“Brother, I Couldn’t Write Those Books Today”: Inside Gospel For Asia Part 1

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25 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    Michael, maybe it’s just me but I’m missing the connection between the title of the article and the article itself. Does the quote in the title come from one of the former staff you interviewed? If so, what is the context of the quote? What is it referring to?

  2. Michael says:

    KevinH,

    It will be evident in part 2.

    I didn’t realize I was going to have to split it up.

  3. Kevin H says:

    OK, thanks.

  4. Nonnie says:

    Thank you, Michael and Warren! Thank you!

  5. Slowdown says:

    I am a part of the group of former GFA staff, and I just wanted to mention that initially when I read this post, I felt that it was exaggerated and would likely bolster GFA leaders’ and current staff’s idea that we are on a mission to defame them. We are ONLY wanting to tell the truth. So I brought this up to the group and while several of us agreed that this seems a little blown-up, a couple people felt they could relate 100% based on their experiences. So all this to say, this was not everyone’s exact experience. The general ideas are accurate, but not all of us were, for example, made to read all of KP’s books, or told how to spend our money. But, the pressure was very real and we could easily feel forced based on the “absolute submission to authority” doctrine. Thank you to Michael for the kind way you have represented the Diaspora, let’s not allow the enemy to make this mess any bigger before it all gets cleaned up.

  6. Michael says:

    Slowdown,

    Thank you!

    I’m trying to be cautious…I submitted this to my sources before publishing.
    It is good that we can report both what some have experienced and what you are reporting as well.
    I know what GFA will do with any misinformation…

  7. Slowdown says:

    Thank you Michael. Yes, I am sure they are desperate now. They often speak of “dying to self” and the humility that brings you so low, you have nothing left but Christ. Now would be the perfect opportunity for them to do so. It would be painful, they would lose much, but they would finally receive all the rewards they have proclaimed would be given to those that do so.

  8. openeyes says:

    I just got through reading job reviews of Gospel for Asia on Glassdoor. I was floored.. then heartbroken. I just want to thank all the Ex-GFA workers for their heart for India. Thank you for loving India so much that you put up with so much. I have to believe there are Indians heaven bound because of you!! Please don’t think your efforts were lost or years were in vain. You just can’t see the fruit yet but it is there I am sure. I hope that someday you can come back to India to see it through another lens.

  9. James says:

    Where to start. I’ll just pick a few.
    “You would be expected to read all of Yohannans books and listen to a large number of his recorded messages.” There are only 4 books written by KP, oh and one by Gisela, bringing us up to 5 out of a total of 18.

    “The indoctrination never stopped… it was reinforced weekly at prayer meetings and privately daily if necessary.” A typical prayer meeting generally consists of a time of singing, the kids getting some prayer requests from “Auntie Gisela”, a devotion, typically around 15-20 minutes, and then someone sharing a series of prayer requests, taking time to pray for those requests, and then rinse and repeat the prayers for the rest of the night.

    “The cost of questioning things was to be labeled “disobedient” or “rebellious”…you were at risk of rejecting Gods call on your life.” So, then I must be labeled as rebellious or disobedient, because there have been many things I have questioned. There is a difference between asking questions or sharing a concern, and being belligerent and getting bent out of shape if someone doesn’t agree with you.

    “If all else failed you would be escorted from the premises with your belongings, but without the “support’ you had raised.” Being escorted from the premises is standard procedure… most anywhere. If you are removed from staff, the standard that has been and continues to be 3 months severance. That is laid out on day 1.

    Think about this, a large ministry meets regularly to pray for all sorts of things, both ministry related, and concerns throughout the world, and that gets labeled as indoctrination! We know that the work is done through the Holy Spirit. We need God’s guidance in everything we do. We don’t go to prayer meeting to seek KP’s leading, we go to prayer meeting to acknowledge that we desperately need God’s wisdom and strength. And you want to take that and make it about “indoctrination.”

  10. Sinner and Saint says:

    James,

    I don’t know who you are…but I do know several people who have worked for GFA, one of which was interviewed by Michael. I’ve known him for 25 years. He is an honorable man. He loves Jesus. He tells stories that make me want to puke. He did not receive “3 months severance”. In fact he was not even able to take the support he had raised.

    Furthermore, I’ve been familiar with KP for over 20 years…he is a legalist and a purveyor of a poverty gospel that is every bit as damaging as the prosperity gospel.

  11. James says:

    Well, Sinner and Saint. Therein lies the problem. You say your friend “He is an honorable man. He loves Jesus.” Not knowing who that is; I have no way of knowing the trurth of that statement.Just as you have no way of knowing the character of those men which others so soundly denounce.That being said, as believers we are blessed with the Holy Spirit, and we can ask for wisdom and discernment.

    That being said; I can’t completely condemn someone based solely on others experience. The truth is that people lie.

