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Thursday, September 04, 2014

BISHOP KENNETH B. DENALY IN PAKISTAN IN 2009

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Bishop Ken In Pakistan


December 22, 2009 to February 2, 2010
I will be writing this journal and posting during my trip.

August 2008 

This journal is from the 1st to the 31st of August 2008
I have just read what I have written below and I am rambling a lot but I am writing as I think of each part so forgive and I hope enjoy my ramble.The Internet here is very slow so I am spacing out my emails  

The British left Pakistan in 1947 and the road networks, railroad crossings, bridges are still in place with a lot of rust.The major highways between cities are in extreme decay and there are places where the ruts are so deep only very skilled drivers can get you through.
I preached in a village last night and it was to me like being in the past while walking through the narrow alleyways. The path itself is all brick raised up high enough in the center to allow sewer runoff on both sides. I could have been in Bethlehem in the year Jesus was born. Before going to the church we went to a house in the village to wait for the electric to come on, Pakistan lives with rolling blackouts getting about 16 hours of electric in every 24 hours.
To describe the home we were sitting in there is one room with doors and roof this is the formal living room. The kitchen (wood burning stove) has a roof and three walls; it opens into the large sleeping area which has a brick wall fencing it from the outside path with a metal door to access the path and no roof. They sleep out in the open. Yes an indoor bathroom, the privy is a ceramic trough there is also a bucket of fresh water and soap to wash your hands. The water comes from a hand pump well. There is also in most villages’ water supplied by the government that is stored in water towers and gravity feed to the village houses (they drink this you cannot).
The only building material is brick which is made locally to every city and village. The cities, roads and buildings are a patchwork quilt of repair and decay with a handful of very modern buildings in between. On the highway to the city we were driving past a very poor village and just outside this village is a brand new Honda motorbike dealership in all glass totally modern building, nothing could have looked more out of place. I have not as yet seen a motorcycle on the roads here. All I have seen are motorbikes and the most common is the 70 cc which is an amazingly fuel efficient machine.
Speaking of motorbikes I have an escort of three automatic rifle carrying police officers riding on two motorbikes who escort me everywhere I go. Bishop Rehmat has obtained a VIP status for me.
I am staying in Bishop Rehmat's house for my visit. His is a typical middle class Pakistan house, it is walled in with large metal doors in the front and side gates. Jonathans house is larger than most, the church building and office are inside the walls. The walls are made of rebar reinforced concrete. The majority of Pakistan people are working class poor who live in all brick houses. There is no welfare system and your family is the only safety net.
While driving through the cities the effect on your senses is that you are in an Indiana Jones chase scene. To start with Pakistan came from the British Empire and all the vehicles drive on the left side of the road. In your vehicle you are moving through a controlled mayhem that has a sense of rhythm to it. There are people, trucks, cars, buses, bicycles, motorbikes, horse drawn carts (lots of these) and finally a three wheeled little taxi made up of the front of a motorbike and the rear is like a rickshaw that seats three in the back facing the on coming traffic and three seats in the front facing the driver who has his seat on the motorbike part. Now ALL of these are on the road all at the same time weaving past one another. You have to learn to stop holding your breath and relax and go with the flow or you will die of asphyxiation before you get to your destination. 
I have preached in two churches now, the subject is the prayer altars. I have spent hours talking about the prayer altars with the translator pastors and then the pastors near Jonathan's house. One of the pastors on the second day of talks just lit up, sat straight up in his seat and stated "the prayer altar is the foundation of relationship with God for the people" revelation knowledge he got it. Last night as usual we waited for the electric to come on before we could start services. We then started services and we were suppose to have several hours of electric before it was scheduled to turn off again. First we had wonderful praise then several local Bishops prayed then I was invited to speak. I spoke about 15 minutes and bang the electric went out earlier than scheduled. I got made and thanks be to God my interpreter was Jonathan who has a strong voice so I took my little flashlight out of my pocket and kept preaching. I was speaking about Gods love of his people as part of my purpose of the prayer altar and spoke of the Hasid of God when suddenly the power came back on, lights speaker system all on again. I raised my hand a said that this is the Hasid of God. Now you could feel the anointing flowing across the room. At the end of my talk I asked how many were willing to commit to putting a prayer altar in their homes and bless God every one in the room stood up. After much praising the Lord I blessed them and the next second the power went out. I just stood there for a moment we had beaten the devil, we had finished the night to the very last second.
