If you have ever been involved in building something, you probably realize that it is not an instant gratification process. Church planting in Muslim countries is very much the same way. Our partner in Pakistan struggles with effectively sharing the Gospel because there is a need to have physical buildings where the people feel relatively safe worshipping. Many of the pastors working with OMP have shared the difficulties they have with no building and the risk they run for sharing in the open of being beaten or killed.
Recently one of the pastors hosted a leadership seminar in his home. The day after the seminar ended several Muslims came to his home to invite him for prayer. They dragged him from his home and took him outside the town and beat him to the point where they thought he was dead. By the mercy of God he was rescued and taken to the hospital where he remained in a coma for three days. Not only was he severely beaten, but the funds that he had received as reimbursement for the conference costs were stolen and the work of his ministry was severely hampered as fear spreads through communities when attacks on Christians take place.
At the main headquarters of OMP a new church (community center) is being built that will help to keep the pastors, their families and the worshippers in a safer environment. These are our brothers and sisters and they have worked hard to share, grow and disciple in an area of constant persecution. As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The church of Christ in Pakistan will not be built in a day – it is one-on-one witnessing and slow discipleship due to the scrutiny that suspected evangelists face. The penalty for converting a Muslim to another religion is death. They are building Christ’s church one believer at a time, and their physical buildings are being built one block at a time as funds become available. Those of us from an instant gratification life-style often find this difficult to understand and frustrating, but the Lord did not choose to give us their life, nor them ours. We are each a piece of God’s divine plan and we each have a different role. We may not be physically laying the bricks or be the ones secretly sharing tracts to unbelievers or new converts, but global evangelism is mandated for all of us. What can you do? What would Jesus do?