Testimony of Will and Tina

I, Will C., first heard of Gospel for Asia in the fall of 2005 when a Gospel for Asia speaker came to my church. The Lord used his presentation, along with the book Revolution in World Missions, to help me have a heart for those who do not know Christ. I immediately began supporting national missionaries with Gospel for Asia. I found out they had a volunteer program and I flew to their USA headquarters for training to be able to represent the ministry at conferences or at Churches.

In 2006 the ministry invited me to visit the mission field of India with major donors. It was a wonderful trip getting to see the brothers and sisters laboring to make the name of Christ known. At this point GFA represented itself as a non-denominational evangelical mission organization dedicated to spreading the gospel.

While in India I saw the “preachers” dressed in cassocks. It was explained to us that the Indian government recognized the Episcopal governance due to the long standing influence of the British Empire. While they were structured this way for the Indian government’s sake, they were really evangelical in practice, they said. I remember thinking, “Ok, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” It wasn’t till years later that I discovered that they were pushing hard toward the Episcopal structure and practice. (Note: I want it to be clear it is not that I have something against Episcopal Church structures; the problem is that we were led to believe that the Church coming out of Gospel for Asia in India in practice was more aligned with a evangelical practices, like, say, a Calvary Chapel.)

I came back from India and continued to be a volunteer on the East coast. In 2009 my wife Tina and I interviewed with Gospel for Asia. During one of the interviews we were asked how long we were going to stay at GFA if we were invited to join staff. I remember my response was this:

We feel God is calling us to come and work in missions with Gospel for Asia. We will be here until either He makes it clear for us to leave or if GFA begins to deviate from godly principles.

We were told it wasn’t a yes or a no; it was wait. So we waited for a year, and in 2010 we began to raise support. In April 2012 we left Maryland, family and friends, and a good Federal job of 14 years and headed to TX.

I am thankful for the mission work we were able to do as we served as “unto the Lord”. I am thankful that we did not experience many of the abuse stories as others did. What we did begin to notice were little things.

We began to notice that people never confronted you directly, but that many “issues” were handled third party. As an example, at GFA we were told that as staff we babysat for each other and didn’t charge one another since we were all on poverty level salaries. One day a leader took me to lunch and told me we needed to pay for our babysitters. I told him that we would gladly do so but we were given different instructions. I asked him who complained so we could make it right with the young lady or perhaps her parents, and he said he could not tell me. This happened to us on other occasions in which the person with the problem didn’t talk to us directly but used a leader to come talk to us. We were annoyed with this and found it rather childish. We chalked it up to spiritual immaturity and didn’t hold it against them.

The other strange thing to us was we were strongly encouraged NOT to get involved with a local church because we could become so involved that we would eventually “drift away from reaching the lost in Asia.” The Bible makes it clear to be in a Bible-believing church, so we disregarded this “advice” and attended a local church, signed up for one of their marriage classes, and also participated in men’s and women’s retreats. This church was in Carrollton, the town we lived in before we moved out to the East Campus in Wills Point, TX. Later when we left GFA and moved in with friends who lived in Carrollton, we attended this same church, and this church family helped us overcome the loss of what was unfolding at GFA, and we didn’t feel as alone or isolated.

Also, I was perplexed that, with this many awesome Christians at GFA, there weren’t any Bible Studies going on at each other’s houses. I asked about that, and leadership told me that they were discouraged since their experience was that people became so hotly divided on topics like Calvinism vs. Armenianism and different views of eschatology that division was caused in the body and the work of reaching the lost in Asia was hindered. You don’t know these answers until you are there, and so, while it seems weird, you give the benefit of the doubt to the leaders, even though this never set well with us. Later on when we were all moved onto the campus, I raised the issue of Bible studies once more as a way to promote unity and still I got the answer: no not a good idea. (Not a good idea to study the Bible together?)

We were having a tough time making it financially with the shoestring budget that GFA told us to raise for our family, but we were trying to be good soldiers and not complain. To help us we were dipping into our savings (we had some $$ from the sale of our house in Maryland). We used up all of that savings while living in Carrollton, and were hoping to be able to save quite a bit once we moved onto campus. Well, moving onto campus didn’t end up being as cheap as they had told us it would be. Between now having to pay for our own health insurance (GFA dropped the group policy), more gas money because we now lived so far away from everything, etc., we ended up applying for WIC and Food Stamps just to help us survive. In hindsight I now believe GFA wanted people to deplete their savings so in the future you had no other options but to come to leadership for financial help, and, if you ever decided to leave it would be very, very hard. This is exactly what happened to us, as we now have a five figure debt as a result of starting over from GFA. It would have been worse if not for some great friends who let us live with them for 7 months.

Backing up a bit, during our time there, we were enjoying the prayer meeting, the mission, and the friends at GFA, and both Tina and I began talking about wanting to give a gift to the Lord to help in missions. We prayed and pulled out money from our IRA, which we, of course, were encouraged to do by leadership. We gave a five figured gift for very specific things we were told our money would go for, but by February, it was becoming doubtful that our gift really went for those things. We made several internal requests for all or part of our gift back since some of the gift was to sponsor children and missionaries for multiple years. We were told they couldn’t return the gifts, and they hid behind ECFA rules. I kept my email campaign to document the exchange, but to no avail.

In the summer of 2014 I remember the staff meeting when leadership addressed the letter from the Diaspora. David Carroll’s language and body language were apologetic like he was really sorry that so many former staff were hurt, yet KP Yohannan, sitting right next to him was the exact opposite—arms crossed and defiant. Tina and I didn’t want to read the letter, thinking it was a bunch of disgruntled former staff, and we had assurance that GFA leadership was addressing it. So we kept preparing for the move to the East Campus. As staff we were told that the Diaspora had taken things to the GFA board and that the board would address the issues.

We moved to the East Campus in August of 2014 and again we had great friends and neighbors on the working level who wanted to see the great commission fulfilled. We all had great hearts and our biggest desire was to honor God with our lives.

In the fall of 2014, during a staff meeting, we were told by leadership that a family was going to take a sabbatical, that they had been “in the battle” for a long time and they were taking a break. We were told “there is nothing wrong with their marriage” and that the ministry was going to start doing this for all the senior leaders. Later it came out that this was a lie and the couple was in fact having marital problems. Leadership didn’t have to address their marital problems with the staff, but they shouldn’t have gone out of their way to tell us a lie that “there were no marital problems.”

KP, in another staff meeting, told us that Gayle Erwin, one of the board members, was investigating the claims by the Diaspora. They told us he would be on campus talking to people, so feel free to talk with him. At the time I saw this, as many others did, as a good sign of openness. It turns out that Gayle Erwin didn’t interview any current staff or anyone in the Diaspora to see if the claims had any merit. He only interviewed GFA leadership.

In March the board of GFA issued their letter, and, after reading it, I was totally disappointed. Even though we hadn’t read the Diaspora’s 1st letter we did know the five things the former staff wanted addressed. We even agreed that some things needed to be addressed and had some merit. Gayle’s letter by the board found no merit to the Diaspora’s claims. (Months later Gayle Erwin resigned from the board, and let the Diaspora know his original report found that many of the Diaspora concerns had merit. See Gayle Erwin’s letter to the Diaspora. I encourage you to read it).

We were both shaken by this poor response and had hoped for so much more from leadership. I told David Carroll how disappointed I was in the board’s response, and he basically said that leadership was too, but that since the board is leadership’s higher authority, we have to live with it. We began to ask who was on the board—at the time there were seven, three of which were KP, his wife and his son. Not real independent.

People began to leave the ministry, and for us it began with my boss announcing he was leaving after serving 12 years. He has six children and was resigning with no job. He was the Communications Coordinator. Another man who was higher up in the leadership chain announced he also was leaving after 8 years. I told Tina I was going to take both of them to lunch to find out why they were leaving. What did they know that I didn’t?

First I took my coordinator out to eat. He told me the things he saw at his level of management and his efforts to affect change. I listened, and, while disturbing, I felt that organizations take time to change and things don’t happen overnight. Maybe it was my turn to step into his old position and do 5-8 years to help reform Gospel for Asia through policies and procedures. Your mind justifies quite a bit when looking for reasons to stay. This was on a Friday. I was going to take Travis, who served as the next level up in management, out to eat the next Monday. During our lunch he shared with me an email from a Canadian GFA leader addressing KP. In the email the leader ascribed to KP a Bible verse that was only meant for Jesus.

Why would GFA leadership feel it was appropriate to address KP like this? Secondly why would KP allow his staff to address him this way? I knew then that policies and procedures would not fix this but that the issue was pride—pride in KP. If he was this lifted up, then he could justify any lies to the staff. I came home and told my wife that we couldn’t stay. We prayed and cried and then tried to think of how to move on. That week was such an internal struggle of sadness, grief and anger.

Somewhere in there, there was a staff meeting where a GFA leader accused KP of letting people kiss his rings. KP, his son and other staff members denied that this happened, and KP actually stated that they taught against it. Really? Then what is this video?

Later when this video of people kissing KP’s ring came out, the next day a staff meeting was held in which he stated that (paraphrasing now):

You know the evangelical community eats its own, and you sin, I sin. We need to get past this, and, if you can’t, maybe you should leave. You would be surprised how defiled your heart has become. (End of paraphrase.)

Later there was going to be a staff meeting and staff were encouraged to submit questions ahead of time. So I asked the following.

  1. Why would GFA leadership knowingly endanger students by making them carry $4,500 on their persons while going to India?
  2. Was Donor money used to purchase the $65,000 statue of Jesus in the new hospital? (Yes it was.)
  3. Why would GFA accept a $20 million dollar gift from the mission field (Believers Church) to finish building the Texas campus? That looks like donor fraud!

The answers to these questions were so patronizing and sad it just continued to confirm they were hiding the truth.

