Volume. XXI, No. 38
Sunday, 18 March 2007

From The Pastors Heart: Missions Trip To Pakistan

Psalm 139:5 says, “Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.” I wonder if there might be any better verse which speaks about God’s watchful eyes on His children. The thought that God had beset me from behind and before strengthened my faith and encouraged my heart during my recent trip to Pakistan. Since my last year’s trip to Pakistan, I could not forget the country and its people. One of the pastors asked me this question during the trip: “Do you know what it means to live as a Christian in Pakistan?” Of course, I do not fully comprehend what it means to live as a Christian minority group in a predominantly Muslim country. I have only had a glimpse of their living conditions. Nonetheless, I can say I cannot but admire them for their faith and testimonies for Jesus Christ. 
I checked the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs for some information before I left for Pakistan. According to the information site, I was encouraged to reconsider my decision to travel to Pakistan. It did not give me any comfort or solace. I prayed to the Lord as if I was going to perish in that country and commit you all in His gracious hands. You can imagine how serious I was at that time. 
Let me briefly recount some of the events from the past first. There are a few thanksgivings over a few matters. First, I thank the Lord for a family donating enough money for a keyboard last year. Rev Dr Shakir’s church did not have a keyboard, but a very old organ played with hands. The organist was his daughter who was the only Christian among 600 students during her high school years. She was hoping and praying for a keyboard. I shared this need with the church, and a family, including their little child, and collected money for a keyboard. I thank and praise the Lord for them. I will not name them, for they will receive their rewards in heaven. I emailed a few photos during the week, and at least two photos were on the keyboard. I praise the Lord who has met the needs of His people in Pakistan. Second, there was another need for a wheelchair. I wrote and spoke about the need for a couple. The wife had suffered a stroke and her body was paralyzed. Her husband and son could not stay with her all the time, which meant that she had to stay in her room all day long. Physically, her husband could not take her anywhere. She needed a wheelchair. Her husband graduated from a seminary this year, and he is also a lecturer at a Christian technical institute. This school was founded to provide some educational opportunities to Christian minorities. When a wheelchair was offered to them, they were most grateful for the gift. She could now go out and breathe fresh air. They were tearful with gratitude. When this need was announced, a few of you came forward and offered help. In fact, I had to decline some of your willing contributions because enough money came in. I would not name the name whose financial contribution enabled me to buy them a wheelchair. However, I do want to thank you all for your willing heart to help the needy. I trust that the Lord will remember your tender and compassionate heart. Third, Dr. Shakir asked me last year whether I could be of help to buy some bicycles for local pastors. Most local pastors have full time jobs because their churches are too small to support them. They work all day long, and at night they do the Lord’s businesses. At night, there is no proper transportation. If they have motor bikes, they could move more freely regardless of distances. But, keeping a motor bike is very costly. They have to buy petrol and maintain the machine. Thus, bikes are the best means of transportation. Bikes manufactured in Pakistan cost about US$40, and imported ones from China about US$85. This time, a friend of mine from the States anonymously donated US$500 for the pastors’ bikes. Thank and praise the Lord for that. 
The first thing I did was to be with the local pastors for pastors’ conference. There were approximately 40 pastors and some lady evangelists. They were all zealous in prayer and in their evangelistic efforts. The following day was graduation day. The state was set up in open place, which was a problem with bad weather. On Friday night, the wind was strong and the rain fell. All of us were concerned that we might not be able to have the ceremony in the tent. Preparations started from 10 pm and went on till 5 am on graduation day. About midnight, rain began to fall, and people dropped their knees to pray for good weather for about an hour. Praise the Lord. Rain stopped and the wind was subdued. Graduation day was a beautiful day! On Sunday I spoke about Jesus and His crucifixion. People responded to the message of Christ with Amens and Hallelujahs. They were so happy to hear the name of Jesus in such an exalted way. After lunch, I had some time with the local pastors. Some of them came from different cities. They asked me two things: (1) Please come and teach us. They want to have more evangelistic meetings and pastors’ training courses. (2) Please send us some books to read. Both are expensive exercises. To travel to Pakistan and to educate them, a minimum expense will be at least US $3,000. It includes room and board and plane tickets for the preacher, and food arrangement and a conference centre. Pastors are not able to pay for their own accommodation or food. Their request was almost like a begging. They really want to hear the messages from the Bible. Who will have burdens for their needs? Souls are crying, but who will help them?
Pakistani Christians are very gentle and family oriented people. Christians are fervent to serve the Lord. Dr. Shakir and his brothers have produced 11 pastors from their own families. A few generations are living together under the same roof. Dr. Shakir has appealed to me whether I could help him to obtain a piece of land to build a seminary building. A piece of land (100m x 50m) costs about US $17,000. If someone wants to leave a legacy behind for Pakistani Christians, it will be a good opportunity. On Sunday night, I came back to Lahore. The hotel room was very damp and smelly, but my spirit was high. On Monday morning, I went to see Mr. Ali who represents Pakistan for the IOC. It was a very cordial meeting, and our conversation was warm. I cannot disclose all the discussions I had with him on paper, but it was an encouraging one. 
The traffic in the city of Lahore was very chaotic because of protests. Air pollution was extreme, and the streets were not so clean. However, souls crying for the message of Jesus Christ are everywhere. Five times a day, prayer is broadcasted throughout the city. Whenever I heard their prayers, I was wondering what I had done for the Lord. My heart is burdened for them. Westerners are scared to death to travel to Pakistan. I saw only a handful of foreigners in the airport or cities. However, somebody must go to preach. It requires both human and financial resources. What shall go there and who shall help? Pray for those people who live as Christian minorities and for those who need to hear the message of Jesus Christ. Thank you again for your contributions and prayers. May the Lord use us for His glory!
Pastor Ki

