After several delays on every leg of the trip, I arrived in Asia. My final destination was Pakistan, but I was in Dubai for a short time. I was here with a good friend who lived in Dubai for a year and a half and gave me the grand tour of the city.
Dubai has the tallest office tower in the world, and about 85% of the city residents are expats. There are two locations in the city set aside and Christians from all denominations and traditions can freely worship. My first communion in 2015 was taken in Dubai in a Filipino church. I was impressed that there was standing room only in this service. I never imagined I would see this in Dubai.
We visited many other services as each facility had several running concurrently. Each congregation gets a specific time and a place to worship and when they are finished another group has a service. On average, 15,000 people attend services in the older complex. I met a number of brothers who attend an African service, I felt right at home with these brothers from Nigeria. In Dubai they worship on Friday not Sunday. It was also great to see facilities full for each service.
From Dubai I travelled to Pakistan.
It reminds me of Africa.
The crowds, going through immigration, picking up luggage…I felt right at home. We are staying in a guest house not in a hotel. It is 3 degrees tonight. There is a heater in the room, but no gas to operate it. There is a toilet, but it doesn’t flush. I’m wearing four layers of clothing to keep warm because it’s not just cold at night, it’s cold all the time. We were promised hot water so we could have a shower,but that did not happen.
I’m not complaining. I like the adventure, I like the smells, but most of all I like that we are broadcasting the truth of the Gospel into this country.
The dedication service was a wonderful experience; representatives from all the different ministries operating in this part of the country were represented. I had to listen carefully to understand what they were saying, but to see the commitment of all these brothers and sisters to proclaim the Gospel brought joy to my heart. As always I learned a lot from those who shared and from those I talked with during the refreshment time.
Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. You may be wondering what that means and how it affects the Church. First, it means that the Church cannot openly share the Gospel to the general population, and second if you are a Christian you are treated differently.
This makes sharing the Gospel through media vital because if a Muslim listens to the radio and decides to follow Christ, others are not put at risk. After the service, a brother in the Lord came to the office to share his testimony. He told us that he has listened to a systematic Bible teaching since it began airing in Pakistan. He was from a Christian family, but until he heard the messages on the radio he never really understood how to have personal relationship with Jesus.
He came to faith and since that day has been telling others about the program and started a number of listening clubs, which has resulted in others coming to faith. God is at work in Pakistan.