Red Flags Over Gospel For Asia
I have had personal concerns about GFA for a number of years.
Over the last couple of weeks some of those concerns have been spoken to by others in social media.
Our own KevinH has done an outstanding job of gathering that information and this is his report.
I have posted on Facebook about Gospel for Asia (GFA) a couple times recently due to some potentially concerning information that has come out about the organization over the past couple months.
My wife and I currently sponsor two children through GFA and I know a good many of my Facebook friends are familiar with the organization and may even be donors or sponsors of children themselves.
While I can’t claim to know the full truth on all these details and accusations of GFA, they are at the very least quite concerning. There seems to be a lot of red flags. I believe it is only fair that those of us who support this organization are aware of the current situation as we want to make the best decisions in the stewardship of the money we give to the Lord’s work. And part of making the best decisions is being informed. I have no plan to pull sponsorship of our children, lest the children get hurt. I believe GFA does a lot of good work in spreading the Gospel and meeting both the spiritual and physical needs of less fortunate children and adults. But many of these concerns are unsettling and how this all plays out could affect my future decision making in regards to GFA. The following is a list of some items of concern:
- Due to all the accusations and concerning information I have read on the internet over the past couple months, I did email GFA with my concerns. My contacting them was not meant to get to the bottom of every single detail, but I at least wanted to leave them with the impression that their donor base is concerned. That way, if things are in fact being done wrongly, there might be some impetus to change. Plus, I wanted to be fair and hear their side of the story. GFA responded and wanted to speak on the phone rather than respond to any information through email (no documentation trail?). And so I spoke to a GFA representative who is pretty high up in the organization and got his side of the story. I did not push much in the conversation, as again, my intent was not to perform an investigation and get to the bottom of every last thing. While the GFA rep did give explanations to some things that sounded at least plausible, I was still left with an unsettled feeling after the conversation.
- There is a group of 80+ former GFA staffers who have banded together and have brought their concerns before GFA. Concerns of overly controlling and abusive actions by GFA along with deceptive practices toward their donors. They do not believe their concerns have been addressed with any real significance. GFA and this group of former staffers do not see eye-to-eye on how the concerns have been or should be addressed and how the reconciliation process should play out. Here is their website: http://www.gfadiaspora.com/
- Warren Throckmorton, a blogger and professor at Grove City College has detailed some of the concerns from this group along with doing a lot more digging on his own which has uncovered a lot of other possible improprieties, especially on the financial side of things. GFA has felt that Throckmorton has been unfair to them and takes them out of context and so they have chosen to stop communicating with him in any efforts to clarify the concerns he raises. In my phone conversation with the GFA rep, he did give me explanations to some of the concerns raised by Throckmorton. However, some of the explanations seemed to me more like trying to put a positive spin on things rather than giving good solid evidence and rationale. Meanwhile, Throckmorton continues to raise more concerns as he uncovers more and more suspicious looking information. Here is a link to all his GFA articles: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/category/gospel-for-asia/
- GFA has not made much financial information available in the past, at least publicly, on various charity monitoring sites such as charitynavigator.org and guidestar.org, amongst others. GFA claims they don’t post financial information due to security concerns since the Indian government is not friendly to Christianity. However, many other Christian ministries that also work within countries that are hostile to Christianity still manage to post their financial information. The lack of financial transparency just is not a good look for a Christian ministry/charity.
- The GFA board, who has done the investigation of and continues the “reconciliation” work of the concerns raised by the GFA Diaspora group does not appear to have a healthy make-up. There are 7 or 8 people on the board. One of those people is K.P. Yohannan, himself, who some of the accusations revolve around. Two or three board members are close family members of K.P. Then another member is Skip Heitzig, who has his own history of corruption and over control at his church and board of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque, as has been documented here in the past amongst other places. Another GFA board member is also a board member of CC Albuquerque as was told to me by the GFA rep, again a board with a history of corruption. The last two board members I do not know anything about. Now the make-up of the board doesn’t prove anything. But, again, it is one of the red flags.
- There are plenty of specific accusations and details that could be discussed and further dissected. Rather than trying to do all that here, it is probably best to read the details at the websites linked in this article, if so desired.
- Again, I can’t speak to the truth of all these accusations and possible improprieties of GFA. I do think there are at least enough red flags for us to be concerned. The group of former GFA staffers is more than 80 people, not just a couple of disgruntled former employees. GFA has an established history of a lack of public financial transparency. Now maybe that truly is due to real security threats. But at the very least, it doesn’t look good on the surface when a ministry/charity chooses not to be transparent with their finances. The makeup of the board doesn’t reflect well. And the more that is read on the specific accusations such as the transferring of large amounts of undeclared cash in envelopes on group trips from the U.S. to India or the wording of pledges that are given in ordination services, the more red flags are raised. I think it is best that we are at least aware of these things and not bury our heads in the sand. We can then each use our best discretion in deciding whether or not we want to support a ministry.
i see that Christianity Today just now published an article on this – praying for some house cleaning
KevinH did an outstanding job here…
Could that “other” CCA Board member be either Paul Saber of Gino Geraci? If so, that is more than enough circumstantial evidence to become very leery of this situation.
