The Other Gospel for Asia Report K.P. Yohannan Did Not Want Anyone to Read

On December 2, former Gospel for Asia board member Gayle Erwin released the results of ECFA’s investigation into GFA’s violations of ECFA standards. At the same, Erwin also disclosed another aspect of GFA’s actions which is as disturbing as the ECFA report. First some background.
In June 2014, a group of former GFA staff members approached GFA’s leadership with five major concerns (see the GFA Diaspora site for a detailed history and list of concerns). Eventually, GFA’s board appointed long-time board member Gayle Erwin to conduct an investigation into the five allegations. In early March, Erwin submitted his report. Erwin found that most of the allegations had some substance and should be addressed. According to Erwin, GFA’s CEO and founder K.P. Yohannan was furious when he read Erwin’s report. Erwin described his recollection of the scene in an undated letter to the GFA Diaspora former staff group.

When I first presented the conclusions of my investigation to KP [Yohannan] (with David Carroll present) KP glanced at it, declared that he was a speed reader, and began what I will simply call an ugly scene filled with brutal expressions I don’t wish to repeat, except for one I will reveal later. I presented this same report to the Board of GFA. The ugly scene began again with similar brutality. My recommendation was that we confess, make restitution and change, and that I be granted permission to meet with you. The board rejected my findings and I was instructed to write the public report which was sent to you. Although the board was very pleased with the report, the agony of having written it has not left me.

Erwin also wrote a letter, dated March 17, to Yohannan in which he described Yohannan’s reaction:

I [Erwin] approached this situation in as honest and ethical manner as possible. Never did I hint to you [Yohannan] or anyone else what my findings were until I presented them to you in your office in the presence of David Carroll. I kept isolated from any attempt to present “our side” from anyone including you. Obviously you were not happy. I think you expected me to completely exonerate you and GFA. You more than lost your temper that afternoon. You exhibited a serious mental failure in your paranoia and irrationality. Your response was and still is a “scorched-earth” approach that is willing to burn down anyone and anything in the way of your own conclusions and status.

Erwin then rewrote the report. It was sent to the GFA Diaspora in a letter dated March 26, 2015. It is much shorter than Erwin’s original report and denied the allegations. With board awareness of the original report, Erwin wrote

In response to your letter of September 3, 2014, after many hours of investigation, intense prayer and examination of heart, we are broken-hearted and repentant that we damaged by our actions and attitudes any believer for whom we had responsibility by relationship. We have proposed, and still do, to go wherever we need to and do all within our power to apologize and seek forgiveness and healing with anyone and everyone on your list who may have suffered damage of spirit or heart from us. That individual contact has not been afforded to us by you, which, to us, neutralizes your accusations. But, we have done all we can do about the past until freedom is granted to us.
We have, from the beginning, made our new headquarters fully open to the community and have purposely served the community. We do not have church services in our chapel. We do encourage workers to go to local churches, be a part of them and receive any and all counseling from the local pastors and churches, except in very rare cases. Our gates are left open and visitors are welcomed and shown whatever they wish to see and questions are answered. We are, indeed, a community and fellowship, but no one would be able to find evidence of being a cult.

Your final combined declaration about the structure and presentation of the personnel and headquarters in India, coupled only with a photo was misapplied about an ordination service whose presentation is required by the state for proof of ordination, otherwise one could be imprisoned for doing religious activities limited to the ordained. Other parts of that accusation could not be verified in the manner in which you made them, and have been dropped as worth considering.

Consequently, we feel that your other accusations are without foundation in terms of the fulfilling of our call to enlarge the Kingdom of God. We also feel that your demand that we gather the boards of the USA and Canada to meet with you in order to escape your threats is excessive, impractical and counter to the commitment of our time to getting the Gospel to those who have not heard. We do not intend to call for or participate in such a board meeting.

Therefore, we send this as our final report and communication and now consider the matter closed.

