Francis Chan Says Life 'Totally Shaped' by GFA Founder

(Facebook/Francis Chan)

Former California megachurch 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 (GFA) founder and mission pioneer Dr. K.P. Yohannan.

Chan said 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, which is 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 GFA and author of Revolution in World Missions, with more than 4 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 his new books 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.

GFA and its worldwide affiliates have—for almost 40 years—provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the good news.

This article originally appeared on Assist News Service.

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