One day Debbie C. stopped me in front of the GFA building one day and flat out asked me, “Whose side are you on?” We proceeded to have a very heated discussion, she basically accusing me of being disloyal and expressing her frustration over all the people who leave GFA and then join that terrible group, the Diaspora. I told her that, while this could all be persecution as she and leadership was telling everyone, it could also be discipline from God. It was an uncomfortable conversation to have in public, and I chalked it up to a wife defending her husband who was under a lot of stress. What I rationalized is that she doesn’t know the other side since she doesn’t read any of the testimonies or Diaspora stuff; she just blindly follows what leadership tells her, and much of the stress is self-induced by following a corrupt leader.

Once it was announced that we were leaving, certain people began to give me the cold shoulder. People that I worked with for three years sitting across the cubical didn’t speak to me anymore. I was shunned.

Certain staff and students came and asked me why I was leaving, and I would share with them my issues and concerns. On one occasion a person asked me and I began to share a few of my reasons. At that point a senior leader, Fred S., came along and proceeded to brow beat me and call me disloyal and a troublemaker. He stated that I was going around to staff and poisoning their minds and souls with my issues. He proceeded to ask/intimidate me: “Why are you leaving Will? You never came to me?” This was all very public in an open cubical area. I was totally caught off guard. I asked him who told him I’m going around “poisoning” people, and he wouldn’t say. He falsely accused me in public and offered no evidence to back up his claim.

He wanted to know why we were leaving right there so when I told him one reason was KP lied to staff saying people didn’t kiss his ring, yet there is a video of people kissing his ring that is out there on YouTube, his response was: “Were you there Will? Were you there?” I responded that I couldn’t know if Abraham Lincoln ever lived because “I wasn’t there”. Absurd reasoning! I pointed out that two current staff testified that they were in India and saw it—were they lying? He wouldn’t answer that.

After this incident I had other folks ask me why I was leaving, and I didn’t know if they were truly wanting to know or if they were trying to set me up. Fred’s conversation had a chilling effect. I was very ill until I left. Packing up my house and putting it in storage and moving my wife and kids in with friends was all very stressful, and doing it on a campus with hostile employers was even harder. It would have been easier to ignore all these facts as they came out and bury my head in the sand. Did I want to put my stuff in storage and move in with friends, uprooting my kids and wife from our day-to-day friends? Not really, but the alternative would be to live a lie and violate our consciences. I left with my wife and three kids with no job. About 4 weeks later I came down with a bad case of Shingles. Eight months later we moved back to Maryland, and I landed a job in my former field.

I am giving you this record of the last month of our time there to give you a picture of what life was like at Gospel for Asia AFTER the Diaspora letter accusing them of the five points of mistreating staff. Did they change their conduct? No. They did not have to be this way with me or the many others who left.

GFA falsely advertised themselves to potential staff, telling the potential staff they are joining an interdenominational missions movement, when in fact KP Yohannan is just building his denomination, Believers Church, with funds from unsuspecting donors and sponsors.

I give this testimony but I want to say that many of the worker bees, of which I was one, truly love the Lord and want to see His kingdom built. They, like us, want to see the love of Jesus shared across the world. Please pray for my friends who are still there and for those of us who have left, for this has been a very shaking time in my Christian walk. I came to GFA to serve the Lord and it goes to show just how subtle deception can be. I was deceived, but once the evidence is presented to you, you have a choice to make and for us it was clear.

Some are hung up on this “calling”. One current staff asked me how I know God was calling me out of GFA. It makes the assumption that one cannot make a decision unless you receive a special dream or word from the Lord. Well this is how I know we were called to leave: anytime you are in a church or group or place that begins to deviate from scripture, you have a choice to make—follow Jesus and what he has clearly laid down in His word or follow man. Yes, everyone sins, but when the leadership is habitually sinning, and, in this case habitually lying, you can’t follow them. You must follow Jesus and His word. That is why it is important to be grounded in His word and the truth of scripture like Hebrews says: “don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves as some are in the habit of doing”. That trumps anyone (in this case GFA leaders) implying that you really shouldn’t have close connections to a church or be involved because you might be led away. Stay true to Jesus my friends.

Blessings, Will and Tina C.

Testimony of Bethany

When I started at GFA on May 30, 2012, I felt like I knew the ministry well. I had visited the field for three weeks in 2005, interned at the office for a month in 2009, and I had been amazed and challenged by GFA’s ministry updates and books throughout. I was thrilled to be working with people I so deeply admired at a ministry that was so fruitful.

Pretty close to the beginning, I noticed some things that made me uncomfortable: Whenever we had a staff Q&A, KP almost inevitably dismissed questions by talking about how he had walked with God longer than most of us had been alive. A senior leader highly discouraged my new staff class from attending Bible studies. Elitist talk about staff was everywhere. And there were some unfounded teachings on biblical authority.

As someone who loved the ministry, who thought she had the greatest job in the world and was often overwhelmed by how lucky she was, I took it in stride. I didn’t speak up at Q&A meetings, I found a good Bible study, I praised my supporters, and I decided I could live with the authority teachings as long as they didn’t directly affect me.

Meanwhile, however, I began noticing some things I couldn’t ignore.

The First Two Years

Whenever we used a field report for a larger writing project, we had the option of asking for follow-up from the field. Sometimes it would be to clarify something; often it was just to get more detail. We generally weren’t asking because we doubted anything in the story, but over time, I started noting frequent discrepancies between the original reports and the follow-up.

In one instance, a dead mother had actually just run away. Another time, I asked about the symptoms a sick man had experienced, only to be told that he had never been sick. Sometimes there were cultural explanations (in the case of the mother, culturally, they would consider her as being dead), which comforted me. I never considered that if we were finding all these errors in the reports we did ask for follow-up on (the minority of reports used), there were probably similar errors in the reports we did not ask for follow-up on (the majority). I did, however, begin working farther ahead so I would have time to recover when projects had to be scrapped.

Another issue was the frequent dismissal of ellipses. When taking words out of a quote, standard journalistic ethics demand that one put an ellipsis (…) to show that something has been removed. Some writers, however, felt that readers would distrust the quotes if there were breaks in them. To the credit of my editors, whenever I insisted on ellipses, they told me I didn’t have to do anything I was uncomfortable with, but the practice continued around me.

June 19, 2014: A ministry partner wrote in, concerned that a missionary had said, “If you believe in Jesus and depend on Him, Jesus will heal you.” The partner was concerned because he didn’t believe we had any assurance of healing just because someone believes.

After speaking with a senior leader, the call center representative responded that he thought the quote was a paraphrase of what was said, not an actual quote. After just two years on staff, I knew the quote was a common thing missionaries said, so it is hard to believe that a senior leader would not also know this. (KP also confirmed to me, later, that missionaries frequently say this.) Nevertheless, a non-senior leader (NSL) asked the web team to change the quote to “can heal,” and said everyone should be on the lookout for these quotes and change them to “can heal.”

Date unknown: I wrote a description for a video about a girl who was abused and hated by both her mother and her father. When it reached my editor, she told me she had read the transcript from the interviews for the video. The transcript showed that the mother had actually been a protector of the girl, sneaking her food when her father wasn’t looking.

We rewrote the description to reflect only the father’s abuse, but we were told that it would be too much work to change the video. I was discouraged to hear that the slander of a woman was preferable to some extra work—however difficult that work might have been. This video continues to be reposted online.

Date unknown: I found out that some quotes from a School of Discipleship video had been tampered with. One student was quoted as saying something along the lines of, “I HAVE a devotional life that nothing can shake,” (emphasis mine) which was credited to her year at GFA. However, this former student says the quote was taken from the beginning of her year, when she said, “I WANT a devotional life that nothing can shake.”

Spring or Summer 2014: A frequent concern of mine was that students and interns learn to write engaging stories without embellishing. When I edited articles that speculated on events (without noting it as speculation), I marked it as such and asked students to rewrite it. Most students learned quickly, but one struggled with this throughout the year. Eventually, I was told, “You call it speculation, but” I needed to stop telling her “no,” because I was going to crush her creativity.

As all of these events added up I increasingly took comfort in the knowledge that, whatever anyone else’s standards, I could at least guarantee the integrity of my own work. On July 28, 2014, however, I began to realize that this was not true.

The Beginning of the End

July 28: I was writing a story based on a field report from 2010. I had received follow-up from the field (2014) and everything matched. When it reached my editor, however, she realized we had a transcript from an interview with the subject, taken in 2011. She noted several differences between the transcript and what I had written. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the transcript could not be reconciled with the report and follow-up.

Apart from a flood, a mom with five kids and the fact of Compassion Services teams, the two are completely different stories. A few examples: In the report, the father is gone and the family goes (with great detail) to a local shelter, where they stay for days. In the transcript, the father bails water out of the house, and the family stays at home because they don’t want to get separated while they go to a shelter. In the report, the mother watches her children sleeping without mats on the cold floor. In the transcript, she and her husband hold them in their laps because the water is covering the floor.

TO BE CLEAR: We are certain this transcript is an interview with the same woman from the report. Not only did the names match, but we also received pictures of the woman and her children in all three instances. There were also other identifying details that made it quite clear.

Our stateside field communications department was baffled as to how this happened, and the manager called the field. In the midst of this, I thought back to all the discrepancies I had seen in the past, and I began to wonder how I could do my work with the possibility of such great discrepancies as what we had seen in the Sri Lanka report and transcript. How did I really know which reports were solid and which were not?

July 30: I met with David Carroll and shared about the Sri Lanka report and transcript and the conflict I now felt about my job. David prayed for me and said this issue needed to be fixed. He asked if it were possible to verify all the reports we used, and I responded that we would have to drastically decrease our communications.

David suggested the possibility of working in another department, but I told him that if I couldn’t bring myself to work in the writing department, I didn’t think it would be right to work somewhere else and simply pass off the problem to another writer.

