donation

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 Days in the Life of a Christian in Pakistan

5 Days in the Life of a Christian in Pakistan

Brother Andrew's book, "Secret Believers", is one of those books you can't put down when you start reading it.  At least I couldn't!  I've probably purchased and given away 100 copies of this book since I read it 2 years ago.  For someone on Social Security thats a lot of books!  I strongly encourage everyone to read the book.  If you can't find a copy of the book at least go to the website and read about the organization.
http://www.secretbelievers.org/home.aspx

God used Stu Weber's book, "The Tender Warrior", to help make me a better Christian, husband, and Dad.  He used "Secret Believers" to show me how Blessed I am!  Those two books have  been life changers for me!

"Secret Believers" is a true story about Christians who live in a Muslim country.  The name of the country is not revealed for safety reasons, the names of the characters have been changed for the same reason.  The book gives the reader an honest look at what earthly price these Christians pay for their Faith. If like me you live in the U.S., or any other free country, its hard to begin to imagine what Christians have to endure in other countries. 

In addition to the book, Brother Andrew's organization has on its website a place you can sign up to receive email alerts.  They have a young Christian woman who lives in Pakistan.  She writes under the name of "Maaria".  She keeps a daily journal.  As she is able to slip her entries out, Brother Andrew's organization post her entries on their website.  Below I am going to post her five most recent entries.

I Pray "Maaria's" words will inspire each of you!  I Pray you will be inspired to Pray for her and persecuted Christians all over the world every day!  I Pray her words will inspire you to share your Faith with everyone you come in contact with!  I Pray through her words, and through the book those of you who live in free countries will see how Blessed we truly are!  Please read her journal entries!




9/11 the day that goes on and on and on

Posted on 09/09/2011 12:00 AM
   
SOS - pray for our safety for Churches and Christian schools and hospitals on this 9/11. Your own grief and suffering and those you lost on 9/11 in the US and 7/7 in the UK and those in Spain and others around the world - your grief is not forgotten, Bali is not forgotten.

As we all go to Church on this 9/11 please pray for our safety. Extremist Copy Cats may think it is a significant lesson to teach us on this day which is sadly a celebration for so many of them.

Let us pray that we will truly be Christ like in our attitude toward the persecutor. How beautiful the story of forgiveness - because only when we forgive does persecution and enmity become a chance to become more like Christ.

I want to assure you that we are praying for those of you who have horrible memories of that day. Please know you are upheld. May the grace of God flood you and strengthen you in all goodness.

Thank you for your prayers.



Your prayers are a blessing

Posted on 09/09/2011 12:00 AM
   
Your encouragment means the world to me. Please keep praying for us. Every day seems critical in terms of shaping our identity and our dreams and prayers for the future. From one day to the next families change their minds about whether they want to stay in Pakistan or leave! From one day to the next peoples' desire to serve in Pakistan changes. Not every one is called to stay here. Not every one is called to stay in Iran or other Mid Eastern countries. No one can judge but pray for those who leave that they leave with a prayer in their heart for Pakistan, that for those who do accept the Gospel and those who do show them respect and dignity they would leave a blessing and not wipe the dust off their shoes, leaving even their friends without a blessing for the days ahead. Days ahead in which we will need to know your every blessing for us. Days of trial and tribulation where if you leave dust for one you have left it for all. So pray that those who board flights to leave these lands will leave with a prayer and will take some dust with them to remember that Pakistan and Iran and other Arab lands need their prayer and their active love, not just a dormant emotion somewhere on a dusty shelf!

