Recognizing God's gifts and learning to give Him thanks is a teaching in the Bible we sometimes need to follow more faithfully. Shakeel taught the concept of thanksgiving in the village of Misri-shah last week. One of the brothers there was under great stress because he owed money and was being pressured to repay. Shakeel reports "This day he is freed from this loan and he was rejoicing and giving thanks to God." So, Sakeel's sermon on thankfulness was exactly what the congregation, rejoicing with their brother, needed to hear.
Shakeel says, "What does God want from His people? Psalm 100 tells us that we should praise God and give thanks to Him." He then went on to the parable in Luke about the lost coin. When the woman found the coin, she gathered her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. When God answers our prayers or gives us blessings, we should join with others so we can praise Him together.
Then, Shakeel reports of going to the village of Mamo Ghulam Husssain Palh where a man named Raja opened his home to hold a meeting where Shakeel shared the Gospel using the story of Philip and the Ethiopian (from Acts 8:26-28).
"Raja has been listening to the Gospel for a long time, but not ready to respond to what he was hearing," Shakeel says, "so I tried to teach him more and asked him to pray about this teaching from the Bible, so he can practice in his life what he is learning. I invited him to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior and healer. God is working in Brother Raja’s life through our visits."
In Arab Solangi, Shakeel held a Holy Communion service in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice for us, giving His body and blood for our sins. Then he taught about Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5 reminding his listeners that today, when we make promises to God, we must always be faithful in keeping them.
Finally, Shakeel shared the following photograph to show how difficult it is to minister to women in the Pakistani culture, primarily because they cover their heads and, often, their faces when men are present. But he goes on to thank God because He is working and is touching hearts of many women through the ministry.
Pray for Shakeel and Rustam as they begin to prepare for December village visits including Christmas celebrations in Hyderabad and at our church in Khairpur as well as visiting new families in that area. Much is being accomplished for the glory of God. Much remains to be done. Thank you for your prayers!