I am at the village number three on my circuit. If the first village I described was Bethlehem this village was Nazareth in the same time era as Jesus. I really experience a time travel feeling as I walk through the narrow streets. The brick homes here are most likely no more than sixty to eighty years old. It is the design of the whole village with narrow walkways between the buildings. The entrance to each house is a door built into the continuous brick wall which has 15 houses on each side. Once you enter in to a walkway you are in a labyrinth of walls with doors on both sides. The actual walkway is made of brick laid in designs and is about 30 inches wide. The walkway does not go from wall to wall, on each side of the walkway is narrow little ditch about 4 inches. This carries the rainwater out of the village. Eventually the brick walkway takes us to the house where we will wait until church starts. The house is walled in completely as are all houses in Pakistan. As I have stated in the villages the walls, the buildings are all made of brick. On the inside of the house the inner walls are exposed brick. They do hang pictures and decorations of all kinds on the interior walls, so far none of the inside brick walls were painted.
This house is enclosed with a brick wall with a small gate to enter the yard. On average these walls are eight feet high. You step over a open gutter on to a small earth ledge and ducking your head step through the doorway into the yard. Inside the courtyard there are two small trees about ten feet from each other. The courtyard which is about 30 feet long and ends at a roof covered room that has no wall facing the courtyard. The floor of the courtyard is brick laid in intricate patterns. The brick in the courtyard floor is partly revealed and in some places is submerged completely into the mud.
The kitchen is hidden behind a curtain make of many colors. Cooking is done with propane, wood or cow dung that has been dried in the sun. After the service we return to this house for rice, chicken, chickpeas and lentils. It is very obvious the people live very close to the earth. There are no computers; in one village I made a comment about email and there was no response they did not know what I was talking about. As they serve dinner they fill your plates with food, every empty serving plate comes back heaped up with food. You have to tell them enough, you are filled and have no more room.
At every church one of the elders or the pastor feeds us a dinner after the service. This meal is a essential social protocol for visiting pastors and evangelists. Keep in mind no services are held in the sun, it would bake the listeners. So the meal after services starts about 10:30 to 11 at night.
All the outdoor church services are in the evening none start before eight pm. We have had two earlier in the day and both were in tents. I have personally spent very little time outdoors. I am in a car or building all day long.
The heat is grueling in the summer. It has been ranging between 127 to 133 degrees daily.  The other part is the humidity is often very high. The men of Pakistan all carry washcloths in their pockets to wipe their faces with. I keep a box of tissue with me all the time. Although the roads leading to each village is lined with rice fields and it is green as far as you can see as soon as you enter the villages there is not a shred of green. All is dry baked mud and dust. The dust gets so bad that the vendors will hose down the area in front of their shop to keep the dust down. Despite the wretched condition of the roads through the villages the traffic comes in a relentless stream of vehicles. Lumbering trucks, buses filled with paying riders inside and non paying riders on the top, cars, people, motorbikes, dogs at times the dust just sits in the air. In spite of the surrounding greenery of the countryside the overall feeling in the villages and cities is that this is a dry and thirsty land. It certainly is a land where poverty has a powerful grip.
Bishop Jonathan's driver/body guard has decided to care for me in every way he can. He has a large unkempt beard and looks as wild as he is. He is a good driver but so aggressive that Bishop Jonathan has to slow him down. When ever we go out to preach (which is every day and most nights)  he stops at a market place and gets me a bottle of cold water he knows I drink only bottled water. When I am on the speaker's platform he will rarely listen, instead he will wander off to smoke his cigarette and chat with one of the police officers outside. Before he goes however, he does one last check on the table in front of me. Last night he saw there was no box of tissues on the table and in a few minutes time he went a found a box and signaled one of the Pastors to come get it for me. The man carries an automatic rifle with him everywhere we go and in spite of the police officers assigned to me, when we are outside the church he is glued to me.