David strongly advised me not to go against my conscience. We prayed again, and I asked if I could take some time out of the office to continue praying. He agreed, and I went home.

August 3: After several people mentioned the possibility that most of our reports were trustworthy, I decided to look through the reports with follow-up from the last 12 months. My hope was that I would discover a very small number of discrepancies in these reports, indicating a small number of discrepancies in the reports we didn’t request follow-up for.

We didn’t ask for follow-up for most of our stories, so the number of reports I had to work with was small. It was enough, however, to indicate a large problem.

Out of 29 reports, I found that 13 had discrepancies. Some were insignificant, but about a quarter of the studied stories had significant errors. In some cases, our involvement was exaggerated or a situation was not as drastic as the original report made it seem (Or perhaps it’s the follow-up that’s wrong. There’s really no way to tell). This suggested that a good number of our other reports (that we didn’t request follow-up for) would reflect a similar problem.

August 4: After two workdays and a weekend out of the office, I asked for more time to pray, which was granted to me. Everyone acted very understandingly. I was informed that something had been changed already so our field communications department could talk more directly to the field.

August 6: My supervisor informed me that someone was being moved to the writing department. I was told this person wasn’t replacing me, and I think my supervisor truly believed this.

August 7: After completing my study of the last 12 months’ reports, I sent my findings to three supervisors within communications. I suggested that we might be asking too much of our correspondents and should ask for fewer reports so they have more time to solidly report on the stories they do send in.

One person replied to thank me for my hard work and feedback. She said, “I believe that only good can come from this, and that we all can learn so much from it. Definitely some good material to help us keep on refining our procedures.”

August 11: I met with a NSL, reiterating my concerns about the reports. He responded by asking me how accurate things would need to be for me to be happy. My response was that I didn’t know, but we should at least be trying for 100 percent. (I was asked this question several more times over the next few weeks. People insisted that we would never achieve 100 percent accuracy, which is true, but I thought we would get much closer to it if we aimed for 100 percent rather than 75.)

This NSL did tell me that Daniel Punnose had also received my spreadsheet of discrepancies and had already called our main Indian office about it. This was encouraging.

Next, I met with Daniel, and went through the entire issue with him. He explained one of the discrepancies as a cultural issue and said others were cultural issues or translation issues as well.

During the meeting, he expressed concern over how much writers waste reports. (This struck me as unnecessary because the reason I found the disagreeing transcript and report from Sri Lanka was that I was going through old reports from the last five years, trying not to ask the field for more if we already had things we could use.)

Daniel proceeded to tell me that the waste of reports bothered him more than the inaccuracies in the reports. He told me that he often apologized to the field correspondents, saying, “I’m sorry. They didn’t like your story.”

Later, I realized how absurd this claim was, because even as a writer and editor, I wasn’t aware of every report that was used or not used. How would a field correspondent who doesn’t get any of our mailings know what was used? And how would the vice president of the ministry have time to read everything we sent out? Further, Daniel would later claim that he didn’t realize how many projects we sent out.

As we talked further, I told Daniel that I wished we could verify the reports we sent out. Daniel very quickly said we could do that. This surprised me because he had previously talked about how insulting it was to question the field correspondents, and the information department had at times expressed concern about not overloading the field.

I asked Daniel if these things would be problems. He responded that it would be a problem if we asked the field to triple-check everything for the rest of their lives—then they would be insulted—but everyone knew there was a problem right now, and we could verify reports for the next few months while we worked things out.

I told Daniel that if that was the case, I could happily return to work. He suggested I take a couple more days for prayer. Later, I received an email from our field communications department saying Daniel had requested that they work out a verification system.

August 13: I emailed my direct supervisors to share about Daniel’s reassurance that we could verify reports. I told them I was eager to come back soon. We decided I would return that Tuesday.

August 14: Someone from field communications emailed me to let me know that the field was aware of the discrepancies and working on them. People had been communicating with the field about this. She also said she envisioned a checklist in the future to help correspondents double check chronology, ages, relationships, etc. at the interview level. In a meeting, they also discussed having regular cultural awareness meetings with the writers. She reiterated that we would be verifying the reports in conjunction with follow-up requests.

August 19: I returned to the office, excited to catch up on emails and get writing. My editor told me I could get started on some blog posts. I asked her what the process would be for verifying the reports the blog posts were based on. She told me we were only verifying reports for the bigger projects.

Several minutes later, she emailed me, telling me that if we had a report for a blog post or prayer digest email that seemed fishy or unclear, we could ask for verification. She added, “All of us are doing and will do our best to make sure we have completely truthful stories. We’re already verifying some reports.”

I responded that often, when we find a discrepancy between a report and follow-up, there isn’t any sign of the problem in the original report. Everything looks normal until we get the follow up, which means we would likely never ask for extra verification on short reports and thus never find the discrepancies in them. I told her that I wondered if I had returned too soon.

She responded, “So you’d like for us to verify every single report we use?” To which I responded affirmative.

Minutes Later

A NSL came to my desk and asked if he could talk to me. When we got to his office, he asked how I was doing and then began hemming and hawing, saying he wanted to be careful how he told me this, because he didn’t want it to look like I was being moved for asking too many questions. He said we had a need in the print room for someone who was organized, and he asked me how I would feel about moving.

I told him I had come to GFA willing to be placed anywhere, so I would normally say, “OK.” However, I had just come to the conclusion that I wasn’t ready to come back after all because I had returned on the false pretense that we would be verifying every report we used.

As we began discussing the issue, Daniel walked into the office and sat down. He immediately began telling me that I wasn’t being punished, but that my name had come up a long time ago. (He would later tell me, indirectly, that it was about the same time when I first started questioning reports.) He repeated the need for an organized individual.

I repeated what I had told the NSL. Danny then told me:

1. It would be too much work to verify all the reports we used, and that I had a colonialist mindset to ask for such a thing. (Remember, I had already asked if verifying all the reports would be impossible or insulting and been told it would not be.)

2. A previous writer had had issues with the lack of accuracy in our reports. K.P. had talked to the writer and given him binders of proof that our reports were accurate (no such binders were offered to me), but Daniel told me the man had ultimately left because this all came down to a trust issue. He told me there was no policy they could put in place that would assure me of the reports’ accuracy. I, too, would never be convinced if I didn’t get over this “trust issue.”

3. I was under spiritual attack because Satan had me in a place where I couldn’t do anything for the ministry.

4. Pointing out that I had never worked for another ministry, he told me I would be surprised to know that there are ministries that make up 90 percent of the information they send out.

After Daniel left, I pointed out to the NSL that it didn’t matter if every ministry made up all their stories out of whole cloth—we should base our standards on God’s commands. The NSL agreed, but proceeded to tell me that the inaccuracies didn’t bother him because the main thrusts of the stories were true.

After the meeting, I packed up my desk, knowing I would not return to the office before we moved to the new campus.

Later that night: I told my parents about my job change, and how I had been told that it wasn’t because I was asking questions and it wasn’t a punishment. My mother said, “Lying doesn’t suit them,” to which I emphatically responded that I did not think they were lying. I told her, We disagree on the reports issue, but if I thought they would flat-out lie to me, I couldn’t work for them at all.

Date unknown (I believe either August 20 or 21): I met with Daniel again. I told him that since I had shared my perspective on the issue with the leaders, I thought it would be helpful for me to hear his perspective. I asked him to share with me how this saga had gone down in his eyes and what his thought process had been throughout. He gave me the history of GFA field communications.

He told me that GFA regularly does training with correspondents and that there would be more training in January. He told me that they weren’t doing this because of me but because it was the right thing to do. This was encouraging, and made me think that he understood the problem. (When I asked, in January, about the training, I was told that it had not yet been scheduled and they would see what the new year looked like. It did take place in April.)

I also asked Danny why he had originally said we could verify our reports, reminding him that, in our first conversation, I had pointed out the problems he had mentioned about verification. He told me he hadn’t realized how many reports we use for various projects. He told me he wasn’t as worried about the shorter reports because there were fewer opportunities for mistakes. He said we would watch the accuracy of the larger ones to gauge the accuracy of the shorter ones.

It was either in this meeting or our prior one-on-one that he told me people generally don’t leave the ministry over big issues; they leave over small issues, the implication being that my issue was a small one.

In this meeting, he also told me that my name had come up for the print room job “a long time ago,” which he clarified to be about three weeks prior.

We talked more about how some of the discrepancies were cultural issues. I asked him if he would be willing to go through my spreadsheet of discrepancies and explain the issues at hand for each report. He agreed.

The next day: An NSL said Daniel had told him we had an encouraging meeting. He said he didn’t want to bother me, but people were asking, and he wanted to know if I knew when I would be back. I told him I didn’t.

The first week of September, after much prayer and counsel from others outside the ministry, I decided to trust Daniel’s word that the shorter reports were more accurate. For that, I have to apologize to our donors. At that point, I still highly doubted our field reports’ accuracy. I had no business printing the stories based on them.

September 1: I began working in the print room. When my co-workers were out of the room, my coordinator asked me how I was doing and if there was anything in particular that had caused my move. I told him what I had been told: that there was a need for someone organized and they had sent me.

He told me he had asked many times about why I was being moved. He was confused as to why they would move a writer to the print room, and he had told ministry leaders that everything was running perfectly fine with two staff members and a student. He said people kept refusing to answer until they finally told him “something about ‘enhancing the print room.'”


With this new information, I met with the NSL who arranged my move and asked him why, if there was such a great need, my coordinator was confused about my even being there. He told me he had intended for me to take over as print room manager, but they weren’t telling people in case I didn’t stay.

I then asked the NSL why he did select me for the job. He told me that after I went home the first time, he started thinking about how he could give me a break from writing. He thought of the print room manager role and asked my supervisor questions about how I would do in it. Considering her answers and what he already knew of me, he decided I would be good for the job.

