In one Pakistani city, a revolution is taking place in the church. Three and a half years ago, a small OM Pakistan team settled down in the city, in answer to God’s call. The local church welcomed them, saying, “We are very glad you are back here, working again in the city doing outreach. We will do the praying, you do the outreach.” But this wasn’t the team’s plan.
Instead, the OM team co-ordinator visited the churches and offered a partnership: they would teach church members selected by the leaders about how to do outreach in the local community. Church members were invited to a weekly Bible class for three months, and 18 students came.
Churches then asked the team co-ordinator to return to give further training on discipleship. After a year, the training was complete, to the satisfaction of everyone. The training also included practical ministry on the streets and in bazaars, as well as prayer walks. It had proved so popular that three years later at least one church holds a monthly prayer day on a Sunday morning.
As for the team, every three months they go to different areas to pray and invite the local church to join them. Now many churches hold a monthly Prayer for the City day, as well as send their selected church members and young people to learn about outreach in the community.
The team’s investment in the local church has built up congregations throughout the city and encouraged the leaders to send participants to experience OM’s outreach campaigns at Christmas and Easter 2012.
One particular volunteer came for three months to learn alongside the team and then returned home to his family. His short stint with the team seemed purposeless. Awhile later, though, when the team co-ordinator was visiting the ex-volunteer’s hometown, he was asked to visit him and his family. Although the co-ordinator was tired and short of time, he went.
The man, his parents and his brother welcomed the co-ordinator. “We understand what our son has shared from everything you taught him, but there is something missing. Can you share with us?” they asked.
The team co-ordinator used a bracelet of beads to share the Truth of the gospel, and the brother asked if he could pray to confess his sin and accept Jesus into his life. The team co-ordinator had no spare bracelet to give him, so he took the one off his arm and gave it to him. The brother rejoiced and thanked him: “Now I won’t forget,” he explained and asked if they could go to his married brother’s house. So, off the little group went. This time, the team co-ordinator had no bracelet to illustrate the gospel, but used the Wordless Book. At the end, everyone in the room said they wanted to give their lives to Jesus. So, parents, family and elder brother prayed to receive Him.
But the night was not over. “What about our other brother?” asked the ex-volunteer. “Can we go and visit him now?” Again they set off, the group getting bigger each time.
They entered the home of a couple with four daughters, one son and two cousins. Again, the co-ordinator shared the gospel; this time he had neither beads nor the Wordless Book, but he still shared in the same way he had taught the volunteer all those months ago. That night 13 people came to know Jesus.
The team co-ordinator said, “It was not about me. The volunteer had not wasted his time with us on the team. He had not only learnt well, but how to share well. I was repeating the gospel they had already heard. The ground had been prepared, and I just came in and reaped the harvest—praise God! He never wastes an opportunity! All we need to do is be in the right place at the right time!”
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