What NOT to do on your mission trip to Pakistan

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In September 2000 I was in Pakistan on my very first visit there. I stayed with a believer named “Brother Wallace,” his wife, and two teenage daughters, “Michelle” and “Margot.” Our host was Pastor Samuel who had arranged for me to preach the gospel in the open-air, enclosed courtyard belonging to a club. In my journal I recounted what took place. (The account down below is edited for clarity.)

At our Thursday, September 14 meeting, I preached from Mark 2 where Jesus healed the paralytic as evidence that he had authority to forgive sins. After that I had the trained believers minister healing to the infirm who were present as evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. Those who needed physical healing came forward, and were miraculously healed as the believers laid hands on them. They testified publicly what the Lord had done.

One man with a locked arm for three years was healed. In my journal I wrote:

“After each testimony of miraculous healing, I shouted ‘Jesus is the Son of God’ [who has authority to forgive sins] into my mic repeatedly. The Muslims standing outside the walls of the courtyard within earshot were offended, not accepting Jesus as the Son of God.

Some Muslim clerics then met with Brother Wallace in a backroom office to inform him that they could not guarantee our safety from a mob if we didn’t disperse. They said that if we would stop the meeting there would be no threat.

Some Muslims had already threatened to shoot me, the American. But one of the brothers stood up to them telling them in so many words, ‘you’ll have to go through me first.’ The believers were concerned foremost for my safety throughout.

On Friday [the next day] I began by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ from Isaiah 53. A crowd of Muslims gathered outside the walls of the open-air courtyard. They threatened violence with guns if our meeting was not stopped. Brother Wallace then brought a message from them to our host Pastor Samuel. While people were praying the sinners’ prayer and receiving healing ministry, he stopped the service. [Later we heard that a young man had been totally delivered from drug addiction!] Pastor Samuel announced that we had to disperse and meet elsewhere the following night.

Palpable confusion, tension, and fear began to spread in the crowd inside the courtyard.

I was told to wait, while apparently a car was summoned to wait in a back alley for our getaway. While waiting, I removed my jacket and tie to escape possible recognition by the Muslims.

Suddenly I was yanked out through a back entrance of the courtyard by one of the brothers. Along with other believers including Wallace and his daughters Michelle and Margot, we hurried down a side alley. We could hear Muslims chanting in unison from outside the courtyard a phrase I was told had something to do with “God is great.”

As we hurried down the side alley I imagined myself being chased down by a mob of Muslims and beaten up. We turned right into another alley, and after about another block came upon a waiting car. I was pushed into the rear seat of car, and spirited away. We arrived at Pastor Samuel’s home going in through the garage.

Wallace’s daughters had been left behind, but later arrived home safely—crying and afraid.

We were thankful no one had been hurt, and that we were worthy to suffer threats for the name of Jesus (Acts 5:41).

I count it a privilege to experience briefly the sufferings endured by the Pakistani believers.

Tomorrow we’ll meet in a safe area inhabited by more believers.”

Note: it is best not to begin sharing the gospel with Muslims by proclaiming that “Jesus is the Son of God.” They will not understand at first. But the Koran states that Jesus is the Messiah.

 

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