I asked him about what he had said in our first meeting, that I hadn’t been moved because of my questions, and he told me he hadn’t wanted me to think the role was being made up just so I would be out of the way. He wanted me to know I was filling an actual need.

I then asked him about Daniel’s claim that my name had come up before the issue with the reports. He told me, “I can’t think of any reason why your name would have come up.”

September 23: I decided to meet with Daniel and ask him why his and the above NSL’s stories about my job placement differed. To my surprise, he was prepared to meet about some follow-up we had received from the field about some of the report discrepancies.

In parts, this meeting was encouraging. Some of the stories had cultural explanations, and if these things were explained to the writers, it would eliminate some of the errors in our stories. (It eventually was passed on, in February.) Other parts of the meeting were deeply discouraging and disturbing.

1. One of our reports described a man who took the train to work every day and later expressed distress over his business. The follow-up, however, said that he was unemployed during this time. It seemed both of these could not be true. However, when we received the most recent round of follow-up, we found that the man had lost his job but his past employer still sometimes called him in for temp jobs.

Finding that each reporter had at least the partial truth was encouraging, but I asked Daniel, “You can see, though, how the first two reports seem to completely disagree with each other?”

Daniel responded that no, he couldn’t see that, because he would think that after two years in the writing department, he would know enough about the culture to understand that the man was being called in for random work at his old job.

2. One of our reports stated that a certain missionary’s bicycle was the only way he could reach a certain village. In our follow-up, however, we learned that before he received the bicycle, he had regularly taken the bus to the village. In the latest follow-up, we were further told that in the rainy season, the missionary continues to take the bus.

I pointed out that, deliberate or not, it was clearly a falsehood that the bicycle was the only way the missionary could reach the village. Further, had we not received the enlightening follow-up, we would have used that line and milked it for all it was worth, making sure people understood that an entire village wouldn’t have the Gospel without that bicycle.

Daniel insisted that people wouldn’t read it that way, however. He told me that I was reading into the line because I’m so analytical. He claimed that most people would assume that we were just saying it was the only way the missionary does go, not that it’s the only way he could go.

Even that interpretation wouldn’t be true, because we have two reports saying the missionary took the bus. Setting that aside, however, no one I have shared this anecdote with thought for a second that it could possibly mean anything other than that the missionary had only one way available to reach the village. This is the plain meaning of the text to anyone who is not trying to defend a ministry’s mistakes.

3. As we continued reviewing discrepancies, it seemed that Daniel saw me not as someone concerned about the ministry, but as someone trying to attack the ministry. At times, Daniel seemed willfully blind to what the discrepancies were, and I could only think that it was because he saw it as an attack on GFA.

4. At the end of the meeting, I finally got to ask Daniel why his story and the NSL’s story disagreed with each other. He repeated his claim that my name had come up before and said that the NSL must not have been in on those meetings.

Date unknown: At some point in October, the writing department began their cultural awareness training. During my time at GFA, it consisted of reading and discussing the book Cross-Cultural Servanthood, teaching the writers to be humble as they work with other cultures. It does not, however, teach them about the specific cultures they work with.

October 1: Confused by the conflicting stories I had heard about my job change, I asked to meet with David Carroll. Back in June, we had had a staff meeting about the Diaspora’s letter (even though staff didn’t receive it). While touching on the various points, David had actually tried to apologize for one of them. He was interrupted by another leader, who went on to defend the point, but that willingness to admit fault stood out to me. I trusted him.

Without giving any details of what I had heard, I told David that I had heard multiple stories of why I was placed in the print room and asked him the real reason.

He told me my name had been mentioned about two months ago (which would have been around the time I started asking questions), but that when I began struggling with the validity of our reports, it clinched the idea that I should be put in the print room. He said they were fixing things with the reports, but they had decided that, if for some reason I still wasn’t comfortable being in the writing department, I should be somewhere else. He told me he knew I was over-qualified for the job, and that he and other leaders didn’t see me there forever.

Couched as it was, it really didn’t sink in at that point that leaders had lied when they said I wasn’t moved because of the reports issue. It sounded like I was on the short list already and that the questions had been a minor thing.

October 31: In a meeting with several field leaders, K.P. Yohannan talked about the need for them to understand the needs of American culture. As an example, he said that they had recently moved one of the writers because she didn’t understand cultural things in the reports. When I heard about this later, the deception finally clicked. I had told my mom that I couldn’t stay if I thought GFA’s leadership would flat-out lie to me—because how can you trust someone capable of that kind of deliberate deceit? Now I knew, unless God performed a miracle, I would have to leave.

Christmas Weekend: I wrote a letter to KP, addressing deceit in communications, untrustworthy reports and the dishonest way my move had been handled. I laid out three suggestions: 1) Stop sending so many reports, so we can send more time ensuring accuracy (included in this was the idea of using each report for more projects); 2) verify every report we used until the new training had time to take effect; 3) take a strong stand on the issue of integrity. KP emailed me back, saying we would talk when he got back from India, and that we would do whatever we needed to do to fix the problem.

January 22, 2015: I met with KP. He told me, “We would die” before GFA would be dishonest. He said that if anyone in his family was purposely dishonest, “I would have no part with them.” He asked me what I suggested, and I repeated the recommendations from my letter. From that point on, I can’t remember the order of things, so I’ll just give some key points:

  • He told me he admired my convictions, but went on to compare my objections over undependable reporting to the objections people had voiced when he was smuggling Bibles.
  • When we talked about changing quotes to placate donors, he told me about missionaries who had reached a polygamist village. After much discussion, the missionaries had decided to advise husbands to stay with their multiple wives, rather than leaving them destitute. This decision had meant a loss in donations. KP asked me what I would have told supporters. I replied that I might not mention it at all if it didn’t come up naturally, but that if someone directly asked about it (as they had with the quote about Jesus healing people), “I would hope that we wouldn’t tell them, ‘Actually, the men each only had one wife.’”

On this note, KP explained to me that sometimes supporters will let smaller things distract them from the mission, so it was reasonable to change the quote. This is a common excuse at GFA: Donors won’t understand this or that thing, so we need to protect them or they’ll stop giving.

  • We discussed the report from Sri Lanka (July 28). He told me it was probably just a mix up of two people with the same name.
  • He told me he was concerned for my well-being more than he was concerned about the accuracy issue. He told me I should go live overseas for some time, and he would help make it happen.
  • I had printed out the ECFA’s requirements for accuracy in communications. I read some key points that GFA’s practices conflicted with.
  • KP told me he thought I should work with the field communications department (on the side of my regular job) to find out what had happened in the reports from my discrepancies list. I asked if we would make changes to our procedures accordingly. He said we would.

At this point, I almost thought I could stay. But I had to ask: What will we do to guarantee the accuracy of our reports in the meantime? The response was similar to what I had heard before: There are bound to be inaccuracies. There’s nothing else we can do.

With that answer, I almost resigned on the spot, but I wanted to see this problem fixed, so I went back to the start of the conversation, and we talked through everything a second time.

At the end of the meeting, I still didn’t resign. Full disclosure, I had a job interview the next day, and I didn’t know if I would be immediately kicked off the campus if I resigned (I wasn’t), so I decided to give KP a long weekend to think things through. It couldn’t hurt, right? I decided to wait until the following Tuesday, just in case he would have any news for me on Monday.

January 27: No news. I gave my two weeks’ notice. I was asked to keep things quiet until leadership had a chance to talk with me. I got permission to tell the co-worker who would be taking over for me. My close friends already knew the situation.

January 28: I asked if I could tell people about my leaving, and I was asked to maintain my silence. I did break the rules to tell a leader’s wife.

January 29: We had a staff meeting, during which KP told us never to trust a negative report, even if it comes from your closest friend. You should go to leadership and ask them if it’s true.

Shortly after I returned to my desk, I was cc’d on an email to the finance department, saying that January 29 would be my last day in the office and detailing my severance plan. When I asked my coordinator about this, he said the email wasn’t supposed to go out so soon. They had meant to talk to me first and offer to let me leave early but be paid through my two weeks. Given the gag order, and GFA’s history of sudden dismissals, I find the incident suspicious, but it is possible that it was a genuine mistake.

That afternoon: I met with my coordinator and David Carroll for my exit interview. We went over the reasons for my resignation. The first half was, admittedly, tense on both sides: I said I didn’t understand how we could call ourselves a people of integrity when we didn’t have any. David responded that we weren’t like other ministries who 1) ask a crowd of people how many of them want to go to America, 2) snap a photo, and 3) tell donors it’s people raising their hands to receive Christ.

We discussed the fact that I had been talking to other staff about the situation. We discussed whether I had to leave because I couldn’t be around other sinners or if it was that I felt like I would have to sin by being there (it was the latter).

David told me my last newsletter would have to be approved by my coordinator. I asked if I would be expected to just say that God had “called me on,” explaining that I would need to be honest with my supporters. David said I could be honest, and he thought they would be honest about why I was leaving. (In the end, he was outvoted, and the staff was told that I thought it was time to move on.)

We prayed, and then David asked if there was any way I would stay. I told him that, apart from my suggestions, I would have to have either a job completely divorced from the reports or a job actively working toward a solution. He asked about me working in field communications, to find the issues with reports and help make accurate stories. I said if that were a possibility, maybe I could stay. After the meeting, he went to talk to people about that.

I spent the rest of the day and evening praying about it. At that point, I was pretty sure it was time for me to just leave, but I wanted to be open to whatever God asked.

January 30: David told me he had talked with two other leaders. Those leaders didn’t think they could “shut down” everything like I wanted. For the record, I never asked anyone to shut down our communications, only to slow them down so we could guarantee our work. However, I didn’t argue the point. I had asked for clarity from God, and I had it.

