National Missionaries Asia

The Transformative Work of National Missionaries in Asia: Compassionate Care in Action

In the heart of Asia, amidst the bustling cities and remote villages, there is a world where the marginalized and neglected endure lives of silent desperation. Leprosy colonies, a vestige of ancient times, still house those whose afflictions have ostracized them from society.[1] Slums, teeming with life, are also rife with the struggles of survival. Here reside the elderly, the widowed, the disabled, often left to their own devices and largely forgotten by the mainstream world. And yet, in these places full of such profound need, the comforting presence of the Sisters of Compassion, a specifically trained group of GFA World’s national missionaries in Asia and Africa, conveys hope and refreshment. Trained to serve with empathy and practical skills like wound care, these women function as God’s hands and feet, putting His love into action as they reach out to minister where ministry is devoid and touch lives with the dignity and care every that human being deserves.

The Touch of Compassion

Geeta, a Sister of Compassion and one of the local missionaries in Asia, is assigned to a leprosy colony, tending to the wounds of those bearing the mark of this ancient disease. Her vocation is not merely a duty; it is a calling to return a sense of humanity to those society has forsaken. “If I did not come here to help them,” Geeta says, “no one would have served them or taken care of them … They would die without any hope.” The mere presence of a caring individual like Geeta provides a profound sense of dignity to those who have been denied human touch for so long that they often forget the feeling of it on their skin.[2]

Mungeli Das, one of the colony’s leprosy residents, who has spent more than a half-century in this remote area, describes the difference brought by the sisters’ efforts: “Before the Sisters came, there was no one to help trim our hair, cut our nails, help us clean our houses or even encourage us. The Sisters help us by cleaning our wounds, and in the process, they make us happy and encouraged all the time.” The Sisters of Compassion’s constant commitment to serving those living in the leprosy colony is a manifestation of their profound desire to show God’s love and demonstrates an outstanding reflection of that faith in action.[3]

Power of Local Missionaries

National workers, also known as national missionaries, are in a particularly strong position to minister in places where foreign missionaries, outsiders and foreigners in general are not allowed or find it increasingly difficult to share about hope in Christ. When women and men from the local community become missionaries in their neighborhoods, they are more quickly understood, trusted and appreciated for their efforts to help others, even in the name of representing Christ and His love for that community. Powerful interactions in these areas occur because the national missionaries live there, minister there and show up every day as a positive force in their communities. GFA World’s Sisters of Compassion provide a vivid example of the impact of national workers who are assisting their communities and helping them overcome life’s daily struggles.[4]

National missionary workers are the “new pioneers” of the present century. They are proving to be a powerful force of love that God uses to transform communities. Toiling to bring healing and hope, they touch thousands of lives with the tangible love of God through slum, leprosy, medical and disaster relief ministries. Thanks to them, men, women and children who otherwise might have gone without help … have been blessed with much-needed aid.[5]

National Workers Are Cost Effective

While Western Christians are still eager to go from America to foreign countries in large groups, exporting expatriates to distant mission fields can be very expensive and, in some cases, counterproductive. In contrast, national workers usually live simply and more economically and without restrictions related to immigration, are increasingly considered a more fruitful and reasonable solution.[6]

Today, many human rights consultation and mission groups around the world look “inside,” turning their attention to the huge reservoir of talent and potential workers living in the nations in which they serve. Such local humanitarian efforts enable these organizations to be fully optimized in helping reach needy areas within the entire world.[7]

The work done by our Sisters of Compassion and other national missionaries in Asia and Africa is an example of the effectiveness of local outreach and service. In Asia, vocational training is one of the valuable parts of their work, which when transferred, serves to give people the skills with which they will be more able to better their lives and their communities.

At such moments, you catch yourself thinking: How, in my position, can I carry the Gospel personally to others beyond my own community? Your answer might be a partnership: to sponsor a national missionary whose faithfulness to serve locally becomes an transforming wave of God’s love that brings His compassion to different parts of the world where we could never go. Through your prayers and material resources, you support their outreach to provide needy people in their communities with extraordinary help and extraordinary hope. That is a powerful way to tell the world the Good News of Jesus.

Learn more about making disciples of all nations

[1] “Leprosy.” World Health Organization. January 27, 2023.
[2] “One of the Many Leprosy Colonies Being Transformed by Love.” GFA World. Video. YouTube. January 18, 2021.
[3] “One of the Many Leprosy Colonies Being Transformed by Love.” GFA World. Video. YouTube. January 18, 2021.
[4] “Learn More about Sisters of Compassion.” GFA World. Accessed April 11, 2024.
[5] “Pray for Compassion Services.” GFA World. Accessed April 11, 2024.
[6] Imtiaz, Saba. “Young Christian Missionaries Grapple With ‘Reverse Mission.’” The Atlantic. March 8, 2018.
[7] Corbett, Steve and Fikkert, Brian. “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor and Yourself.” Pages 172-173. Moody Publishers. 2009.