Impact News with Peter Youngren
To the Heart of Pakistan with Peter Youngren October 15th 2012
Pakistan is the world’s 6th largest country, established in 1947 as the eastern and northwestern regions of British India broke away both from Britain and the newly formed nation of India. 97.5% of the population is Muslim, most of them Sunni, divided into several large languages and tribal groups. Pakistan has the world’s 7th largest army. It is the only Muslim nation declared a nuclear weapons state. President Obama has referred to Pakistan as the world’s ‘most dangerous country’.
The founder of modern Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is buried in a large mausoleum in the center of Karachi, and it is across the highway from this mausoleum where World Impact Ministries is conducting its 2012 Gospel Festival. That’s why we say that this is a Gospel proclamation in the very heart of Pakistan. Never before has such a well-known venue been made available for a Gospel meeting.
It is unheard of and it is God’s favor.
This open venue can easily accommodate 300,000 people, again opening the door for an unprecedented impact for the Gospel. The World Impact Ministries’ team has worked tirelessly together with our dedicated Pakistani co-workers for over a year, suffering several setbacks on the way to make this Gospel Festival a reality.
Security has been an issue in Pakistan since it became a nation. Kidnappings and even murder of foreigners are not uncommon, and it was only a few years ago that Pakistan’s first female prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. During World Impact Ministries’ Gospel Festival coming up this fall, there are 700 police officers and security personnel assigned to the Gospel Festival. My comment when I first heard this was that at least I am assured I will be preaching the Gospel to 700 police officers, and I believe their hearts will also melt when they hear of God’s love revealed in Jesus.
The tension in Pakistan increased after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, as Pakistan’s political leadership showed displeasure that their territorial sovereignty had been violated. The relationship between Pakistan and the United States has calmed somewhat in the last year, though tensions remain.
Pakistan covers a vast area of land the size of France and the United Kingdom combined. Different languages are spoken in different provinces, though Urdu is the official language. During World Impact Ministries’ campaign in Pakistan in 2008, Muslim people travelled as far as 1,800 km by train to attend the meetings, as national tv gave prominence to the campaign. One of the notable miracles was a young lady, Themina, totally blind for over 10 years. She travelled, accompanied by her mother, for three days by train. After Jesus healed Themina, her mother wanted to pay money and it provided me a wonderful opportunity to explain that God’s gift is free. Everything from Jesus is free. I still remember how the people gave praise to God. Advertising really works in Pakistan, and once again we expect the Gospel will reverberate throughout the nation.
World Impact Ministries’’ history in Pakistan goes back for 25 years. Historical Gospel outreaches with huge success have been conducted in cities like Lahore, Hyderabad, Sialkot, Faisalabad and also previously in Karachi. Two of the most outstanding Gospel festivals in the history of the ministry were in Peshawar, the capital of the Northwest Frontier Province, and in Baluchistan’s capital, Quetta. In spite of incredible odds, with many saying it couldn’t be done, we saw a huge attendance in areas where the Gospel is almost nonexistent.
This coming outreach has a three-pronged approach; the huge Gospel Festival, a friendship outreach to religious and political leaders, and a seminar for 3,000 pastors and leaders.
This is a historical Gospel advancement, but also the costliest outreach we have ever been involved with. We have God’s favor and unique favor from governmental leaders. Now we ask for favor from you. I need every partner to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity. If not now, we may never again have an opportunity like this in our generation.
Thank you for your gifts and your prayers. Thank you for your love for Pakistani people, who desperately long to know God’s love in Jesus.