If this is true I really don’t know what the solution is. I thought this was an organization that was 100% trustworthy. Oh well….
Thanks for your excellent work Kevin.
No, the other CCA board member is Gayle Erwin, as was told to me by the GFA rep I spoke to.
Here is listing of the GFA board members: http://www.gfadiaspora.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/GFA-USA-and-CANADA.pdf
And just for clarification purposes, I found a listing on guidestar.org which doesn’t list one of the Punnose family members (the family members of K.P.). That’s why in the article I refererred to there being 2 or 3 family members on the board, as I wouldn’t know which listing is most accurate or up to date.
I had always previously held GFA in high regard. There still are many good things they do. But coming across this information was troubling. I think we know by now that nobody is 100% trustworthy. Nobody that is purely human, that is.
Thanks, Kevin. That news is a bummer all the same for other reasons.
You did some fantastic work here.
If Franklin Graham is going to call for a boycott of Wells Fargo based on how they run their business how might he respond to what is happening here? The world seems a bit upside down at times….
GFA and CC ABQ have been close for years. GFA has a base in El Paso…and the next story will probably be how those people have been treated through the years.
And Skip is a rock star today. Go figure….
Kevin, thank you for your work in gathering this info, although I wish it hadn’t been necessary. The name “Gale Erwin” rings a bell for me. I remember him from my own CC days here in SoCal. I remember him having a folksy, self-deprecating comedic routine when speaking. Wears suspenders and plays the good-old-boy routine while talking to folks about Jesus. I think it works in reaching some people.
I hadn’t realized that GFA was so tightly entangled with the CC folks.
Oops, misspell. I meant “Gayle” not “Gale”. He’s a dude. 🙂
Think I will sit this out.
Reading the testimonies by former members was very troubling. Shunning, women having to wear head coverings, married couples’ lives being controlled by leadership.
Great job Kevin. Having been in the Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief business for years, I can tell you that very little would surprise me by way of the corruption within many organizations. There are just too many dollars passing through these organizations with minimal to no accoutability to the donors.
Many folks have made a ton of money in this industry. It is not only a cash cow during a disaster but just the speaking gigs alone between disasters can net huge dollars as well as add to your donor base. There are guys like Walid Shoebat and many others who have done well just telling great stories…
The collection of testimonies is disturbing as collectively they would seem to show a cult-like culture within GFA to control their people.
The financial accusations would also be quite disturbing if true. If GFA has the evidential numbers to explain and combat the accusations, I wish they would do so on some level publicly. To date, they have done so very little. According to the Christianity Today article, GFA showed all their pertinent financials to the EFCA and the EFCA is saying they’re all good. But still no numbers or explanations of any specifics. The EFCA also has a bit of a reputation of protecting its members. So it would still be good to see some real numbers that would counter the accusations.
It is very sad to see this scale of problems with GFA, who seemed to represent the kind of missionary work that would reach most of the remaining unreached part of the world in the next few decades.
Kevin – i appreciated what you posted today… when things don’t smell right, they probably aren’t and your list of 7 concerns seem like warnings to be taken seriously IMHO
pray that this sorts out because Eric is right about the pressing need in that part of the world … seems like Judas always gets into the purse if there’s any money in it
Sad, but so typical….human nature just seems to drift into such scenarios…. I occasionally hear KP on the radio here and while inspiring, i must admit that my ‘legalism radar’ totally goes off….. It seems to be difficult for sinners to continually remember that aside from the salvation of our souls…. that we are still sinners. The desire to exert control over others “in Jesus Name” seems an irresistible temptation.
Pulling this out from one of the documents from the GFA Diaspora site, this is a transcript of a pledge taken by the top leader of GFA Canada at an ordination service:
KP: “Are you resolved to accept and obey the given orders, responsibilities, and disciplines of the church and the ministry and discharge them in absolute submission in accordance with the constitution of the church?”
Pat: “I am.”
KP: “Will you promise to submit to my leadership, my successors, and authorities of the church and the ministry set over you all the days of your life and ministry?
Pat: “I firmly make this pledge and promise in the name of God and before this congregation that I will submit and always remain loyal and faithful to your leadership and to your successors and in all matters.”