Gayle

In behalf of the Board of Gospel for Asia

Then on December 1, Erwin sent a letter of apology to the GFA Diaspora and provided the original quashed report. Erwin expressed sorrow and provided a brief rationale for re-writing the report.

I apologize to you for the report that was sent to you. Some of the report I wrote with the hope that it would become true and that I was making progress in some intense mental and spiritual combat with KP. That hope was dashed. The financial part that I dismissed, I later learned was true. Please forgive me.

Thus, Erwin suppressed the actual results of his investigation because CEO Yohannan was angry. The GFA board (which at the time included Skip Heitzig, Chuck Zink, Bob Felder, Yohannan, and Yohannan’s wife and son) went along with this deception.
The original report includes evidence that the Diaspora’s allegations had merit. Below are some excerpts:

POINT #1 – Absolute Obedience
Here are my findings relative to the question of obedience/submission as expressed in point #1: Requirement of absolute submission and obedience without questioning to GFA leadership.
A. This complaint appears to be true and is the main source of the problem. If this were to be settled, we would be almost finished with the problem. B. The evidence for this is overwhelming. First there was tacit admission that this is true and the defense was not to refute the charge but to cast doubt on the claimant’s truthfulness or motive.
……
Point #2 Shunning
However you define shunning–isolating, ignoring, quarantining—this appears to have actually happened, often without explanation, in order to keep “poison” from other workers. In some cases, this kept people from the only fellowship they had. Along with required obedience without questioning or praying, this was a great source of pain for some and fueled some complaints we have facing us.
……
Point #3 Misrepresentation of the Use of Contributions
This is not true. A case could be made for use of contributions for more than what was stated, but not wrongly used. Plus, K. P. says that 60% of the needs are now met from the field—they are that close to independence—so some things are domestically funded that may appear to those at a distance as misuse. I considered this a speculative claim with no true basis. (This now appears to be true.)

Erwin added in his apology that he now believes the allegation of misrepresentation of contributions (“the financial part”) is true.

Point #4 Cultism
Developing a cult or cultish mentality is a claim for which evidence exists.
A. Obedience and shunning are tactics that every cult uses.
B. Isolation. When KP decided to build the compound in Wills Point, Texas, the reasoning was not that the Carrollton, Texas location was inadequate, but that it would save money (from $1 million to $3 million a year) and, when I asked if disrupting the lives of the workers was a consideration, the answer was “We will find out who is committed.” Those were the only two reasons I heard given.
C. Spurious demands. Head covering is expected of all the girls though “it is not required.” It is taught by KP because he firmly believes it, although the 1 Corinthians 11 recording of Paul makes it clear that a girl’s hair is her covering and that, if anyone is contentious, “We have no such custom.” You could expect any girl who chooses not to add a cover to be under heavy pressure and have to constantly explain her choice—a great difficulty when the interpretation is questionable.
D. Praying is discouraged about decisions concerning their personal life. A common cult tactic. This is ironic since prayer is such an emphasis.
E. Secrecy. These expectations are never listed in the advertising. Nor was the secrecy in which the compounds and practices in India ever admitted or explained. `
Point #5 Withholding Information About Organizational Structure
Adopting an Eastern Orthodox organizational style and clothing style without letting it be known in North America is true and represents a vulnerability that may be costly.
A. KP has taken upon himself the title of “Metropolitan,” a title in Orthodox circles equivalent to “Pope” in Catholic Churches.
B. Dramatic robes and long white cassocks are worn at church events by bishops and others in authority. The most dramatic robes are used in ordinations, they explain. The explanations for the most ornate robes and authority symbols is that these are necessary for ordinations so the government will recognize them as such, since to claim ordination falsely will subject you to jail. I have no evidence that this ornateness is necessary to validate ordination.
C. Two visits ago to India, as I was brought to the new headquarters, the first image I saw was a large stone “cathedral” building of British/European design. I was in shock for two reasons: First, the cost of something like that, copied from a failed system, could have sponsored many evangelists. My thought was, “How many souls did this cost us?” Second, why had I not heard of this before? Also, during a break, I wandered to a side room of the platform and read a book outlining service orders more from episcopal type churches than from evangelical ones. These old orders may provide a spectacle but they are borrowed from failed and failing systems.
D. In my last visit, on a Sunday, I was carefully kept from observing the service. It was a troubling moment.
E. Though admitting the Orthodox style and system, KP maintains that the theology remains evangelical.

