How a scattered fellowship was used for God’s glory in Pakistan
Ranked fifth on Open Doors’ ‘World Watch List’ for extreme persecution, Pakistan is a nation where believers face severe persecution. With Christians often excluded from the best education and employment opportunities, churches here suffer from a lack of resources. Most fellowships meet in houses, huts, temporary shelters or even back yards.
One church was kicked out of their rented building after locals gathered in opposition to their meetings. The pastor faced threats and there were concerns about how the 25–30 members would gather for fellowship. However, the church family began meeting in smaller groups across a variety of locations, with the pastor travelling from place to place to join them.
At first, this seemed like a ‘second–best’ form of gathering. However, as the people of God began to meet in different places, the Lord began to do amazing things. In several locations, word got out that Christians were gathering together and opportunities to share the gospel came thick and fast. We were told that “people were reached with the message of salvation and the Spirit of God added more people into that church.”
Gathering and growing
After some time, it was decided that the church should gather centrally once again and the purchase of a small plot of land enabled the church start meeting in the open air. This posed a significant security risk, but the fellowship refused to step back from corporate worship. One worker in the country reported to us:
“I went there to encourage them to stand firm and put their eyes on Him. I was so moved to see the congregation passionately worshiping the Lord in midst of hardships, persecution, and opposition. People worshiped the living God and forgot their fears. When we are leading a persecuted church, we stand with our persecuted people.”
Construction of a building began but the funding was not sufficient and construction stuttered over the period of a year as a result. Nonetheless, God’s work continued. The pastor continued reaching out to the local community, making disciples and winning hearts for Christ as the Spirit worked through him. When the building finally opened, over 50 people began meeting together to worship the Lord. Now, around 130 believers gather each Sunday. For those who arrive late, it’s standing room only.
Our friends explained to us that God has been teaching them and encouraging them in this time:
“What we have learned is that Jesus’ church is not stoppable. It is built in any situation, and I would say it is built more stronger than ever before. So we are thinking to increase the sitting capacity in the room and we can have more people to come and worship the Lord.”
Please pray with us that this fellowship and many others in Pakistan would continue to grow in number, in strength and in depth despite the ongoing threat of persecution.
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