My family – like many in the U.S. – has been touched deeply by addiction to drugs and alcohol. I’m sure many of you can relate. At one time or another, most of us took drugs or drank too much, and years of real, vibrant life were lost to the scourge of addiction. However, when one of my brothers was miraculously, instantaneously delivered and healed of addiction to heroin, alcohol and other substances, our entire family was transformed. The miracle we saw in Steve changed us all, and one-by-one we gave ourselves to Jesus.
This dramatic ending (really a beginning for us) doesn’t usually happen, because drugs and alcohol take their toll before a mind and heart addled by narcotics can absorb the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Steve, however, was shown love and freedom by two of the most Godly women I’ve ever met – Ruth Wynne and Betty Adams, of the Jesus House in Oklahoma City. They loved Steve when no one else would, and he responded. Unfortunately, many people die in their addictions, and families are torn apart because they never receive a credible witness of God’s love. If any of you readers would like to share your story – whether it be sad, painful or glorious – you can post it as a Comment below so others can benefit from your experience.
Tragically, addiction is found all over the world, not only in the U.S. and other affluent countries. Below you can read the account of a family in India that found freedom and healing through the love shared by the people of Gospel for Asia. Transformations take place when we boldly and lovingly care for and empathize with others.
Please read this testimony, then respond by praying for the work of Gospel for Asia, and giving financially to support their efforts. Thank you!
Javesh Crosses the Bridge of Hope
SACHI WATCHED HER HUSBAND BECOME MORE AND MORE DEPENDENT ON ALCOHOL to get through each day. She and Javesh had small children to feed, but whatever money he made, he used on his addiction. The situation grew worse, and their food was beginning to run out.
The only glimmer of hope in Sachi’s and Javesh’s lives was that their son Chakor was enrolled in a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center. They knew he was being cared for and given a nutritious meal every day.
While Chakor received the opportunity to learn and grow, things were looking grim for the rest of the family.
One day, during a regular visit to the family’s home, the staff members from the Bridge of Hope center realized how dire Chakor’s family situation truly was. After meeting with the family, they decided to offer Sachi a job as a cook at the center. She was overjoyed at the prospect.
The new job meant income, and an income meant their family wouldn’t have to starve. Sachi was very happy to be able to meet all her children’s needs again.
God Answers Their Prayers
The Bridge of Hope staff continued visiting with and praying for the family, and slowly, Javesh’s life started to change. He stopped drinking alcohol, and he began to use his wages to provide for his family again.
Through the prayers and friendship of the Bridge of Hope staff, Sachi and Javesh saw the love of Jesus and knew that He cared very much for them. The couple and their children embraced the hope that can only be found in Christ.
Today the family attends the local fellowship together, and their home is full of God’s peace. Not only has their outward situation changed drastically, but their inner lives were transformed as well.
Here’s an article that outlines the troubles of alcohol abuse in India.
DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WITH HANSEN’S DISEASE? I don’t either.
Hansen’s disease — also known as leprosy — is one of the world’s oldest maladies. Leprosy is a bacterial disease that attacks the nervous system, particularly the nerves of the hands, feet and face. As the body absorbs cartilage into its system, victims of the disease slowly lose their fingers, toes and even limbs. While leprosy has been eradicated in the west, it is still active and greatly feared across Asia because of the disfigurement it can cause, the social stigma it carries, and because it can be transmitted through close contact with a patient.
There are tens of thousands of people suffering from leprosy in more than 1,000 leper colonies throughout South Asia. The social stigma is devastating, perhaps even worse than the disease itself. However, leprosy can be totally cured without permanent damage if medical help is sought immediately. Unfortunately, in remote places and among the poor, diagnosis and treatment often come too late. And sadly, only those among the cured who have no visible deformity will be able to integrate back into society. All others will have to live in leper colonies — alone or with their families — for the rest of their lives.
