Christians across the globe have for centuries been celebrating the birth of Christ on 25th December, a date that may or may not be the actual birth date
of Christ but commemorates his birth that paved the way for mankind’s salvation.
To mark this point in the BPCA calendar we wanted to do more than just hand out gifts to the poor and needy, and our trustees agreed a programme of
four Outreaches, aimed at reaching out to nominal Christians and non-Christians, whilst encouraging and reviving the faith of existing Pak-Christians.
Sharing the love of Christ was our main ambition.
Our first outreach was held at Maskeen Colony on 24th December 2015, a slum area in Islamabad which is home to an impoverished community who struggle
to survive and are often bereft of basics necessities we take for granted, such as food or clean water.
On a recent trip BPCA officer Mehwish joined Shamim Masih, who himself had organised a survey visit with MEPs to highlight the plight of Pakistani
Christians living in the region. Many of whom are facing potential eviction from their tent colony due to a recent Government initiative that
is based on eradicating non-Muslims from the area, which apparently defiles their Muslim capital of the country. Many of those living here have
had to flee from other areas in the wake of blasphemy allegations or riots and disturbances and are the subjects of daily persecution. Read more
about this (click here).
Our desire to reach out to these fellow Christians who are ostracised by the Muslim community and hold an evidenced untouchable status was met with
great fervour. The local Christian community responded well to our plans and local Pastor Habib of Grace Life Church, joined us in promoting
and hosting the event. All the costs of the event were covered by the BPCA thanks to a generous donor.
A lot of planning went into the event which was organised in a grand marquee. A rousing worship service led by local musicians and a choir and
a sermon from both Pastor Habib and Mehwish Bhatti, helped share the Gospel with over 100 attendees many of whom had been to church for the first time
in 2006. Around half of those 100 responded to a prayer call for a closer walk with Jesus, and 10 people also reported being healed of an ailment
during a specific prayer healing component at the end of the service. Local Pastor Habib organised his stewards to obtain contact data for all
those that sought to learn more about following Christ and those healed, and his church will be undertaking a follow-up programme that will help disciple
these believers. It is unknown how many of those that attended were non-Christian visitors but local Muslims were in attendance.
We were excited to distribute 10 audio bibles to individuals who expressed that they were illiterate and felt a desire to access the word of God for
themselves. We also shared gifts of clothes for adults attendees and toys for children, exercising love to meet a need.
Mehwish Bhatti, our lead officer, said:
“It was a great blessing to see the joy and happiness experienced at our outreach and to bring some of God’s love into the midst of so many beleaguered people. Sharing the word of God was a privilege and to see so many people react to the Gospel with such passion has encouraged me greatly. The spirit of God was at this event for definite resulting in people being healed, physically, emotionally and spiritually. May God’s name be praised.”
People of Maskeen Colony, Islamabad, are living here in extreme poverty and ill health, we wish to provide a water pump for residents if planning permission
can be obtained since none of the land belongs to the resident Christians.
We have secured a grant from a large Christian Charity to install a pump, which will cost in the region of £1200. However planning permission
for the pump is being sought causing delay. Please pray for a way forward for this.
Wilson Chowdhry.Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“Marginalised Christians of Islamabad where made to feel special this year, which has no doubt galvanised their spirit and encouraged their faith. They still face great uncertainty about their future but renewed faith in God will take the edge of the depression many have been feeling. We have a mighty God who will protect and shelter his people and we ask that concerned Christians across the globe maintain constant prayer for their situation, that they might gain some stability and embark on a period of growth.”
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