Kingdom Expands Despite Heated Persecution in Pakistan
Ministry reaches 20-year goal to give 100,000 Bibles to masses
Area where indigenous Pakistani missionaries work
Pastors are imprisoned, believers attacked, and church houses burned in this country where Christianity comprises just 1.45 percent of the population. News stories abound of kidnappings, torture and unjust executions. This is a land of suffering for many who call on the name of the Lord.
“The situation in this country has become very tense,” a ministry leader working with an indigenous mission wrote to Christian Aid. “The level of tolerance in our society is diminishing drastically every day. Burning of houses and church buildings has become common. Please pray for divine protection for those who take the Word of God ‘out there’ daily.”
Through prayer, God is strengthening indigenous believers who resolved to place His Word into the hands of 100,000 Pakistani people over a 20 year period. While riots, wars, crime and divisions dominate the headlines, mission leaders are seeing the Lord move in a new way in Pakistan. God is building His church body.
“In spite of all the upheavals around us, God blessed our ministry in many ways this year,” a leader reported. “The hallmark of this year´s ministry was the achievement of our 20 year goal to give 100,000 Bibles into the hands of the masses in Pakistan. The Bible is the epicenter of our ministry. We believe there is no alternative to verbal proclamation of the gospel, followed by the written Word of God.”
Bible in the hands of a new believer
Pakistani Christians believe in the power of God´s Word. If a Muslim would just read the scriptures, the Word would work a miracle of faith in his heart. After all, the Word of God is living and active. This is what drives native missionaries. Though the risks are high, the power of the Living God compels them to deliver Bibles into the hands of their countrymen.
During the year 2012, there was an acute shortage of Bibles due to political reasons. “However, we were blessed to have an adequate stock of Scriptures for our ministry through the generosity of friends at Christian Aid,” a missionary wrote. “You are a vital part of this ministry. Because of your active support, we have been able to be effective for the kingdom of God in Pakistan.
“The recent events in the Muslim world demand from us a serious reconsideration of communicating the truth in love,” he added. “Jesus tells us to share the Truth. The Truth sets people free, and yet, how do we do this? One way is to offer them a copy of Scriptures, which explain God´s love. That is why, throughout the year our dedicated evangelistic teams have been going out, in spite of the most volatile situation and immense heat. They were able to sell 406 Bibles, 139 New Testaments, and 1010 portions of Scriptures to people in various areas during a two-month trip.”
Missionaries sell the Bibles and other Christian literature so they won´t be considered as proselytizing. People buy out of their own free will. Missionaries purchase the Bibles and literature and sell them for a fraction of the cost to be legally safe.
The mission in Pakistan continuously trains new leaders for the work of evangelism. Seventy students have been discipled through the years, while 100 young people attended a recent training seminar. The ministry provides temporary housing and discipleship for believers rejected by their families because of their faith. The mission also has a flourishing Christian school for 125 children through fifth grade. And, due to the desperate plight of earthquake and flood victims, ministry leaders have established a relief and rehabilitation branch, where more than 100 shelter rooms were built for people whose houses were washed away during vast flooding.
Indigenous missionaries set goals, count the cost, and follow the Lord to the finish. This year they hope to raise $5000 to erect a simple building for worship in a poor area where believers now are worshiping in a makeshift tent made of plastic bags.
“As we look to the Lord for another year of blessings,” a brother wrote, “we request your continued and prayerful support.”