Erwin finished his report with the following questions:

This concludes my observations and comments but leaves me with certain significant questions:
1. Why did all of this come as a surprise to me, a 30-year board member?
2. How can we apologize to our accusers without being self-serving?
3. Can anything be successfully changed to make our training systems free from traditions and more like the example and teaching of Jesus?
4. If no changes or apologies are made, how can we handle (or can we) the public relations disaster of the revelation of the Orthodox system to our largely evangelical supporters?
5. What is our role as a board?
6. Were any of these actions of GFA (KP) necessary for the success of GFA?
7. Were we not succeeding before the imposition of new systems?
8. Are there any surprises yet awaiting us?
Sincerely and Painfully Submitted, Gayle D. Erwin

There certainly have been more surprises.
Suppression of Information
Taking the two reports together (Erwin’s and ECFA’s), it is hard to escape the conclusion that CEO K.P. Yohannan and the GFA board have engaged in suppression of information material to donors and supporting churches. A trusted board member of 30 years (Erwin) discovered information he did not know but considered important and potentially damaging. This information was then suppressed and covered up. According to the ECFA report, much of GFA’s  financial information was kept from the board. In the case of Erwin’s report, the board deliberately suppressed information important to donors and critical to their role of serving the public interest.
One former board member, Skip Heitzig, still seems to be engaged in damage control. Not long ago, he allowed a subordinate to write a letter about GFA that minimized the findings of both the ECFA and his former board colleague, Gayle Erwin. Heitzig’s assistant declared that no independent investigation had established wrongdoing on the part of GFA. This is an incredible claim given that Heitzig had access to ECFA’s report of 17 areas of concern leading to an ECFA board vote which found GFA in violation of five financial standards. Furthermore, now we know that Heitzig had access to Gayle Erwin’s report and sat on the GFA board which approved suppression of Erwin’s findings.
The suppression of Erwin’s report is, like so many aspects of the unraveling GFA story, truly scandalous. Donors, supporting churches, and the general public expect board members to look out for their interests and the interests of people served. It remains to be seen whether the GFA board will step up to those responsibilities.

Gospel for Asia and Bridge of Hope Funding: Who is Right – David Carroll or K.P. Yohannan?

In today’s World magazine article on Gospel for Asia, COO David Carroll made the following claims about program spending.

Carroll offered statistics, including that GFA’s field partners in India and elsewhere in southern Asia support some 14,000 national missionaries at a cost of approximately $30 million a year. He added that the ministry provides for 78,000 children through GFA’s “Bridge of Hope” program, which requires another $33 million a year, and constructs some 1,200 new churches a year at a cost of another $15 million annually.

Bridge of Hope
I want to focus on the Bridge of Hope claim. Carroll’s claim is consistent with what Gospel for Asia asks donors to give in order to sponsor a child ($35/month). However, in the past, GFA founder and CEO K.P. Yohannan has claimed it takes much less per child. In 2010, according to a New India Express article which cited Yohannan, the program required 30 crore (at the time equal to about $6.5 million USD)  to provide for 60,000 children.

At present the Church spends Rs 30 crore annually for the education and uplift of 60,000 children through 525 centres. The Bridge of Hope project of the Believers Church provides free education, health care, nutritious food and school supplies for underprivileged children, irrespective of caste or creed.