So this high up leader is making a pledge that he will submit to KP and/or his successor(s) in all matters of his life for the entirety of his life. Man, does this have red flags all over it as to the mindset of the organization. And even at that, this is supposed to be an Evangelical Protestant ministry, not Catholic or the like that would place all authority in the Church or a single leader.
Paige @20….great observation!
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback on the article. This certainly wasn’t a fun thing to write. But as I kept coming across this information, I felt a responsibility to let others know, at least originally on Facebook.
We need Kevin H on staff more often. 😉
It was an amazing feeling to be able to post a quality article on an important topic while I recover from this lung infection.
Thank you, Kevin!
Michael, maybe next you could let me write about the curse of Ivan DeJesus upon the Phillies. 😉
Great job! The problem with some of these organizations is they think they got a corner on the market. However, the reality I think there are probably more missionaries come out of China from the underground church to the rest of the world. Its similar to CC in America. CC is not the only game in town. When you make people think it is, is when the corruption, arrogance and financial impropriety comes in.
I met K.P. Y. at a conference near 30 years ago, after hearing his vision of missions on the David Mains Chapel of the Air program. My wofe and I really bought in to their mission model, and have supported them in the years since.
When I tried to engage K.P. in conversation (he was standing alone, disengaged, it was during a break between sessions), he just looked right past me as I spoke to him, never offering any type of greeting, much less reply. At the time I chalked it up to, perhaps, cultural differences and shyness. In the intervening years, as I have grown in Christ, I have come to value conversation as the main way that we communicate value to others. In Isaiah, God invites into conversation with Him and certainly Jesus modeled that throughout His ministry.
Though we continue to give to GFA, I think his lack of effort in engaging in conversation with me is more a product of an authoritarian mindset–he would not speak with me because I was not at his ‘level’ or status.
I experienced this with denominational leaders as well; heirarchy necessitates that there be lessers and greaters–the lessers’ money is clean and welcome–conversation, not so much.
Wild times for the church–perhaps reformation is being hastened by the self-destruction of these powerful ministries.
meant my wife in the previous comment–small print
This is a sad story, especially for those of us who have been big supporters. I have shifted my personal, as well as church, support to Serve India Ministries. They are much more transparent. I have been on the field with them and been involved in training some of their pastors. There was no ring kissing, just real, raw, ministry with some very special people. http://serveindiaministries.org
Jim….. thank you for posting the link to serveindiaministries.org. What a lovely work!
To the author of this post: I would be interested in hearing GFA’s explanations for what I have been raising. I may have more information I can share in response.
Please let me relieve you of your guilt for the thought of stopping your contributions. The Indian children will not suffer if you stop contributing. Here’s why: GFA and its Indian affiliates (Believers Church, Love India, Last Hope, and GFA-India) combined receive around $50 million per year from around the world (mostly USA). Those same 4 Indian NGO’s have over $150 million sitting in the bank unused. This represents 3 YEARS worth of donations. Every donor could stop contributing immediately and no Indian child would risk a decrease in monthly support for quite some time.
I don’t know who K P Yohannan, but any relief agency that is identified by the leader is probably somewhat of a problem – especially one that has such large reserves. I think having 3 yrs reserves, while people are still in need shows a lack of faith
So what have we seen the past 2 days? Graham taking his $100 million and this guy now banking $150 million.
Not that it eliminates problems but a relief agency run by a denomination cannot be run too tightly be a man and have a more from the ground up vision.
i haven’t followed the WF bank withdrawal … was that Graham’s own bank account or Samaritans’ Purse? … if the latter, it may not be so egregious as they have some pretty pricey operations going… if, on the other hand, the moneys are F. Graham’s personal funds that just gives me the opportunity to quote old JV McGee again… a pastor with a large bank account is not a pastor, he’s a racketeer – (i assume that applies to heads of Christian Charities also)
glad to see Michael’s post – hope you’re better, sir
#33 link = ugh
I’ll give this one last thought. When I had written originally written this article, I had read over only a few of the testimonies on the GFA Diaspora website: http://www.gfadiaspora.com/testimonies-2
Having now read through each and every one of them, I am all but convinced that GFA operates in a serious cult-like fashion where they are way overly controlling and manipulative of their people. And to some extent how they also manipulate their appearance to the outside. Some would probably even classify them as an outright cult based on their alleged behavior. Unless all of these people are outright lying in their testimonies, there seems to be a serious systemic problem where GFA is setting themselves as a much greater authority in their people’s lives than they should be. And K.P. would appear to be the one most responsible for this.
