We are looking for those who have a definite call upon their lives to go to the most unreached areas to share the love of Christ and establish fellowships. It is not a job. A hireling quits when the going gets tough. Our commitment is to train and send out men and women who seek only God's approval and God's glory—those who will not be bought with money or seek their own, not even in the work of the Lord.
They must also be people of integrity in the area of commitment to the Word of God and correct doctrine, willing to obey the Scripture in all matters without question. They must maintain a testimony above reproach, both in their walks with the Lord and also with their families. We look for those who are willing to work hard to reach the lost in and around the mission fields where they are placed. Each missionary is also a shepherd of the flock that the Lord raises up. He will protect these new believers and lead them into maturity in Christ, through teaching God's Word and equipping them to win the lost in these regions.
We take several steps to ensure that our accountability systems work without failure. In each area, the missionaries meet at least once a month for a few days of fasting and prayer and sharing together as they build the kingdom in their part of the field. In all cases, national missionaries are supervised by local indigenous elders under whom they work. In turn these field leaders spend much time meeting with godly senior leaders. The leaders who oversee the ministry are men of integrity and have had a good testimony in life and ministry for many years.
Yes, financial records are inspected by our field administrative offices to ensure that funds are used according to the purposes intended. A detailed accounting in writing is required for projects such as village crusades, training conferences and special programmes. Missionary support funds are signed for and received both by the leaders and the missionaries involved, and these receipts are checked. All financial records on the field are also audited annually by independent certified public accountants.
There has been a tremendous amount of talk and tons of information pumped out regarding the 10/40 Window and the 2.7 billion people waiting to hear the Gospel. We need to move on from information to implementation if we want to see these people reached with the Gospel.
Ninety-seven percent of the world's unreached people live in the 10/40 Window, also known as the "Resistant Belt." A closer look at the 10/40 Window reveals that there are more unreached people groups in northern India than in any other part of the world.
Now over 30 years old, GFA World supports thousands of missionaries working in some of the neediest Asian countries—primarily in the 10/40 Window. Although we have been working among the unreached since the ministry began, it has only been in the last 15 years that we have honed our strategy to reach the most unreached.
GFA World has 67 Bible colleges throughout South Asia where thousands of men and women are studying God's Word and undergoing intensive three-year training in preparation for ministry. After training many will go to unreached areas to share the love of Jesus.
The training is intense. Their day begins at 5 a.m. The first hour is spent in prayer and meditation on God's Word. Teaching and practical training take place throughout the remainder of the day. Around 11 p.m. their day ends.
Each Friday evening is set apart for fasting and over two hours of prayer. Every weekend the students go to nearby unreached villages for evangelism. Before the school year ends they will have started dozens of Christian fellowships through these weekend outreaches. Before they finish their three-year training, each student will have carefully read through the entire Bible at least three times.
The students spend the first Friday of every month in all-night prayer, praying especially for unreached people groups and other nations. Through these times of prayer, the reality of the lost world becomes very close to their hearts. Throughout the three years at the Bible school, each student is given the opportunity to pray for dozens of totally unreached people groups. At the same time each one seeks the Lord's face as to where He will have them serve after graduation.
“Reaching the most unreached in our generation”—this powerful vision is the single purpose God gave to GFA World from its very inception.
How could we possibly fulfill such a calling? Most unreached people groups live in the 10/40 Window, in nations that severely restrict or are closed to foreign missionaries. The Lord clearly directed us to use the most effective approach under these circumstances: helping nationals to reach their own people and fulfill the Great Commission as commanded in Matthew 28:19-20. They do this interculturally, near-culturally, and cross-culturally as well.
No doubt the Lord has had His hand on each stage of GFA's growth from our small beginning of supporting a few workers on the field, to providing tools such as literature and bicycles, then vans, films, projectors and generators. We then began adding thousands of national missionaries in seven nations to our support list and set up a network of leaders, coordinators and accountability systems.
The Lord enabled GFA to start one radio broadcast in an Indian language and create a listener follow-up system. Today broadcasts in more than 103 languages are heard daily by millions of people. As part of the follow-up, GFA began producing and distributing books, tracts and other Gospel literature.
To mobilize hundreds of new workers for the pioneer mission fields of Asia, GFA began a three-month intensive missionary training course. This later expanded to a three-year Bible college and has now exploded into 67 schools including a seminary.
These schools annually produce thousands of new workers to go to the unreached mission fields. Most of these graduates will become pastors.
In the past all these different developments within GFA World looked like seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces. But now we see that each phase of GFA's growth and expansion was part of a strategic plan. It was the Lord's preparation to bring this ministry to a point where He could commission us to train and send out thousands of workers to share the love of Jesus in the most unreached areas of the 10/40 Window.
But so much work is yet to be done! Millions are desperately waiting to hear the Gospel. We are determined to move forward, believing the Lord will indeed enable us to send out workers into the ripe harvest fields of Asia.
