East Asia

A 'Thank You' From Our Missionary

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The GO Fund recently partnered with a missionary who will live in Nepal to work among an unreached people group where less than five people have heard the Gospel. While already living and developing relationships with the people there, he was told by friends back in the States that he needed to return to manage his student debt. He knew it was the right thing to do, but he was torn between a flourishing ministry the Lord was obviously opening and an immense burden awaiting him in the US.

In November, a selection committee decided The GO Fund would accept him as a missionary partner. The joy he now experiences as a man who is freed from the barrier of student debt flows from his letter and it is something that has never before been shared outside The GO Fund walls.

I can still recall the day that I was in an area next to Kathmandu. I was in my room late at night and anticipating a much-needed Skype session with one of my pastors. I was excited to give him some amazing updates on what the Lord was doing among the people that I loved and was living with. I can remember when he called. By the tone of his voice I could tell he was a little uneasy. After the greeting he said, ‘I will just get to the point.’ My heart dropped. He continued with, ‘The missions committee wants you to come back home to take care of your student loans, finish school, and raise support.’

I was torn to pieces and told him that I would pray about it. After I got off the phone, I was angry, and crying in agony. God had provided a way in with these people, and I was living with two Buddhist Monks [within the people group], studying the Bible everyday... (Would you have wanted to come back?) Furthermore, God was allowing me to disciple an Ethnic Tibetan Church. I was in love with these people, I was pouring out my soul into their lives. They had become my family that I never had. (I didn't mention to you guys my parents, and grandparents died when I was young.)

Eventually, I decided that I need to go back home so that I would not have anything left undone back in the States. I had to tell my closest friends in Nepal that I still had school, and I owed a lot of money and the right thing to do was to go back and pay it off.

A man who is like my spiritual father was always worried and asking how I will pay off my debt. (I always had faith that God would somehow take care of it somehow) When I came back from Nepal and we prayed with each other I can remember clearly that he prayed that God would just eliminate my debt so that I could return to Nepal. We are both speechless right now at what God has done.

I want to give you guys my deepest gratitude from my heart. I thank you guys so so so much for obeying our Father and letting him do amazing marvelous things through you! I am telling you the truth; tears are streaming as I am writing this letter. Please continue to fight the good fight of faith. Thank you for obeying the Matthew 25:14-30 passage and pleasing our Lord by investing in the Kingdom!

With love,

Chris*

P.S. It means so much that I can go back to Nepal without anything tying me down. It is like a release and I am not a slave anymore! You all have helped me to come back and tie everything up so that I will be leaving nothing undone! It is so huge, I wish you could feel what I am trying to express. I am experiencing the excellent grace of God.  Thank you!


*Name changed for security

One Week Left

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When five-year-old Ryan and his parents immigrated from South Africa, they gave up everything in pursuit of the American dream and a chance for their family to grow in the land of opportunity.*

More than twenty years have passed, and Ryan will leave again next week with his wife, Victoria, away from the land of opportunity and into east Asia.

The GO Fund staff had the unique opportunity to sit down and spend time with Ryan and Victoria over a meal on their way out of the country. Most relationships with The GO Fund’s partners occur over emails and phone calls, so this trip was a cherished one for the organization’s team.

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The couple knew throughout their relationship that the Lord was leading their lives into full-time ministry and life overseas, although neither knew exactly what it looked like.

As teenagers, the two dated through high school and all four years at university and were married after graduation. Victoria earned her degree in communication disorders and speech therapy and Ryan studied landscape architecture.

In a class called Perspectives, a curriculum focused on unreached people groups and God’s plan of redemption, the couple was affirmed in their call to move their lives overseas. When they found and reached out to The GO Fund’s student debt repayment program, they were only one of six partners to ever apply. Now, after years of training, raising financial support and the birth of their first son, they are finally going. They will move to an area in east Asia where more than 200 unreached people groups are represented.  

Ryan and Victoria are excited about the business opportunities their degrees will provide.

Ryan envisions a small-scale agricultural business with aspects of rural design and soil. As Victoria’s field is highly relational, they both have seen interesting ties between speech therapy and how that will connect them to others.  

As they are sent out, The GO Fund team is honored to link arms with a family whose lives reflect the love of Christ and the urgency of the Gospel.


*Names have been changed for security

Hopelessness Exposed - Suicide in Japan

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Before Ben knew when or how he would begin a ministry in Japan, before he knew he would be married to Grace* and prepare to live their life overseas, he was aware and burdened by a number. Every 15 minutes, someone in Japan commits suicide.

The Japan Times and Japan Today both reported the same numbers in 2009. An editorial written in The Japan Times states, “This suicide rate, compiled by the National Police Agency, means that more than 30,000 suicides occur every year, a third of a million people in a decade … It is a clear indication of serious social and psychological problems that deserve immediate, sympathetic and effective solutions.”

The tragic reality that thousands of Japanese are left feeling without purpose or a will to live is paired with another statistic that sheds harsh light on a lack of response. According to The Joshua Project, 3.1 billion individuals are unreached by the Gospel. In Japan, there are 123 million unreached people - Four percent of the world’s unreached people are in Japan.

From a young age, this information developed in Ben a desire to share the Gospel with the Japanese and show them how much they are loved and valued by their savior.

He and Grace met while earning their bachelor’s degrees and the two connected over their love for people. As they continued dating, Grace realized her heart was being specifically softened and burdened for the people of Japan. 

How would they get there? When would they know they would be ready? What could they do to help reach Japan’s lost?

“In Japan, you need to have education,” Ben said. “A Bachelors is basically a high school diploma.”

Their vision is to come alongside established churches and missionaries in the country and give them support they need. Eventually, they want to see a Japanese church planted and somehow incorporate a mental health and wellness program that promotes suicide awareness and prevention.

They want to bring psychologists, doctors and counselors into the work that needs to be done so they can see a generation of Japanese healed in a holistic way.

A halting weight they could not escape was their student loan debt from the degrees they need to be truly effective in Japan. By their estimation, it would take them eight years to pay off the debt that holds them from going.

One night, Ben stumbled across The GO Fund’s website. He thought, “there is no way this can be real.”

He and Grace did apply with The GO Fund’s student debt repayment program and were contacted one week after pushing the ‘send’ button. Program Director, Matt Sonke, greeted them over the phone and dispelled their doubts. Yes, the Lord is using a generous group of believers, Champions, to lift their barrier.

“It was further confirmation of our plans,” Ben said. “It solidified our calling in a way. We thought, ‘God wants us to go sooner than it would take to pay off our debt.’”

The couple is finally there and it's thanks to you, our Champions. Champions give their talent, time and treasure to The GO Fund and it allows this family to reach Japan, completely unhindered to love on a people who desperately need to know their own value.


*Names changed for security