I have traveled back and fourth between several of the larger cities in Pakistan and have come to see that Pakistan is a nation of villages. As soon as you leave the city you are surrounded on both sides with rice paddies. Rice is the main ingredient of every meal here. As you travel you see villages one after another back off the highway. At some point some of the roads travel thru a village and that is always a total mess. As I have stated the roads are very bad in some places when they go thru villages the road surface is totally gone. Any rain at all and the ruts fill with water and in one village the other day we were stuck for 20 minutes behind several large trucks and buses, we prayed and worshiped our way thru. Even when we were out I could not see how we made it, it had to be angels who moved the trucks and buses in front of us so we could get on our way.
The commerce here is along the roadways and highways. Vendors of every kind line the roads with their goods. One to the hottest items here are cell phones. Everyone has a cell phone. In villages you see men in the poorest of clothing talking on a cell phone. They are ridiculously cheap; you can call family and friends in America and talk for ten minutes for twenty-five cents.  The vendors work in groups, those who sell cell phones there are three to four clustered together, textiles are mostly centered around the city of Faisalabad. There I counted 45 vendors on one side of the road and quit counting at 28 on the opposite side of the road. The same with shoes vendors (bought a pair of all leather dress shoes for $25 US), pots and pans, electronics etc, even soft ice cream stores were at least two to a location. You go from store to store to get the best deal.
Here when you buy a suit you first visit a vendor that sells you the cloth. For a suit you purchase three and half yards of cloth which you then take to a tailor who measures you and makes the suit. Amazingly tailors make suits, they do not sell or stock any cloth, they sew and that is that.
It is I think appropriate that the rivers of Pakistan have no seagulls. Soaring over the rivers of Pakistan are Fishing Hawks. They are quite large and although they are skilled fishers they are also open to anything along the river banks that strays to far into the open.
Marie asked me to tell you more about the response of the churches to my teaching. I have learned from giving the same sermon seven days in a row that they love story tellers. So I have centered up on the story of Fiji Island Nation how the people prayed and repented of the evil in the land and how God turned the completely barren land of the Fijis into a tropical paradise. I have no trouble holding their attention, they clearly identify with the curse on the land and the story gives them hope.
As you face your audience the men all sit on your left side and the women on your right.
The little children gather in the front of the adults, most of them on the women's side
As I am talking I face the men and speak mainly to them. I begin early in my talk to identify them as the priest of their house and how important that is to God that each man walks in that office. I glance at the women now and then and they are all smiles they love what I am saying to the men.
I tell them that it is the will of God to remove the curse from their village. I am clear and repeat several times that God will bring peace between the Moslem man and the Christian man. The strongman is your enemy not the Moslem man. Break the curse on the land and the Moslem man will lose what ever anger he had and a deep peace from God will fill the place. (at this point I have everybody's attention) I then go on to repeat that God wants the church to take the land. I show in the Bible that when God created Adam his first assignment was to take dominion. Now you are to take dominion on this village BUT: (long pause) you must first take dominion of your own home.
Now we push into the argument, if you do not take dominion over your own house you will never take dominion of this village. The logic is not lost on them they recognize they must place and Altar of Prayer in their houses.
I am not giving you the whole sermon, I will write it out when I get home the point is the men become the driving force and you can see constant nods of agreement as you are speaking to them.
I end each sermon asking for a commitment to place an Altar of Prayer in their home by standing up. As the men get up I point and say loudly Hallelujah, in seconds every man and woman in the place is on their feet. I then hand my mike to Jonathan and move into the center of the people bellowing Hallelujah at the top of my lungs and they respond
back as loud as I am with huge smiles on their faces. I then turn to Jon and bellow "GOD IS IN THIS PLACE" which Jon in turn translates over the loud speaker at the top of his lungs. After the service many men come forward to reinforce to me their commitment and how glad they are that I came from America to their village.
I follow this with a benediction and give it to the Pastor.
Tuesday morning about 7 AM.