In the midst of this hopelessness, the light of Jesus Christ is breaking through, bringing hope to those who have been brushed aside by society. Please pray for Gospel for Asia’s leprosy ministry, that many suffering from this terrible disease would embrace the Savior, who is reaching out to them in love. GFA-supported missionaries in the leper colonies show Christ’s love by cleaning wounds and changing bandages, by giving medical care, by making special shoes to protect the people’s feet, by helping with household chores, by providing food, but most importantly by telling the people of and showing Christ’s love for them.
Recently a group of students traveled to Asia and visited a leprosy colony. Click the photo below to watch and share Ashley’s powerful story (but HD seems to short it out).
Here are some web resources:
Thank you for sharing the plight of these unseen, yet precious people!
Millions of South Asian women are illiterate. More than half the women in Bangladesh cannot read at all. In India alone, there are an estimated 242 million women who are unable to read—that’s about half the adult women in the country.
Teaching women to read and write opens doors of opportunity and gives them the joy of being able to study God’s Word for themselves. These women are eager to learn; they just need a teacher and a few simple materials.
By Learning to Read – They Stand Firm
But now, through Gospel for Asia’s Women’s Literacy Program, the written world is opening up for the first time. Women learn by reading the Bible, which is the foundational text for the classes, so they gain a knowledge of Scripture even before they’ve completed the course.
Pastors’ wives and women missionaries serve as teachers, so students have the opportunity to grow spiritually under their mentors. The ability to read and understand for themselves also gives these women the confidence to refuse unfair contracts, whether they’re from loan officers or abusive employers.
Many women in GFA-supported churches struggle because they cannot read God’s Word. Help them know the Lord more by giving to Gospel for Asia’s Women’s Literacy Program.
More than one in three women in Asia are illiterate—and the statistic holds true for women in Gospel for Asia-supported churches. Their inability to read leaves them vulnerable to those wanting to take advantage of their ignorance, and without reading the Bible, it’s a challenge to deepen their knowledge of their Savior.
YOU Can Make a Difference!
Illiterate women in Asia face great difficulties. They fail to keep their children safe because they can’t read warning labels. Debt piles up because they can’t understand the bad contracts they sign. They’re cheated in the marketplace because they can’t do basic math. Even if they want to read, there is no way to learn.
With your help, women in Asia can learn to read and will be equipped to tackle life’s hurdles. Click on the link below to find out how you can change someone’s life forever.
Please take a moment – look into the lives of these precious children. Then ask God how you can help.
This month’s mission is going to take us all on a journey to a place most of us would never want to go – the slums and Dalit villages of Asia. We are going to meet some children and hear their life stories. And it won’t cost you a cent.
Please order – then read – K.P. Yohannan’s FREE book No Longer a Slumdog. Go to www.gfa.org/book to order your free copy. You can also visit www.nolongeraslumdog to watch the video stories that accompany those in the book. These resources will take you into a world you may never have heard of, but one that is more real than these “slumdogs” would like. They live it every day.
Here’s a short excerpt from the story of a boy named Nadish, who was abducted and sold into forced labor:
“He would lock me in a small room with the animals. Days turned into weeks, and my stomach would growl. He never gave me enough to eat,” said Nadish. “Weeks turned into months, and my body would ache. The work was hard, and there was never enough time to rest. Months turned into years, and I began to think that this would never end.”
But through a miraculous event, Nadish found his way back into the loving embrace of his mother. Dr. K.P. Yohannan’s newest book, No Longer a Slumdog, unveils the true-life accounts of many of South Asia’s children, like Nadish. The message hits hard. He speaks of “winds of change” and a powerful move of God.
The children’s stories tell of going from a life of heartache and poverty to finding joy, laughter and a bright future. Despite the affliction these children face, Yohannan shows us there’s opportunity for change as many find new life in God‘s redeeming love.
No Longer a Slumdog inspires faith that a better tomorrow is truly possible. Order your FREE copy today, and allow God to take you into a world where pain, hunger, slavery and hopelessness abound. This is where Jesus walks every day, and brings hope to forgotten people.
April 2012 Mission: The Power of Literature
How much would you give to change someone’s eternal destiny?
