Is Not Dead:
The Leadership Is Changing Hands
were people of great privilege--a nation able, more affluent
and more free to act on the Great Commission than any other
in all of history. Yet my audiences did not seem to comprehend
In my prayers I began to seek a message from God that would
bring a change in lifestyle to the Church. It came over a
period of weeks. And that message came loud and clear: Unless
there is a repentance among Christians--individually and in
concert as a community of believers--an awesome judgment will
fall on America. [Could that judgment have already begun,
as of September 11, 2001? It is time for us as Christians
to ask ourselves this hard question. This man wrote this,
inspired by God in 1986. That was fifteen years ago. Is God's
patience with the Christian church in America running out?]...
...Two reasons, it appeared to me, were the cause for the
current malaise that has fastened like cancer on American
believers. The first is historical. The second is the unconfessed
sins related to three basic iniquities: pride, unbelief and
Historically, the Western Church lost its grip on the challenge
for world missions at the end of World War II. Ever since
that time its moral mandate and vision for global outreach
has continued to fade. Today the average North American believer
can hardly pronounce the word "missionary" without having
cartoon caricatures of ridiculous little men in pith helmets
pop into mind--images of cannibals with spears and huge black
pots of boiling water.
Despite a valiant rear guard action by many outstanding evangelical
leaders and missions, it has been impossible for the Western
missionary movement to keep up with the exploding populations
and the new political realities of nationalism in the Third
World. Most Christians in North America still conceive of
missions in terms of blond-haired, blue-eyed while people
going to the dark-skinned Third World nations. In reality,
all of that changed at the end of World War II when the Western
powers lost political and military control of their former
When I stand before North American audiences in churches and
missions conferences, people are astonished to hear the real
facts of missions today. The frontline work of missions in
Asia has been taken over almost completely by indigenous [local,
native] missionaries. And the results are outstanding. Believers
are shocked to learn that native missionaries are starting
hundreds of new churches every week in the Third World, that
thousands of people a day are being converted to Christ, and
that tens of thousands of well-qualified, spiritually able
men and women now are ready to start more mission work if
we can raise their support.
In India, which no longer permits Western missionary evangelists,
more church growth and outreach are happening now than at
any point in our history. China is another good example of
the new realities. When the communists drove Western missionaries
out and closed the churches in 1950, it seemed that Christianity
was dead. In fact, most of the known leaders were imprisoned,
and a whole generation of Chinese pastors was killed or disappeared
in communist prisons and torture chambers.
But today communication is open again with China, and 40,000
to 50,000 underground churches reportedly have sprung up during
the communist persecution. The number of Christians now has
grown to an estimated 100 million--50 times the size of the
Church when Western missionaries were driven out. Again, all
this has happened under the spiritual direction of the indigenous
...In the early 1950's, the destruction of the colonial missionary
establishment was big news. As the doors of China, India,
Myanmar (formerly Burma), North Korea, North Vietnam and many
other newly independent nations slammed shut on Western missionaries.
It was natural for the traditional churches and denominational
missions to assume that their day had ended.
...Except for the annual missions appeal in most churches,
many North American believers lost hope of seeing the Great
Commission of Christ fulfilled on a global scale. Although
it was rarely stated, the implication was this: If North American
or Western European-based mission boards were not leading
the way, then it could not happen.
Mission monies once used to proclaim the Gospel were more
and more sidetracked into the charitable social programs toward
which the new governments of the former colonies were more
sympathetic. A convenient theology of mission developed that
today sometimes equates social and political action with evangelism...
The debate among Western leaders about the future of missions
has in the meantime raged on, producing whole libraries of
books and some valuable research. Regrettably, however, the
overall result on the average Christian has been extremely
negative. Believers today have no idea that a new day in missions
has dawned or that their support of missions is more desperately
needed than ever before.
True, in many cases, it no longer is possible, for political
reasons, for Western missionaries to go overseas, but American
believers still have a vital role in helping us in the Third
World finish the task. I praise God for the pioneer work done
by Hudson Taylor and others like him who were sent by believers
at home in the past. Now, in countries like India, we need
instead to send financial and technical support to native
evangelists and Bible teachers.
Imagine the implications of being involved in the work of
the Great Commission, of getting your church and family to
join with you in supporting native missions...
Every time I stand before an audience, I try early in my message
to ask two very important questions that every Christian needs
to ask himself:
*Why do you think God has allowed you to be born in North
America or Western Europe rather than among the poor masses
of Africa and Asia, and to be blessed with such material and
*In light of the super-abundance you enjoy here, what do you
think is your minimal responsibility to the untold millions
of lost and suffering in the Third World?
You have been born among the privileged elite of this world.
You have so much when others have so little. Think a moment
about the vast difference between your country and the nations
with a Christian heritage.
*One-fourth of the world's people lives on an income of less
than $3 a week--most of them in Asia. The gross national product
per person in South Asia is only $180 a year. Americans earn
an average of 54 times more--and Christian Americans, because
they tend to live in the upper half of the economy, earn even
In most countries where Gospel for Asia is serving the native
missionary movement, a good wage is $1 to $3 a day. While
much of the world is concerned mainly about where its next
meal is coming from, affluent North Americans spend most of
their wages and waking moments planning unnecessary purchases.
