Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan is one of the hardest countries in which to be a Christian. In fact, on the World Watch List, Pakistan is ranked at number four on a list of 50 of the worst countries for Christian persecution. However, FMI has been in the area offering help through conferences.
“Well, conferences like this are such a rare event in a Muslim dominate country,” FMI’s Bruce Allen explains. “So it’s a great opportunity just to be encouraged, for our church planters to connect with other church planters from across Pakistan, swap stories, share testimonies, [and] pray with each other.”
During the Pakistani conferences, which were held in the foothills of the Himalaya mountains, FMI helped train pastors and church leaders in not only evangelism, but also in handling family life.
“Our theme verse came from Deuteronomy 6:5-7, that talk about discipleship,” Allen shares. “The primary place that’s supposed to happen is in the home; the parents are raising disciples. And we were also able to do some discipleship training and evangelism… [and share] how the family is the lighthouse or the beacon for the rest of the community.”
Families are meant to talk about God in everyday life, whether it’s walking down the road or eating dinner. Furthermore, families are often the places where the next generation of Christians is raised.
In a country so hostile to Christians, it’s easy to wonder how individuals can evangelize at all. Yet, sometimes evangelism isn’t a shout in the street, but a conversation with another member of a minority religion, such as a Hindu. Other times it can simply be growing one’s family in Christ or helping other Christians become more mature in their faith.
“As Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, [the pastors’ role is to equip the saints] so more and more people in the church are becoming mature and getting involved in ministries, serving other people in a variety of ways,” Allen says.
One way of both aiding and encouraging evangelism was through the tool, Snapshot, provided by FMI. Snapshot is a set of pictures depicting different stages and emotions of life. This tool is used to help jump-start conversations and relationships to open doors for sharing the Gospel.
Part of the goal with the Snapshot tool and with the training conferences was to enable the pastors and church leaders attending to return home and train others for evangelism in their congregations.
And despite the rustic conditions, cold rooms made colder by snowfall, frozen water pipes bursting, and heating issues, the conference carried on without complaint from those who were attending.
In fact, Allen says many of the folks there hadn’t even seen snow before because they called other areas of Pakistan home.
“It was a beautiful place to be, learning about God’s purposes for this world,” Allen shares. “So it was invigorating to be with these folks, to do the field visits, safe house visits, and the baptisms, and to see even in difficult places people want to serve the Lord.”
FMI is working alongside Pakistani churches to help equip them to become more mature and reach more with the Gospel in their communities. Please pray for these pastors and their churches’ safety, discipleship, and evangelism.
Also, pray for the discipleship of women in the country who can, in turn, disciple other women. Pray also that the ministry and opportunities for outreach in Pakistan continue to grow.
You can also donate to FMI to help continue providing resources and training to pastors in Muslim dominate countries. To give, click here!