Each year registered charities in India are required by law to disclose how they spend foreign contributions. Out of curiosity, I examined Gospel for Asia’s FC-6 report for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2014 (most recent data available). Below is a chart that combines the money spent from contributions from GFA (U.S., Germany, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) in U.S. dollars to GFA-India, Believers’ Church, Love India Ministries and Last Hour Ministries.* GFA also sends funds to affiliates in Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. According to GFA’s financial statement ending in 2013, India receives 96% of the contributions from the U.S.
The largest expense is construction and administration of Believers’ Church Medical College Hospital. According the hospital website, “Believers Church Medical College Hospital is a healthcare project of Believers Church. The Church is dynamically involved in various nation-building social and educational projects, healthcare initiatives, charitable activities, community development programs, rehabilitation projects and relief works. Dr. K.P. Yohannan, Metropolitan of Believers Church is the patron of the hospital and Dr. George Chandy is leading the project.”
About $1.9 million for the BCMCH came from GFA affiliates in Germany, Australia, and the UK, with the rest coming from GFA in the U.S.
If one includes the hospital, two-thirds of the funds — just over $35 million — are spent on support for ministries of Believers’ Church in India. At least one pastor recently announced that he gave up his support for GFA because he learned that he was really supporting a church he didn’t feel comfortable supporting.
A prominent expense is for welfare of children which includes school fees, food, and funding for the Bridge of Hope program. According to GFA’s most recent financial statement, they claim that 60,000 children are enrolled in the BoH program.
That works out to only $105 per child per year.
According to the forms filed with the Indian government, there is a combined balance of just over $23.5 million designated for “welfare of children” sitting in GFA-related accounts. I cannot understand why so much money is sitting in accounts when GFA claims the need is so great (and I have no reason to doubt that the need is great).
GFA promises that “Gospel for Asia sends 100 percent of the money you donate for work on the mission field to the field. Nothing is taken out for administrative expenses.” While that may be true for those working in administration in the U.S., it is not true for GFA, Believers’ Church, Love India Ministries, and Last Hour Ministries.
As I noted in a prior post, GFA has stopped replying to my questions. However, I extend an ongoing invitation to correct anything I write which they believe to be incorrect. There is a link in the footnote below if readers want to check these figures, and I am open to any additional evidence.
*These reports are available online (enter year and the state of Kerala). These four charities were chosen because they all received money from Gospel for Asia’s Texas organizations. To see pdfs of each page, click the links: Gospel for Asia, Believers’ Church, Last Hour Ministries, Love India Ministries. Historical exchange rates can be found at Oanda.com.