    So, either I have managed to be completely ignorant of all of the stuff that has been said regarding KP and the other leaders, or I am lying, or someone else is. I’ve been around long enough that I could not reasonably be expected to be ignorant. I have no clue what I would have to gain by lying (seriously, even a minimum job would pay better), or I am telling the truth.

    The biggest issue I have, is the number of people who take a couple of guys posting on the internet, and choose to react.Simply put, if God told you to support the ministry of GFA in some capacity; then be obedient and do it. If He hasn’t told you to support GFA and you are; then stop. God has been more than faithful to provide for our needs and enable us to share the Good News to some of the most populous and the most remote parts of South Asia. Regardless of what others think, post or say; we will continue to do all we can to share and make disciples as Jesus commanded us to do. So, if you chose to stop financial support of Gospel for Asia, I pray that the Lord leads you to where He wants you to give. But please, if you were supporting a missionary or Bridge of Hope kid, please continue to pray for them. Anyone can donate money, but to have brothers and sisters in Christ praying for you, that’s something special.

  12. Michael says:

    James,

    I’ve talked to many people now, here and in India.
    We have the testimonies of over a hundred in the GFA Diaspora.

    If you discount all those you still have all the documentation Warren Throckmortons site, the decision by the ECFA to terminate their membership, and celebrity endorsers jumping ship.

    God may have told people to support GFA at one time….they need to ask about today.

  13. Kevin H says:

    James,

    From your postings, it would seem that you are on staff at GFA. God bless your desire to carry out the Great Commission and to help those in need. And I am glad you seemingly have had a positive experience with GFA and do not believe that you have experienced the same difficulties with GFA that other former staff members have attested to.

    The reality is, however, the number of former staff members that have attested to these difficulties is much, much greater than what you are trying to minimize them to. These problems are much greater than just a couple people talking on the internet. The GFA Diaspora group whom I am sure you are aware of, although you are probably told to avoid, are made up of over 100 former staff members who collectively are claiming there are serious problems within GFA. There are more than 20 personal testimonies documented on their website. Beyond that, there are many others who have recently left GFA and are also speaking out about the problems that are not even part of the Diaspora group.

    As a donor, when I first started learning of these problems, I contacted GFA and got to speak to a senior leader. The problem is, I was deceived and lied to by this leader. Or else you have been lied to. Some of the answers he gave me directly contradicted answers he gave to staff as documented by recorded staff meetings. I’ll give you one for instance. This GFA senior leader told me that GFA stopped the practice of transferring large sums of money to India in undocumented envelopes when they found out that what they were doing might not be legal (which has since been verified that it certainly is not legal). however, what GFA told you and staff, as documented by recording of their own staff meetings, is that they stopped the practice because it was making the staff uncomfortable but that they hadn’t done anything illegal. So one of us, if not both of us, got lied to by GFA leadership. I could detail further lies and deception in my conversation with the GFA senior leader, but I won’t drag that out any further.

    So the testimony of many, many former staff, along with my own personal experience, speaks to dishonesty, deception, and manipulation that GFA leadership operates with. Please do not disregard the testimony of so many of your former colleagues. I know you have been indoctrinated to believe they are giving evil reports. But any organization that is truly concerned with conducting themselves with righteousness and truthfulness would be open to hear criticism so that they could potentially learn where they can fix things that aren’t right and become even better. When you are told to avoid those who have left the organization and told that any criticism they are giving are evil reports, then that is one huge red flag that is screaming that something might not be healthy here. Please beware.

  14. Steve Wright says:

    To Michael’s credit, these last two articles were not published until ECFA terminated and ministrywatch likewise published a recommendation that people stop donating to this ministry.

    To say they serve no purpose is false. Christians care where their money goes and that it is used for what they give it for. One of the reasons for ECFA’s decision is because funds were being solicited for one specific purpose but being used for another.

    That is a big deal. That is important news – news that needs to be spread.

    And all the more considering how many faithful works are happening in India and around the world, desperate for money to do even more, and with limited American Christian dollars to go around.

  15. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’ve been asked to request an article from you about the mission in India that you support.

    Our readers with a burden for that area need a place to honor God with their giving while leaving GFA.

  16. Scott says:

    James, in your estimation why would the ECFA publish an alert to stop sending money GFA?

  17. Scott says:

    I was a part of a group that sprung out of the Jesus People movement. The husband and wife leaders of the group were former missionaries in Mexico, turned street evangelists in San Clemente in the early 70’s. Someone who had a burden for missions donated money to purchase a high school in central California that had been closed down.

    They opened the school as a discipleship community for folks who wanted to be trained for the mission field. A lot of young people came because they had a burdened for lost. Some were professionals who gave up good jobs and homes.

    The leaders would often reference how they paid the price laying down their lives for Jesus living in a small travel trailer in the hot Mexican climate, not knowing where their next meal would come from for their young babies, etc.