This works out to $9/child/month. At the time, GFA was asking for $28/child/month in order to sponsor a child.
Then again in a 2012 interview on Surya television, Yohannan said it cost almost 40 crore (about $7.1 million USD) to care for 60,000 children. Yohannan said:

As for Believers’ Church and Cheruvally estate, donors specifically (1:18) have instructed us to establish an income producing entity (1:23), in the future for you to continue your work. Let me ask you, we spend almost 40 crore rupees to take care of 60,000 children – where does this money come from? Can we campaign to raise money all the time? We have to produce our income (1:43), that is what this is for, for that only.

Using the estimated exchange rates in 2012, as described by GFA and Believers’ Church leader Yohannan, the per month per child spending works out to just under $10/month. In June 2012, GFA was asking $35/month in order to support a child, the same as the current cost to a donor.
According to the public reports of spending in India (FC-6 forms), GFA spent $6.2 million USD on the “welfare of children” in the Indian fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. That works out to about 105/child/year or just under $9/child/month.
I have seen two budgets for Bridge of Hope centers in India, each for a different region of the country. I wrote about one budget earlier this year:

I have also seen GFA budget documents which tell a more surprising story.* The actual cost during fiscal year ending 2014 to support one child in a GFA Bridge of Hope center in India was just under INR 500 or around $8.20 per month per child. This paid for the administration of the program, food purchases, and all child services. In fact, the actual items given to each child (school supplies, clothes, hygiene supplies and gifts) only cost INR 140 per child or $2.20 per month.

In another region of the country, the per child expense was even less — 300 rupees per child per month, or just under $5 USD/child/month. In some areas of the country, children attend free public education and so the costs are less.
BoH Budget top
Even though this is dramatically less than what David Carroll told World magazine, it is closer to what K.P. Yohannan told Indian media.
A review of receipts for 2012 reveals that donors don’t contribute anywhere close to $33 million for Bridge of Hope related expenses.
Given GFA’s track record regarding public claims, it is reasonable to question what David Carroll told World. What would help is if GFA released some evidence for their claims. Show us the budgets, audited statements, etc. The ECFA said in the investigation report that many of GFA’s intial disclosures were not accurate and that they had to get necessary information from other sources, when the information should have come from GFA.
One analysis by former auditor Jason Watkins found that only 12% of funds given for Bridge of Hope was used for the program. With the discrepancies between what David Carroll and K.P. Yohannan told different public audiences, it is important for GFA to provide evidence and an explanation. With the budget figures and public reports in India, it even more important for donors to get answers about where those funds are going.
 
 

World Magazine on the Release of the ECFA Gospel for Asia Investigation Report

World’s Bill McCleery has an article today on the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s Gospel for Asia investigation report released to me and the GFA Diaspora last week.
GFA COO David Carroll sounds more contrite than ever in this piece saying GFA leaders “owned” their mistakes and are sad and sorry that they “breached the confidence of our donors.”  This is a long way from May 7 of this year when Carroll told me:

No, Gospel for Asia has not violated the law.

When you first contacted us, I mentioned that we would not be able to respond to every question you put before us. Now, with the increased volume and frequency of your questions, it has become clear that this back and forth has become a distraction from our mission work. For this reason, this will be my final response. We understand that you will continue to explore issues around Gospel for Asia and continue to be fed accusations from former employees, and we accept that.

We continue to remain accountable to all applicable laws and regulations, to the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and to independent auditors.

As he should be, Carroll is sad and sorry about the donors, but I still wonder when GFA is going to make a sincere effort to deal with the GFA Diaspora and other former staff.

As in previous reports, K.P. Yohannan is missing in action. No comment from him.

At the end of the article, Carroll promises to do better but he doesn’t explain why we should listen to him now. GFA touted their relationship with ECFA and their financial integrity while they were violating ECFA standards and telling people they were fine.

Some others aspects of the World article will be reviewed in a separate post (e.g., Bridge of Hope).

