Pakistan (MNN) – There are a few reasons why FMI’s upcoming conference in Pakistan is set to be its biggest yet. One of the reasons being that this year, Christians are matching donations to FMI to help pastors attend the conference.
Partners who match funds for ministries isn’t uncommon. Except in this case, the money isn’t coming from the most expected place. FMI’s Bruce Allen shares:
“For one church planter to attend a conference might be about $100 per person. It’s now a gift of $50 to empower someone with a scholarship because the funds are going to be matched from inside Pakistan. That’s fantastic.”
Christians in Pakistan see the importance of pastors and church planters attending this conference and they wanted to help. The fact that they’re matching financial gifts from inside the country signals to FMI its work with pastors is bearing fruit.
FMI’s vision has been to not just provide supplemental support for ministry leaders, but to also help them and their congregations mature, provide pastors with the knowledge to lead their congregations to maturity, and to eventually come to a place where they do not depend on foreign funding.
Growing Towards Maturity
The conference gift matching isn’t a first for these Christians. Over the past few years, the Church in Pakistan has been continuously working towards this point.
“There are times whether it’s dealing with the network of safe houses that we support or other situations where they’re saying, ‘We’re developing the funds for that from inside Pakistan,’” Allen shares. “And they’re doing a great job at maturing the entire ministry.”
This maturity also includes evangelism and discipleship. FMI has been seeing Christians increasingly share their faith in the country. And the result has been incredible despite the extreme persecution* Christians in Pakistan face.
“The Gospels tell us that the light has come into the world, the darkness cannot surround it, cannot comprehend it, cannot overcome it. And we’ve seen [that] Pakistan is a dark place spiritually,” Allen says.
“And yet, we have seen more than twice the number of people come to know the Lord in the last year, in 2017, than we did in all three countries of FMI’s fields of operation in 2016.”
Furthermore, FMI partners in Pakistan continue to see the exponential growth of people coming to know Christ, being discipled, and then sharing their testimony and the good news of the Gospel with non-Christians too.
“That’s what really changes a society even more than what parliament does or what a judge decides in a courtroom,” Allen says.
How to Help
So please, pray for the Church in Pakistan, the pastors and church planters, and the congregations. Pray for their creativity in sharing their faith, pray for their ministries, and for their encouragement. Also, pray for hearts in the country to continue to be open to the Gospel. And finally, pray for peace in Pakistan as well as for God’s influence in the hearts of Pakistani leaders.
And will you consider giving a financial gift to empower a pastor with God’s Word? For $120 a month, you can help provide a pastor in Pakistan with supplemental income which helps give on-going ministry assessments, shepherding from national leadership teams, emergency medical care, and more.
*Pakistan is ranked #5 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List (WWL). The WWL is a list of the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe.