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In my experience, I have learned that almost everyone is interested in a particular type of ministry. For some, it is the bus ministry; for others, it is printing or binding Bibles. Others seem to eat and drink foreign missions, while others give their attention to rescue mission ministries. I have known believers who will give a fortune for evangelizing one country and nothing for the country next door. -- even though they are the same people, culture, and language. Many emphasize funding children's work; in fact, entire ministries exist for them, like AWANA and Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Fortunately, most of us, no matter our primary area of burden or concern, still like to give to other worthwhile and effective ministries. So, let's talk about youth for a few minutes.
Over the past few years, many of you have helped to finance several youth camps and conferences in Pakistan. I was there in February and plan to go back again next February. I have never seen such fertile soil for the Gospel or such an earnest desire of the youth to follow Christ as I have witnessed there. And when I say youth, I am referring to ages 14-30.
Today I received an email from our director there, Pastor Shaukat Siddique, informing us of his upcoming plans and why they have been developed. It is all the result of the youth camps you funded last Fall and this Summer.
In John 15:1-7, we read about the concept of producing fruit for Christ. The succession is fruit, more fruit, much fruit, and fruit that remains. Of course, I am talking about the latter. In fact, his fruit not only remains but is already producing even more fruit. His backyard garden is becoming an orchid.
Today, Shaukat is asking for help with three projects coming up in November. The entire cost is, in round numbers, $5,150. Here's what he has to say in his own words.
I have started the Bible class in Lahore city; with many students who are members of Pentecostal, Catholic, and charismatic churches who attended our last camp. I have started a course on the Personality and Work of the Holy Spirit. They all are so inspired to hear the reality of false religions and the exposure of their own false doctrines that they requested me to organize a one-day, all-day seminar confronting their false doctrines. They don't want to argue; they want to learn and conform. It is an excellent chance to win many souls and show them the right path of faith.
They all are insisting on me for a seminar, I have chosen the topic False Prophets & their Doctrines. They have a geographically centralized church building for our use. Everything is available there: sound, electricity, a generator, and chairs. However, being an all-day event, we need to provide food for 250 people and transportation from three areas where we can pick up and drop off the people.
We need only $1700 for 250 people. I believe many people will see the real face of false prophets, and so I need your advice and help.
One more city is Bahawalpur, which is 700 Km. (435 miles) away and is the home of some youngsters who joined us in the youth camp this summer. They also invited my team and me to their city; they want to organize a youth seminar there. In that city, the Only Jesus* cult is very active. When they attended the camp, we shared with them our faith statement, and they all were very inspired. They all wanted to share the reality of the Gospel with other people, so they invited me to meet them and organize a seminar in their city.
*This is a religion based almost solely on Acts 4:12 and denies the existence of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. For that reason, they are called "Only Jesus."
We are praying to meet that youth group in the second week on the 11th of November 2022. Six people from my team will go with me; we also need some funds for this seminar, the same amount should be enough ($1700). The number of youth attending will be a little less, but we have the expense of the travel. This is a good opportunity for these six to get experience traveling and working with me. Some day I pray we can afford to buy our own used van.
The day after this youth seminar, we will go to the desert areas to meet again with all the newly planted churches and meet some new Hindu tribes. I believe we will win more lost souls and plant more new churches.
We need $1750 for travel for the team to visit the Desert Churches. There are now more than ten of them. I believe God will answer our prayers and provide all our needs for these coming missionary works.
I am so impressed by the work of this young pastor (about 36 years old), and I cannot comprehend how he has the time to do all he does and the excellent way he does it. Notice that all his requests are not for him but for his people. His efforts are spent on soul-winning, follow-up of new converts, discipleship, and giving his Timothies hands-on training. Amazing! If God let me, I would gladly move to Pakistan and serve with him for the rest of my life. I see in them the attitude and actions of the early church beginning on the day of Pentecost. And for that reason, I hope to raise an army of Barnabas' to fund them as they turn their world upside down.
If you want to help me, please donate any amount as quickly as possible. You can donate on this page, or mail in a check and designate it to "Pakistan Ministry". The estimated funds needed for all three projects is $5,150. Any surplus will be given to Shaukat to help with his other ministry needs.
Photo: Some of the younger “youth” who have converted to Christ and attend his classes. Notice the male-to-female ratio and ask yourself, when was the last time you saw such a marvelous thing? BTW, the three young ladies are Bible Institute students helping the pastor (in white) at his house church. Last Sunday, they had an attendance of over 200. Unfortunately, the house can no longer hold the congregation. They will soon look for property and make a building as a witness for Christ, which will, of course, contain a Touch a Life feeding center for the local children.
An update from our Local director;
In February, a brother from Dallas, Texas, contacted us wanting to give a special offering from the bounty the Lord had given him in 2021. Fortunately, what he had to give was a near match to a project we had just decided to help with, so we all agreed to give his funding to that cause. What a blessing!
I had just returned from Pakistan to see the work of Pastor Shaukat Siddique and was incredibly impressed by his zeal for the Lord. In thirty-seven years in missions, I have met some giants of the faith, to be sure, but seldom have I met a preacher who had accomplished so much. And then, upon realizing that he was doing it all as a part-time minister, we asked him to quit his secular job and oversee his exploding ministry work full-time. In doing so, we not only replaced his salary but also gave him a raise. As a result, he receives about $300 monthly from the Great Commission Fund.
Since February, he has started at least one new church each month and conducted multiple youth conferences and two youth camps – with “youth” defined as older teens and young adults. You have given for both, and it has produced nearly 500 young adults following Christ (in a Muslim country) and over 150 dedicating their lives voluntarily in service to our Lord. (I gave you a brief update on that last Friday.)