Now I still think that GFA does a lot of good work. But there are some serious problems with they way GFA operates from the top.
my last post was misleading… a rich man could be a good pastor, but not if his wealth was siphoned off of the monies folks contributed to God’s work…
can happen is lesser ways also – i remember my grandparents’ disgust with a “pillar” of the Pentecostal movement in So. Calif. years ago … the man and his wife would go through the clothing donated for missionary distribution around the world … under the righteous umbrella of cleaning and sorting, they’d pick out the nicer donations for themselves
The hardest thing for me re: this:
If anyone stops giving to GFA and doesn’t continue giving somewhere else!
Who does it better?
For the people of Asia?
(The only thing I know about GFA is what I’ve read on the PP)
Kevin @37 – “Now I still think that GFA does a lot of good work.”
Good work as in social work (feeding the poor, etc), or good work as in evangelism?
If it’s the former, a lot of secular organizations do a good social work. If it’s the later, are they spreading the Gospel or are they spreading their cult like practices which is NOT the Gospel?
This is a disturbing story as I have heard KP speak at conferences and I have read a couple of his books. While he struck me as being a bit extreme in some of his thoughts, I never imagined what this report revealed.
I agree with Col46. If the evangelism they are spreading us putting the same yoke of bondage on indigenous pastors and believers as on their staff, then they are not spreading GOOD NEWS….it is not the gospel.
If all of this is true, what I don’t understand is who is benefiting. I haven’t seen any reports of luxury vehicles, million dollar salaries, mansions, private jets or any of the other trappings we associate with financial shenanigans. If there are untoward financial transactions or hughe bank accounts; then who is benefiting and how?
Actually, there are reports that K.P. Yohannan owns several homes in India and all the trappings of being the Metropolitan of a 2 million member church. Since the organization is not transparent, we don’t know how many salaries he draws (He is president of GFA in the U.S. and heads the international affiliate as well as the Believers’ Church and two other ministries under his control.
Some might not think of inurement as being the mini-pope of your own church but it appears to be one thing money can buy.
I believe GFA does good in their social work. Yes, there are others who perform similar, but it is still all good. As for evangelism, that is a double edged sword. If people are being saved through GFA’s evangelistic efforts, then that is a good thing. If they are being similarly burdened as GFA apparently does to their staff, then that is a bad thing.
Bear with me, this might be a few paragraphs, but please read it. We need to pray for GFA.
I talked with a GFA staff member recently and he told me, “If God didn’t approve of what was going on at GFA, He would make all the donors stop giving and He would stop what GFA is doing.”
I’m not sure where this person got their idea, but it certainly wasn’t from the Bible. Think for just a second: There are many Christian organizations and pastors who are taking tons of money from people, “shearing the sheep” as it is called, and yet their ministries flourish. Does God approve of their sins? Certainly not! The Bible says that God causes the rain and the sun to be on the righteous and the unrighteous. Our success in ministry is never evidence of God’s approval.
Why then does our good God allow such sin to continue? The answer is simple: He is patient. In Romans 2:4, Paul says that our God is forbearing and longsuffering and that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. It is not God’s scorching wrath that leads us to repentance, but it is his kindness and patience. Our Lord Jesus Christ is giving GFA so many chances to repent.
GFA is a really great organization as far as organizations go; they preach the Gospel tirelessly and minister to the poor and needy continually. And yet, there is major sin going on. It’s quite the predicament. How should the people involved deal with it?
Let’s say there is this wonderfully skilled doctor. He treats patients every day and is loved by all. But then, at the end of each day, he goes home and beats his wife. Should the wife stay with her abusive husband in order to support him in the great work he is doing? No; the fantastic good that the doctor does will never be good enough that it should permit his abusive lifestyle. The ends never justify the means. The staff members of GFA should not endure abuse for the sake of helping in the work they are doing. The work belongs to the Lord and His arm is not short; He will continue the good work He started. The staff members are not responsible for the work on the field.
Lastly, in Revelation chapter two, there is a church mentioned that worked really hard for the Lord. The text says that they work tirelessly for His namesake, but the Lord had one thing against them: they had left their first love. GFA works tirelessly in the name of the Lord, but there is a massive lack of love.
As the rest of the body of Christ, we need to pray that the Lord would open the eyes of the leaders and staff members at GFA. Many of the staff members are deceived. When you’re deceived, it means that you believe you’re totally in the right, even if the wool has been pulled over your eyes. God is being patient with them, but who knows for how much longer.
We should pray that the staff-members would simply follow the leading of the Lord, even if that means leaving. There is a lot of good work being done, so it would be tempting for them to stay and try to keep up the work, and the enemy might try to make them feel somewhat guilty to leave that work, but that guilt is not founded in truth; The work belongs to the Lord, and seeing people saved does not justify the sin that is happening.
Theophilus, some good words there.