The next week: I wrote my final newsletter, giving limited detail to my supporters about why I was leaving. I tried to stay upbeat about the ministry as I explained the conflict about the reports, but I did have to clarify something. In my previous newsletter (sent in October), I had told my supporters about my move to the print room and explained that I had been picked for the job because of the great need and my fitting skills. At that point, David had told me that the reports issue had clinched the job choice, but I still believed that my skills had put me on some kind of short list. Now that I knew that wasn’t true, I told my supporters the real reason, and said that I had originally given a different reason for the move because I had originally been told differently.

David wanted that explanation removed, saying he thought I knew the real reason. I told him that people had worked very hard to make me believe it was not related and that if I didn’t explain it now, it was like I was lying.

David told me he hadn’t realized that. He said I should keep it as it was, then, “because you never would have been moved” apart from the reports issue. “You were too valuable” to the writing department. He told me my name only came up for the print job because they were listing everyone in the office who could possibly do the job.

February 13 (after I had moved off the campus): Daniel Punnose told a room full of people that they had been seriously talking about moving me for the last year and a half, but I could never get the idea out my head that I was moved because of my issues with the reports.

Testimony of Troy and Pam

On Sunday, March 22, 2015, Troy took down his testimony from this website (a few days after posting it) and emailed GFA leaders asking their forgiveness for not approaching them privately before sharing it.

At the time he was in talks with GFA staff and leaders, and—despite the seriousness of the claims in his testimony—most of them were more concerned about whether or not he followed the biblical process rather than the unbiblical way he and his family were treated.

They accepted his apology but didn’t want to accept responsibility for their sins. Most of the leadership was only interested in picking apart the process, “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.” (Matt. 23:24) Troy believes this reveals GFA’s leaders’ hearts to be unrepentant and only concerned about protecting themselves.

Troy did what he thought was right, with a heart to please the Lord and also to see that the Diaspora didn’t “get a black eye” about being unbiblical.

Troy came to the understanding that this isn’t about a one-on-one conflict where one leader wronged one person here and there; it’s about an institutional problem in the ministry, where GFA is consistently causing harm to the Body of Christ through the actions and teachings of their leadership.

With that, on March 23, 2015 he requested that his testimony be reinstated with the other witnesses in hopes that exposing the leaders’ sin will bring about true repentance. (1 Tim. 5:20)

Troy – Church Relations Rep 2007 – 2014
Pam – Believer’s Café / Church Relations Admin. / Fulfillment 2007 – 2014
Sarrie – Staff kid / School of Discipleship Student / Strategic Giving / Field Communications / GFA Canada Staff / Missions’ Department 2007 – 2015

Troy’s Testimony

I first of all want to say that there are a lot of good things to say about GFA, but by no means should they give license to ignore the things that are wrong. When I removed Sarrie from staff on 3/14/15 I wasn’t part of the Diaspora. I had remained neutral, and if anything, focused on the positives of GFA. I did this because it is what God told me to do; I will explain more later in my testimony. It wasn’t until the evening of the 14th that I felt the Lord tell me that He was working through the Diaspora, and I needed to join what He has already put in place. I say this because there will be some of you who will think that I was lying and was covertly working for the Diaspora. My coming to them was as much a surprise to them as it is for you to see my testimony here. I, of course, worried what others would think and thought to wait a while until I told my story. But God said now and that I shouldn’t worry about my reputation. To love Him is to obey Him; my conscience is clear.

I’m not great at writing so I am going to stick to some of the more major events in my time at GFA. There are many, many more that would take days to write and I don’t want to spend that much time in front of a computer.

Things were rough for my wife right from the start: Within the first week, she had a breakdown. She went running out of the GFA building crying, right before a prayer meeting. I had no idea what was happening. As we sat in our car talking, I found out she felt like she was being forced into a “GFA box” by the women there. At that time, most of the women home schooled their children, ate only whole foods, and covered their heads. Pam did none of those things and said the women looked down on her for it. To Brother KP’s credit, he addressed the women in a meeting saying he wished they would send their children to public school so that they all could come into the office and serve. I told Pam that there is no such thing as a “GFA box.” I was wrong. I didn’t realize it until years later, but I was fitting myself into it.

A couple of years later, we were having a movie night at the GFA office. Before the movie, we ate dinner together in the café hut. Pam invited Brother KP to sit with us and about eight or so others. He sat with us and was telling jokes and we were having a great time when all of a sudden he turned very serious and implied that Pam was being unsubmissive because she wasn’t wearing a head covering, and he proceeded to make her feel like less of a Christian for it. They also started restricting the School of Discipleship students from spending time with Pam (even though they loved hanging out with her) because according to one of the leaders, she was shallow and had no spiritual depth.

Pam was a hair stylist and cut approximately 80 of the staff families’ hair. One day I got called into a leader’s office and he told me that someone told him that Pam talked negatively about GFA leadership while cutting this person’s hair. So Pam wasn’t allowed to cut hair anymore. The leader said this person wasn’t willing to come forward and accuse Pam to her face. One of the lies that we are fed at GFA is that ministry comes before family. I am ashamed to say that I bought into that lie. I failed my wife and daughter several times and didn’t protect them from abusive leadership. I have repented to both of them personally and publicly since. These failures of mine, although forgiven, are extremely embarrassing and probably my greatest failures to my family. I should have told this leader that this person needed to come forward and confront Pam before us and give Pam a chance to tell her side of the story, because Pam says that this never happened. But I knew if I did that, I would be seen as rebellious and my days there at GFA would be numbered. I’ve seen firsthand several times that when someone questioned leadership, they were on their way out, and planting churches in unreached villages was priority to me.

Sarrie had graduated from SD and was now on staff when leadership asked her to go to serve in our Canadian office. When Sarrie was a teenager, she went to India with other teens from the US office and the Canadian office. She became very good friends with Cassandra L. during this trip. Since then, her family had left the ministry but still lived near the Canadian office, so she wanted to hang out with her after office hours. Pat E., the Canadian office leader, restricted Sarrie’s time with Cass and eventually cut her off completely, telling her that Cass and her family were poison. I failed my daughter and told her to just submit to Pat because he had her best interests in mind, when I should have told Pat that my daughter is an adult and a very godly women whom I trust. If she says Cass isn’t poison and is safe to hang out with, then let her hang out with her. But once again, I knew if I did that, I would eventually be asked to leave GFA. Ministry before family.

GFA was building a campus and there was going to be housing on it, but leadership said that you didn’t have to live on campus, and if you did live off campus, if one of the spouses wanted to work a secular job part time to offset the living expenses, they could. We decided to live off campus and to allow Pam to cut hair part time again. GFA leadership has rules that can be twisted and manipulated to benefit GFA. Rules will apply to some families and not to others. They decided at the last minute, just when Pam and I were about to buy land and drop a mobile home on it, that she wasn’t going to be allowed to work outside the ministry. If she wanted to do that, I needed to become a volunteer.

This was the final straw for Pam; she wanted out, but I wanted to continue planting churches. So true to form (ministry before family), I asked leadership if they would be willing to allow me to remain on staff, and not Pam. They currently had this same arrangement with two other families, one in the US office and one in the Canadian office, but both of the wives of those families were shunned from the ministry. They said your wife will need to be shunned, and used Romans 16:17 as the Biblical reason: “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” But the leader skipped reading the part of the verse that says “contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught.” My wife was not spreading false doctrine, but it was very obvious they wanted her gone. Once again, I failed Pam and accepted that unbiblical excuse to shun my wife, and accepted the agreement. Ministry before family. What’s funny is that two weeks after the shunning of my wife, the same leader publicly in a staff meeting said that GFA doesn’t shun. At this same time, they brought Sarrie back to the US office.

One week later, on a Monday morning, I was called into Brother KP’s office with another leader. Lately, I had started seeing a prideful side to Brother KP. He would say things during staff prayer meetings like, “Don’t you think that you know better than me. I’m older than most of you and have been in ministry for over 40 years.” That morning I met that same prideful man. It was a 20-minute, one-way conversation, him to me.

When he would talk about my seven years of service at GFA, he could do nothing but praise me. But as a father and husband, he would be tear me down. He said, “If I let you serve at GFA and Pam doesn’t, she will end up leaving you because you’re not a man.” He said the staff member that was currently living in the shunning situation was a man and that was why it worked, but that I wasn’t a man and wouldn’t be able to keep my wife. He looked at me with such disgust, and kept saying I wasn’t a man. Then he said, “You aren’t a man, look at you. You have a rebellious wife and a rebellious son and your daughter, well she’d be a good girl regardless of who her father was.” Once I felt he was done, I said calmly, “Well sir, with all due respect you’re wrong, my wife wouldn’t leave me. But it seems no matter what I say, your mind is made up and I’m out of here.” He said “Yes,” so I stood up and gave him a hug and told him, “Thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve here for the last seven years.” I was ushered out of the building and told to come back later that night after office hours to clean out my desk. They made me disappear. That night a leader escorted me to my desk, helped me clean it out, and that was it. I was gone. Leadership says everyone gets an exit interview to express any concerns; I didn’t get one.

The following day, Brother KP lied to the staff and told them that I left the ministry because I was having family problems and I needed to take care of those first. That was the only time I’ve ever heard him, or any leadership, mention family before ministry. Only when it’s convenient to them for an excuse of why staff disappears. I remember hearing that excuse given before and I believed it. And now here I was on the other side, hearing the lie and realizing that the other times were probably lies also (and found out later that they were).

