Doors are opening to share God’s love. . . but an obstacle remains.
May 8, 2020 – A personal letter from KP Yohannan
It had been an ordinary day until that moment. My phone beeped, and I saw that I’d been sent a link.
I clicked on it, as I usually do, and that was when everything stopped being usual and ordinary.
My heart began to pound.
It was a report that one of the world’s largest mission agencies was starting to collapse. Accusations of financial mismanagement, donor deception, negligent board oversight and more filled the screen.
But what made it all the more devastating was that I was the one being written about, and it was our mission—GFA—that was in the crosshairs.
That account of the worst day of my life is from my book Never Give Up.
That text message started a sequence of events that, even now, I can barely believe could happen here in the United States.
Before we could even fully understand what was happening, we were accused of dishonesty, of using ministry money for personal gain and a lot more. We were in a blinding blizzard of charges.
Soon, we were embroiled in an intense legal struggle…trying to clear our name.
While we were ready to go public with our defense, our professional advisors told us to remain publicly silent for legal reasons regarding the court case.
It was a perfect storm. The rumors spread like wildfire; we were besieged with questions, and we were advised “don’t respond.”
As you can imagine, our income dropped like a rock. Sadly, many friends read the allegations, were confused, and stopped sending their support.
Over the next couple of years, one thing led to another…and in the end, I was presented with having to make one of the most challenging decisions of my life.
Here were the choices I faced.
- Continue the legal struggle. We KNEW we were innocent, but the legal costs and the impact on our support were so devastating that if we had chosen this option, the ministry could not have survived another year or two, and we would have been forced to close.
- Try to reach a settlement with those making the allegations. That settlement included having to agree to essentially refund MILLIONS of dollars in contributions. But at least, with this option, the whole mountain would be behind us.
What a choice!
I’ve always believed that God has a great purpose for our ministry in the United States:
- Yes, you the friends of GFA have provided millions of dollars to underwrite our work in Asia. I believe there are hundreds of thousands in the Kingdom today as a result of your investment in world missions and in GFA.
- But I also believed that God would use us to call the Church in America back to His mandate: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
My book Revolution in World Missions laid out a challenge to the Church as a whole to move from their self-centeredness and return to the Great Commission.
My conclusion was that God’s purposes for us here in the United States were not over.
for us here in the United States were not over.
So, as I looked at the two options, and after much prayer and countless hours of Godly counsel, I knew what I had to do, even though I hated the impact of the decision.
With no admission of guilt ... we had to settle the case.
I knew that we had always acted with integrity, but in order to be able to prove ourselves, we hired one of the very top accounting firms in the U.S. to conduct an objective analysis of the flow of Gospel for Asia's funds to the field. After a VERY detailed and expensive study, they concluded that every dollar intended for use on the field had been sent. 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.”
Over the past year or more, we’ve lived with that settlement. Frankly, it’s been both heartbreaking and amazing. Heartbreaking that we’ve had to essentially refund literally millions of contributed dollars that would have otherwise gone to help the poor…and amazing that, so far, we’ve been able to raise the needed funds.
I am SO grateful that many friends who received a settlement check simply returned the funds so they could be used to forward the work of the ministry.
And in the midst of all of this, I am so grateful to the Lord for the impact we’ve had even while the storm raged.