David Barton and World Net Daily Begin the Spin Recycle

Yesterday, World Net Daily posted David Barton’s defense of his discredited book The Jefferson Lies. This is in preparation for a January release of the WND edition. The WND posting appears to be the same 40 page response he wrote in early 2013 in reaction to publisher Thomas Nelson’s decision to pull the book from publication due to historical errors.
The promotional material for the book promises a rebuttal to critics. If this 2013 document is that answer, WND might want to correct the errors in it. A good place to start would be with the story that Simon & Schuster plans to publish the book. In 2013, Barton claimed that Simon & Schuster planned to publish The Jefferson Lies. Yesterday, Barton and WND claimed the same thing:
BartonWNDSS
 
I asked Simon & Schuster earlier this year if there was any truth to this claim and the publisher’s representatives said the book would not be published by them.
I wonder if WND will correct this error.
The recycled spin continues on the WND book description. The original promotional material referred to Barton’s critics as “ a few dedicated liberal individuals and academics.” Now the WND book description calls usbloggers and a handful of non-historian academics.”
This effort to obscure the response of historians, Christian and otherwise, to Barton’s work is a farce. The Jefferson Lies was voted “least credible history book in print’ by readers of the History News Network. Dozens of Christian historians wrote both Family Research Council and Focus on the Family in 2013 urging them to remove Barton’s work from their web pages. If WND editors cared about accuracy, they could just read their own website. In the article WND published yesterday, there is a reference by Barton to his Christian historian critics.

Only four of the ten scholars contacted by Richards actually provided any critiques of my work: Glenn Moots, Glenn Sunshine, Greg Forester (sic), and Gregg Frazer. Of these four, only Frazer specializes in religion and the American founding, but his critique did not even address The Jefferson Lies, and it is not clear that he even bothered to read itInstead, he watched and criticized a twenty year old video entitled America’s Godly Heritage.

Moots, Sunshine, Forster and Frazer are all historians and they are all Christian (Frazer’s critique of America’s Godly Heritage — which is still commercially available — can be read in an earlier blog post). As I have demonstrated previously, there are more than a handful. Obviously, WND is hoping to cover up the facts. 
A large part of Barton’s response in his WND article is to bash me, as if what team he thinks I am on matters. It is a sign of a weak argument when you spend little time on the facts and a lot of time on the personality of the person bringing the facts. The effort also appears to be designed to distract readers from the fact that I have a co-author — political science scholar Michael Coulter — and have published the work of numerous Christian historians on this blog (e.g., here).
The new narrative being promoted by WND is that Thomas Nelson pulled Barton’s book because of “political correctness.”
bartonWNDPC
Yes, it was shocking that Thomas Nelson did the right thing. And it is shocking that some Christians try to create an alternative reality in order to sell books and gain political power.
 
 

Donald Trump Calls for Ban on Muslim Travel to the U.S.

From Donald Trump's Twitter page.
From Donald Trump’s Twitter page.

Well, of course he did
Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore is all over it and calls Christians to condemn the idea. I agree the idea should be condemned, but in fact, it would never happen. One doesn’t have to be an expert to know the Constitution would never allow it.
Trump is good at exploiting fear. He probably hopes fear of Muslim terrorism will make him seem like a savior. However, fear can work against him. Many people who value the First Amendment are afraid that a Trump presidency will be a disaster. I believe the latter fear will win out. Daily, Trump is creating a back lash that will undo his chances. At least I hope so.
The Republican front runner is all about keeping even Muslim U.S. citizens out of the country if they travel. He wants to keep them out until we can understand the problem of terrorism which might take awhile.
Where are all of his celebrity pastor supporters now?

