Rural villages outside of Sialkot in the Punjab province of Pakistan are being reached with the good news of Jesus Christ. Many of the folks there have been Christians for years already. Others are hearing for the first time. Many are ready to go deeper in their walk with God, but they cannot foster their own growth for two main reasons: (1) Most of them cannot read, and (2) even if they can read, they don't have Bibles.
Mehboob, RTN's pastor to these villagers, has identified households who don't have Bibles, but do have at least one family member who can read. They are asking for Bibles and we want to provide them.
We will provide Urdu translations of the Bible for households which have a literate adult and children's Bibles for those families whose only reader is a child. Either way, one person can read to the others and entire families will be able to learn God's truths day-by-day and not just when the RTN team comes in for teaching, preaching, and worship.
You have seen many posts about the work Shakeel and Rustam are doing in villages around Hyderabad. In addition to those areas, Shakeel has been sharing in ministry with a Hyderabad pastor named Shakir. These photos show a recent visit to the village of Kotri where several have come to faith in recent months.
New believers are baptized in a nearby river.
Mosquitoes have been abundant this rainy season. Mosquito nets are provided to those in need of this protection.
The people of this area, Shakeel reports, are the lowest caste of Hindus and shunned by most other people. They are learning of God's love for them and He is changing their lives.
One of the men of Kotri believed in Jesus as his Savior and Lord and was baptized about two months ago. He now gathered his family to hear the teaching of Shakir and Shakeel. God is blessing and opening hearts to hear this message of grace and love.
Geographically and governmentally, Pakistan is divided into four provinces: Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh. Pakistan also has a capital territory and some federally governed tribal areas. Reach the Nations is supportive of some already established ministries in the Islamabad/Rawalpindi area and engages in outreach and establishment of new churches in both Punjab and Sindh.
This post concerns the ministry in Punjab, a province in the northeastern part of Pakistan with a population of more than 110,000,000. The focus of RTN's Punjab outreach is in impoverished Christian villages outside of the city of Sialkot. Many are Christian in name only, by family heritage. Others are coming to true faith in Christ and are growing in their understanding of the Bible and commitment to following its ways.
Mehboob (on left in photo above) leads RTN's work in Punjab and his team includes Adnon (on the right above) and Efram (not pictured). They recently ministered in two...
There are many obstacles to the work in the villages around Hyderabad. Weather is often a factor - too much rain or not enough. Extraordinarily hot or uncomfortably cold. Another obstacle has to do with holidays for the majority religion in Pakistan. This past week it was Murraham, celebrated by the Shia sect and includes processions and public meetings. And, finally, there is the need for the Hindus and Christians living in poverty in these villages to work when work is available. This week, again, many had migrated to the cotton fields where they could find employment and they will stay there until the work is finished.
Shakeel and Rustam, though, faithfully go, often in difficult circumstances, to preach the Gospel and to encourage those who are following Jesus. And God is blessing!
A new village reached
For a few months now, a house leader has been asking Rustam to come and share Bible teaching with Hindus in his village. With that open door, this past week Shakeel and Rusta...
As the floods began to subside in the Sialkot area, Mehboob found there were some in the villages who had not been able to get through the wet and muddy roads to get to work. They and their families were short on food and supplies. Here are a couple of pictures of Mehboob meeting urgent needs for those families.
Many thanks for those of you who are supporting this work among the Pakistanis in villages around Sialkot and Hyderabad. Your prayers and your contributions are enabling God's love to be shown to those in great need - both physically and spiritually. Thank you!