Just today, the Gospel for Asia Board of Directors placed the following statement on the GFA website.
STATEMENT FROM GOSPEL FOR ASIA BOARD ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Wills Point, Texas – February 12, 2016: In the fall of 2015, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) revoked Gospel for Asia USA’s membership, after a 36-year relationship. ECFA is an organization that provides accreditation to Christian nonprofits in the U.S. based on their “standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising and board governance.” ECFA accreditation entitles a ministry to use the ECFA seal, but the loss of accreditation does not mean that the organization is guilty of illegal or unethical behavior. It simply means the organization no longer meets the standards chosen by ECFA to entitle an organization to the ECFA endorsement. Gospel for Asia was a founding member of ECFA, so an endorsement by ECFA is and remains a great honor to us. However, many very reputable organizations are not members of ECFA because they do not meet their rules for membership or they have chosen not to meet them, but Gospel for Asia has always valued our endorsement by ECFA and therefore made efforts to remain in good standing for 36 years.
Our change in status with ECFA caused concern by some and raised questions about financial accountability of Gospel for Asia. ECFA’s decision was made after conducting a special review of Gospel for Asia, and we respect ECFA’s evaluation. Our response was to begin a focused review and to implement the ECFA’s recommended improvements.
For more than 30 years, Gospel for Asia has served in some of the most complex environments in the world. Some of the questions raised relate to measures Gospel for Asia felt forced to take to continue our work in hostile environments where very real threats exist to Christians of all kinds, new believers and international humanitarian organizations. Gospel for Asia has always had “enemies” who didn’t want our mission to continue, but sometimes our biggest challenges have related to managing the complex economic and political environments within which God has called us to serve.
Most of ECFA’s issues resulted from us growing more quickly than our processes and procedures were able to accommodate while we were simultaneously navigating unbelievably complicated circumstances in sometimes dangerous and confusing environments. Over the course of these challenges, we made some good decisions and some bad ones and sometimes we didn’t have the right counsel or any counsel at all.
We willingly accepted—and appreciated—ECFA’s concern because our processes and procedures needed improvement, and in some cases, we were still operating like a small organization as opposed to an organization of our size and influence. We have always welcomed ECFA’s efforts to help us improve.
We learned of the lawsuit when reporters began to call us. It’s worth noting, the first to post anything related to the lawsuit was a blogger who has leveled a relentless attack on Gospel for Asia for months.
We appreciate the role and responsibility—and often good intentions—of journalists in the “new media” and in traditional media, but we have been grieved to discover that too many of them have chosen to consider us “guilty until proven innocent” as opposed to “innocent until proven guilty.”
We must take the time to fully understand the nature of the accusations being leveled against us, and then we will respond accordingly. The issues surrounding our change in status with ECFA have been misunderstood, but regardless of viewpoint, we have taken and will continue to take a focused approach to implement suggested changes to our operations.
We will fully cooperate with the law and are in the process of securing specialized legal counsel to help us and our other legal advisors navigate this new challenge.
We consider it a blessing to finally have the opportunity to bring this matter to full resolution through an impartial arbiter, and you can rest assured that in the meantime we will continue operating on behalf of some of the world’s most desperate people in some of its most complex environments. We hope you will pray for us, for these ongoing challenges are certainly also challenges and distractions to our mission.
The staff leadership of Gospel for Asia are working diligently to handle all of this responsibly and with integrity. We will come out of this stronger.
We thank our committed staff, our donors, prayer partners and friends, for walking with us all these years, especially during this challenging season.
As the Board of Directors, we take our responsibility seriously and we have full confidence in the ministry of Gospel for Asia.
—Board of Directors of Gospel for Asia
This statement mentions “a blogger.” Note to GFA board: I have a name. Furthermore, I have an email address. GFA’s David Carroll has it. He stopped answering my emails in May 2015. Is that what you wanted him to do? I just sent an email to Taun Cortado asking for comment on the allegations in the lawsuit. Instead, you respond to me via other sources.
I have sent many emails to board member Francis Chan with questions about the unaccounted for funds. Chan has not replied. Why not? Is it easier for you to accuse bloggers of misrepresenting facts or having bad motives? This is a losing strategy. Most people can see through it when you answer a charge with an ad hominem attack. Instead of attacking me, you should try talking.
If there is information you believe I am missing, please do what a responsible organization would do — contact me and let’s talk. It is unseemly for you to continue to blame the messenger. If there are answers to the many unanswered questions, then you are to blame for failing to communicate them.
You fail to mention the testimony of your former colleague Gayle Erwin. Remember him? He was on the GFA board and pulled back the curtain.
Former donors are speaking out. Former Canadian board members are speaking out after being improperly dismissed. The Office of Personnel Management found you guilty after an investigation.
The ball is in your court.