“Let’s say there is this wonderfully skilled doctor. He treats patients every day and is loved by all. But then, at the end of each day, he goes home and beats his wife. Should the wife stay with her abusive husband in order to support him in the great work he is doing? No; the fantastic good that the doctor does will never be good enough that it should permit his abusive lifestyle. The ends never justify the means.”
This is precisely what happens over and over and over in the church. All in the name of Jesus. As long as you don’t break skin and bones—there is little that can be done in holding them to an account, or so I have been told. The good that he does outweighs what he has done to his wife and household. Besides, don’t you know she is the one with the problem—she is the one that is crazy!!!!!! Why would anyone want to mess up a good thing and all the good that is being done.
So she’s damned if she does ask others to hold him to an account and if she says nothing, she is still damned for not doing so. Then if she just leaves, she is the one who is tossed under the bus, as if she had done something wrong. She didn’t, but tales will be told that she did.
Funny, how concerned we are about making same sex marriage illegal, but not the least concerned about not having one law on the books about adultery. Bigamy, depends on the state and even then the penalty is no big deal. Adultery, no law against it—-even more so in the church—it’s rampant, even among the pastors and church leaders. Lack of accountability does give a license—–even in the face of what is to be kept Holy.
It’s one of those days—–Red Flags, Indeed!!!
I published a review of Gospel for Asia Australian organisation last week. See http://www.tedsherwood.com. Since then I have been having an email conversation with them about the destination of the Australian donations, and on Sunday I asked additional questions, including the mismatch between the things for which they seek donations and the use of the money in India. And why they keep sending money to India when some of it is being added to the stockpile of cash. I’m in touch with Warren but would be interested to hear from other investigators.
These articles about NGOs that are not on the up and up piss me off to no end!!
my heart is broken by reading many of your comments without even cross checking the facts. I have traveled the length and breath of India, where GFA has ministry and few parts in Nepal and I found GFA/Believers Church is far ahead with their commitment to reach the Lost. I personally disapprove many of your “passing by comments” of disapproval of GFA without realizing how they functions globally and their difficulties.
You will find nowhere in India a ministry which hold high level of integrity, love, devotion, faithfulness, truthfulness.
Due to my international job assignments, my family and I were in India for a period of 3 years and I could visit many areas of their works and blown away by seeing God’s grace on their works.
I personally could interact many of their people directly and indirectly and convinced that this is the ministry I need to invest my life with. So instead of a RED FLAG I give them a pleasant WHITE FLAG
Appreciate all of your concern over the red flags raised, but I should tell you that all of you are sitting on the other side of the fence and casually passing judgment on a ministry that has been able to reach far more regions here in India than any other ministry. You will not hear much said on the media or as a rebuttal to the criticisms. this is due to the fact that so many here in India will quickly raise some more red flags..flags of a different red that is.
I am not sure if many of you are able to come for a visit to India to verify first hand if money has been misused or if financial accountability is not transparent. however, each one can definitely find out with the government of India regarding financial disrepancies if any. all those who have been supporting the ministry of GFA need to rest assured that they are being good stewards and their money and prayers are definitely making great inroads in alleviating the poverty stricken lives of thousands.
I hope that many of you would not quickly jump to a conclusion based on the diaspora testimony or the article from a certain Indian website. those testimonies and articles are not valid because they come from people who have chosen to walk away from GFA because of their own personal problems. You may choose to go with the opinion of 80 ex staff of GFA or choose to listen to thousands of staff and missionaries working here in India. many of us have seen the work firsthand and we fear the wrath of God enough not to continue with anything that could threaten our spiritual walk with God. trust our judgment and make yours wisely also
Ann & Bren,
Obviously both of you have had positive experiences with GFA. For that I am glad. If you not in my original article and even in some of later comments, I note that I believe GFA does some good work. However, no matter how much good work a person or organization does, that does not excuse bad behavior. We should not and cannot just turn a blind eye to potentially deceptive and abusive practices taking place. If you believe the accusations and questions being brought forth by the GFA Diaspora group and Warren Throckmorton and others are wrong, please give a credible rationale for why they are wrong.
Please explain how the testimonies of the 80+ Diaspora group are wrong? Are they all lying about the things that happened? Have they all deceptively taken things so terribly out of context that they are making things appear completely different than what they really are? And if so, what are the real stories that would show that GFA did not actually severely overburden and spiritually and emotionally abuse these people? Just dismissing all of these people and their testimonies because it is claimed they had “personal problems” is an ad hominin and a completely disingenuous way to deal with the situation.
And what of all the questions of potential financial improprieties raised by Warren Throckmorton and others. What has been presented so far does not look good. GFA has not given explanations to many of them. Even some of the explanations they have given do not seem to hold a lot of water. Please give some logical and believable explanations that would make sense of these questions in a manner which would show GFA to be upright in their business dealings. If this cannot be done, then please do not ask us to trust your judgment as you are giving us no good reason to do so.
