Letter of Support from George Verwer,
Founder of Operation Mobilization
Dear Friends of Gospel for Asia,
I have known K.P. Yohannan for many decades, all the way back to the time he served in Operation Mobilization, the ministry I founded and directed for more than 46 years.
In fact, K.P. surrendered his life for missions as a young man in one of my meetings in Bangalore in 1967, and he went through training on our OM ship. For the next 8 years he served in Operation Mobilization. I have literally followed his ministry from day one, and even when we had the occasional disagreement, I found him willing to listen and always willing to repent when he had made a mistake.
So, it has been with great joy that I have watched Gospel for Asia become one of the largest, Biblical ministries on the globe, and it has been with great concern that I’ve recently heard of a series of false accusations made against it.
With all my heart, I believe now is the time to stand with this ministry and not to attack it. This is the time to support Gospel for Asia like never before.
If you could take a tour of all of the work they are doing in over a dozen nations in Asia where they are serving, with 15,000 full-time workers, you would be amazed at the numerous churches, seminaries and other ministry facilities they have established. Their TV and radio ministry is also huge and effective. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, no fewer than four times, over the past few years. I’ve stayed with them and ministered among them. They have done all of this good ministry in the middle of a complex environment during a season of significant church growth.
If you could see for yourself what I have seen personally, you would know — as I do — that they have been good stewards of the money you have given and will be good stewards of the money you will provide. In fact, K.P. has always received a modest salary, and their facility in Texas is modest compared with the facilities of many churches and Christian colleges, and certainly so for a ministry of this size and influence.
Of course, Gospel for Asia is not perfect.
No ministry is – and no leader is - but I’ve spent many hours with K.P. over the past year asking him myself about those who’ve opposed him, and he remains very aware of his weaknesses as a person and very willing to correct the inevitable mistakes that all leaders make in dealing with people and learning to grow in grace. He also is the same K.P., pouring his life sacrificially into serving the Church and loving the poor. I have always known K.P. to be a person of integrity, and the same is true today.
I would like to send you a copy of my book Messiology when it comes out in April, which will help you understand what I think and feel so deeply. If you would like a copy, please just ask.
Let us remember the millions in Asia who have been and are continuing to be so deeply impacted by this ministry. I have in many ways written this on their behalf.
Let’s stand with Gospel for Asia.
In His grace and grip for world evangelization,
George Verwer, D.D.
Strengthening Our Commitment to You
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Strengthening Our Commitment to You
Wills Point, Texas – March 10, 2016: A positive effect of a malicious internet attack—and a subsequent series of false accusations—against Gospel for Asia has been the overall review and fine tuning of our administrative and financial processes in order to insure we are above reproach.
On February 12, the board of Gospel for Asia issued a statement regarding our relationship with ECFA. Over Gospel for Asia’s thirty-six-year history with ECFA, our ministry underwent a number of reviews, all of which we passed, but our most recent review (which ECFA initiated as a direct result of false accusations originating on the internet) cited several recommended areas of improvement. Gospel for Asia contested ECFA’s conclusions, but simultaneously values our relationship with ECFA, especially as a founding member of the organization.
Compliance with ECFA standards are a benefit—but not a requirement—for a charity to operate ethically and legally. Even so, Gospel for Asia is working to comply with recommendations made by ECFA.
Today, Gospel for Asia, is pleased to announce we as a ministry have implemented—or are well on our way to implementing—each of these recommendations for improvement.
Some of the changes being implemented include the following:
- While Gospel for Asia has always undergone an annual and independent financial audit from a reputable firm, the ministry has now contracted a new auditing firm that ECFA specifically recommended. This firm is well equipped to assist Gospel for Asia in navigating the increasingly complex demands presented by the varying international environments within which we operate.
- The aforementioned audit—which is underway—has identified additional safeguards that can be applied to GFA’s accounting and reporting processes. Till now, Gospel for Asia has fully implemented approximately forty percent of these recommendations, and is in the process of implementing all of the recommendations.
- In order to assess our overall operations and management, we have engaged a national non-profit expert to conduct an additional management review and in turn recommend changes to policies, procedures and practices throughout the entire organization.