*People in the United States, Canada and Western Europe enjoy
freedom of choice. Political freedoms of speech, press and
assembly, freedom to worship and organize religious ministries,
freedom to choose where and how to live, and freedom to organize
themselves to correct injustices and problems both at home
and abroad are accepted as normal.
*Leisure time and disposable income, although not written
into law, free citizens of the Western world from the basic
wants that make living so difficult in many other parts of
*A large number of service networks in communications, education,
finance, mass media and transportation are available which
make it easy to effect change. Not having these services available
is an enormous handicap to people in most other parts of the
*Finally, few domestic needs exist. While unemployment is
a serious problem in some areas, it is many times higher in
nearly every country of the Third World. How many of us can
comprehend the suffering of the millions of homeless and starving
people in nations like Bangladesh? Overseas the problems are
on a grand scale. Some nations struggle to help themselves
but still fail woefully.
This list is illustrative of the many advantages of living
in the Western world where benefits have come largely because
of a Christian heritage.
We began Gospel for Asia without any kind of plan for regular
involvement, but God soon gave us one. On one of my first
trips, I went to Wheaton, Illinois, where I called on almost
all the evangelical mission leaders. A few encouraged me--but
not one offered the money we then needed desperately to keep
going another day. The friend I stayed with, however, suggested
we start a sponsorship plan through which North American families
and individuals could support a native missionary regularly.
It turned out to be just what we needed.
The idea--to lay aside one dollar a day for a native evangelist--gave
us an instant handle for a program anyone could understand.
I asked everyone I met if he or she would help sponsor a native
missionary for one dollar a day. Some said yes, and that is
how the mission began to get regular donors.
Today, the "Dollar-a-Day" Pledge Plan is still the heart of
our fund-raising efforts. We send the money--100 percent of
it--to the field, sponsoring thousands of missionaries each
month in this way.
Do you want to sponsor a native missionary for $30
a month (a dollar a day)? Send a card saying "Please send
me more information about how to help sponsor a native missionary,
including one-year FREE subscription to SEND!--the voice of
native missionaries." Mail this request to GOSPEL FOR ASIA,
1800 GOLDEN TRAIL CT CARROLLTON, TX 75010-9907 Online they
can be contacted at http://www.gfa.org .
people are saying about Gospel for Asia
are many that talk a good message, but not too many who actually
live it out. Gospel for Asia is serious about the challenge
of reaching unreached people groups...the 10/40 Window
is where the Gospel needs to go. And GFA is a major force
today standing in the gap. They represent the primary unreached
peoples on Planet Earth. GFA has what it takes to penetrate
the 10/40 Window." Luis Bush, International Director, AD 2000
"Gospel for Asia has become one of the more significant pioneer
missionary agencies, with a good accountability structure...They
are doing an excellent job." Patrick Johnstone, Author, Operation
"I praise God for the great love and commitment of K.P. and
Gisela Yohannan for the people of Asia. Millions have received
the Word of God because of them and the ministry of Gospel
for Asia." George Verwer, International Director, Operation
"Every once in a while God gives to His people a man who is
qualified to cut us open, give us a diagnosis and prescribe
a remedy for our healing. K.P. Yohannan is such a man. K.P.
is impatient with intellectual knowledge unless it translates
into holy living and a single-minded determination to see
the church around the world grow for the glory of God. And
he practices what he preaches. If you listen to him carefully
you will leave with eternity stamped on your heart." Erwin
Lutzer, Senior Pastor, Moody Church, Chicago, Il.
"Although there are many fine Christian groups working worldwide,
I've found Gospel for Asia to be unique. A very small amount
of money can fully support an evangelist to effectively present
Jesus Christ to eager listeners abroad. I have worked with
these men...and have learned from the values of commitment
and wholesale dedication. K.P. Yohannan lives and breathes
integrity. This integrity has filtered to the very fiber of
his ministry. I am honored to be a partner with GFA." Skip
Heitzig, Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque, NM.
"K.P. Yohannan, director of Gospel for Asia, spoke to my congregation
and his impact on our lives will forever stand as a landmark
time in our church's life. He is a man of integrity and prayer.
I know of many mission groups, and there's a lot of good ones,
but I don't know of any better than Gospel for Asia. For every
dollar given, you're going to see more souls won than any
other I know." Tom Ferguson, District Supervisor, Northwest
"I am pleased to recommend Gospel for Asia. Their vision for
reaching the world through native missionaries should be highly
commendable to evangelical Christians who are concerned about
reaching the millions of the world with the Gospel." Dr. John
Walvoord, Former Chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary.
"A sweeter spirit I have never known than Brother K.P. Yohannan
with Gospel for Asia. He is doing one of the greatest works
I know of in his own country with his own people of Indian."
Lester Roloff (deceased), Former Pastor, Corpus Christi People's
"K.P. Yohannan leads one of the largest, if not the largest
missionary movement, working across the nation of India in
evangelism and church planting. Gospel for Asia has several
thousand workers and 31 missionary training centers with over
4,000 students being trained for church planting among the
As Gospel for Asia has grown and established itself, the ministry
has become balanced and is now involved in a host of cooperative
efforts with other mission agencies. The impact of GFA's ministry
in India is very significant, especially in their evangelistic,
training, radio, and church planting work." Joseph D'Souza,
Executive Director, Operation Mobilization India.
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