Hawks circle high above the roof tops of the city. Looking for what? What ever they are eating they are finding it on the roof tops soaring and swooping down on a roof then lifting back up again. They circle in groups of five to eight birds across the skyline then one of them drops into a dive and disappears on to a roof top. The roofs are all flat, there are no slanted roofs in Pakistan, all the roofs are made of cement.  What ever the hawks are eating they get big enough, one large hawk that soared over me had a wingspan something like three feet. Crows fly among them looking for the crumbs.
We are in Sialkot City for the big revival rally. We are looking for two to three thousand a night. The very first event on the agenda is the consecration of Bishop Jonathan as the General Overseer Bishop of Church of God Pakistan. My official title here is Bishop Kenneth Bernard (my first and middle name; last names are rarely used in Pakistan) and I will do the consecration. The church has rented a banquet hall in downtown Sialkot for the consecration, Pakistan congressmen, senators, senior government officials (state and city) from all manner of government offices both Christian and Moslem are attending this event (Jonathan is very popular here).
The first event is finished Jonathan is now consecrated as the head of the Church of God Pakistan in secession to his father Bishop Rehmat Daniel who died early in 2007.
The next event Jonathan and I together consecrate twelve of his best Pastors to the office of Bishop. This gives sufficient leadership to this growing denomination that has flourished under the leadership of Bishop Jonathan.
There is a certain Wild West aurora to living in Pakistan. In the banquet hall the men dressed in suits and women all dressed in their finery as five or six well dressed young men casually circulated through the room carrying automatic rifles with them as though this was perfectly normal behavior.
Church of God Pakistan is a registered Christian denomination non-profit organization in Pakistan fully recognized at the federal level since 1976. The term here is NGO non government organization. Jonathans father Bishop Rehmat Daniel the far sighted visionary registered Church of God Pakistan when the laws were changed to allow religious freedom in Pakistan.
Events in the cities are in many ways an enigma. It is against the law for a Moslem to convert to any religion other than Islam. For a Moslem to become a Hindu, Sikith, or a Christian is punishable by death. Now in the face of this I went into the Sialkot City with Jonathan and sat beside him in the office as he obtained the signature if the Chief of Police of Sialkot City and in the offices of various other city officials as we gathered their signatures to hold this event. It is one thing for me to go and preach in the villages out in the countryside as each of them is in a manner of speaking "off the beaten path". It is another to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in downtown Sialkot City with the blessings of the local government officials and the chief of police.
The radical element of Islam wants to break all ties with America and eliminate teaching the English language as a subject in the grade schools and high schools. This is very unpopular with the general public who want their children to get as good an education as possible. Education is very, very important to the Pakistan people. All the computers are in English there is no attempt to convert computers to the native Urdu language. The general public is sharply divided away from the radical element in Pakistan. Many Pakistan middle class are able to go to college and a lot of them hold two degrees. Bishop Jonathan is a graduate of the Presbyterian Seminary with his Bachelors' degree here in Pakistan and also has earned his MBA at the University of Pakistan. Most of the work required in the Universities is in English, and all term papers, thesis etc are in English. Private colleges and schools are in every major city in Pakistan.
In spite of the poverty of the rural population there is a burgeoning middle class in Pakistan. In the business world, in the banks the young people all speak good to excellent English. Pakistan is not a third world nation it is a major nuclear power in the Middle East and the people themselves are aching to break into the western world. One of the bank managers we spoke with was a young Moslem woman who was obviously very smart and spoke English almost perfectly. The religious leaders hate this and if they were in power she would have to remain home except for shopping for her family.
The weakness of Radical Islam is not just the fight with Christianity they want to regress into an ancient world, with no computers, no English, no cell phones (the poorest Pakistani in the villages has a cell phone) the women would all have to stay in the home. The Pakistan people do not want to dump their religious heritage, but at the same time have no desire to look backwards. Almost all Pakistani are only one generation from their village at best.
India is a major influence here, the growing prosperity of India has made it clear that Indian people can attain power in the western world. Remember that Pakistan broke off from India in 1947. Most Pakistan families have family ties and relatives living in India. There are 165 million people in Pakistan ostensibly most of them Moslem. There are over two hundred million Moslems living in India. That is more than the Moslem population in Pakistan. You hear of Moslems radicals making trouble in India, but you really do not hear of the Hindu attacks against Moslems in India, using really vicious methods like putting car tires over the victims then pouring gasoline over them and setting them on fire. In the last year the Hindus destroyed over a hundred church buildings killing over 35 pastors and lay ministers whose deaths were reported.