ECFA Report: Gospel for Asia Has Yet to Answer the $259 Million Question

The report of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability’s investigation of Gospel for Asia contains some amazing facts. One fact contained in point 2 of the ECFA report is the disclosure of the massive amounts of donor money just sitting in foreign banks. The ECFA, apparently reading my May 22 blog post, wrote:

2. Excessive cash balances held in partner field accounts. Allegations were made that GFA had upwards of $150 million in partner field accounts, far more than necessary to provide appropriate operating reserves. During our visit on June 3, ECFA was informed that GFA field partner cash reserves were approximately $7 million. After ECFA requested detailed documentation of cash balances held by foreign field offices, on June 29, we discovered that GFA’s field partners had $259,437,098 on hand at March 31, 2014 and approximately $186 million in June 2015.
ECFA staff questioned the appropriateness of the high levels of cash being held in partner field accounts. We were told that GFA partners felt it was important to maintain the high balances in case the Indian government decided to block funds being transferred into the country.
The source of the balances was primarily from donor-restricted gifts to GFA, often raised in response to gift solicitations that communicated urgent field needs (see #4 below). ECFA staff expressed concern that the high reserves may not comply with ECFA Standards 4 and 7.1. Subsequent to our conversation on this matter on July 27, GFA provided ECFA with a plan to reduce partner field account reserves to $72 Million, and then amended the plan on August 27 to reduce reserves down to $11 Million. Again, GFA staff disclaimed that GFA exercises any control over field partners (see #10 below).
In our meeting on July 1, ECFA staff asked you what the GFA board would think if they knew of the high balances in partner field accounts. You indicated that neither the board nor you were aware of the magnitude of the balances. You responded, “They would be as surprised as I am.” Subsequently, the GFA board was notified, during their July 13 board meeting, of the balances held by field partners.

As of the end of the 2014 Indian fiscal year (March 31), GFA had a quarter of a billion dollars parked in Indian banks. Over that year, GFA had added $101 million to the $158 million I discovered. For years, GFA has been telling donors about the urgent needs of the homeless and hungry and they have been sitting on donor funds designated to meet those needs. This is scandalous.
If GFA in the United States really didn’t know, they should have fired Believers’ Church and GFA-India as partners. But then on second thought, that might have been awkward since K.P. Yohannan is the CEO of GFA and the Metropolitan and Managing Trustee for Believers’ Church and the related entities.
In his reply to the ECFA, Yohannan said plans have been made to deal with massive balances. However, there is reason to require proof. GFA initially told ECFA that the balance was $7 million. GFA told staff the same thing in a May 14 staff meeting. Here is what Yohannan said in reply to ECFA.
GFA reply excessive funds
 
Yohannan wants the public to believe that Believers’ Church, Gospel for Asia – India, Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministry are completely independent and unrelated field partners. Yohannan told the ECFA he didn’t know how much money was in those accounts.
However, somehow, GFA convinced the field partners to completely shift their operating philosophy and commit to use nearly all of those funds, leaving only $11 million in reserve (what about the corpus fund?). Yohannan wants the public to believe that he exercised no authority in the matter.
Here’s the $259 million dollar question: Which K.P. Yohannan do we believe? Do we believe the Metropolitan Bishop who signed his name to the Believers’ Church Constitution, or the GFA CEO who told ECFA he didn’t know how much money his Indian organizations had squirreled away?
According to the Believers’ Church Constitution, Yohannan is the ultimate and final authority in all matters relating to Believers’ Church and their trusts. Assets cannot be moved without his approval.
This is a serious matter. For years, donors thought their funds were going to specific needs in India. Now we know much of the money wasn’t going to those needs but rather to interest bearing accounts. If I was a donor, I would want my money back.
Compounding the problem is the incredible claim from K.P. Yohannan that he didn’t know how those organizations were stewarding the funds. How could he not know? He runs those organizations. According to the church Constitution, he is the final authority. I don’t see how Yohannan can have it both ways. Instead of a vague apology, GFA needs to come up with a response that addresses the discrepancies delineated here.
MetropolitanPowersBC Cons
 
And then review what the Believers’ Church Constitution says about the Metropolitan’s role regarding property and funds. If Yohannan doesn’t know how much money Believers’ Church, Gospel for Asia – India and the other trusts have, then who does? He is the Managing Trustee and the one who nominates the other trustees.
GenSecretaryBelChurch
 

Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Irresponsible Machismo

For so many reasons, I am glad I don’t teach at Liberty University.
I can’t embed the clip so click through to watch Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. encourage students to carry guns on campus. He also seems to challenge “Muslims” (I assume he means radical Muslim terrorists) to come visit Liberty, and not for a college tour.
FalwellI have no problem with self-defense but this seems like an irresponsible challenge to people who are capable of responding to it. As a college president, your first duty is the safety and well-being of your students, not to go all John Wayne.
 
