May 31, 2023
Last month Links CEO Joe Gisbey, along with Links volunteer Kamran Khan, were able to visit our partners working into Pakistan. Whilst Links has worked with various partners in the nation for many years, both directly and indirectly through our Act4you ministry, this was the first time that we had the opportunity to visit and see first hand the incredible work being carried out!
Joe Gisbey writes:
What an incredibly challenging and inspiring time, joining with laid-down lovers of God, willing to give their all in such difficult circumstances to follow Jesus! I have been deeply impacted by the testimony in both words and deeds of our amazing brothers and sisters in this land. Despite intense persecution, the church is alive and well in Pakistan and God’s Kingdom is advancing, bringing hope and transformation to so many in darkness.
Alongside the regular work that our partners do to confront poverty and create potential - from supporting the persecuted, planting new church communities, working into the many slum and brick kiln communities, initiating micro-enterprise start-ups, leadership development and helping people break free from addictions - you will also remember the terrible flooding that occurred in 2022. It was so deeply inspiring to see the many ways in which our partners are literally ensuring the survival of those who had lost everything in this tragedy, considered to be one of the costliest humanitarian disasters of all time.
For both the protection of our partners and also the sheer amount of work being carried out, I can’t go into too many details of all of the areas in which our partners are making an impact but, needless to say, we were so impressed by what is being achieved and so honoured that Links can play a part in this.
Pakistan is a strictly Muslim nation, currently ranked as number 7 on the world watch list for persecution against Christians. Two of the main challenges that Christians face centre around the very strict and difficult-to-define blasphemy rules, and also specific anti-conversion laws, both of which can result in extreme persecution of the believers. Christian work among non-Muslims is permitted and, as such, a lot of the activity carried out is around seeing nominal Christians meet with Jesus, become ‘born again’ and filled with the Spirit. However, inevitably in the process many Muslim friends, acquaintances and neighbours are then also impacted and decide to follow Jesus themselves. In these cases they often have to flee for their lives, or keep their new-found faith hidden. Our partners are carrying out tremendous work supporting these families in so many ways and, whilst their stories were shocking and heart-breaking, seeing God’s love and presence at work within them was deeply inspiring. As always, in these politically and religiously charged settings, it is important to note that the vast majority of Muslims that we encountered were kind and gentle people, incredibly grateful for the work that is being done for their nation.
We are so excited to look at how Links can continue to work in partnership with these heroes on the ground, to deliver projects, healthcare, business development and ongoing support as they confront poverty and create potential!
Thank you so much for joining with us. We are in it together and none of this would be possible without your ongoing prayers and financial support. On behalf of our brothers and sisters in Pakistan we offer our heartfelt thanks!