The pastors work together here. There is a much greater unity among the brethren in this country than there is in America. There are no bars in Pakistan, any prostitution is very underground and the same with drugs. There are no drugs or prostitutes on the streets. Abortion is forbidden. The sins that run like rivers on the streets of America are not here.
The event we just held in Sialkot City had pastors of every denomination join in with Bishop Jonathan and share resources. On Thursday it rained and the rain destroyed the tent and flooded the ground where we were holding our event. Bishop Jon went to the banquet hall where we held the day teaching on the Gifts of the Spirit and hired the parking lot for the outdoor event. Thursday night we drew about 2000 people and had a great response from the crowd. On Friday night we sent about 32 buses went out into the villages and we flooded the area with 8000 people. So many people stood for salvation we led the entire crowed into the prayer of salvation. We sent 40 pastors into the crowd to pray for individual needs. Then for Saturday night the banquet hall where we held our service called Jon and canceled the use of the parking lot claiming they had rented the hall for and event. Jon went and talked to the office and he was able to figure out from the excuse that the local mosque complained to hall and demanded the event to be shut down.
Understand we never cancel so the only decision was where? This led us to one of the best events of the week. We were not able to send out buses so this was limited to the Sialkot residents. One of the local Christian business men just finished building his house and he offered his roof as a place to hold the event. We were able to fit 600 people on his roof comfortably, but they kept coming. Now the interesting part, at the back of the roof was a higher roof about 20 by 30 feet on top. The only way to reach this was by a wooden ladder leaning against the rear wall. Jon was the first one up and proclaimed this as a wonderful platform to preach to the people below. So each of us made our way up the ladder on to the roof above (I have stated all roofs in Pakistan are flat and all are made out of poured concrete). This house had an extra floor in the building and so the roof tops were much higher than those on the houses around us. All events start with exuberant praise music so as the music continued our roof swelled to 800. The lights were attracting great clouds of bugs so they were turned the lights on the poles so most of the light went out over the houses around us. As I said we are now on the highest roof of the whole neighborhood and when the lights were turned they revealed the roof tops around us were filling up with people. I mean filling up, people were sitting on every square inch of available space on the roof tops around us. This was the first contact for most of them with our event. The musicians went into songs with lots of repetition so by the third verse the people around us could follow along. Great praise rose from the roof tops of Sialkot City to our God in heaven. The preaching following the praise went into high gear, by the end Jonathan completely lost his voice. When we gave the call for salvation the people on the surrounding rooftops were on their feet as fast as the group on our roof. As the group in front of us repeated the prayer of salvation the voices from the roof tops around us were joined in followed by incredible Hallelujahs at the top of their voices at the end. We have no clue how many received salvation that night only to say it was a marvelous night in the City of Sialkot.
A last comment, this is a Moslem neighborhood, the only attendees we new to be Christian were those on our roof top.
The following day the newspapers called Jonathan and wanted asked for an interview with him and Bishop Kenneth Bernard from the United States.
The newspapers sent reporters to the event Friday night and gave a nice review of what took place (yes a Moslem newspaper). Somehow they learned of Saturday night and called Jonathan asking for an interview.
It is our intention to tell the reporters that in the nation of Uganda a great prayer went forth from the church to God that brought about a great peace between the Moslem and the Christian in that land. That God is so pleased that the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael have stopped fighting each other and are living in peace that to celebrate the peace between these two brothers He has sent great prosperity to that nation.
We have just arrived in Islamabad; in my first description of traffic here I left out the intersections. In the army areas there are working stop lights or policemen directing traffic. The rest of the intersections there are no lights and no stop signs, this includes major intersections in the city and on the highways. How does the traffic cross each intersection, the English word "barge" is the best description I have. As you approach the intersection the most important consideration is the size of the opposition. Bicycles are dead last, next is people on foot, donkey carts, motorbikes etc. Now even if you are a truck if a motorbike is clearly in front of you, you yield way, but you are looking for who you can cut in front of and you "barge in" an make your way across. Normally no one gets run over; now the trick is if a motorbike has room to move over, you "barge" in front of him. The motorbike and bicycle are the most maneuverable machines on the road and they are forced into creative solutions to cross the intersection. In most of the cities we slow down but just keep moving. The real problem starts when you hit a genuine clog where no one can move. If you see a possible way out, where if you can back up one of the contenders and "unclog" the intersection every vehicle behind moves up every single inch they can to keep from being muscled out. This of course intensifies the clog. At this point most times a pedestrian steps in and starts to direct traffic to open the clog. Interestingly enough everyone obeys him recognizing that the alternative is remain where you are until the final coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In most of the intersections you just keep moving no matter how slowly and you get through and you are on your way.
The Bus
Among the buses the most interesting is the local jitney that services the working class in the cities. I have described the motorbike rickshaw in my first email and will talk about them in a little while.  Buses of all sizes ride the roads including small pickup trucks with the rear cargo area that is converted into a bus. They get the license plate for this vehicle when they buy it before the conversion. A make shift top over the bed is installed with the entrance in the rear with no door; seats are now installed lengthways so as you enter the rear you sit on the bench on either side. The "windows" have no glass, just window shaped openings (about 4) on each side. This vehicle is then covered with an incredible number of chrome bars front, both sides, and the back, with a chrome ladder on the back panel of both sides, then it painted with all kinds of designs of all colors no two of them look the same, everyone reflects the individual taste of the owner. Now each vehicle has a driver and in the back there is one man who rides on the outside of the bus standing on the chrome ladders that are attached to the back on each side. This is the man who collects the fare from each one inside and keeps the bus packed with as many passengers as he can get in it. This "bus" makes stops at all the regular stops along the way and offer cut rate fares. If you look inside the bus and tell the fast talking fare collector it is too full and you will wait for another bus he will tell you that many of the passengers are getting off at the next stop you will only have a short wait for a comfortable seat. He is of course lying but if you are in a hurry you will pay the fare and get in. Often the bus is so loaded that the front end starts to lift into the air as it starts going from the bus stop. Yesterday I saw the peak of all performances for this "bus". The inside was packed and 5, yep count them 5 men hanging on the rear as it made its way through traffic. When we passed it I could count 5 men on the bench facing us and a couple of heads that appeared to be squatting in the center, the total my not being completely sure as to the number in the center, appeared to be 5 on each bench, 3 in the center and 5 hanging on the back making it around 18 passengers at this point. Again this is not a full size pickup converted, it is the small 4 cylinder pickups Toyota and other manufactures, many of them have a flat front and the cab is over the engine. As you have already guessed the usage of this vehicle as a bus is not legal but it fills a need so no one stops them. As I stated before, these are among the most entrepreneurial people in the world.
I have described the work in the villages, as I planned to come to Pakistan God revealed his purpose to me, that I was to instruct the people of this land to put an altar of prayer in each one of their homes dedicating one place in their home to God and meeting God there every morning and every night. I tell them that when you talk to an Arab man he puts his face very close to your face. If you back away and only talk from a distance the Arab man tells his friends "that man will not share his breath with me". I then tell them that as they speak to God each day at your altar you will come to a time when you know that God is sharing His "breath" with you. I always get a strong response from the men when I tell them this.
Each village is different, as is the response. I preached the ninth village last night and the response was stronger than most. Later I found out from the pastor he has eight young intercessors that had come to the church to cry out to God for the nation of Pakistan. These young prayer warriors laid a powerful foundation for my sermon. In most villages we wait for the lights to come on (Pakistan has rolling blackouts) to preach my sermon. Last night I could feel the release of God and kept preaching with lights out. When I challenged the men to place an altar in their homes they literally jumped to their feet.