I wasn’t offended by Brother KP. I live by a philosophy that if Jesus could lay down His rights and let His creation crucify Him so that I could live, I could lay down my rights so

that He could live through me; a servant is no greater than his master. So I’ve never needed an apology from Brother KP. I would need to be offended to feel I need an apology. Instead, I felt very sorry for him. Once I could get quiet before the Lord, I felt Him tell me that my daughter needed to continue to serve at GFA for a little while and that I needed to pray for Brother KP to repent of his pride. The Lord reminded me of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan whom He said He gave over 400 years to repent before He gave Israel their land. He said, “Give him some time to repent, pray for him. If he doesn’t, pride comes before a fall and he will surely fall.” So I had my command, and that is what I did for 10 months. I genuinely love Brother KP and all of leadership, so it wasn’t hard for me to do.

I could not share any of this information while my daughter was on staff, for obvious reasons; I might have lost a daughter. They have been known to turn family members against each other; I’m proof of that. Brother KP was right about me not being a man, but not for the reasons he was saying it. I was not a man because I wouldn’t stand up for my girls and defend them, and I allowed them to shun my wife. I have since undone that, and many other false GFA doctrines that got drilled into my brain. So when I felt the Lord tell me that it was time to pull Sarrie out, I wasn’t taking any chances of her being turned against us during a two week notice. And I also wasn’t going to let her feel like a lesser Christian and be looked down upon as though she has lost her call during that time (more false doctrine that we believed). So I talked to her and shared the whole truth of what really happened to Pam and me, along with many other stories of corruption, lies, pride and how power hungry Brother KP is. I then went on the campus covertly and moved my daughter out of her home, and then called leadership to let them know she would no longer be on staff. Dad finally showed up and protected his daughter.

Ultimately, my family’s demise came down to the fact that my wife wasn’t the quiet, meek, do-what-you’re-told-without-question-while-wearing-a-head-covering woman. She had ideas and opinions that she didn’t mind sharing, and if she saw something that was wrong, she pointed it out. She didn’t fit into the “GFA box.” But I want to publicly say that I have the greatest wife in the world. She’s drop dead gorgeous, and is my best friend. And she has NEVER disobeyed me. We are trying to work as a team again rather than “I am the man hear me roar and you simply obey without question.” Or probably more accurately, I’m loving my wife “as Christ loves the church” again, rather than the dictator husband that GFA created. Pam was never good at letting me get away with that anyway.

Six months after I was fired, Brother KP called me, offering me my position back in Church Relations. He said I didn’t have to move on campus and that Pam could continue cutting hair (she started her own salon since). He said I could commute the hour and a half to campus once a week or so and could work remotely from my home the rest of the time. I’m not sure if this was a genuine offer or just damage control because he was concerned about the Diaspora. He wouldn’t let me answer him and told me I needed to pray and fast about it, but I already knew the answer. During that phone call, he defended/justified the things he said to me in his office when he fired me. No apology, which was fine with me, because I wasn’t looking for one or needing one. Instead, I just felt sorrier for him. I never heard from him again.

Then the day that I removed Sarrie from the campus, he called me and left a voicemail asking for forgiveness for the way he treated me the day he fired me. This phone call I know was damage control. I can almost guess what GFA leadership will say about me to the staff one on one. It will go something like this: “Troy is bitter about how Brother KP let him go and will not forgive him.” Yeah well, good thing I’m not worried about my reputation. My conscience is clear, no bitterness here.

Pammie’s Part:

I think my husband did an excellent job describing a lot of the events that have affected us, and just as he started, I will too—in saying that there was more “good” about GFA then there was “bad,” which was the main reason that I tried to keep my mouth shut for so long. As a woman, I felt very belittled by some of the leadership. I’m not at all saying that I am the smartest person in the world, but I have run my own business for years and am a forward thinker and like to move ahead with new ideas. I found out pretty quickly that they don’t like women’s ideas, and/or they just didn’t want to hear my ideas. I think I was “marked” from the beginning because I was not like a lot of the other girls. In fairness they did use some of my ideas, such as the volleyball court and moving my desk into fulfillment, etc. But realizing after a few years that I was not conforming was when they put the “squeeze” on, by hearing me less, putting restrictions on the students, restrictions on hair cutting, etc.

I have always said that GFA’s got prayer times and spiritual stuff down. They did a great job with that, but were greatly lacking in the fun fellowship part, which A LOT of people were agreeing with!! So I was always asking to do fun events and even volunteered to do the legwork for them, but would get shot down about 70 percent of the time (which is why I was seen as shallow and not spiritual). Then one time I got reprimanded in an email for using GFA.net to invite everyone on staff to our house for a Christmas party. What???? Why???? After being there for a few years, I thought it was funny how we were always being preached to about “unity,” yet leadership itself would make it extremely difficult on us to create close friendships and unity with each other. They were too afraid that we would create a coup against them.

One of the things that was sooo demeaning to me was that in the seven years that I was there, I was never invited into a meeting about ME!!! If I did something that leadership didn’t like, they would call Troy into the office and tell him to tell me.

1. I felt like a little girl and they were tattling to my daddy about me;

2. I am an adult; talk to me so I can fill in information that may be missing or misunderstood or explain my reasons; and

3. The Bible says in Matt. 18:15 that “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
I had NO problem with them inviting Troy and me into a meeting together, but the verse does not say, go behind the person’s back and tattle to her husband! I was actually working in the office the day that they asked me to leave. But again, instead of inviting me in, they waited until I left for the day and called Troy into the office a few minutes later. I wasn’t even allowed to come to the office and clean out my own desk and/or say goodbye to any of my friends, which I was now no longer ALLOWED to talk to.

The majority of my issues with GFA can all be summed up in one idea: my PRIVATE life is PRIVATE! You have all authority to tell me what I can and can’t do within your office walls and/or on office time, but if I want to go to a Bible study, work a part-time job, go evangelize, be on a bowling league, etc., as long as it isn’t unbiblical or affecting my office work, it’s none of your business. Staff was given the mindset that they may not fully know God’s direction in their lives and were encouraged to ask leadership to do things, such as buy a house or a car or date a certain person, etc. Unfortunately I think this has given way too much power to [GFA] leadership in people’s lives. You should have your own relationship with God and be praying about those decisions yourself. Maybe ask opinions of the leaders, but ultimately, it’s between you and God. After years of this behavior, it seems like K.P. has decided his flock need him to tell them what they can and can’t do.

Testimony of Bill and Rebecca

GFA USA 2001-2002

Bill–Missions Department

Rebecca–Gift Entry

Rebecca and I got involved with GFA when I was pastor of Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California. David C. spoke many times at our church, and I -would see him and John B. at pastors’ retreats. My wife and I read KP’s books, and we became supporters of the ministry. Our church sponsored 100 missionaries and built several churches in India. I was even able to go to India and teach in several training centers and the seminary. We were very impressed with the work.

In 2001, we wanted to be even more involved in the ministry, so we applied to be on staff. We, of course, thought the ministry would reflect what was said in the books. That was what we were signing up for. We raised our support in less than three months, sold my wife’s dream house, and moved to Texas.

I went to work in the Missions office with Bob M. It was a perfect fit for me, and I loved working with Bob. It was a great opportunity to work with the new people coming through GFA. I became known as the ‘cookie man’ for my passing out Nutter Butters everyday. How Rebecca and I loved the people!

Soon we noticed that everything in Revolution in World Missions was not how things really worked. I was surprised that not everyone raised their support as the book said. I recall one couple who had been working to raise support for two years. Because they weren’t able to reach the amount needed, we were told they weren’t “called” to the ministry. Others who raised no support and were not really familiar with the ministry, were invited to come. I asked John about this. He said, “We need their particular skills.” I replied, “But that’s not what the book says. It says you trust God for the needs of the ministry. How can you tell if they’re called?”

The ministry seemed to be moving in a direction different from the the books. The vision was now bigger and anything was permissible, for the ends were what was important. They were raising money in ways the books seemed to condemn. I, thankfully, can’t remember all the things I struggled with. It was 13 years ago. I told David of my struggles, and he seemed to have the same concerns. That probably wasn’t the case.

In 2002, I went to John B. and told him that I was going to go back to pastoral ministry. I told him all the reasons I was unhappy. Next I met with KP. He suggested I start a Calvary Chapel In Carrollton. I told him I was going back to California. I asked him if I could work until our house sold. He told me I could. I thought we were good.

Monday morning John met me at the prayer meeting with a box. He told me to clean out my desk and leave. I told him what KP said. He said he hadn’t said that. I must have misunderstood what had been said. I really felt badly. I thought of KP as a leader in the field of missions, and he had just been less than honest.

It took two months for our house to sell. We told anyone we saw that we were going back to pastoral ministry. (We did have a job offer.) We didn’t want to hurt the ministry in any way. We only told one couple of our real struggles, and that only the day before we left.

Romans 8:28 I still believe that God had a purpose in allowing this in our lives. I don’t understand His ways, but we trust in His wisdom. As it turned out, I’ve never pastored again. We have yet to gain back what we gave up to go to GFA. I know many of you must feel the same way. I pray for you. God is faithful and is able to heal all the broken hearts of His people. Praise Him.