While films, radio, television and video are becoming more common in Asia, the most effective methods are still those that we find in the New Testament book of Acts!
The most effective evangelism happens face-to-face in the streets. Most national missionaries walk or ride bicycles between villages.
Street preaching and open-air evangelism, often using megaphones, is the most common way to proclaim the Gospel. Sometimes evangelists arrange witnessing parades and/or tent campaigns and distribute simple Gospel tracts during the week-long village crusades.
Since the majority of the world's one billion illiterates live in Asia, the Gospel must be proclaimed to them without using literature. This is done through showing the Man of Mercy film on the life of Jesus and also by using cassettes, flip charts and other visual aids to communicate the Gospel.
Trucks, vans, simple loudspeaker systems, bicycles, leaflets, pamphlets, books, banners and flags are the most important tools for our missionaries. Easy to use and train with, they are now being supplemented with radio broadcasting, film projectors, and television. These types of communication tools are available in Asia at low cost and can be purchased locally without import duties. In addition, national evangelists are familiar with them, and they do not shock the culture.
Yes, there is still a place for Western missionaries. First, there are still countries like Morocco, Afghanistan and the Maldive Islands, where there is no existing Church from which to draw missionaries. In these places, missionaries from the outside—whether from the West, Africa or Asia-are a good way for the Gospel to be spread.
Second, Christians in the West have technical skills which may be needed by their brothers and sisters in Third-World churches. The work of Wycliffe Bible Translators is a good example. Their translation efforts in the 4,000+ languages still without a Bible is invaluable. So when Third-World churches invite Westerners to come and help them, and the Lord is in it, the Westerners obviously should respond.
Through cross-cultural and interracial contact, such ministries are especially helpful because they give Westerners a better understanding of the situation in Asia. Alumni of these programmes are helping others in the West understand the real needs of the Third World.
And, there is the simple fact that the Holy Spirit does call individuals from one culture to witness to another. When He calls, we should by all means respond.
They do. In fact, we believe that most Christians in Asia give a greater portion of their income to missions than Westerners. But the churches in Asia are primarily made up of the poor—those among the one-fourth of the world's population living on just a few dollars a week. Since they frequently lack cash, they tend to give things like chicken eggs, rice, mangoes, or tapioca roots.
Many times we find that a successful missionary evangelist will be almost crippled by his ministry's rapid growth. When a great move of the Holy Spirit occurs in a village, the successful missionary may find he has several trained and gifted coworkers as Timothys who are ready to establish sister congregations. However, the rapid growth almost always outstrips the original congregation's ability to support additional workers. This is where outside help is vitally needed.
As God's Spirit continues to move, many new mission boards are being formed. Some of the largest missionary societies in the world are now located in Asia. For example, at this time GFA World alone is supporting thousands of national missionaries and this number is increasing at an astonishing rate. But in light of the need, we literally need hundreds of thousands of additional missionaries who will, in turn, require more outside support.
Regrettably, there are some indigenous churches which do not support national evangelists for the same reason some Western congregations do not give: lack of vision in the lives of the pastors and congregations. But this doesn't mean Western Christians have to sit back and miss out on one of the greatest opportunities they will have to make an eternal impact and help win a lost world for Christ.
It is not outside money that weakens a growing church, but outside control. Funds from the West actually liberate the evangelists and free them to follow the call of God.
After generations of domination by Western colonialists, most Asians are acutely conscious of the potential problem of foreign control through outside funding. The issue is frequently raised in discussions by national missionary leaders, and most national missionary boards have developed policies and practices to provide for accountability without foreign control.
At GFA World, we have taken several steps to make sure funds get to the local missionary evangelist in a responsible way without destroying valuable local autonomy.
First, our selection and training process is designed to favour men and women who begin with a right attitude—missionaries who are dependent on God for their support rather than on man.
Second, there is no direct or indirect supervision of the work by Western supporters. The donor gives the Lord's money to the missionary through GFA World and we, in turn, send the money to indigenous leaders who oversee the financial affairs on each field. Therefore, the national evangelist is twice-removed from the source of the funds. This procedure is being followed by several other organizations that are collecting funds in the West for national support, and it seems to work very well.
Finally, as soon as a new work is established, the national missionary is able to begin branching out to share Christ's love in nearby unreached villages as well. The new congregations he establishes will eventually gain enough financial stability to fully support him while still giving sacrificially to support evangelism. Eventually, national churches will be able to support most pioneer evangelism, but the job is too big now without Western aid.
The quickest way to help Asian churches become self-supporting is to support a growing national missionary movement. As new churches are planted, the blessings of the Gospel will abound, and the new Asian believers will be able to support greater outreach.
Sponsorship monies are like investment capital in the work of God. The best thing we can do to help make the Asian church independent now is to support as many national missionaries as possible.