I have become very bold as I preach to them, of all the nations around the world who have reached transformation levels of revival in their lands I have chosen Fiji because the people were in such dire straits they were literally slowly starving to death. As I tell the story of Fiji and how the people repented of the witchcraft and hatred of the neighboring tribes for each other the villagers can identify with the Fiji tribal leaders. Pakistan's background is all tribal. Each village is ruled either by village elders or a tribal leader a position normally passed from father to son. All the mountain areas of Pakistan are ruled today by tribal leaders.
As I talk about Fiji I leave out certain parts of the story, for instance the first time I gave the story I said that one of the main sins of the Fijis was cannibalism, and Jonathan stopped translating, put the microphone behind his back and asked me "what is that?". When I told him that after a battle between two tribes the winning tribe would cook and eat the losers, he just looked at me in disbelief, I made a quick adjustment in the story and simply stated they would kill all the losing tribe without mercy. Part of the story of Fiji is that on the 350 islands that make up the nation, there are as few as 2 to as many as 50 tribes on each island.
For over a thousand years there was no peace between tribes, no treaties each tribe fought for total supremacy and there were constant wars between the tribes. There was fire walking where as the bed of coals were fanned to red hot heat, villagers were invited to hold a tree branch two foot over the coals and when they did the branch would ignite into flames from the heat. Then the witchdoctor would walk down the path of coals as the villages stared in wonder.
Other parts I leave out that as God restored the land He healed the great coral reefs of the Fijis, I leave that out because there is no understanding of the coral and the years it takes to grow. I also leave out the restoration of the shell fish, lobsters, shrimp, crabs, the Pakistan only eat fish with scales and fins their diet is mostly that described in the Bible, Moslem and Christian the eat the same foods described in the Bible and never do they eat pork. While Jonathan lived in the US I had to show him the ingredients on the package of hamburger to prove to him that it is beef. "But why do they call it hamburger?" he asked, I told him to ask my wife. (He did)
I relay to villagers how God responded to the repentance for their sins and the sins of their fathers before them and how that in this time of sorrow and tears they began to feel the "breath" of God on their faces. That this inspired them to pledge to God they would seek Him in their houses every morning and every night and they would as a village seek him weekly and join with other village twice each month and that now they seek God as an nation twice each year in week long events of praise worship and joyful thanksgiving.
I told them of the villages began sharing what little fish they caught in their nets each village fasting one day as the village ate and eating the next day while the other villagers fasted. How the fasting villages were not feeling sorry that they did not eat that day but
were filled with joy how they could share with each other. So those fasting would serve those eating and both were happy and singing to God. Then the day came when the women who had walked with their nets out across the coral reef out into the sea and cast their nets then signaled the children on the shore to call the men. The men grabbed their spears fearing the women were being attacked by sharks ran to women to find the nets so full of fish the women were not able to pull them in.
I will tell you the rest of the story when I preach it in your church.
Meanwhile the Pakistan villagers at this point in the story are cheering and praising God.
I ask them to stand up on their feet to declare their willingness to put a prayer altar in their house. To a man every male stood to his feet and the women were on their feet as fast. I stepped down from the stage and walk though the men, I take their hand ask them to look straight in my eye and declare they will put the Altar of Prayer in their house with Jonathan  translating, they declare with strength hugging me at the same time. I get a powerful commitment from each man in the place.
I will preach this in your church. I have a commitment to preach this in a Presbyterian church, two Assembly of God churches, and two families have invited me to preach this in their houses with the promise they will invite at least two other families to their house to hear the story of Pakistan and Fiji. I will preach it in any Christian church Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist you name it; and if you will gather a few people together I will preach it in your house. (ok I'm a zealot love me anyhow)
Ok that's the commercial, now back to prime time.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the show piece for visitors. Each intersection has a traffic light (a working traffic light) the highways have police officers to guide high traffic times. There is a divider strip between the lanes and trees and grass on the divider strip. In the city areas where jaywalking is prominent these divider strips are protected by a strand of barbed wire about 3 foot off the ground, (you are still in Pakistan).
Here there are housing developments with rows of houses ranging from 250,000 to 750,000 American dollars in value. These developments surround the City of Islamabad. Outside of the fact that the rolling blackouts also effects Islamabad (not in the five-star hotels) this is an international city and reflects very little of the rest of the country. The army has several large bases here and a very strong defense system. The streets here are clean, very clean and there are trash containers at the intersections. Most importantly the shopping areas along the streets are very clean.