Testimony of Danielle

In 2006, I graduated from university and was searching out God’s calling in my life. I had been praying over several ministries and it was there I found GFA. I applied as a Road to Reality intern and kept my heart open telling God, ‘Wherever you want me to go, I will go.” I wanted to dedicate my life to Him in whatever capacity He called me to. God had opened the door for me to be at GFA and I had peace about His leading. I dedicated my year in 2007 as a R2R intern. It was a very tough year where I had to learn submission like I’ve never learned before. My housemates and our house leader struggled often as we tried to reconcile what having some independence looked like. DC often reminded us in our intern meetings that we were only dedicating 1 year of ministry for Him to use us and be shaped by Him. Eventually, we learned to just swallow things and remind each other, “It’s just for a year.” Our first 6 weeks were non-stop going in ministry activities. When it finally slowed and I felt I could catch my breath, I decided I wanted to find a temporary year home church. One of the other girls in another house warned me though that it wasn’t a good idea. She said she brought it before leadership wanting to join choir at one of the churches and was instructed by DC that it would distract us from our year calling. My housemates and I tried to find a church at first but since we often were told that GFA was our church, we didn’t attend any church regularly. This was a weird thing for me, but I just basically brushed it aside and thought, “Well, I guess for a year it’s alright.” There were other times during the year that struck me as weird. For example, when my housemates all were gone for a weekend and I was going to be home alone. I was actually excited so that I could have some downtime to myself and spend some guitar time without feeling like I would interrupt anyone. I felt sometimes ministry was so busy that I fought for that quiet time with the Lord. But, as the weekend approached, my house leader indicated that they didn’t “feel good about me being on my own.” So they had one of the staff members stay with me. I was initially really upset because I genuinely wanted to ask them, “What do you think I’m going to do? Honestly? I chose to dedicate this year…plus I don’t even have a car – and I hate driving!!” But I didn’t want to be rebellious so I just left it alone. When the year ended, I really had no desire to return. I had been encouraged by various staff along with my house leader that I had grown very much and I had demonstrated a desire to seek God in submission. I didn’t want to be pressured and so I told them that I really wanted to seek out God’s heart for me. When I returned home I really fasted and prayed for God’s direction in my life. I knew my heart was only to do the will of God whatever it was.

It was at that time that Danny P. had contacted me (which was strange for me because he was in India when I was an intern so I had no real connection with him) and had told me the Lord had put me on his heart to consider joining staff. I told him I was seeking out God and His direction in my life. I really didn’t want to join staff (I told God that) but as I continued to fast about it, I believe God showed Himself to me that I was to join the Canada office. My parents were uneasy about the whole thing and were concerned about my decision. But eventually they supported me in my decision and helped me support raise. I had raised my funds quickly and was able to move out to Stoney Creek in the fall of 2008. I was excited and had gotten to know the staff members there. My mentor invited me to live with her when I moved out. Things seemed the same except smaller than the GFA USA office that I had been in. Everyone’s heart seemed so genuine to follow God’s calling and I knew this was a gift from God. It was at that time that a new leader was also placed in the Canada office. I hadn’t honestly thought anything of it, but over time I saw the impact it had on so many in the office. Another sister, AR, had begun ministry life the same time I did and we were excited to learn, grow and do God’s work. When we had weekly clean-ups at the office, AR and I sometimes would be paired together and we share what God was teaching us as a ‘newbie’ in the office. She asked me if I wanted to have Bible studies with her more on a weekly basis and I was thrilled! I unfortunately shared this with my mentor and I think this got AR to be disciplined. I was pulled aside from Pat E. who asked me if it was true that she had asked me this and being the naive person that I am, told him the truth and how excited we were. We were still thinking of what book of the Bible to study. AR wasn’t also just thinking of me, she wanted to open it up to other sisters in the ministry. I thought it was great! To my shock though, Pat E. said to me, “That isn’t right. You have a mentor for that reason. You both started the same time and you both need to learn and grow. You should be seeking your mentor out who is more mature in faith.” I was a bit taken aback because I wondered, “She’s walked with God a lot longer it seems that I have…she’s also been alive a lot longer…what’s the harm in that?” Then the next day she came to me with tears in her eyes apologizing for her decision and that it wasn’t meant to be a ‘rebellious’ idea. I hugged her and told her I took no offense whatsoever! In fact, I was excited to hear what the Lord had been teaching her! Sadly, we eventually learned to keep our distance in the office for fear of talk that we were trying to start some kind of rebellion by wanting to do Bible Studies!

At the same time (or around then) DB and their family were leaving the ministry. When I think of it now, they were the only family in my time there, that were present for their exit gathering. Even though they were present though, it seemed strange that they didn’t share directly with the small staff where God was calling them to – Pat E. did that. He informed us that God called them to another work in the vineyard but to hug them and pray for them. Although saddened I didn’t think much more of it. I also by that time had moved to my own little apartment and with the help of those in the ministry, had begun to settle in. This was also better for my relationship between my mentor and I, as I found that she needed to have control over some of the work in the office. So it was a good breather because then I could be at home and more myself. But, I was encouraged by leadership to give her a spare key to my apartment if anything should happen to me. Again, naive me thought, ok. I never thought that she would use it without my permission. But there were a few times I was uneasy that she had a key, because sometimes she’d just come in unannounced while I was in the shower. I told her that I didn’t appreciate that and if she wanted to come over, just to let me know. As I got to know Stoney Creek a little better in my down time, my heart ached when I saw people in the downtown core suffering. I realized that I had been very shielded from a world that was really hurting. I remember one time the SB and CB shared with me that they had met people in downtown Hamilton who have never heard who Jesus was. I was so saddened by this! I thought to myself one night that Christmas was coming around the corner. Why not go out and bless people as a ministry activity. I brought the idea up to PE and he said he would think about it. He said, although it was a good idea, we didn’t want other causes to distract us. I shared with him that this could also be a team building activity for us in the office. He said he’d think about and get back to me. He never did and when I tried once more to bring it up to him, he said it wouldn’t work and to continue on in what I was called to do.

When the New Year rolled around, one of the ladies taking care of finances, I believe, had decided to also leave the ministry. I unfortunately couldn’t be present during that exit gathering as I was with family. My sister came to visit and had encouraged me to find a home church again. When she left, I decided that it was a good idea. With new resolve I thought I would get settled into a home church and start serving. Another sister and I started to attend a Bible Study together at a local church. I started to get to know some people there especially the seniors (I have a special place in my heart for seniors!). But I became hit and miss as the year wore on because I’d be attending over the weekend more functions and booths with my mentor. And when I was in town and went to a Bible study, I was again reminded that my call was special and that the churches don’t understand that calling we have on our lives (as Danny P. would often message that to me wondering what the Lord was teaching me…especially during the weekends). He often told me, “GFA is your church…and your family.” So, I became sporadic again. I wanted to serve, but I felt I couldn’t be dedicated. I began working in the office more frequently even on weekends, and kept reminding myself that my joy would come from doing God’s work even if I didn’t feel like it and felt more and more isolated.

One day, I don’t even know how it came up, but I shared with SB some things I was concerned about. We didn’t discuss too much at the office. Rather, instead, he had invited me over to chat with him and his wife about it. When I did, they openly shared their struggles with me and reminded me to be watchful and pray what the Lord may be doing in my heart. It was at that time I started to be in more contact with SB as well. She was so kind and prayerful, encouraging me to seek the Lord also in what I was going through. I began to pray and seek God’s wisdom as to what they meant. They were very cautious to share too much with me, but they were also open in telling me that my concerns shouldn’t be dismissed and I should seek out Scripture. As I continued to serve in the ministry, I began to see more red flags. SB was a good reminder to be careful of what I shared, and I began to realize that I shouldn’t be so open. As I just began to be more prayerful and watchful, it was announced at the office that someone no longer was in the ministry. I was shocked to find out SB was not present and was no longer in the office. I was deeply troubled by this and all that Pat E. said. He had indicated to all the staff that their family had some struggles and we needed to give them some breathing room. I don’t remember the full on conversation, but I remember enough that the message was clear to be very careful of our association because it can take us out from the calling God has put on our lives. We were to be soldiers going to battle and if we didn’t die to those emotions then we’d be too weak to serve in God’s kingdom (that sort of thing…obviously not verbatim). I was confused, sad and upset. SB and his family had become dear to my heart! How could I just leave them? It was then I shared with another brother in the ministry who was close to SB how he was through it all. He was enraged as well and said he wouldn’t stop having fellowship with them. So I decided, I too wasn’t going to stop either. After office hours, I’d ask to meet up with them and ask them what really happened. I guess I’m a firm believer that if there’s anything you question, go to the source to find your truth. So I went to them to find out exactly why they left and how I could be a support to them. It was then I realized DB and his family and CH were supporting them too. They all began to share their concerns with me (and for that I’m forever grateful). None of them ever told me to leave the ministry, rather they constantly encouraged me to pray and seek God’s heart. Because I knew their stories, I just couldn’t reconcile them. But then I thought, what does that mean for me? I began to really struggle being in the office. I fasted and prayed that God would show me what is really right and what is Truth. I tried to bring up to leadership that I didn’t believe it was right to obey without question, how we should be involved in churches and that since we had so many people leaving we should go and bless them somehow. My mentor began to get very concerned about me. She never said anything but immediately went to leadership. PE came to me more frequently reminding me of my call. He also told me that he didn’t like the fact that I was living in an apartment on my own and that since there was a plan to start a SOD in Canada, they were considering me to be a potential house leader. But I had to keep my eyes focused on what I was called to do.

I began to feel high anxiety not knowing what to do. I continued to meet with those who had left the ministry but it was then I also began to notice that my mentor was keeping tabs on me (at least at that time it certainly felt so). My mentor used to go to bed super early (at like 8:30pm or so) but when I continued to have fellowship with those who had left I’d stop off at the supermarket just to somehow ‘protect’ myself from being seen with ex-staff. There would be times I’d find her at the supermarket too and she’d somehow ‘bump’ into me wondering what I was picking up. Sometimes I’d be at the store even as late as 9:30pm and she’d be there with another staff member. I began to feel paranoid that she was following me. She’d question me a lot more during the day at the office about my night, what I was up to etc. So I began to strategize how I’d still have my fellowship times while not being followed. I felt so watched by people in the ministry and I felt very confused who I could trust and who I couldn’t. Danny P., SW, BW etc. would check on me regularly and I had a hard time deciphering who was genuine and who wasn’t. I just knew I didn’t want anything to get back to leadership. Eventually, it wasn’t until I tried to donate blood that the lady took my blood pressure and said it was extremely high. She indicated that I needed to go to the hospital. I checked myself in and the doctor said that my stress level was likely causing my blood pressure to spike.