Please continue to pray for the Hajiras and Ayeshas and Salmas. Pray that the Maarias would be more like Christ for as the apostle Paul reminds us our sufferings are God transforming us into the likeness of His Son. Will I allow suffering to make me like Jesus or make me a persecutor of the Body and the Kingdom by my attitudes. I struggle. Some may think well Maaria lives an easier life than so many, she has a a car and a home and family who love her and she is not being beaten day and night. It is easy for her to say. I have no idea what you think of Maaria. But I know this that every day Maaria has to surrender to the will of God, she has to trust God's purpose for this nation and the Church that is on this soil. Maaria has to trust God when family after family in the Christian colony is down with Dengue Fever because they are in low income areas where the mosquitos hover over swampy ground and those are inhabited by Christians. Maaria has to surrender every day when she has been on her knees begging for Shahbaz Taseer to be released by his kidnappers because she knows it could just as easily be the son of a pastor or a priest. Maaria has to surrender every day when she knows a bomb has gone off in a mosque and men and women are dying without Christ's all surpassing peace and I know Maaria does not find this easy. Maarias can only be Christ to the Hajiras of the Muslim world when the brothers and sisters around the world uphold us. And I know you do that. I assure you your prayers are not unheard - the Spirit is released into our situation and we see Emmanuel at work. So thank you and do not leave us alone on this journey. We covet your prayers and we love you dearly. We are comforted by the partnership we share.



You will have trouble but take heart...

Posted on 09/09/2011 12:00 AM
Floods, kidnappings, Dengue Fever, Murders, land dispute, persecution of Christians, property grabbing, forced conversions, girls coerced into unhealthy relationships! I do not know where to begin. I am worried about Hajira. She has gone quiet on me. Another friend of mine has lost so much weight from drugs and sneaking out to parties that I do not even know her any more. Her eyes bulge, she is gaunt and always swearing and needing a smoke. She has so many health issues but will not go to the doctor for fear her parents find out what goes on in her 'other life' where she supposedly goes to evening tutorials. In reality it is one boy friend after the other. She says she will never ever be like Hajira stuck between the hijab and her desire for freedom! But that is what Hajira said. That is what most Pakistani and Arab girls say. They have one long party and then suddenly when the biological alarm clock goes off between 27 and 30 off come the jeans and the piercings and the tattoos are removed through painful and expensive laser treatment. But these are the ones with means, with a car at their disposal and money in their wallet and dads who make more than enough. There are the Ayeshas as well who do not go wild at all. They live in quiet submission. But both of them hit the day when they wonder if Allah will forgive them. One bears guilt for the things she may have done and the other for the things she knows she has done.

The hijab is just a piece of cloth. Do not let it tell you anything about the Muslims of the Arab world. Behind the veil is a world where the Devil is working havoc into the lives of people taking them further and further from true freedom by telling them lies like 'Freedom is being able to do whatever you want and have fun' on the other hand he tells the Hajiars and the Ayeshas 'Freedom is bad and only the law can save you'. Both think, I, Maaria am a Christian who can do what I like because Christians believe in forgiveness so they are free to sin! What a false idea.

Showing Christ through our days and dealing with the situations around us makes us weary. The spiritual fatigue threatens. Not to mention the mosquitoes that are floating around full of Dengue virus which is making so many people sick. A friend of Amma's and her entire family are in bed with the virus and it totally debilitates the sufferer. One member of their family has died. Another young woman was coerced to marry a Muslim boy in her class and now she knows what she did was wrong but now she has been told she cannot see her family. If she tries she has been told they will bring a blaspheme case against her! Despite all this the Lord reminded me this morning He is Emmanuel and His Holy Spirit is with me, them and YOU and you by your prayers are helping us to cope and stand strong. Thank you.



Reality Check

Posted on 09/17/2011 12:00 AM
Saturday morning smelt promising with the aroma of fried flat breads, eggs and tea in a metal teapot wafting through the house. But the old sense of joy at the hot bread and cold yogurt lying in front of one at the breakfast table lasts only so long!

The newspaper and the news feeds on websites tell a sad story. Dadi sat sadly in the veranda with her tea and Bible. 'It seems as though God has allowed every curse imaginable to come on this land- they should let Aasiya Bibi go- God keeps reminding me of Pharoh and his hard heart' she said to Amma, lifting her eyes only shortly from her Bible.

I did not join in the conversation but I felt a growing sense of agreement inside me. Older people see things differently from us. We do not want to talk about curses and God's judgment an punishment. We have become infected by the 'political correctness' of the west that has been a 'cool' way to keep ourselves safe from persecution and discrimination. We have dismissed that language from our days. Being 'safe' has seeped in and being 'real' has become hard to grasp.