It doesn’t cost much: Less than a penny will give someone a chance to hear about Jesus through a Gospel tract.
These small booklets are produced specifically for the cultures and languages of Asia. Thousands of people have chosen to follow Christ after coming face-to-face with the Gospel message in these tracts.
Each year, Gospel for Asia publishes more than 30 million pieces of Gospel literature, which are distributed by our missionaries, Bible college students and believers throughout Asia.
How many of us have been given Gospel tracts? In Asia one tract can reach literally dozens of people, as they are read and then passed on to others.
Below are some field stories illustrating the power of a Gospel tract. Please read and share them.
In many countries around the world, people just don’t have access to computers and the internet, television or even cell phones. These are the places where literature means the most. People are hungry for news – and always want to hear good news – so Gospel tracts reach hearts very easily. Your support of Gospel for Asia’s efforts changes lives. And remember that 100% of what you give goes to the field.
Imagine with me for a moment that you are so hungry that you have to resort to eating dirt just to fill your belly. What you don’t know is that mud has toxic chemicals in it. As you get sicker and sicker, you wonder if anyone can help you. You’ve heard stories of people in the city or in the west who have so much food they actually throw a lot of it away. Yet, you sit in the quarry starving.
The reality throughout India is that more than two million children die of hunger each year – that’s 6,000 children every day! Along with malnutrition come frequent diarrhea, malaise and dehydration. For the poorest of the poor, quality medical care is non-existent.
Together we can help these children. The truth is, that 6,000 kids will die today, but YOU can help by sponsoring a child through Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program. Enrollment in a Bridge of Hope center means education, love, a hot meal and most of all the hope of Jesus. One of the most amazing things is that EVERY PENNY you donate to Gospel For Asia (GFA) to support a needy child goes to the field to help that child! Administrative and other overhead is all covered by donations and funds reserved for those purposes.
GFA is an incredibly well-run mission, and I encourage you to go to their website today, explore the many opportunities to come alongside people who have dedicated themselves to bringing the love of Jesus to the poorest of the poor in India and throughout Asia. Here is just one example of a GFA outreach:
Missionary Doctor Witnesses Depressing Medical Cases
first published: Jan. 5, 2011 – Gospel for Asia
Over the course of almost 10 days, a team of medical missionaries was able to reach out to almost 1,700 people in Chhattisgarh and Orissa villages—two of the neediest states in India. Here’s a firsthand report of the events from Gospel for Asia-supported missionary Dr. Daniel J.
A Typical Day
It took us anywhere from half an hour to four hours to reach these villages. Upon arrival, the team would set up and make the necessary arrangements. We had a reception table for entering the names of patients, doctors’ tables with translators and basic equipment, and a small pharmacy where medicine was issued and vitamins were distributed.
The clinic would then start. In most places, people were already there before we came. Crowd control was a little tough because everyone wanted to be seen first. On average, we saw about 300 people a day. But in one place we ended up seeing way beyond 500 people and didn’t finish until 8:30 p.m.; we even saw people in candlelight (when the electricity was out). Then we headed back to our vehicles, tired but satisfied about being able to help many.
There were some really sad incidents, too. A mother came with the complaint that her child was not drinking milk. When we asked them to show us the baby, what I saw shocked me. It brought tears to my eyes to see a 1-month-old baby girl—probably weighing less than one pound, fighting for her life. I’ve only seen pictures of such starving, sick children. What made matters worse was they came from a tribal village, and the baby was a girl—meaning they didn’t really care. We gave them some money and sent them immediately to the hospital, but I really don’t know if the child will make it through the night.
We also had an elderly woman with breast cancer; she didn’t know what she had. It was far too advanced by now.
Among some of the depressing things seen, there were a lot of cases where we were able to administer vitamins and de-worming tablets. Those will go a long, long way to help these villagers—especially the children—to grow up healthy.
In all, we saw more than 1,700 people by the grace of God. We saw children (even infants as young as five days old), adults and the elderly, including a lady who claimed to be 100 years old.
