In October, the Reach the Nations team in Punjab made numerous visits to villages where Christians live and where there is no one else to teach, preach, or lead them in worship.
Mehboob, who leads the Punjab ministry for RTN, is accompanied by Adnan and Irfan, both of whom share in the leadership responsibilities. The result: Consistent biblical teaching, a variety of styles of presentation, and sufficient personal support for those who come to learn and grow.
God is blessing this ministry with Christians who are growing in their faith and in evangelistic outreach for those who have not yet responded to the message of Christ's love.
Please continue to pray for these men who are committed to seeing God's Word planted in the hearts and minds of many.
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the ongoing online Bible Study Gary Finkbeiner of Reach this Nations is leading with several other men from both the U. S. and Pakistan.
Shakeel is one of those students.
Recently, Shakeel was asked to preach in a church just outside the city of Hyderabad. He chose to preach on justification by faith, a topic under discussion in the online Bible study.
He says the congregation was blessed, and he stayed afterwards to visit with the pastor sharing further teaching on the subject.
Commenting on the Reach the Nations Bible study, Shakeel says, "Thanks be to God for all the blessings and teachings through all of you."
"You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:1-2 - Paul writing to Timothy, his student)
Many families in the Sindh villages where Reach the Nations ministers are picking cotton in this season and, therefore, are temporarily living away from home.
Shakeel and Rustam, like good shepherds, ventured out to find and encourage their flock. There were so many places to go, they found it necessary to stay the night and continue into the next day. Below you will see the two of them enjoying breakfast after sleeping in their open-air accommodations.
And here are some of the places they visited:
Rustam had ministered earlier in Sehri, praying for a sick woman who was healed through God's help. This time they ministered together with biblical teaching and prayers.
A night meeting was held in Mirwa as people thanked God for the blessings of the cotton harvest.
Shakeel reports that there was a fire in Misri Shah recently and several families lost their possessions and their homes were damaged. The men gave words of encouragement from Job and Psalms.
In the past few weeks, Rustam and Shakeel visited Korki and Kumb. Here are a few photos showing their ministry there:
In Korki, Shakeel taught about the paralyzed man who was let down through the roof by his friends so he could see Jesus (Mark 2). He talked about the objection of the religious leaders that Jesus said the man's sins were forgiven. Shakeel concluded his teaching saying, "Jesus says that he has the authority to forgive sins and then proves it by healing the paralyzed man."
In Kumb the teaching was about the miracle of the loaves and fishes as told in Matthew 14. Here's part of Shakeel's message, "When we bring something to Him, the result is that we also get something more from God. We should present what we have and see the blessings of God in return."
Shakeel also went to Gularchi, a village he had not visited before. He ministered in this area with Pastor Shakir who is from Hyderabad.
In Gularchi, Pastor Shakir taught about the power of pra...
Throughout the month of September, the Reach the Nations team in Punjab visited seven different villages where there are Christian populations interested in meeting together to pray, worship, and learn.
Mehboob, Irfan, and Adnan preached and taught on these topics:
Not being ashamed of the gospel
The anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany
Angels and protection
Christ's obedience and exaltation
Our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit
Each village offers a different place to meet: sometimes in a home, sometimes in a space specifically set aside for church meetings, sometimes in a church. The pictures tell the story.
The team reports that COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in these communities. Pray for the protection of our team and their families and for the villagers during these times of risk.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."...
Shakeel and Rustam visited a new area, Pacca Chang, near Khairpur last month. They went because a woman there had been possessed by evil spirits for nearly fifteen years, and someone from the village who had heard about the ministry of Reach the Nations, contacted Rustam and asked if they could help.
The woman was from a tribal area known as the Ogniya Community. Her husband reported that they had gone to many doctors and even to magicians hoping for healing, but no one had been able to help.
Shakeel arrived in the village and met the possessed woman, and this is how he describes what happened, "We spent time in prayers and God listened and healed that woman and the family rejoiced." A simple story of God's power and grace.
He goes on to say, "We believe this miracle will bring more to come to Christ on in this new area and in other new communities. We thank God for this."
The woman and her husband, pictured above, were so grateful for her release from the evil spirits' cont...
For several weeks now members of the Reach the Nations (RTN) team in Pakistan and members of the RTN team in the U. S. have been studying the Bible together. Thankfully, this study is enabled by an online platform that many businesses and ministries have turned to during this time of restricted travel and cautions about in-person meetings.
Not to be hindered in RTN’s goal to train leaders in Pakistan even with many restrictions in place, Gary Finkbeiner, RTN founder, has been leading the virtual study on the book of Romans.
Participants include Mehboob, Irfan, and Adnan in the Sialkot area, Shakeel in Hyderabad, Warren in Colorado, and Peter in Chicago. Other team members will join as they are able.
Gary comments on the significance of this online study, “One of the positive things that emerged from the COVID-19 virus was that it made way for us to challenge ourselves to get a media and online dimension to RTN up and running. This has produced an important development."...
Mehboob reports that COVID-19 continues to decline in Punjab and they are feeling free to visit villages on a regular rotation as they had done in past, less-worrisome days.
He and Adnan visited eight villages in August. They prepare several sermons and preach them as they go, sometimes repeating sermons in different villages. Always, though, they point their listeners to the teaching of the Bible and to our dependence on God for salvation and for daily living.
This month's topics included overcoming fear, having faith, defending the faith, prayer, and planning life in relationship to God.
Mehboob asks for prayer for himself and Adnan as well as their families as they continue this ministry of evangelism and discipleship.
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12
Seasonal monsoons have caused severe flooding in Sindh province where Shakeel and Rustam live and work. Overtaxed water/sewer systems have caused tremendous problems in Karachi and Hyderabad. The villages fare no better.
Please pray for the people of Pakistan as our teams serve both physical and spiritual needs of those who are affected.
Pacca Chang was a village in Sindh that Rustam and Shakeel had never visited before. The people who came to hear the message are Hindu for the most part and were curious about what these men would have to say. So, Shakeel began at the beginning with Adam and Eve and their fall into sin. Then he fast-forwarded to Jesus who came to earth to die and rise again to atone for the sin of mankind and to offer eternal life to all who believed in him.
Rustam and Shakeel also preached in Kumb, Korki and Mirwa this past month and ministered to various needs.
The great news is that they are continuing to see people accepting the invitation of Jesus Christ to follow him. In In July they had five baptisms of new believers. In August, there were eight more.
Six men and two women, who have placed their faith in Christ, made that decision public this month by being baptized. Many seeds of truth have been planted in these villages over months of time and the fruit of those seeds is beginning to show.