Pakistan (MNN) – Last year in Pakistan, FMI introduced the image-based relationship building tool called the Snapshot Tool packet. These packets have helped congregations share the Gospel, rather than just pastors and church planters. FMI’s Bruce Allen shares:
“We saw that in the course of this past year, nearly 4,000 people placed their faith in Christ. A lot of that is to do with the fact that whole congregations– not just the pastor or the church planter, the professionals so to speak– are doing ministry. Now everybody’s doing ministry. So, we have seen the numbers of people coming to Christ grow exponentially.”
The Snapshot Tool
The Snapshot Tools are entirely image-based and contain no text. Each Snapshot Tool is also specifically designed for the country and gender it is being used in and for. “A Snapshot packet in Pakistan looks a lot different than the Snapshot packet in Indonesia.”
The reason for the differences is simply because life isn’t the same for the people of Pakistan as it is for the people of Bangladesh or of Indonesia. Plus, there are different challenges facing the women than the men. The culture also has very distinct norms for each gender.
“One of the reasons we’re doing things by gender is it’s a huge social taboo for men and women to mix if you are not related to each other in Pakistan,” Allen shares.
“Even if it’s a women’s role very entrenched in society to take care of household things…if the woman wants to go out to the market to purchase food, she can’t go by herself. She has to be accompanied by her husband, her father, an older brother, something like that.”
The gender segregation in the Pakistani culture even permeates as far the Christian subculture in the country. It’s their way of life. Allen shares that if you go into a church in Pakistan, it’s nearly a 100 percent guarantee you will see men sitting on one side of the congregation with women on the other.
“A woman is not likely to have a Snapshot conversation with a man. It’s most likely that she’s going to be talking to a woman,” Allen says. “And in Pakistan or in these Muslim dominate countries where the genders are so segregated, you need some pictures that will speak to the emotions and the life and activities of the specific gender you’re dealing with.”
Still, about 85-90 percent of the images used in the Snapshot tools are the same between the men’s and women’s packets.
The Advantage of Images
Furthermore, it’s an advantage that the tool is image-based, particularly for individuals who are illiterate. For Christians in Pakistan, the pictures are particularly useful since the country has a low literacy rate of around 50 percent, which tends to be worse among minorities, and even more so amongst women.
“Here we’ve given them a tool by which they can kick-start spiritual conversations with people, find out quickly [the] background about the people, find a relative, pertinent bridge for the conversation to introduce Jesus into the conversation,” Allen explains.
“We have found that in the past year that it has exceeded our expectations in terms of engaging whole congregations for evangelism.”
The spiritual fruit from Pakistan in 2017 was nine times more than what was seen in 2015, and about two and a half times more than 2016. With this growth has also come the planting of 33 new churches in the country. “It’s been a very fruitful tool for people to use.”
In fact, these packets have been so fruitful that Pakistan pastors, church planters, and congregations need a second printing of them. Not only are more Christians in the country ready to evangelize, but also the new Christians want to share their faith too. Yet, there’s a catch. FMI’s National Director in Pakistan is requesting three times the amount of women’s packets to men’s packets.
A Need for More
FMI still has time to print more packets before bringing them to Pakistan next month. Currently, FMI has been able to print 200 packets to give to the church in Pakistan, but is only able to print as many packets as there is funding. However, FMI would love to be able to give even more, especially since the need for these packets is great.
“A hundred dollars can totally provide the Snapshot packets, the printing, the delivery, the training for a congregation. And we have in Pakistan about 130 ministry sites,” Allen shares.
“So, that’s a lot of packets and a lot of impact that we could have in a country that is the second largest Muslim-dominate country in the world—and yet we see that people are very open. They’re spiritually hungry here.”
Come Alongside Pakistanis
Will you tangibly help Christians in Pakistan share the Gospel? There are two ways to help: prayer and giving.
Prayer: First, thank God for opening the doors for FMI to be able to enter Pakistan physically in March. Pray for the March conference, the attendees, the translators, and the conversations which come about through the Snapshot Tool.
“[Pakistanis are] very open to having spiritual conversations. And when we begin to talk about having a relationship with God because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, there’s a lot of curiosity and people are looking for hope, they’re looking for forgiveness. They’re not finding that in Islam for the most part.” Allen says.
Giving: Give to FMI’s “Tangible Resources” fund to support more Snapshot Tool packet printings.
To give, click here!