We have also built seven wells for seven village churches powered by solar pumps and provided free water to every home in these villages by running PVC to each house. We also gave them community bathrooms, a baptistry, and several cisterns to hold thousands of gallons of water for bathing, drinking, and irrigation. Their lives have been changed by having running water for the first time in their history.
Your giving did all this. Thank you.
One reason Shaukat has such success is that he has duplicated Paul’s methods by producing scores of “Timothys” to help him in ministry. These young men and women were recently saved from Islam or Hinduism and now following Christ. He starts by training them “as newborn babies.” During that training, they get hands-on experience in evangelism, preaching, teaching, and church planting. And while I have given updates and pictures to the gentleman who financed this project, I have said little to the rest of you.
The cause this Texas brother gave to was to construct a Bible Institute and church facility in Lahore. But …
“Houston, we have a problem.”
Shaukat has informed me that the funds estimated for the construction are not enough to complete it due to rising costs, which are common now globally. (Keep in mind that what they call a lot, we call pocket change.) And while this new, three-story building is nearly complete, it lacks a few minor elements that maybe you can help with. For example:
13 windows and 5 doors:
To acquire the property and build a three-story brick and cement building including bathrooms, classrooms for the institute, a church auditorium, offices, and a prophet’s chamber, they originally asked for about $45,000. (Yes, you read it correctly, not $4,500,000 or even $450,000.) This Texan brother gave all they expected to need. But as you know, inflation is worldwide. And whereas our building costs have risen by 10-30% worldwide, theirs have risen by 100-400%.
As a ministry wanting to reach the people of Pakistan, we need to finish this project which will help produce preachers for the next generation and beyond. A few years ago, we gave them desks, tables, computers, curriculum, a PowerPack, and tech equipment, and they have made good use of it all. Several times I have even taught classes for them in person and using Skype and Zoom. Every month Pastor Shaukat is starting at least one new church in Pakistan. He does this with the help of his students, who then “pastor” these churches, teaching the new converts what they learned the previous week in their institute classes. Several of them have already started “branch institutes” to expedite the training of those who want to serve in ministry but live twelve hours away from the main institute.
Never have I seen a group so eager to learn -- and to serve; and so effective in doing so. To put it bluntly, we have hit a spiritual gold mine in Pakistan. The country is ripe for harvest, and thankfully, the laborers are not few. They are legion. Thus, we need to train these laborers and send them out – as many as the Great Commission Fund can afford. I feel it is a blessing and honor to be a part of their success. I know many of you will also. So, please pray and help me quickly raise the additional and unexpected $12,000 needed to complete this project. You can donate below on this page, or mail a check and designate it to "Pakistan Bible Institute".
I plan to revisit Pakistan in January/February and will provide you with a thorough report. Let me know if you want to come along.
Also, remember that we already produced two videos chronicling our visit there. One was me giving a report but the other was a beautiful production that takes you where we went. Follow the links to watch them (Jon Nelms' Debrief and Highlights from Pakistan). You can also see some of the construction update photos and video over on our website updates page.
An update from our Local director on the construction progress;
To all of you who prayed and gave for the camping ministry in Pakistan, you should know that your prayers were answered. (Just so you know, we raised the amount needed, plus an extra $21 which was sent on over with the needed funds).
I'm back in America now, but during my last days in Honduras, I received continual reports from Pastor Shaukat telling all about the experience. Each day I received 60-100 photos and videos. Yesterday he wrote saying:
By the grace of God, our youth camp is completed, and my vision is completed through this camp. Two hundred campers were able to join us in this camp, and it was a very blessed time to share the gospel. We divided all the campers into four groups, and every group was led by 12 councilors. During these four days, all the campers and youngsters were given our individual attention. We preached about the lives of four characters, John, Joseph, Jacob, and Samson. The insight into these four characters was very effective for the youth. As a result, eighty youngsters accepted the Lord Jesus Christ, and seventy-five decided to dedicate their lives to spreading the gospel of Christ in the future. I have sent photos and videos.
Young people (actually young adults) came from the nearly two dozen churches Shaukat and his team have started and brought with them a desire to study God's Word, breathe the fresh mountain air, and influence the unsaved friends they brought with them. And they could do all this because of your generous giving.
The camp was delayed because of heavy rains and mudslides, but when the skies cleared, they jumped in the rented busses and escaped the city's crowds, noise, and pollution to roam the wonders of God's creation. Each day they enjoyed great food, games, and study time, and there was time for preaching throughout the day.
At the end of the fourth day, after they gathered for a group photo, most young adults headed for home with Christ in their hearts and a desire to learn more about Him and teach others cemented into their minds. Shaukat, however, did not go home. Instead, he gathered some of these followers of Christ and headed out to the deserts to evangelize more unreached villages. Before arriving home, the new disciples learned how to witness and plant a new church. Now they will enroll in his multiple Bible institutes and be trained as church leaders, church planters, and pastors. And yes, there were female converts, too, but this is a male-dominated society, and the tribal women are a bit shy to be photographed. So here you see the men and boys that accepted Christ.
So, I ask you, was your spiritual and financial investment in winning and training Pakistani young adults in a four-day camp profitable? You bet it was! Thank you for making this possible, and be watching next week when I will pass on to you a need we have for this group in Pakistan.
We just wanted to give you a quick update on the Summer Youth Camp in Pakistan. It was already meant to have taken place, but it had to be postponed due to heavy rain, which has caused land slides on the mountain roads that the team would be travelling. Today though they have made the journey and the camp begins tomorrow. Pictured below is a photo of some of the staff during their training session. Pray for all those involved, for the staff and their instruction, and for many lives to be changed!
Some photos and video of the construction progress.
Some photos of the current construction progress of the Bible College in Pakistan.