A vast majority of children we saw had symptoms of malnutrition, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin D deficiencies, and also signs of heavy worm infestations. We gave the necessary treatment to these children, along with a large dose of Vitamin A. The villagers were also educated on how to wash hands properly by watching health educational DVDs.
A vast majority of the females we saw, including teenagers and young mothers, showed symptoms of anemia. They were all given vitamin supplements to provide them with iron, folic acid and other nutrients.
What We Learned
There are millions of people in India living today without even the basic medical facilities. There are people who have never ever been to a hospital or seen a doctor, extremely young mothers (we saw one as young as 14 years old), children who never received any vaccinations, and people suffering from problems that could have been avoided (like a child who went blind due to an eye infection) or prevented (there was a 4-year-old child unable to walk due to severe Vitamin D deficiency), etc.
What the vast majority of these people need is simple education on how to prevent health issues like diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis, anemia, nutritional deficiencies and worm infestations.
Medical missions has a definite role in reaching out to people with the love of Jesus. When we are treating their bodies, we are also touching their souls by telling them we care. And when they wonder why someone would care to come all the way to their remote village and treat them for free, well, the answer is this: “We do it because Jesus loved us, and so we love you too.”
- Read more stories about Gospel for Asia’s Compassion Services.
- Read another report from Dr. Daniel J. about a youth event.
This boy has a very large mass in his mouth, which pushes out his tongue. The mass makes it difficult for him to talk and eat. The growth has been there for years, but his parents were unable to do anything about it.
This child, along with many others Dr. Daniel J. saw, has Bitot’s Spots, which is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Thousands of kids experience Vitamin A deficiency because they are not consuming it naturally in many vegetables and in milk and eggs. This boy was given a large dose of Vitamin A, which should solve the problem.
This girl is only 16 years old, and due to an eye infection when she was 2 years old, she lost her eyesight. Now it will be difficult to treat, but timely treatment and antibiotics could have saved her eyes.
RIGHT NOW, the most important thing to do is pray. Then, you need to act! You can click on the button in the right-hand column above and sponsor a child through Gospel for Asia, or you can go to their website and support their work another way. They also have tons of FREE materials that you can download and learn more from. Why not start with “Revolution in World Missions,” written by GFA founder K.P. Yohannan? Click on the image below to order your free copy today!
Evangelical Christianity is fast becoming an event-based religion.
Is this what Jesus envisioned when He commanded us to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”? Mark 16:15
This is what the world sees today when they look at the Church, especially the western, evangelical, pentecostal variety:
• Massive “prophet”-led prayer gatherings in stadiums and arenas, calling for “divorcing Baal and remarrying Jesus” and other strange spiritual exercises. People who call themselves Prophets and Apostles set themselves up to be the Oracles of God. They claim God-given revelation and say that if we just pray hard enough, entire cities will repent in a day. Of course, when that doesn’t happen they blame regular church folks for not praying hard enough, or not being devoted enough to effect these kinds of miracles.
• Fiery, so-called revivals where miracles happen and gold dust falls on attendees – except that no miracles happen and there is no gold dust. And really, how do you advertise for “signs, wonders & miracles”? I distinctly remember that Jesus always said “to tell no man what I’ve done.”
• Slickly produced church services with all the latest gadgetry, professional musicians and live streaming on the web.
• Million-dollar game rooms, paintball fights, camping excursions and other activities designed to bring youth into the church.
• Money-making in-church cafes, restaurants, bookstores and clothing lines – “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple.” Matt. 21:12
I remember back when Jim and Tammy Bakker were building Heritage Village and the PTL Network, which eventually was destroyed by deception, thievery, sexual perversion and the inability to sustain the monster they had created. Churches today do the same thing when they overbuild and concentrate most of their money, time and energy on church programs that minister primarily to the people who attend that church. The pastor now has to sustain what he’s created, and that means bringing more people – and money – into the church. The command of Jesus to “Go out into all the world” is quickly forgotten, and subsumed by the need to pay for high salaries, church programs, toys and games, and expensive buildings.
