of volunteerism to share about Jesus’ love in unreached areas—they are called missionaries. Gospel for Asia, a Christian missionary organization, sends trained missionaries to unreached parts of Asia to transform communities by sharing the love of Christ. Their missionary work on the field exemplifies a selfless act of charity that creates a ripple effect of positive impact in numerous ways.
Gospel for Asia founder K. P. Yohannan tirelessly commits to spreading the love and light of Jesus Christ to remote areas of South Asia. Read on about discipleship and spirituality by visiting this website.