I would much rather find out in the end that GFA has not committed these wrongs and that they are operating in a fully upright manner. But I need reasons to believe. Reasons that directly deal with these accusations. Not generic “GFA works hard” or “I work with GFA so just trust my judgment” explanations. Because in the end, those types of things shed very little light on this situation.
Kevin is right. Even a broken clock is right 2 times in a day. If we are going to overlook the wrongs because of the rights, then this problem is with all of us including the donors when we turn a blind eye. For too long there has been little to no accountability with Humanitarian Aid Organizations.
I do agree that GFA should be investigated proplerly before we assume there is sin in the camp. I worked for a Humanitarian Aid Organization and at one point was willing to overlook mishandling of funds because for the most part, good work was getting done. I was wrong and I regret not figthing harder to make it right.
If this is all true and let’s say GFA was forced to disappear God would still see His perfect will done in that region of the world. In past scandals insiders kept quiet because basically they didn’t think 1) that Gods work would be done or 2) they didn’t want off the gravy train.
Again, Kevin has done an excellent job in presenting the information and commenting along the way. He shows a lot of wisdom. The kind we need to see in leadership at all levels.
i been thinking about this a bit… there are many successful companies over the years that have made some men very rich off of the integrity and hard work of unrecognized people… so, is it possible that out there in the field there are men and women loving and serving God, bringing people to salvation even though the leadership are clever and greedy? … just thinking – dunno – could it be as Erunner observed “God would still see His perfect will done..?”
I think there could be much truth to what you just said. If you read the testimonies on the GFA Diaspoara site, you will see some of them struggling with whether to stay with GFA because of the good work being done by themselves and others that they saw as service to God. Or to leave due to the way they or others around them were being treated and the corruption they were seeing in leadership.
Any man who would stay in any job that treated his wife like a “non” person and basically shunned her, is not a good husband. I don’t see how destroying a marriage, in order to stay in a ministry, could be the right choice.
It wasn’t the money issues that bothered me, it was the men and women whose lives were being “handled” and directed by a ministry. Those were very disturbing stories.
I originally put this comment over on the new Things I Think thread, but let me also copy it here so that it does not not potentially get lost from the GFA issue:
Assuming that whatever is left of the GFA conversation will migrate onto this new thread, let me give one more specific that has bothered me. GFA has admitted to a practice where they were having groups of staff members and discipleship students transport large amounts of cash in envelopes on trips from the U.S. to India. Turns out the manner in which they were doing this was illegal by U.S. law and possibly Indian law, too. This was one of the specifics I asked the GFA rep about in my email and phone conversation. He told me that GFA had been doing this for a couple years but stopped doing it when they became aware or it was made known to them that the practice may be illegal. He also said that they had stopped this practice at least a couple months before Warren Throckmorton first reported on it (which was the middle of May). However, GFA told Throckmorton when he first asked about it and reported on it that they had not done anything illegal. GFA said the same to their staff at a recorded staff meeting in May where they said what they had done was not illegal but that they were going to stop the practice for the sake of the staff. Additionally, Throckmorton says that his sources tell him GFA was still performing this practice in April, which would be less than the “at least 2 months” figure I was given. So somewhere along the way here, GFA is not getting their story straight. It certainly puts a hit on GFA’s credibility.
I was a student that had to take along money when I went to India last year in September. I even commented on it and no one batted an eye.
Ironman – I hope you will contact me about your experiences firstname.lastname@example.org
What you are saying is that GFA does good works but is still bad something like a bad tree giving good fruit? The 80+ diaspora is hurt and bringing out its frustrations into the open which the Bible does not allow you to do. If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16“But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Obviously no such attempt has been made by the Diaspora and they have brought out their disagreements out to the whole world. The group needs to come to the table and talk. If you try to pursue the path of fault finding with the group or with GFA as to who said what, you are never going to come to a conclusion. The right thing to do would be to talk it over and get it settled. You don’t have to persuade everyone else to believe that GFA is running a cult.
Secondly, as far as the money matter is concerned, GFA has clean records with governments both here in India and elsewhere. If they have done things illegal, let the government agencies say so and book them for it. Lets not play judge, advocate and GOD here. If money was transported illegally, GFA should be punished, but we don’t know yet, so till then I think we should not say anything against any work of God that we may regret later.
You are asking me to explain how 80+ people could be lying or need to lie. I won’t say that they are all lying or have decided together to purposefully cause damage to the reputation of GFA. But I can say that it is their choice to not comply to stand with the requirements of leaders in GFA, it is their choice they are free to decide on it, but they don’t have to take words and bend them to suit their purpose. Much of what they have said is quote exact words said by leaders. But to insert a wrong intention into it making it appear as the working out of a possible cult is not a fair thing to do.