 

Former Mars Hill Church Downtown Now Known as "The Mark"

You can’t make this stuff up.
Note the banner on the old Mars Hill Downtown Seattle location of Mark Driscoll’s old church. It is now known as “The Mark.”
TheMarkSeattle
 
CloseUpTheMark
 
 
You can read about the project at TheMarkSeattle.com. Quick, someone check to see if “TheMarkPhoenix.com” is registered.
Here is what it looked like back in the day.
DowntownMHC
 
 
Joel Connolly described the final service of Mars Hill Downtown in the old Methodist church. The announcement day of closing the church was a dark one indeed.
On a serious note, the history of the building is fascinating. It is summarized in this video done by the former Mars Hill Downtown folks.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LOp3OxTT70[/youtube]
 

Gospel for Asia Places Apology Ad in December Christianity Today

This sounds a little more contrite than the letter to Calvary Chapel pastors but like that one, this letter is light on substance. A friend informed me that this ad was on page 59 of December’s Christianity Today.
CT Dec 2015 p 59
As I demonstrated yesterday, the ECFA did not affirm that all funds were accounted for.  Regarding missing funds, this is all the ECFA wrote in their report of the investigation of GFA:

15. Alleged missing funds according to Indian FC6 forms. ECFA received allegations that a significant amount of funds were missing based on attempts to reconcile GFA’s audited financial statements and field partner’s Indian FC6 forms. ECFA reviewed this matter to determine compliance with ECFA Standard 4. On July 20, GFA staff provided ECFA with a reconciliation of these amounts, which reflected a transfer of $29,300,000 to a GFA India account in Hong Kong. GFA staff reported that this transfer was not required to be reported on Indian FC6 forms and that this amount along with fiscal year timing differences led to the allegations of significant missing funds.

ECFA did not describe any review of Indian law nor did ECFA review more than one year. Over 8 years, there is an estimated $128 million unaccounted for. The ECFA did not review this claim and so it is false for Yohannan to tell CT readers that the ECFA cleared them on this allegation.
A big problem with this letter is that Yohannan is now telling people that they are learning and improving when for years, they claimed to be acting with the highest financial integrity.  Since for years GFA has claimed to be doing the very thing they now claim they are starting to do, why should they be believed now?
Here’s what ECFA had to say about GFA’s declarations:

Finally, we feel compelled to observe our concern, in general, about the following in addition to the above ECFA compliance-related issues:
Certain information provided to ECFA by GFA that was crucial to our review was, at least initially, inaccurate.
Our review process has covered nearly four months. Certain pertinent information about the compliance issues was not revealed to ECFA by GFA until late in the review process.
We have learned significant information from sources unrelated to GFA that we should have learned directly from GFA.

According to the ECFA, the way GFA leaders brought forth information did not inspire confidence.
 
 

Gospel for Asia Pulls More Endorsements from Website

Yesterday, Gospel for Asia linked to a list of ministry leaders who endorsed GFA’s work. Today, that link is missing and the endorsements have been pulled from the page.
The page yesterday looked like this:
Endorsements Before
Today, it looks like this:
Endorsements missing
 
All endorsements are missing and the link to the page is missing.
Recently George Verwer told me that he continued to support GFA and so this action may not reflect the feelings of all endorsers. For whatever reason, GFA has removed the information and a prominent link to the modified page
UPDATE: The page may have just been moved rather than deleted. It can be viewed here now. The church endorsements page contained mostly pastors at one time. See this 2014 page, and then this one in May, 2015. Note how many original endorsers are now missing.