Women Missionaries

What Is the History of Christian Missionaries in South Asia?

Jesus’ disciple Bartholomew may have been one of the first missionaries to bring the New Testament to one country in South Asia. It is said he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. He was followed, most likely, by Thomas the Apostle and Bishop David of Basra, all within the first three centuries following Christ’s ascension.[1]

Ancient texts tell of the rise of the church through Christian missionaries in South Asia.[2] Myth and tradition surround the early era of Christianity in South Asia, and geography and commerce played heavily into who, when and where missionaries made an impact.

The 15th and 16th centuries brought waves of orders, such as the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians and Dominicans. One of the earliest known Christian texts in one south Asian country’s language is the Portuguese-Tamil Primer of 1554, which shows the influence of Portugal’s colonization on the spread of Christianity.

No missionary work is easy, and the complexities of many South Asian countries from culture to language to geography have long made missions especially challenging. GFA World recognizes and appreciates these possible barriers and is able to meet them with exceptional understanding because GFA missionaries are from the country in which they serve.

One of the unique aspects of GFA’s missionary program is the training and support of women. These women missionaries take tender care and love to some of the most vulnerable of South Asia: widows, women and children. A GFA woman missionary is able to approach a woman in her home without misinterpretations, as well as establish true friendships that create trust.

Because GFA female missionaries in South Asia are from that country, they can be sensitive to cultural taboos that might put up a barrier between a woman and the hope of Jesus Christ. Just $30 per month helps support these brave and passionate women, as they serve in some of the hardest places in South Asia, like slums and leper colonies.

Send a GFA missionary today with your monthly gift and know that she will bring beautiful understanding, kindness and help to those most in need.

Learn more about women missionaries

[1] Eusebius of Caesarea. Ecclesiastical History. 1842.
[2] J.N. Farquhar. The Apostle Thomas in North India, chapter 4:30. Accessed October 12, 2022.