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 88: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption? The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.
Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev Peter Clements, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, & Winston Selvanayagam; Mr Nicholas Lim; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Aranka Rejtoe, Chrisanthi Selvanayagam, Juanita Tong, Nan van Buuren, Susan Veradi, & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction. "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet 5:7).
Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions - Mandarin Ministry (Sihanoukville); b) Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam; c) India & Pakistan Missions - Protection of Pastors & Believers; d) Sarawak (Kuching) Missions - Bro Jeremy & Sis Niki Teo, & Bro Lip Kah Teo; Attendance: 3 on 11 Mar; e) Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim; f) Journey Mercies - Ps Ki, Sisters Min Yen Chia, Serene Wong & Miss Ann Gie Ho (Adel); Sis Gillian Ong (Melb); Sis Jan & Bro Daniel Volvricht (London); & all those travelling this week; g) Easter Camp & Speaker: Dr Gary Cohen; h) Special Prayers for healing: Rev George van Buuren & Sis Sheila George; i) Jobs: Sisters Gillian Ong and Juanita Tong.
Praise and Thank God for – a) Blessings & answered prayers on Ps Ki’s missions to Pakistan; b) BSAG Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Ladies’ Fellowship Prayer & share; YAF Bible Study; AFG Bible Study; BBK class; c) Journey mercies - Ps Ki (Adel & Brisbane); Sis Min Yen Chia & Miss Ann Gie Ho (Syd); & all those who have arrived safely at their destinations.
Congratulations and God’s Blessings - Pr Hien Nguyen & brethren on the inauguration of Brisbane B-P Church today.
Lively Hope Committee: Resignation of Sisters Josephine Lee & Serene Wong. New members - Bros Daniel Ki & Jonathan Liao, & Sis Sarah Carpenter.
Transport Ministry: Drivers urgently needed to take worshippers to & from Worship Service. If you can serve God in this area, please see Dn Tony Law.
Looking Ahead: a) Easter Family Bible Camp 6-9 April 2007. Theme: “Occupy Till I Come”. Camp forms & fees to Dn David Yeo. b) Sunday School Teachers’ Training course starts after Easter. Those interested please inform Dn Edwin D’Mello.



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