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God’s work among Pakistanis chronicled by Baptist workers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP)–“God is still at work in the earthquake zone,” Southern Baptist representative Josie Gabdon* writes, recounting: “Some co-workers have seen a miracle! A young woman, a wife and mother, had not gotten out of bed since the earthquake! She was so depressed over her loss that her family had to take her load. In desperation, her husband found our friends -– relief volunteers -– and begged them to come to his home and pray for his wife. The next morning, the husband came bounding down the mountain with a huge smile on his face. ‘My wife got up, cooked breakfast and dressed our children this morning,’ he exclaimed. ‘Please, how can I follow this Jesus who saved my wife?’ Please pray that God would enter this family and that through them many will be saved.”

Among other accounts from the 2005 earthquake zone:

— “We had an amazing group of collegiate volunteers come to work,” Southern Baptist representative Worth Ballinger* writes. “There were six students from four states. They did projects such as building shelters, distributing food rations and taking cloth for sewing. They also spent time telling Bible stories, playing sports, drinking tea and praying with many who have lost so much in the earthquake. Several of the students camped out with translators and worked in the field as much as possible. They not only left some physical improvements in the lives of these earthquake victims, they left at least two new followers of Christ! Pray for more laborers in the harvest here. Ask Christians to go beyond praying to going!”

— “One of the beautiful benefits of these recent earthquake-relief efforts has been the development of some of our Muslim-background believers,” Southern Baptist representative Isaiah Gabdon* writes. “Several of them came to help with translation and other work, and they have really jumped in to share their faith and tell Bible stories. They have become emboldened by translating for volunteers. One of our Muslim-background believers stood before a group of dozens of people, and after translating for a volunteer, he went on to preach to them for 20 to 30 minutes himself -– telling his own testimony and sharing the hope he has in Jesus, praying that they would find that same peace and faith.”

— “The earthquake has occurred -– a disaster unlike any we have had in Pakistan in its history. As the earth opened, destroying thousands of lives and homes, it also opened new doors of opportunity,” Southern Baptist representative Thad Crisler* writes. “If we want to truly focus on the unreached, now is the time to do so. We have a chance to impact this country and its most unreached peoples in an unprecedented way. In order to seize these opportunities, our earthquake relief team has developed a set of Bible stories that addresses issues earthquake survivors face. The stories have been well-received by the people here.”

— A college student serving as an earthquake-relief volunteer had the opportunity to visit with a young man waiting at a Christian hospital. The man had picked up a Bible from the hospital’s literature table. The volunteer asked him if he knew anything about this Book, and the man said he did not. Using religious terminology the man could understand, the volunteer shared Christ with this man and asked him if he would like to pray to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior, Southern Baptist representative Worth Ballinger* writes. “The man said ‘yes,’ and they prayed right there in the parking lot of the hospital!” Southern Baptist representatives are following up with the young man who continues to live under the shelter of a tent.

— “Thank God for Southern Baptist volunteers who have come to help in the earthquake response effort,” Southern Baptist representative Isaiah Gabdon* writes. “Volunteer ladies have cried with hurting women, prayed with them and shared stories of hope from the Bible and from their own lives. They have physically helped by providing sewing machines, cloth, knitting needles and yarn for ladies, and arts, crafts and games for children. Volunteer men have helped build shelters, distribute food and pass out items such as blankets, kitchen sets, shovels and picks and children’s clothing -– items purchased through Southern Baptist donations to the earthquake relief fund. Volunteer men also have shared their testimonies, told Bible stories and shown the “JESUS” film to many people.”

— Two college students serving as earthquake-relief volunteers were in a village building shelters. One evening they had the opportunity to share the Gospel with the village leaders. The leaders had no strong positive or negative response. Later that night, the volunteers asked their driver what he thought about the things they shared. The driver said, “It is all right and true.” The team members then asked if he would like to follow Jesus. He said “yes.” On the way back, the volunteers stopped and picked up a Bible for him, and the man began reading it. Southern Baptist representatives are following up to see how he is doing. This driver -– hired randomly to drive the volunteer team members -– stays in a tent because the earthquake devastated his village.

— “Your Jesus is my Jesus.” A new Pakistani believer, a former Muslim, wrote and sang these words. Now others can offer praise to Jesus through his songs. “What an answer to prayer!” Southern Baptist representative Josie Gabdon* writes. “Ask God to use this man to bring his whole family to faith!” God is working through songs to turn the hearts of Muslims toward Him. “A CD of 10 Urdu songs based on stories from the Bible is being sold and distributed throughout Pakistan, including the devastated earthquake areas,” Southern Baptist representative Ethan Leyton* writes. “Pray the CDs get in the hands of people who are seeking an experience with God. Pray they’ll respond to His love and bring their families and friends to Him as well. Pray that we’ll be able to scatter the CD around Urdu-speaking areas” in Pakistan and throughout South Asia.
*Names changed for security reasons. Offering various levels of involvement, “mPak Pakistan” invites churches to adopt specific districts in Pakistan to share the love of God with Pakistanis, even without ever traveling to the country. Churches interested in knowing more about how to get involved should e-mail [email protected].

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