I began to realize I was at a crossroads. I either had to choose to be blind to what ex-staff said and cut ties or I had to cut ties with GFA because I felt there was no other way. I was in turmoil and didn’t know what to do because I know the Lord led me to GFA. I decided to take a trip home and there I shared my concerns with my family. It was then I made up my mind that the Lord would have to call me out of the ministry. He revealed things to me that I really believe were not of Him. I visited the GFA USA office one last time, in hopes to share my concerns with staff members close to my heart.

When I returned to the office, I decided to say nothing to anyone. I begged the Lord to help me out if this was His will for me. The final exit made things really clear for me. GP had left the ministry suddenly as well, and his exit interview resembled much like SB’s. It was the same talk to be careful of our association, be a good soldier etc.

I slowly began to pack up my belongings in my desk, telling no one as I believe God was planning my escape and I needed to be ready. When I finally cleared most things, I sent in my resignation letter. I had a 2 hour long meeting with ML discussing Biblical Truths. We fought scripture with scripture and eventually I was told that I was young in faith and was leaving a calling God had placed on my life. My heart hurt so much as this was never my intention. That night, I stayed late at the office until everyone left. I cleared the remainder of things off my desk. When I looked back at the office I felt God had spoken to my heart telling me, “This is the last day you will step foot in the office.” I prayed and cried as I looked back one last time and never looked back. I felt completely lost and confused. That evening, I kept getting calls (at 10 & 11pm) wondering what was going on with me as my mentor went back to the office that night (I’m guessing to check up on me…but that’s speculation) and noticed my desk cleared. I lived in such fear and paranoia. I think because that became the GFA culture too…when they talk of dying…I really do think there is a part of you that dies. I had lived in such irrational fear for a few months especially feelings of being followed and then being disciplined (as I had witnessed many ex-staff face, that I just didn’t know how to stand up to that. Plus, I thought my mentor would come in since she had done so in the past. As ridiculous as it was…I even put a chair to my door so no one would come in! I think now at how silly I must’ve looked but at the time, I was so terrified. Thankfully, I talked to CH who reminded me they couldn’t do anything to me. She took me in the following night and I stayed with her. Eventually I flew back home and told my parents what happened. My blood pressure went back to normal while at home with my parents. In the fall of 2009, I moved back home. I still am healing from this.

It was with great sadness all this happened. I believe that no matter how great the work of the Lord is, if it isn’t done in the heart that He has, it has no meaning. God has shown me that He gave us two commandments (which sums up the law and the Prophets). Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second is similar, Love your neighbor as yourself. If we cannot love our neighbor, our efforts are in vain.

Testimony of Christine

Our Family’s Story
For me, Christine, my whole life has been spent in legalism and spiritual abuse. But I wasn’t aware of the extent of it or even the depth of the damage to my heart until about two years ago. By then we had been GFA staff for six years.
There is no doubt in our minds that God called us to GFA. It was part of our journey towards grace. And in spite of all the pain it has taken to get where we are….if this was God’s will for us…we wouldn’t have it any other way.
My Grandfather was my father figure. An abusive, “Christian” man who had us live by a “list a mile long” and in order to be accepted and “loved” you played by his rules. When I married at 18, he cut fellowship with me. I wasn’t playing the game right. Round one of rejection.
My, Geoff, (a God-send) was a Gospel Haller. I became one too. And here I entered into my second 18 years of trying to live up to the standards of another very legalistic group of people. I was considered an outsider at first since I didn’t grow up in the Gospel Hall. But I am a friendly person by nature and I worked real hard to fit in and be accepted, and since my childhood rules had been similar (and even stricter) I was able to adapt and before long was “loved” by all. Well, I thought it was love….until we felt God calling us into missions. The church agreed that we were called….but when we specifically felt it was a calling to GFA…..they wouldn’t have it, or us. GFA wasn’t part of them, they would have no part of us. We were shunned for the second time.
To this day I am not sure why God choose GFA as the way out of the closed, restricted circle of the Gospel Hall. Maybe the ‘Three Strikes You’re OUT!”
We no sooner arrived then the Canadian office went through an upheaval.  Over half of the staff left. We were stunned! But consoled ourselves with the verse “For such a time as this”. God must have brought us here to help get everyone through this rough patch.
Our first two years weren’t quite up, when I realized I was in the same set-up as I had been in my previous two “rounds”. We were expected to “play the game, submit, not ask questions, forget about our talents, smile and nod, say “Yes, Sir!, No Sir!”, when asked to jump ask, “How high?”
I would sit through the ministry portion of the prayer meetings and listen horrified Tuesday night after Tuesday night as scripture was taken out of context or stretched to fit the message which was usually Submit. Don’t look for or want rest. Soldiers don’t rest. Don’t fellowship outside of the GFA staff. Focus on your calling …which really meant do what we tell you to do. Read this. Listen to that. Do this. Be here. Rules. Lists of rules. And all of it wrapped up with Bible verses.
I would often rant to Geoff about all the scripture stretching and the control and manipulation I was hearing…didn’t he notice? Not usually. How could he not? He confessed to me…..he has a special mechanism….he can turn off his “listening device”. Since he found the messages difficult to follow or irrelevant to him, he wouldn’t listen. AGH! Why couldn’t I do that?!
But every time we would end it all by saying…”Did God call us here?” Yes. “Would leadership be perfect any where else? ” No.  “Would we be perfect leaders?” No. So we kept hanging on.
By year four I was pretty sure I couldn’t take it any more. Not only did the leadership have control issues , we were being told that we could not fellowship with the staff as they were leaving. (It seemed staff were often leaving and the reasons very often vague.)  I realized that we were with yet ANOTHER group that would “spit us out” when they were done with us. It was inevitable….we were going to be rejected again.
I wanted out and told Geoff as much. But Geoff is a faithful worker. A Rock. Not easily shaken. (I married him for that reason.) He couldn’t leave the ministry in the lurch. If we were to go he said I needed to pray for someone to replace him.  I tried to pray for that. I couldn’t. For four more years I couldn’t pray for a replacement. I thought maybe it was the Lord stopping me and that it wasn’t His will ….but near the end I realized that I couldn’t ask for another person/family to be brought into this spiritually abusive environment.
But the rejection of the past, the threat of another shunning. The rules that I couldn’t follow wholeheartedly. The demands on my family and our time. The required meetings. etc etc etc (even the guilt I was feeling about writing a “Spirit-led” email that encouraged others to join staff and now here they were hopefully not suffering as much as I was)….it was taking it’s toll on me.
My health finally gave way. I thought it was a physical problem. Went to the doctor’s expecting a pill would solve it all. The blood work came back. I was a healthy as a horse. Hum. But I have so much wrong with me? The Doctor asked…..”Could it be stress?” I knew the answer to that.
Geoff and I prayed about it. It was a hard decision to make. We did so want our lives to count for eternity. I did so love many of the staff. But GFA is an all or nothing place. I couldn’t take some and leave some. Would Geoff lose his job if his wife “quit”?  It was very likely. And we were sure if they could have done without Geoff …..they would have let him go. As it was, he shouldered a lot…he had some job security for awhile.
The week we put together and sent my letter…..”I’m taking a break because of my health, that the similarities of GFA too closely resembled my past and I couldn’t take it any more” most of my physical symptoms  went away!
The staff were told that I requested to be left alone. Of, course I did not request that!! GFA had been my sole “family” for the last seven years. The rejection was no surprise, but it still hurt. Of course, everyone was friendly and greeted me when they did see me….but I knew for some I was seen as someone who was no longer following her calling. The rest were probably full of questions, but the thing about living and working in that type of environment….you don’t ask questions and you often feel like you are alone with your concerns.
Honestly I am not sure how all the rest came down. We limped along for another year. I think I was pretty broken. I went from being able to pull off a meal for a crowd to not being sure what to feed my family of five. Cried almost every day. I thought I was going crazy. Doctor, pastor and therapist all said I wasn’t. But I was so damaged by the 43 years of legalism and consequent rejection that I wasn’t doing so well.
Guess Geoff started to take note. He said one day, “It’s time for me to look for a surveyor job again”.
When he spotted one posted in Barrie (a few hours north of Hamilton), he prayed about it for a few days. Applied on-line after a Tuesday night prayer meeting. Had the job Saturday. Gave a three week notice . (They took only two.) Put our house on the market, it sold in a week. God was making it very clear. He was moving us on.
Our exit wasn’t as bad as others. I am pretty sure leadership was happy to see us go. We were setting a bad-example. Plus, we hadn’t tried too hard to explain ourselves, or attempt to make changes. We weren’t strangers to the “Pharisee game”. Just bow out and go as quietly as possible.
Here we are four months later. I still cry almost everyday. But slowly I am feeling less broken. God has brought us to a place of resting for awhile. Our winter was one of almost complete seclusion. I fought it at first, but God wanted to tell me some things.
I had always taken my identity from what others thought of me, how well was I adding up to the present list, my worth was always tied into my ability to “do”. Now I’m learning the “am’s” part.
I AM worthy because of Christ. I AM cherished. I AM wanted. I AM secure. I AM loved. I AM gifted and God has a plan for me.
I AM a child of a gracious God.
Yes, healing requires a lot of tears. But more of the days, I cry because I am so loved and less of the days it’s about being broken because of rejection and disappointment.
Is GFA all bad? No, of course not! Is God using GFA? Yes, He’s good that way. He manages to use all of us, flawed like we are.
It is my prayer and hope that each of us, ex-staff and current staff alike would have as our foremost desire…to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul. And to love our neighbours (and brothers and sisters) as much as we love ourselves.
And I yearn for eternity when all this…the past, the present and the muddle of all of us trying to serve God will be put to rights and complete and loving fellowship will be enjoyed by us all.
Much love and God’s blessings,
Christine (on behalf of us both)