But that is where the word of God is so life changing. It makes us dwell on the power of words and the power of God, it makes us dwell on the nature of God- a very thorough reality check. Aasiya Bibi is a woman who has been wronged thoroughly and more than that, what seperates her from millions of other injustices in Pakistan let alone in the world is that she is righteous woman with a heart for the living God. who loves Jesus and will not turn from Him. Her real crime was to share the goodnews and challenge them who do not have it. Yet today she lies in a prison cell, deprived of freedom and her family.

Dadi may be on to something. Surely the Lord allows us to suffer- Job and Jeremiah are witnesses of that. Did Jesus himself not say 'Blessed are those who are persecuted?' but that does not mean that the persecutor will not be taken to task by God. That does not mean that God will not deal with them who harm a hair on the heads of one of them who confess Him as God? We must not take God lightly. If we believer He is able to whisk us out of trouble or strengthen us in trouble or that His arm is not short concerning us, then we have to know that His arm is equally able to reach out to the persecutor. In the midst of that we are still called to demonstrate grace and love. We must notbe content and gleefull at the suffering and failure of others. But should demonstrate grace that their mourning may end and their joy would come in the breaking dawn of the future as they know the power of the God of Aasiya Bibi. The power of the God who is allowing my land to suffer from poverty, unemployment, floods and dengue fever and violence will also be available to manifest in Pakistan's Christians as love, a ministry of healing, peacemaking and restoration in the name of Jesus to our Muslim neighbours and our struggling authorities.




The power of God

Posted on 09/17/2011 12:00 AM
Saturday morning smelt promising with the arroma of fried flat breads, eggs and tea in a metal teapot wafting through the house. But the old sense of joy at the hot bread and cold yogurt lying in front of one at the breakfast table lasts only so long!

The newspaper and the news feeds on websites tell a sad story. Dadi sat sadly in the veranda with her tea and Bible. 'It seems as though God has allowed every curse imaginable to come on this land- they should let Aasiya Bibi go- God keeps reminding me of Pharoh and his hard heart' she said to Amma, lifting her eyes only shortly from her Bible.

I did not join in the conversation but I felt a growing sense of agreement inside me. Older people see things differently from us. We do not want to talk about curses and God's judgment an punishment. We have become infected by the 'political correctness' of the west that has been a 'cool' way to keep ourselves safe from persecution and discrimination. We have dismissed that language from our days. Being 'safe' has seeped in and being 'real' has become hard to grasp.

But that is where the word of God is so life changing. It makes us dwell on the power of words and the power of God, it makes us dwell on the nature of God- a very thorough reality check. Aasiya Bibi is a woman who has been wronged thoroughly and more than that, what seperates her from millions of other injustices in Pakistan let alone in the world is that she is righteous woman with a heart for the living God. who loves Jesus and will not turn from Him. Her real crime was to share the goodnews and challenge them who do not have it. Yet today she lies in a prison cell, deprived of freedom and her family.

Dadi may be on to something. God allows us to suffer. Did Jesus himself not say 'Blessed are those who are persecuted?' but that does not mean that the persecutor will not be taken to task by God. That does not mean that God will not deal with them who harm a hair on the heads of one of them who confess Him as God? We must not take God lightly. If we believer He is able to whisk us out of trouble or strengthen us in trouble or that His arm is not short concerning us, then we have to know that His arm is equally able to reach out to the persecutor. In the midst of that we are still called to demonstrate grace and love. We must notbe content and gleefull at the suffering and failure of others. But should demonstrate grace that their mourning may end and their joy would come in the breaking dawn of the future as they know the power of the God of Aasiya Bibi. The power of the God who is allowing my land to suffer from floods and dengue fever and violence will also be available to manifest in Pakistan's Christians as love, a ministry of healing, peacemaking and restoration in the name of Jesus to our Muslim neighbours and our struggling authorities.


I hope "Maaria's" words will inspire all of us!!  May God continue to Bless each and everyone of you!  May God Bless and protect all of the "Maarias"!

In His Service,

Dan

James 1:2-8

New International Version 1984

Trials and Temptations
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

No comments:

Post a Comment