Former California pastor and bestselling author Francis Chan -- who has moved to Asia to serve the poor -- has revealed how his view of "true” faith was turned upside down by Gospel for Asia founder and mission pioneer Dr. K.P. Yohannan.
Chan says his dramatic shift from well-known pastor in affluent Southern California to “anonymous” ministry in the slums of Hong Kong was inspired by Yohannan's modest lifestyle and humble faith, described in Yohannan's new book, Never Give Up: The Story of a Broken Man Impacting A Generation.
“I’ve learned more about a true walk with Jesus and what leadership should look like from (Yohannan’s) life,” said 53-year-old Chan in a recent video conversation with the 70-year-old missionary statesman whom Chan referred to as his mentor. “My life has been totally shaped by (him).”
Chan -- founder of Cornerstone Community Church in California’s Simi Valley and author of Crazy Love -- said Yohannan’s “passion for getting the gospel to the ends of the earth” challenged him to live a life serving the poor and marginalized without fanfare. He’s currently living in one of Hong Kong’s poorest neighborhoods.
Chan said he was “very excited” about the release of Never Give Up – one of the latest books by Yohannan, president of Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org) and author of Revolution in World Missions with more than four million copies in print.
“A lot of people are wrestling right now… a lot of people have questions,” Chan said. “It always comes back to Christ being central… people are not enjoying Jesus as much as they could be.”
Left Broken, in ‘Spiritual Agony’
Yohannan penned Never Give Up after a soul-searching four-year battle that he says left him broken and in “spiritual agony.” God took him on a journey through pain and persecution to refine his character and draw him closer to Christ, Yohannan says in the video.
“(God) asked me: ‘Are you willing to die to your reputation?’” Yohannan said.
The mission leader issued a fresh challenge to the church to transform the world with the love of God. “(God) is looking for a mighty minority that knows Him to turn the world upside down,” he said.
Gospel for Asia (GFA World, www.gfa.org) is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God.