Last week, I publicly asked pastor Francis Chan for some answers regarding Gospel for Asia, a ministry he has endorsed. Today, I learned from a source at GFA that GFA’s board is meeting in Wills Point today with Francis Chan in attendance. It is not clear if Chan is there as a new board member, as has been rumored, or if he is there to be skeptical and ask questions. In any case, this heightens expectations that perhaps GFA leaders might break their silence.
If Chan does join the board, that might help to address concerns but not just by joining. The expectation is that he would use his position on the board to create a culture of transparency. If he doesn’t do that, the impatience of donors and the public will grow.
As a summary, here are some concerns for GFA.
- Why did GFA leaders prevail upon their own students to carry envelopes of undeclared U.S. cash to India in apparent violation of U.S. law. Thus far, GFA has not apologized for violating their own financial integrity guidelines or requiring students as young as 18 to engage in smurfing of large amounts of cash to India.
- GFA’s audit (conducted by Bland Garvey) failed to disclose three related NGOs which received funds from GFA’s American donors. Furthermore, between $30-50 million of money GFA said went to India in 2013 does not show up in reports submitted to the Indian government. Similar gaps show up in 2012 and other years.
- Why does GFA maintain a massive surplus of funds (around $150 million) being held in Indian banks, subject to major devaluation of the rupee.
- An ongoing concern has been the stories of around 100 former staff members who have unresolved problems with GFA. Current turnover in U.S. staff should be a red flag to any supporter. Reports are now that few students are returning to the School of Discipleship for a second year.
- GFA reps and the ECFA have never explained why GFA–India did not disclose to the Indian government the $15 million given to GFA–India by Canadian donors in 2013.
- Why did K.P. Yohannan claim he didn’t allow men being ordained in Believers’ Church to kiss his ring but a video shows the men kissing his ring during a ceremony.
While these are not the only problems, getting some information about them would be a good start.