Gospel for Asia Speaks Out After Lawsuit and Allegations
Dr. KP Yohannan’s Exclusive Personal Response to Lawsuit
I thank God the lawsuit against GFA is over, and after three long years I finally feel free to talk about it.
I pray my letter will be an encouragement to you and answer some of your questions.
Honestly speaking, I never thought our ministry and family would face accusations such as those that were made in the lawsuit. Throughout GFA’s 40+ years of existence, our hearts and passion have been to bring Christ’s love to a broken and hurting world. We did not look for personal gain. Above all, we have sought to honor the Lord in our personal lives, in the ways we serve and by maintaining our integrity.
I did an interview with Francis Chan, a well-known pastor and writer, where we talked about the lawsuit and the work on the field. Please watch the interview below. I hope it encourages you.
Every year we evaluated our ministry and underwent an independent audit. In 2015, our governing board received a confidential letter from a financial standards association we were part of, and of which we were a charter member, pointing out that our accounting practices needed to better conform to the requirements set by that association. Despite the unique challenges our organization faces by supporting ministry in certain parts of the world, we immediately set out to comply with their request and hired a new auditing firm.
Unfortunately, the confidential letter was sent to a number of people and put on social media to damage us. Around the same time, a former staff member sent negative letters to many of our donors.
We learned the eye-opening lesson that social media, which can be an incredible tool for good, can also be used as a horrible weapon of destruction—when coupled with the power of gossip and slander—to make false accusations that go viral and destroy reputations of others. Soon after this, we lost staff members and many supporters of our ministry.
enlisted all our supporters as plaintiffs. For that reason, we were mainly limited to explaining our story through filings in the lawsuit, and we did not have freedom to speak to you.
Together with our leadership team, we prayed and tried to reconcile with those who distanced themselves from us as a result of the false allegations. Unfortunately, we soon learned that a lawsuit had been filed, which eventually turned into a class action suit that enlisted all our supporters as plaintiffs. For that reason, we were mainly limited to explaining our story through filings in the lawsuit, and we did not have freedom to speak to you.
In the meantime, we submitted to the organizational and personal financial investigations under the due process of the court. We’re grateful that in the end, the final court document concluded that both parties “mutually stipulate that all donations designated for use in the field were ultimately sent to the field.”
During the legal proceedings, we retained one of America’s big four accounting firms to conduct an objective analysis of the flow of Gospel for Asia funds to the field. It took an enormous amount of time and money. They concluded that all the money given had made it to the field—a conclusion we knew to be true from the very beginning.
After three years of enormous financial and personal strain to sustain the ministry and pay legal fees, in 2019 the court asked us to attempt to settle. Several senior Christian leaders strongly advised us to take this road. Our Board members met and decided to accept the settlement, because if the lawsuit continued for another two to three years nothing would be left of the ministry’s resources or reputation.
For me, it was a huge struggle knowing we have to pay money that could have been used to help thousands of abandoned widows and children living on the streets. Nevertheless, to save the ministry we had to take this difficult step, trusting the Lord to lift us up once more.
This season the ministry has walked through over the past few years has been one of the most difficult and loneliest times in my own personal life. I can’t tell you how many times I nearly gave up. But we had much to learn through all this, and the Lord was gracious to see us through, and He sustained the work through faithful friends. I want to thank those of you who prayed for us and encouraged us during this time.
I'm most proud of the fact that we managed to continue to serve those in need even as we fought every day to survive ourselves.
What has blessed me throughout this long and weary season is that even though we suffered much heartache and financial strain, the Lord enabled us to keep supporting the work on the field. I was amazed to find out what happened despite our struggles. The numbers below represent the Lord’s work in 2019 through GFA and our partnerships worldwide as we follow Him in His work in 16 Asian nations, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.