Even if I were to try explain one by one you will still say the 80 don’t think so, what makes you think like that?
Kevin you seem to have done no homework except take things from Diaspora and from Tom Warren. Tom Warren obviously has no other intention but to attack the financial dealings of GFA, you can see how he pounces up to catch people who can say something against GFA like Ironman for instance. He is not bothered now or never will be to take the comment of someone who would like to say something positive. You, Kevin also follow the same trail
Anyone having a doubt about GFA’s financial dealings has all the freedom to approach any financial investigative body to get clarification. Even if someone were to give a logical and believable explanation, would it satisfy those who have already decided in their minds that GFA is a fraud? It wont!!! You will say ECFA is a fraud, so and so is fraud, the board members are fraud!!!
if you don’t trust the judgment of someone who is seeing the utilization of money in the mission field, then you may choose to trust the judgment of those who haven’t. Of those who are merely speculating about the mismanagement of money. The only other way to make sure is get in touch with someone who can verify if there is proper allocation and utilization of funds under GFA.
Allegations that you are making are serious and it is better you check twice before you run into conclusions. You would much rather find out in the end that GFA has not committed these wrongs, right? Then get going with a proper homework friend.
I’m not going to take the time to respond to every single on of your thought as some of them were hard to follow, but here are some responses.
“What you are saying is that GFA does good works but is still bad something like a bad tree giving good fruit?” – We are humans, We are capable of doing both good and bad. Even at the same time.
“The 80+ diaspora is hurt and bringing out its frustrations into the open which the Bible does not allow you to do.” – First, the Bible does allow it to be brought out in the open if the responses are not correct on the first couple steps of the process. Second, the GFA Diaspora group would contend they did properly follow the first couple steps of the process without a proper response by GFA. Third, and most importantly, even if the GFA Diaspora group did not properly follow the process, your response is a classic “strain a gnat but swallow a camel” reply. Don’t be concerned that potential abuse took place. Only be concerned that those who were abused didn’t properly follow the process to confront their abusers.
“Lets not play judge, advocate and GOD here.” – I’m not. What I’m doing is bringing up the fact that there is a lot of suspicious and concerning activity regarding GFA for which GFA has not given sufficient responses to. Including some from when I personally spoke to the GFA rep.
“If money was transported illegally, GFA should be punished, but we don’t know yet” – Yes we do pretty much do know that it was illegal. Warren Throckmorton has verified this with government agencies. Plus, GFA has admitted to Christianity Today and to me that they are seeking out if there are remedial measures they need to take for their actions. They wouldn’t be doing this if they thought what they did was legal. Unfortunately, they have given different stories to me, GFA staff, Christianity Today, and Throckmorton as to the reasons for why they stopped this activity and the timing as to when they stopped it. This hurts GFA’s credibility.
”but they don’t have to take words and bend them to suit their purpose. Much of what they have said is quote exact words said by leaders. But to insert a wrong intention into it making it appear as the working out of a possible cult is not a fair thing to do.” – So your accusation is that they bending words and inserting wrong intentions. Do you have evidence they are doing this? Or is this just your opinion that you are choosing to state as fact? I don’t know about you, but when I read those “exact words said by the leaders”, they come across pretty scary to me. I don’t know need anybody to do any bending for me.
“Kevin you seem to have done no homework except take things from Diaspora and from Tom Warren. Tom Warren obviously has no other intention but to attack the financial dealings of GFA” – First, if you’re going to make accusations against somebody, please at least come close to getting their name right. It’s Warren Throckmorton, not Tom Warren. Second, I have done more homework than just Diaspora and Throckmorton. I personally spoke to a GFA rep who is pretty high ranking in the organization and I have also read at other places about GFA. Third, you are falsely imputing intentions upon Throckmorton by saying that it’s obvious he has no intention but to attack GFA. What he is doing is raising questions of suspicious looking information. GFA is choosing not to answer his questions. If you read some of Throckmorton’s other writings on his blog, you will see he has done similar with other people and organizations. However, when some of the others have chosen to answer his questions and have given plausible answers, he publishes as such.
“Allegations that you are making are serious and it is better you check twice before you run into conclusions. You would much rather find out in the end that GFA has not committed these wrongs, right? Then get going with a proper homework friend.” – Again, for the most part here, I am not making allegations. I am raising concerns that GFA has not answered sufficiently up to this point, including some material that I specifically spoke to the GFA rep about. I have not yet come to ultimate conclusions, although you make me sound like I have already decided to be against GFA. I have carefully articulated in my original article and in the follow up comments that I have not yet come to complete determinations. That is why I can make comments saying that I would rather find out that GFA hasn’t committed these wrongs. But I have done some ‘proper” homework, in spite of your inferring that I need to yet do so, and the initial findings of that homework does not reflect well upon GFA.
