K.P Yohannan is the founder and international director of Gospel of Asia. He is also the author of the book “Revolution in World Missions: One man’s journey to Change a Generation”, of which I finished reading this afternoon. His story is amazing and his message inspired by God. Here’s a man who as a child was a complete introvert, now leading nations to Christ through his ministry. If that’s not God I don’t know what is.
Throughout this book Yohannan shares the story of his life and with each turn of the page you begin to hear more fully the heart beat of God beating through his words. Born in India, the youngest of six sons to a mother who constantly prayed and fasted that one of her boys would go into the ministry, Yohannan was the least likely choice and God’s number one candidate. He gave his life to the lord at age 16 and spent the next 8 years serving with Operation Mobilization, a breeding ground for the vision God was placing in his heart. He went to Bible College in the United States, married his wife (from Germany) and even began pastoring. Then, knowing the call of God on his life, he gave away all he owned and resigned from his position in order to give his full attention to the spread of the Gospel in Asia. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t by returning to his Homeland that God used him. Instead, he began to speak up for his national brothers in Christ who were already over in Asia and raising money to support them in the spread of the gospel. Thus was the creation of Gospel for Asia.
Yohannan’s challenge is this….World Missions has changed and it’s our responsibility to get on board with what God is now doing. He talks about so much of western missions has become nothing more than social work….that we have forgotten that “the only weapon that will ever effectively win the war against disease, hunger, injustice and poverty is the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and that “fighting this powerful enemy with physical weapons is like fighting an armored tank with stones”. Not that he is against feeding the pour, visiting the orphan, caring for the sick, etc., in fact he sees these has the call of God in the Gospels, but in his challenge is the desire for people to open their eyes and see that “meeting these needs is a means to share the love of Christ so that the people might be saved for eternity”. We are suppose to go into all nations making disciples of Jesus, not just putting band-aids on wounds!
The other half of Yohanna’s challenge is to realize that our western ways do not work overseas. In fact many countries are now closed up to the Westernized world and therefore our response now, in order to reach the ends of the earth for Jesus, is to sow into the ministry God is already doing through the national missionaries that He has already raised up in these countries! American’s spend so much money on things we don’t need. In every town there are HUGE churches, Christians living in excess, and thousands upon thousands of dollars being held onto “just in case”. Our job is to step up to the challenge and seek God as to how we can support these ministers of the gospel who risk everything (and I mean everything) to carry God’s message to the people we can no longer reach!
I can’t even begin to do justice to the stories that are shared in this book, in my little review. I am not even successfully able to communicate what these words have spoken to my heart in the past week. But I encourage each of you to READ this book (you can even download a free MP3 version of the book or send away for a free copy of it at www.gfa.org) and let God challenge you through these words! Amen!