An open letter to fellow Christians from K.P. Yohannan
I am writing this letter as a response to several allegations either about me or about the work of Gospel for Asia that at one time or another have surfaced on the internet. As we work in areas where anti-Christian sentiment can often be found, it is not uncommon for wrong information about us, or about what we do, to be circulated. Every servant of God faces this kind of thing at one time or another.
Sometimes it has happened in the form of misinformation campaigns. Those who oppose the Gospel portray the ministry in a scandal as an opportunity to slow down our sharing the love of Christ with others.
Something like this happened a few years ago, when a report in an Indian newspaper made its way onto the internet stating that police had raided my home in India, arrested me and accused me of fraud. Interestingly enough, I was attending a conference in southern California on the same day the report stated that I had been arrested. The newspaper that had first published the report later printed a notice that it was misinformation. The very officials who had reportedly organized the raid also confirmed the report was a scam and that there was no financial negligence. Eventually this article was pulled from distribution, but it took a good deal of time and energy to bring the truth to light—time lost for the advancement of God's Kingdom.
Then, too, there was a time when I was shocked to learn of an email supposedly sent by Dr. Joseph D'Souza, the co-director of Operation Mobilisation International, declaring that GFA and I were using foreign funds to convert Hindus to Christianity and thus bring problems to the nation of India. I immediately contacted Dr. D'Souza and learned that he did not send it out and that he had no idea how it happened. Later our office traced the email to an "anti-Christian propaganda cell" in Bangalore. Somehow this group had used his email address for their misinformation campaign.
All manner of reports about us have showed up on the internet. Some of them I heard only after they had been online for several years. The accusations have ranged from microwave torture to financing sexual abuse to being mind-control specialists. I realize that this is part of the battle we face in serving the Lord.
If you see something that you believe to be wrong, whether in a ministry or in an individual, please be faithful to do what Matthew 18:15–16 says: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' " (NIV) It is always important that we go to the source, so that we don't in turn spread wrong information to others.
Whenever someone has to come to us with a misunderstanding, we desire to clear it up. For example, during the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, we reported that the government of Sri Lanka had enlisted our help to care for 10,000 children. As far as we understood, we were doing things in the right manner. But we later understood that it was the local officials requesting our help (to which we did respond to assist thousands of children), not the national government. However, when we learned this, we issued a letter correcting the information within 24 hours.
As Paul said, "But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses... by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report" (2 Corinthians 6:4, 8, NKJV). Ultimately, it is our desire to remain true to the Lord and to our conscience in walking with Him. Our commitment is to do all that we can to live our lives in such a way that we represent the Lord well.
Please pray for us, that the Lord would lead us in all that we do. And if you hear something about Gospel for Asia that doesn't sound right, would you please contact us—via email or phone—and let us know? Whenever there are accusations, we seek to immediately respond. We don't walk away or cover it up. Most often, these are simply rumors or misunderstandings. And if we are wrong, we are happy for the opportunity to repent and make things right. We desire to walk in the light with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter. As we join hands in sharing the love of Christ, we consider it a great joy and privilege to serve Him with you.
For those who need the love of Jesus,
P.S. If you ever need to reach us, please feel free to email us or call us at 800-WIN-ASIA (800-946-2742).
Director and Founder of Gospel for Asia
GFA sends 100 percent of sponsorship donations directly to its missionaries on the field without deducting anything for administrative costs. This has been our practice from the beginning.