Christmas Outreach Youhanabad Lahore

Our second Christmas Outreach Programme was held in Youhanabad, Lahore on 29th December 2015.  Many of you will recall that Youhanabad was subjected
to two horrific bomb attacks simultaneously carried out by the Taliban on two churches packed with worshipping men, women and children on 15th March
2015. The BPCA responded immediately to bring vital assistance and comfort to the victims and their families, and this work is ongoing as we continue
to help those affected to recover and rebuild their lives.

Due to security still being a major concern in Youhanabad, it was necessary to have the outreach by invitation only, but this did not dampen anyone’s
spirits or deter them, and 80 Christians were in attendance.  Our Pakistan team, one of whom lives in Youhanabad, hired a school playground which
was made welcoming with tents, chairs, lighting and a sound system.  The meeting began with great praise and worship in which everyone participated
enthusiastically lifting God’s name on high. Pastor Shafiq, of ‘The Bible Church of Pakistan, a powerful man of God gave a sermon based on the book
of John, Chapter 2 and the first miracle of Jesus where he turned water into wine. He encouraged believers that God wishes to turn empty lives into
full lives.  Pastor Shafiq went on to illustrate that God is capable of turning woe and fear such as that experienced after the bomb attacks,
into joy and vigorous faith.  Participating Christians were very much encouraged and felt greatly uplifted.  After hearing God’s word Martha
Bibi said:

‘’The word which was preached from this platform was very powerful and yet simple to understand.
My whole family received the word with joy and were encouraged in their faith. Though we have faced great trouble in 2015 I look forward to God’s promise
of a better life.’’

After the service a fellowship meal was provided to the church and everyone stayed back to rejoice and share love with one another. 

A highlight of the programme for many was the presence of Qaisor Pervaiz, a survivor of the Youhanabad bomb attack at St James Church, and his
wife Samina, who were specially invited.  The couple shared the testimony of how God supernaturally preserved Qaisor’s life after he was caught
up in the attack. The doctors declared him dead after the suicide bombing in which he suffered 85% burns tackling one of the suicide bombers. After
resuscitation he was taken to the local hospital, which has no specialist burns unit, and was in a coma with doctors advising Samina that he would
not make it. Samina refused to believe this and much prayer was offered by the family, neighbours, local churches, and BPCA supporters for his
healing. Qaisor continued to go from strength to strength and he is even hoping to return to work in the near future. The couple are very grateful
to the BPCA and all supporters for everything that has been done to help them. They gave thanks and glory to God that despite everything that he
has endured, Qaisor is alive and standing before them able to tell them of God’s goodness. His life was saved in such a miraculous way and it is
clear that God still has plans for Qaisor, his life was not meant to be over yet.

Qaisor, said:

“God has brought me back from the brink of death and I stand before you now, able to share with you how grateful I am for his mercy. My physical body may not be as strong as it once was but my spirit soars high and I praise His name greatly.  He has allowed me to see my children grow up the very children He gifted to me, when you next struggle please do not condemn God but remember this he has a watchful gaze over us and his promise of eternal life is a gift that should never be forgotten or ignored.”

Our other special guests were Suleman, Sonia and Poonam, the children of Shama and Shahzad a couple burned alive in a brick kiln last year after
a false blasphemy charge.  The children expressed their delight at being invited and were overwhelmed with happiness at receiving gifts from
BPCA. Sonia and Poonam enjoyed the meal and company of other children so much that they did not want return home and nagged their grandfather to
let them stay longer. This reaction was wonderful to see and we are so grateful to God for the remarkable love poured out in their lives since
they so cruelly lost their parents. 

The distribution of audio bibles was another very significant part of our outreach and those in attendance showed great hunger for them, desiring
to access to the word of God for themselves. Inevitably the demand greatly outstripped the supply of this precious gift.  We distributed ten
of these bibles of which a few users were blind.

We held a bible quiz during the fellowship meal and distributed gifts to men, women and children according to their ability to correctly answer

Essentially the programme was an opportunity for people to receive God’s transforming word in their lives, be encouraged and have an opportunity
to receive prayer and we praise God that 30 people responded to the prayer call and 5 people were healed.  One was cured of a severe headache
and two had been ill for a week with fever, another girl had an unexplained pain in her right arm which was instantly healed when prayed for.

Our prayer call was for those who wished to be free of any habits or sins that they knew were not in line with God’s word and which were holding
them back in their Christian life.

The BPCA gives special thanks to Pastor Shafiq who helped us to organise and conduct the outreach, and all our faithful partners and donors as
without their support, this outreach would not have been possible.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:

“What can I say except that if I had not been banned from Pakistan for my pro-justice campaign, that I would have dearly wished to be at this outreach.  Christians of Lahore have suffered greatly via the bomb attack and nearby Kasur is simply persecution capital for Christians in Pakistan.  The moving testimony by Qaisor has spoken to me reminding me that the difficulties I face are miniscule and that makes my heart praise God for his mercy and grace.  His story is one that should drive us all towards a more faithful walk with Christ.”

We would like to hold more outreaches like this in Pakistan desiring to share the gospel with weaker or nominal believers to strengthen their faith and help draw them closer to God, that they might truly understand grace and the gift of eternal life. We also aim to reach out to the Muslim majority and other minorities living in Pakistan. Christianity is growing in Pakistan despite the severe persecution that believers and converts suffer. God is moving in this nation and hope is restoring a broken people. We still have further audio bibles to distribute and will be sharing these at our gatherings bringing the word of God in a very natural way, spoken word, as was the tradition of believers for centuries.

If you would like to contribute towards our work and would like the name of Jesus proclaimed throughout Pakistan our bank details, paypal/visa payment facility can be found (click here)