    This tactic was supposed to make those of us who were slaving away during the day on jobs generating $$$ in exchange for our “tuition”.

    All the while the leaders were driving around in a nice classic cadillac, living in a beautiful home with a pool off campus and eating the best foods, etc. I mean, they had paid their dues and God was just blessing them, right?

    When the antique furniture from trips the leaders made back to N.C. and the like started to pile up on the 3rd floor of the school building, people started to question what was going on. However, honest answers were never easy to come by. The leaders surrounded themselves with yes men and women who were willing to go down with the ship.

    And down it went too…

    Looking back, God was warning us all along. Yet, it’s just too hard sometimes to believe what you can see with your own eyes or to even listen to the testimonies of others who know full well what is going on.

  18. James says:

    That’s a lot to reply to. As much as possible, I am only going to speak to those things I have first-hand knowledge of (for some questions I know the answer, but because I don’t have first-hand knowledge of it, I’ll assume that you would consider it suspect regardless of the reliability of the source), I will not resort to character assassination of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and I will also do my best not to speculate.

    First off Michael, only 20 or so testimonies have been published. Does that mean their are 80 that have not, or there are just 100 total that have signed the letter?

    And I absolutely agree. People do need to ask the Lord if they should continue giving to GFA. God has called us to be wise stewards of the resources we have.

  19. Michael says:

    James,

    I just wrote the final installment.
    I’ve interviewed people from literally all over the world in the last few weeks.
    The testimonies are too similar to dismiss.
    I’ll let my last article speak to the rest.

  20. James says:

    Kevin, I am fully cognizant of the various issues raised by those in the diaspora. I also know which accounts are false. What I find most disheartening, is that so many of them waited for years and in some cases decades to try to address whatever hurts both real and imagined they received. I know how bitterness and pride can take a hold of your life and become such a drain on everything. I sincerely hope and pray that there would be repentance and reconciliation on both sides.

    I must admit, I find it rather disheartening that you simply proclaim that I am indoctrinated. You don’t know me, you don’t know my story, you know absolutely nothing about me. It appears that my having a different view to yours, that I am somehow devoid of discernment.

    I know the character of the leaders here at GFA. They have shown themselves to be men of integrity who truly desire to know the Lord more fully and intimately. And it comes out in big and small ways. God is being glorified in their lives, and they continue to bear good fruit.

    We are to be God’s witnesses here on earth. What impression would an unbeliever have by reading the posts, but especially the comments here?

  21. Michael says:

    James,

    Maybe an unbeliever would be impressed that some of us in the church still care about biblical virtues and accountability.

  22. Nonnie says:

    James, Why did the ECFA take away their endorsement?

    Why is GFA continuing to solicite funds, when there are tens of millions in the bank?

  23. Kevin H says:

    James,

    It is a classic ploy of abusers to shame the abused. Shaming them for taking so long to speak of their hurts. Shaming them with accusations of bitterness and pride. Focusing on the “problems” of the abused rather than on the abuse itself. Now I’m certainly not accusing you of being one of the abusers. But I imagine this type of thinking and strategy could easily have been parlayed onto you by those who are the abusers.

    As for the indoctrination comment, indoctrination in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is a normal thing that happens to nearly everyone in their walks of life as they learn from those who have influence over them. They are indoctrinated with the things that are being taught and shown to them that they accept as being true. And so I ask, is it not a regular teaching/encouragement of GFA that you should not spend meaningful association time with those who have left GFA and if those who have left GFA say anything bad about the organization that they are giving “evil reports”? And do you generally agree with this? Or are the many and many who have testified to this being a regular teaching within GFA lying?

  24. ChainsBroken2x says:

    @20 Jim- I would be guessing but it seems as though you personally have been absent from GFA (at least within a leadership role) for at least 3 years or more. At least 29 families (most in some form of leadership role) have left in 2015 alone. Most of them that I converse with have left because of a lack of integrity in the top few leaders you claim are producing “godly fruit”. Maybe at one time that was the case but not now. There is no way controlling and demeaning staff through shaming them, manipulation, and dishonesty will produce “godly fruit”. I also know the stories of most of the Diaspora and so do a number of Sr leaders that recently departed and there are always 2 sides to every story but the bulk of what they have testified to is true. I understand you want to believe the best about GFA, otherwise you have to admit that you were deceived and that is hard for anyones pride to swallow. It involves a number of different stages and one is dealing with your own pride because you’ve been deceived. Grieving comes next. Spiritual abuse is real and GFA has become a textbook model it.

  25. Disillusioned says:

    Well, Michael, it seems you may have touched a nerve with this account.
    I can offer that ALL of the things above happened to my friends who called last year from GFA distraught and saying they were coming home. There was utter disbelief at the behavior of leadership toward them.

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