I sometimes forget what it is like to not have a climate controlled building, comfortable chairs, a great sound system and overhead projection when I go to church. There are certain things that are so easy to take for granted here in the United States, but in many parts of the world church is far less formal and comfortable. In Africa, many of our partners meet under a tree. Our partner in Pakistan struggles with not having a building to meet in, and thereby not having the respect of his congregation and being in danger of being arrested for sharing the Gospel.
For our partner’s son, who was recently ordained, has taken over one such church, but by the grace of God, he has begun to construct a building. The congregation is small, but the people are very dedicated – they are using some of their own resources to help to put the building under roof. So far the balcony is covered, but the remainder of the church is still in need of a roof. There are no pews or comfortable chairs – no sound system, organ or even Bibles for anyone except the pastor, but to have a meeting place to call their own is a true blessing from the Lord.
It is interesting to note that this house church has four generations of believers. This is a rarity for Pakistan and for any Muslim of Hindu nation where there are so many penalties imposed for diverting believers away from the prominent religion. Of the 187 million people currently living in Pakistan, less than one percent is Christian – to find four generations in one community shows that the Lord is at work in Pakistan. We are praying that as future generations mature that they will hold strong to the faith of their parents and the number of Christians in Pakistan will grow.