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Gospel for Asia settles with donors for $37 million

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/04/19, 01:29 pm

Gospel for Asia agreed last week to a $37 million settlement with donors over accusations that the nonprofit mission group mismanaged funds. The agreement brings to a close a three-year legal battle, in which donors said the organization misused funds it promised would go directly to mission work in South Asia. In 2015, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability discovered that Gospel for Asia hoarded as much as $259 million during some months rather than spending the donated funds on church planting, missionary work, or charitable relief for the poor.

In a statement on its website, Gospel for Asia emphasized it did not admit any wrongdoing. “The settlement agreement explicitly states that all donations given to the ministry did indeed make it to field,” the statement read. The agreement dictates that settlement money go to pay court-approved costs and attorneys fees, then be divided evenly among claimants, who can be anyone who donated to Gospel for Asia since Jan. 1, 2009. Unclaimed funds can be distributed evenly to the groups Samaritan’s Purse, Friends of Israel, the Global Training Network, Heaven’s Family, and Christ for All Peoples, but they cannot be retained by Gospel for Asia.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Mon, 03/04/2019 04:15 pm

    Did they or didn't they act unethically?  If there was no wrongdoing why are they paying such a sum of money? This outcome leaves an unfortunate cloud of suspicion.

  • J&
    Posted: Mon, 03/04/2019 05:55 pm

    What are the specific steps involved in claiming one's rightful portion of the settlement as a long-term giver to GFA?

  • craigawhite
    Posted: Mon, 03/04/2019 08:08 pm

    This is disappointing. I have been a regular donor and now I don't know what to do looking backward or going forward.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Tue, 03/05/2019 05:10 am

    I've stopped giving to mission organizations. Instead I support individual missionaries. On occasion, for mission agencies that I personally know about, I will give towards a project. But this is the exception and not the rule. I've seen many situations like this at Gospel for Asia. 

  •  phillipW's picture
    Posted: Tue, 03/05/2019 09:09 am

    This was one of the few organizations I've given to over the years.  Just another example of how an NPO can put "Christian" on their or in their name and sucker millions from naive Christians in America.

    Well, as PT Barnum put it, "there's a sucker born every minute."  Yeah, I guess that makes me a sucker, and naive.  How foolish of me to trust the endorsement of my pastor for this organization.

    I will also say that reading Gospel for Asia founder, KP Yohannan's book is telling in this regards, because the whole premise of the book is, "give me your money, because I can spend it better than any of you stupid white American fools can."

    Again, I'm the sucker here, so yeah, I'm [mad] about this.  This whole situation just hurts the cause of the Gospel, because now I am even more hesitant to give anyone money for anything, because the older I get, the harder it is for me to trust that ANYONE has true intentions.

    [The moderator has edited this comment.]

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 03/05/2019 09:07 pm

    Guess I should try to find more details of the allegations against GfA and the suit. But from what I’ve read so far, the money they took in DID go to the mission and relief work, just not necessarily immediately after being received. So if it sat in bank accounts drawing interest before being disbursed, I’m really not sure how wrong that is.

    It bothers me a great deal that we are often very quick to accept what SECULAR media, politicians, and courts say about Christians and Christian organizations. We need to constantly keep in mind the bias that exists against anything Christian. It might take more than just the first page of Google results to find the facts, but true answers usually are out there. 

    We Christians, in our lives and ministries, do make errors of judgment and fact, do sometimes commit the egregious sin the unbelievers accuse us of. But not always. We face an unseen but very potent enemy that constantly tries to sway the world against us. Everything that’s reported must be tested.

    Greater is He that is in us, than he who is in the world.