Pakistan (MNN) — FMI’s Bruce Allen was recently in Pakistan for field visits. When FMI conducts field visits, they don’t just look at what’s happening within the Church, but also the Church’s impact in its society.
And from the sounds of it, the Pakistani Church is very impactful. While there, Allen witnessed ten baptisms. Because this particular church didn’t have a building, the first baptisms were held at an irrigation site and then the other at a riverside.
But, right next to the river where the baptisms were being held, Allen says there was an overpass. Meaning, the public declarations to follow Christ weren’t just seen by the church, but also by the people crossing the overpass.
Keep in mind, Pakistan is ranked number five on the *World Watch List. Therefore a public declaration to follow Jesus is not taken lightly.
“It’s encouraging to me to see that robust sort of faith and the spiritual hunger and thirst,” Allen says. “The Lord promises, blessed are those who hunger and thirst, they will be filled. And that’s what I’m seeing in Pakistan.”
A Hunger for Christ
It’s this spiritual hunger and thirst which has caused FMI’s Pakistan Nation Leadership team to urge FMI to increase the number of church planters who are currently supported in the country. The leadership team is asking for the support of five more church planters, as well as three more women to help lead the Women’s Discipleship Initiative.
Currently, FMI supports 25 partners in Pakistan, who serve 133 ministry sites. After doing the math, that’s about five churches per ministry partner. And rather than allowing fear to take over their hearts and actions when persecuted, these Christians are instead continuing to boldly share the Gospel with love and gentleness.
“When I hear that we want five more pastors, that could equal twenty-five more congregations in Pakistan, in just the next couple years,” Allen says. “I would love to see our zeal and enthusiasm to support them, match the zeal and enthusiasm they have to be the mobilized manpower to reach their nation.”
Investing in Pakistan
It’s clear investing in a Pakistani church planter for $120 a month is well worth it. On top of the kingdom investment this money makes, it can also be divided among contributors. Meaning, if a family or person can only give $60 a month, their donation will be pair with others to meet the $120 total.
“They’re working in the three largest Muslim dominate societies in the world; Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Sometimes in places where a western missionary could not go. And they’re willing to say, hey, we’re doing the job, will you just partner with us,” Allen explains.
FMI’s support for national workers serves as a supplement income during the beginning years of church planting. It helps keep people in ministry, while also ensuring they can take care of their families.
Rising Cost of Living
In the last few weeks, fuel costs have risen significantly in Pakistan. And the general sales tax has also been raised to 14 percent. This tax is even applied to groceries, meaning there’s no escape from the rising costs.
“The cost of living has nearly swelled by about 50 percent,” Allen says. “So not only do we need to find supporters for the newest church planters and disciplers, but also to dramatically fortify the support level for the existing partners we have.”
Finally, think about the privilege it is to partner with our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, as they serve God in a country that persecutes them. Through just one monthly sponsorship, five churches could be planted over the next several years.
So please, will you come alongside these church planters in Pakistan?
Be Prayerful, Be Active
Start by praying. Pray for the Pakistani Church, it’s encouragement, growth, and influence its community. Ask God to give these Christians creative ideas for ways to reach their family, friends, and neighbors with the Gospel. And pray for the support needed to fund these new FMI church planters and pastors to be raised.
A tangible way to come alongside the Pakistani Church is by helping support the church planters and pastors there.
*The World Watch List, by Open Doors USA, is a ranking of the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe. Find the World Watch List here!