- With the help of the auditors and experts referenced above, we have created—and are in the process of implementing—an improved agreement with our field partners. This will allow GFA to more efficiently deploy resources and better communicate regarding the use of all resources.
- We are in the process of adding more staff to key administrative and financial divisions in order to strengthen our overall operations.
We believe these changes will strengthen our work and insure that all of it is accomplished according to standards that are above reproach.
Gospel for Asia remains undaunted in its mission to bring the love of Christ to those who have yet to hear his name. We believe the best is yet to come and that now, more than ever before, is the time to share the love and message of Christ among the world’s least reached. These changes will allow us to be even more effective.
Statement from Gospel for Asia's Board of Directors on Recent Developments
STATEMENT FROM GOSPEL FOR ASIA BOARD ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Wills Point, Texas – February 12, 2016: In the fall of 2015, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) revoked Gospel for Asia USA’s membership, after a 36-year relationship. ECFA is an organization that provides accreditation to Christian nonprofits in the U.S. based on their “standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising and board governance.” ECFA accreditation entitles a ministry to use the ECFA seal, but the loss of accreditation does not mean that the organization is guilty of illegal or unethical behavior. It simply means the organization no longer meets the standards chosen by ECFA to entitle an organization to the ECFA endorsement. Gospel for Asia was a founding member of ECFA, so an endorsement by ECFA is and remains a great honor to us. However, many very reputable organizations are not members of ECFA because they do not meet their rules for membership or they have chosen not to meet them, but Gospel for Asia has always valued our endorsement by ECFA and therefore made efforts to remain in good standing for 36 years.
Our change in status with ECFA caused concern by some and raised questions about financial accountability of Gospel for Asia. ECFA’s decision was made after conducting a special review of Gospel for Asia, and we respect ECFA’s evaluation. Our response was to begin a focused review and to implement the ECFA’s recommended improvements.
For more than 30 years, Gospel for Asia has served in some of the most complex environments in the world. Some of the questions raised relate to measures Gospel for Asia felt forced to take to continue our work in hostile environments where very real threats exist to Christians of all kinds, new believers and international humanitarian organizations. Gospel for Asia has always had “enemies” who didn’t want our mission to continue, but sometimes our biggest challenges have related to managing the complex economic and political environments within which God has called us to serve.
Most of ECFA’s issues resulted from us growing more quickly than our processes and procedures were able to accommodate while we were simultaneously navigating unbelievably complicated circumstances in sometimes dangerous and confusing environments. Over the course of these challenges, we made some good decisions and some bad ones and sometimes we didn’t have the right counsel or any counsel at all.
We willingly accepted—and appreciated—ECFA’s concern because our processes and procedures needed improvement, and in some cases, we were still operating like a small organization as opposed to an organization of our size and influence. We have always welcomed ECFA’s efforts to help us improve.
We learned of the lawsuit when reporters began to call us. It’s worth noting, the first to post anything related to the lawsuit was a blogger who has leveled a relentless attack on Gospel for Asia for months.
We appreciate the role and responsibility—and often good intentions—of journalists in the “new media” and in traditional media, but we have been grieved to discover that too many of them have chosen to consider us “guilty until proven innocent” as opposed to “innocent until proven guilty.”
We must take the time to fully understand the nature of the accusations being leveled against us, and then we will respond accordingly. The issues surrounding our change in status with ECFA have been misunderstood, but regardless of viewpoint, we have taken and will continue to take a focused approach to implement suggested changes to our operations.
We will fully cooperate with the law and are in the process of securing specialized legal counsel to help us and our other legal advisors navigate this new challenge.
We consider it a blessing to finally have the opportunity to bring this matter to full resolution through an impartial arbiter, and you can rest assured that in the meantime we will continue operating on behalf of some of the world’s most desperate people in some of its most complex environments. We hope you will pray for us, for these ongoing challenges are certainly also challenges and distractions to our mission.
The staff leadership of Gospel for Asia are working diligently to handle all of this responsibly and with integrity. We will come out of this stronger.
We thank our committed staff, our donors, prayer partners and friends, for walking with us all these years, especially during this challenging season.
As the Board of Directors, we take our responsibility seriously and we have full confidence in the ministry of Gospel for Asia.
—Board of Directors of Gospel for Asia
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