WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA) – Discussing what national workers do daily to spread God’s love across Asia. “They need to think about what is needed, not what is possible because possible can change. A major problem I see . . . is not having visionary leaders.” —R.D. Thulasiraj, Director of Operations, Aravind Eye Care System
Mr. Thulasirai’s sage observation, although having nothing directly to do with missions, might be worthy of our consideration of what it really means for indigenous, national workers to be supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA) and its generous donors. It is difficult for us to imagine the role of pastors and other national workers in Asia because we have not seen what they have seen, nor have we experienced what they have. One thing is for certain, these pastors and workers do not have the same routine that most Western pastors do.
Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Marty grew up in an Asian slum where, as a young boy, he often dug for food in the bottom of dirty garbage bins to avoid starvation. He describes life in the slums as a vicious, generation cycle.
Garbage litters the streets. Dirty drinking water and the absence of simple hygienic practices like hand-washing cause disease rates to soar. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and other crimes hold countless people in bondage with no escape.
Now, Pastor Marty and his family minister to families in the slum where he was raised. One believer in his church said, “He is a great example for us as he represents Jesus. He does what Jesus would have done. Helping the poor and needy and loving people. He is always willing to help people.”