The bell on the front door of Olie’s bookshop chimed and a man entered out of the hot Pakistani sun. Something about the look in his eyes immediately made the store owner nervous. In a single sweeping gesture, the man threw open his jacket revealing a bomb strapped to his chest. “I’m here to take your life for your belief in Jesus and selling books that lead others to follow Him.”
Frozen at the sight of the bomb, Olie could think of only one reply. He asked the bomber to read a framed Scripture passage from I Corinthians hanging on the wall.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
After reading the passage, the bomber quietly stepped back, closed his jacket, and hurried out of the shop. That would not be the last time Olie encountered the would-be bomber. A few days later, he returned. This time he told Olie that he had met Jesus the day he came to destroy the store and asked for a copy of the Bible. He said he wanted to become a Christian, but needed help to escape from those who had sent him to destroy the store only days before.
Recently, some of our staff had an amazing opportunity to meet in secret with pastors from Pakistan. They listened wide-eyed to Olie’s story of facing death for his faith. Pakistan may be a very dangerous place for a believer but as our team learned from the pastors they met, God is breaking through the darkness to redeem even the most evil men to Himself.
What can we do?
Although Olie’s story has a happy ending, other pastors have experienced the horrific results of persecution. Shaid has been on the front lines of Pakistani evangelism for many years. Using the internet and a local TV station, he has been sharing the Gospel message with those around his city who find his broadcast and watch in secret. Many Muslims have forsaken their dark faith in exchange for the light of Jesus as they listened to Shaid’s messages.
Last December, Muslim extremists found Shaid’s broadcasting location and firebombed it, burning everything to the ground. He has been left with nothing, and those he discipled over the airwaves are left without anyone to teach them about their new faith.
Shaid needs help with $50,000 to rebuild his ministry. It’s expensive, but with the rebuilding will come some amazing opportunities. A new secure broadcasting location has been found, which can better protect the underground evangelist and his team. New technology will allow him to send his programing to millions in Pakistan and three border countries hostile to the Gospel, where secret followers of Christ desperately need discipleship.
Please pray for God’s provision for Shaid’s needs. Also pray for rest of Pakistan’s believers, for them to be strong in their faith and to be Christ’s lights for those around them.
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