The Reach the Nations team has returned from Pakistan with an exciting report of God at work in this land. The team for this year’s mission was comprised of Warren Van Kampen, Mike Hayden, and Gary Finkbeiner. During the two-weeks of ministry, these men witnessed 20 new conversions to Christ with as many re-dedications to serving the Lord. And we are pleased to report that the newly converted have already begun to be baptized in water and join in local church life.
Here is a quick summary for your perusal:
The reach into outlying villages, started under the evangelistic efforts of Nazeer Mal, continues to see new converts, 55 of whom (all adults) were baptized in recent weeks. Shakeel Rehmat now leads the ministry in these outreach areas and he reports that 100 families in these villages are worshipping on a regular basis in Sunday services.
While Mike and Gary ministered to leaders and churches in both the north and south of Pakistan, Warren oversaw the installation of equipment for an eye clinic at Sahiwal Christian Hospital west of Lahore. This is the first time this 100-year-old, 200-bed hospital is able to offer ophthalmology services for the 10-million-person community it serves. A more detailed report on this medical mission will follow in a separate post.
Reach the Nations Ministries has been laboring for more than a year to establish a business training resource to help Christian families develop small businesses to enable economic self-sufficiency. We are pleased to report significant process in providing that training in conjunction with Cross Connecting Ministries and Partners Worldwide. Now that materials have been translated into Urdu, the first business training seminar will launch in Karachi in early 2017.
Gary and Mike participated in leadership training within two major church networks in the north and south of Pakistan. Along with this, they ministered in a number of churches in both traditional denominational settings and new church networks in these areas.
Three young Pakistani church leaders were accepted into a six-month biblical and theological training program at the Covenant Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) starting in January of 2017. These men, whose expenses are being fully paid by CLTI, will join students from three other nations for this intensive session. The long-term goal of this training is to help shape the theological development of the churches in South Asia and to advance church planting capabilities. The CLTI is based in St. Louis, Missouri with satellite campuses in Guatemala and Zambia.
Note from Gary:
“The work in Pakistan continues to develop. Our emphasis has been on relationship building and identification of key leaders with whom to partner for advancing the work of the Gospel. Though relationship building and developing trust take time, the team this year saw good relational growth with many frank and open discussions taking place. We rejoice in this as we see the grace of God on the process.”
Pakistan as a nation is in a critical period of its national history with many good things on the horizon along with serious challenges. Religious minorities face continuing difficulties despite perceived small increases of religious freedom. There is much work to do and by God’s wonderful grace, we pray that progress in the mission He has given us will benefit this nation and its people.