Kevin, do not be weary in well doing. We, who know you, know that you are not out for blood, nor want to destroy a ministry. You are merely calling attention to what appears to be an abusive ministry toward “some” of their employees, as well as some illegal activities with moving money, etc.
You are hoping for the best, as we all do. However, I don’t see how anyone can read those testimonies by the staff members and not be very disturbed by how these men and women were treated. Either 80 people are complete liars or GFA has some deep rooted problems.
We have supported GFA “bible women” in a huge way over the years. The last time I gave a large gift of $100,000 to GFA, it was communicated to me by a high up staff member that it would be used towards radio station in Nirthern India. It was NEVER followed up with me. Nothing at all. They keep sending us letters, of course with an included envelope for support. I feel sick when I get them. I will never support them again
MS – Please consider writing to me. My email is warrenthrockmorton @ gmail. com
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are still working with GFA, those who are part of GFA Diaspora, Warren Throckmorton, Pastors and Members of Calvary Chapels founded by Rev. Chuck Smith, Michael Little/Dan Busby of ECFA,
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It has been noticed that the current Board Members of GFA are deliberately denying their attention to the complaints regarding K P Yohannan and his henchmen.
It is now the collective responsibility of the Children of God to stand up against the exploitation, torture and damage caused by “Team K P Yohannan” in the Christendom.
When an individual or church gives away monetary resources for missions, that money never leaves their lives, it only left their hands…I mean, they are still answerable for it, till the resources are spent or utilized for the purpose for which it was given. Every person in Christ is a steward of God given resources, and has the responsibility to see to it that the money given by him/her is taken to the intended place and spent for the intended purpose for the glory of God’s name alone.
Based on what has happened and what is happening in GFA, it is essential to form something like “Global Financial Vigilance and Damage Control Forum” amongst Christians. Such a movement/body can possibly bring justice to a certain extent for those who are exploited by organisations like GFA, and help prevent further exploitation by effectively overseeing the use of common wealth of God’s children for the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth. Those brothers, sisters and families that are harassed or expelled from Gospel for Asia for not obeying the whims and fancies of Team K P Yohannan should be compensated and restored back into the ministry.
I have been informing Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since the year 2004 that, Team K P Yohannan is cheating away the money, under the banner of Gospel for Asia, Believers Church, BOH, etc., and persecuting whomever has raised their voice against them. All these years ECFA acted as a drowsy front office clerk who had consumed marijuana on a daily basis. But after termination of membership towards GFA, ECFA is proving that they have no power or mechanism further to work with necessary agencies in order to restore the resources that are taken away and mismanaged by “Team Yohannan” using the ECFA shield.
It took more than ten years for ECFA to take an action. By that time, all those who raised their voice against “Team K P Yohannan”, including me, were persecuted. Team Yohannan even bribed anti-social elements to burn missionaries who raised voice against them and made arrangements to picture it as the handiwork of Hindu radicals against missionaries. My father “Joykutty Chacko” who was the director and managing trustee of GFA, and K P Yohannan, along with their relatives are harassing me in all possible ways for being a witness of the truth regarding GFA.
Is it not pathetic that the second largest Evangelical structure in America is governed by Pharisees and Sadducees like Team K P Yohannan?….surely… the enemy of God is taking advantage under the clothing of gospel and good works.
At this juncture churches like Calvary Chapels founded by Chuck Smith have a greater significance and responsibility to see that justice is done since the major chunk of the money that equipped GFA was taken from its members.
The book which I have compiled, exposes Team K P Yohannan, with the best of the information available to me. You can download or read the book using the link http://www.scribd.com/doc/284948449/gospel-for-asia-exposed
The organization Gospel for Asia and its employees, missionaries and assets which are held under the custody and management of “Team Yohannan”, are valuable commonwealth of the body of Christ. The truth about Team K P Yohannan heralds that they are wolves in sheep’s skin, exploiting the followers and prospective followers of Christ all over the world.
I tried many times to communicate with Daniel Punnose, the Vice President of GFA, using the e-mail ids known to me. The silence or the moves that are made by the current Board Members of GFA are highly strategic to help themselves escape without addressing the exploitation and atrocities made by them. The more the body of Christ remains silent, the more provisions they make to remain safe and exploit further without addressing the damages and the victims.
This is the season for action not mere discussion. May the Lord guide.
Keep in touch.
Dr. Anush Solomon Joy
Thank you for the info…