There is a vast difference between living at the same level as an Asian family, as national evangelists do, and living at even a modest Western standard. In most of the nations where we support local missionaries, they are able to survive on two to four dollars a day. In most cases, this is approximately the same per capita income of the people to whom they minister.
A Western missionary, however, is faced with many additional costs. These include international air transportation, the cost of shipping possessions to the field, language schools, special English-language schools for children, and Western-style housing. National missionaries, on the other hand, live in villages on the same economic level as others in the community whom they are seeking to reach for Christ.
The Western missionary is also faced with passport, visa and other legal expenses, donor-communication costs, extra medical care, import duties, and requirements to pay taxes in his home country. The cost of food can be very high, especially if the missionary entertains other Westerners, employs servants to cook and eats imported foods.
Frequently, host governments require foreign missionaries to meet special tax or reporting requirements, usually with payments required. Clothing, such as shoes and imported Western garments, is costly. Many national missionaries choose to wear sandals and dress like the local people.
For a Western missionary family with children, the pressure is intense to maintain a semblance of Western-style living. Frequently this is increased by peer pressure at private schools where other students are the sons and daughters of international businessmen and diplomats.
Finally, holidays and in-country travel or tourism are not considered essential by national missionaries, as they are by most Westerners. The cost of imported English books, periodicals, and DVDs are also a considerable expense not part of the national missionary's lifestyle. The result of all this is that Western missionaries often need 30 to 40 times more money for their support than do national missionaries.
Obviously, you cannot respond to all the appeals, so what criteria should you use to make your decision? Here are a few helpful guidelines for missions-giving:
Do those asking for money believe in the fundamental truths of God's Word, or are they theologically liberal? Any mission that seeks to carry out God's work must be committed to His Word. Is the group asking for money affiliated with liberal organizations which deny the truth of the Gospel while keeping the name Christian? Do their members openly declare their beliefs? Too many today walk in a gray area, taking no stands and trying to offend as few as possible so they can obtain money from all, whether friends or enemies of the cross of Christ. The Word of God is being fulfilled in them: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…" (2 Tim. 3:5).
Is the goal of their mission to win souls, or are they only social-gospel oriented? One lie the devil uses to hinder Gospel work and send people to hell is, “How can we preach the Gospel to a man with an empty stomach?” Because of this lie, for a hundred years much missions-designated funding has been invested in social work rather than in spreading the Word.
Ask before you give: Is this mission involved in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The liberal person believes man is basically good; therefore, all that is needed to solve his problems is to change his environment. The Bible says that all rich and poor alike must repent and come to Christ or be lost. Which gospel is being preached by the mission group asking for your support?
Is the mission organization financially accountable? Do they use the money for the purpose for which it was given? At GFA World every penny given for support of a missionary is sent to the field for that purpose. Our home office is supported with funds given for that purpose. Are their finances audited by independent auditors according to accepted procedures? Will they send an audited financial statement to anyone upon request?
Do members of the mission group live by faith or man's wisdom? God never changes His plan: The just shall live by faith (Gal. 3:11). When a mission continually sends out crisis appeals for its maintenance rather than for outreach, something is wrong. They seem to say, God made a commitment, but now He is in trouble, and we must help Him out of a tight spot. God makes no promises He cannot keep. If an organization constantly pleads for money, you need to question if that group is doing what God wants them to do. We believe we must wait upon God to discern His mind and do only what He leads us to do, instead of taking foolish “steps of faith” without His going before us. The end should never justify the means.
Finally, a word of caution. Do not look for a reason for not giving to the work of God. Remember, we must give all we can, keeping only enough to meet our needs so the Gospel can be preached before the night comes, when no man can work (John 9:4). For most of us, the problem is not that we give too much but that we give too little. We live selfishly and store up treasures on this earth that will soon be destroyed, while precious souls die and go to hell.
Click here to help sponsor a national missionary online through GFA World. You can also call our office at 0800 819 819 to discuss sponsorship.
You will receive a pack with the picture and testimony of the national missionary being sponsored, as well as background information on the area they are serving in, and a pre-printed automatic payment form with the relevant details required to start automatic payments or giving via online banking.
You will receive regular reports about the region your missionary works in. The regional updates will keep you informed about your missionary’s region. The regional updates will show you the ministries taking place and how lives being touched and villages are being transformed.
If for any reason you find an item you've received from us less than satisfactory, please return it to us within 30 days of receipt. We'll send you a replacement or refund check, or credit your credit card. Shipping fees to return the item(s) are not refundable unless incorrectly shipped, received damaged or defective.
All orders will be processed within 1-3 business days of receipt and shipped by ground unless otherwise requested. Additional fees will be assessed for special handling. Call 0800 819 819 for complete details.
No. New Zealand legislation excludes tax credits on donations that are used to foster religion in other countries. Because GFA World’s activities include sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the overseas countries where we serve, donations to GFA World are not eligible for tax credits. GFA NZ Trust is registered as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005 on 17 March 2009, registration number CC38542.
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