How about digging wells in Africa, feeding and bringing medical help to refugees in war-torn lands, clothing the naked, loving the unlovely, and rescuing those in slavery instead? Wouldn’t those actions reflect the Spirit of Jesus Christ? And for those of you who would say, “We’re doing that!” I’d ask you – “How much?” Exactly how much of the church budget is spent on actually carrying out the commands of Jesus, doing the things He did? Is it 5%? 10%? 30%?
Are we called to follow Jesus 10% of the way, or even 50%?
Is the primary focus of your church devoted to physically going to the people who have never heard the name of Jesus – isn’t that what He’s called us to do? I maintain that if we are not giving everything for outward expressions of the love of God to the world, then we’re not doing enough. If pastors are not truly discipling their church members and giving them opportunities to become “ambassadors of Christ,” they are failing in their calling as shepherds and mentors of God’s people. If we’re not sacrificing building space, high-tech equipment, inflated salaries and fancy church programs for those who are daily dying without Jesus, then we are not obeying the final and most important command of the One who we say we follow. We deceive ourselves if we think otherwise.
I hear Christians moan and complain all the time about the church being attacked in the media, and how Christians are portrayed unfairly. Don’t we bring this on ourselves, when we try to be like the world, using superlatives and ridiculous claims to try to “sell” coming to church? Here’s just one recent example – and believe me, I could list hundreds if I thought you’d actually want to read them. Can you picture Jesus talking like this, or trying to make His followers feel like they’re part of an exclusive club?
How to catch a ride on the Revival Rocket
Choose your seat! There are three easy ways to start your journey into another realm at Revival Church!
Revival is about to launch and you are invited to join our company of burning ones!
SUNDAY night at Revival Church is going to be EXPLOSIVE! We are gathering together with people like you who have fire and passion for God’s presence.
Join this movement of ridiculous faith, healing and freedom in Detroit!
The “Revival Rocket”? Start your “journey into another realm”? A “company of burning ones”? “Ridiculous” faith? Not much there for the world to mock, right?
So how do we ensure that more and more people come in to a church, and keep the monster alive? How do we pay for $7 million buildings and $8 million renovations, while people are starving and dying without Jesus? How do we sit in our church cafes drinking lattes, while children are being abandoned and thrown away with the garbage? How do we keep church folks coming back for more, giving their money, time and effort in order to become one of “the burning ones”? The same way that Hollywood does – by entertaining and appealing to the flesh. Bigger explosions. More drama. “Going to the next level.” Being on the cutting edge. We appeal to people’s egos and desire to “experience” God’s wonder-working power.
It’s time we put away the desire to make a name for ourselves, or to see God “show up” at a meeting, or to hear God through the prophecies and revelations of a self-proclaimed “Prophet” or “Apostle.”
It’s time we stop making our faith a spectator sport, with bigger and better meetings. The only time Christianity was truly a spectator sport was in the Roman Coliseum, where followers of Jesus were being slaughtered and fed to the lions, and I don’t imagine any of us want that, do we?
It’s time we give up the ego-driven desire to be “one of the special ones” in someone else’s vision of grandeur. We need to become less, not more.
Now is the time to legitimately walk in what Jesus has called us to be and to do – follow Him to the ends of the earth. We can only do this by ending the hemorrhage of money and resources that’s wasted on ourselves and transfer that wealth to actually going out to the world.
How do we do that?
How about starting very simply. Check out Gospel for Asia, and their ministry to people who have never heard of Jesus. They take care of thousands of children, as well as send out thousands of evangelists on pennies a day to villages without hope. Believe it or not, every donation you send to them to do this work goes 100% to the field. Every penny reaches its intended destination, without stopping at the administration building or the Director’s pocket or the utility company. Every penny.
If you can’t go yourself, and you agree with me that way too much is wasted on us here while the world is dying, then give a little. Click on the link, read through the site, pray with an open heart and follow what the Spirit of God leads you to do.
“But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” I John 3:17