By way of contrast in one of the main shopping areas along the highway leading into Gujranwala City there are stagnant pools of water that have no drainage, the stench is incredible yet the people there are shopping as though all things are normal. In the three times I have been through that area no attempt has been made to drain the pools. In the villages some of the shopping areas are incredibly filthy and crawling with flies and wasps.
Islamabad is a model of cleanliness. Of course in this city the streets and highways are all well maintained. The highway from Sialkot City to Jonathan's village is a nightmare of holes and ruts. Wherever highways travel through the villages the road surface has been totally obliterated by the traffic. (keep in mind the British who maintained all roads left in 1947).
Continuing to contrast the life of the average Pakistani to life in Islamabad the villagers live a very simple three and four room brick houses. The sleeping area in most houses will have no roof and they sleep outside. We could call these houses "crude" with the exposed brick on the inner walls of the rooms. Yet they put up pictures, hang very colorful cloth on the walls, they make a comfortable home of these very simple dwellings and each woman takes great pride in her house. When I am in one of these simple dwellings they serve me tea and make me quite comfortable. They are excellent hosts and really enjoy a visit from an American.
The water in the villages is hand pump well water. The houses that can afford it put in electric water pumps to bring the well water up in addition to their hand pumps. They keep the hand pumps because the electric is never a certain thing in the villages.
The rice fields require lots of water which I have learned comes from melting snow in the mountains. It has only rained twice in my 30 days here. Canals are everywhere carrying the water to the rice fields that are in most areas. Pakistan grows sugar cane, corn, hay for the animals, cotton (they export textiles), wheat, lentils, tobacco that is used mostly here, lots of hookahs visible in the rural areas and of course rice. The lack of rainfall explains the open air sleeping areas in each house.
I am inserting this in front of this part; the newspaper reporters were here to interview me on television. As they taped the interview they asked me to comment on the National Day of Independence for Pakistan which takes place August 14th each year. I told them of my mission to bring peace thru prayer, no bullets, no guns but prayer. I stressed how God blessed with prosperity the lands where brothers laid down arms and embraced each other as in Uganda and Ireland.
The reporters asked me to comment on the Pakistan leaders and guess what, Christian leaders who opposed all educational efforts in the villages.    Apparently many of these leaders are blocking all efforts to bring education to the villages. They thrive on the ignorance of the peasant living in the village. It is well known that the president of Iran only holds power in the villages. The educated middle and upper class in Iran hate him and live in constant fear he will destroy his nation.
The reporters were asking me leading questions to have me denounce the leaders that thrive on the ignorance of the people. I replied that the prayer of the people will eliminate the power now held by those who would keep this land in poverty and ignorance. They and Bishop Jonathan began asking me to bring this to attention of America. (Remember that the news reporters are Moslems, but they are liberals and hate all efforts to keep the people in oppression.) I promised that I would approach American businesses and ask them to support the effort to bring education via the internet to each village. The ruling party of the government is in favor of education but its efforts are hampered by political opposition, poor roads and not enough money to get education to the villages. With the internet by satellite and other means it is possible to educate the children in the village without incurring the cost of moving children to central locations.
The local congressman here said he would like to meet with American politicians and businessmen and discuss the possibility of them investing in the education of the village children.
Here we are looking at the past to see what separates Pakistan and India.
The history here is a little rough the central truths of the situation however are valid. I have asked Joel to check the overall time periods at the University where he is working on his masters degree.
Pakistan and India are essentially one people but the geography of the land has separated the two. Pakistan is to the north and is easily accessible by sea. There are no jungles in Pakistan the land is flat easy to travel over and the section that is most populated is farmland for the last 2000 years. There are no elephants here; the main working animal here is the water buffalo. The water buffalo was for centuries the  tractor of this area. The animal is so docile that young boys 8 or 9 years old move herds of this great beast just by waving long wooden rods at them. As wonderful as this animal is for agriculture they have no usefulness in war. The elephant which is the  tractor of southern India can be trained for war and is a formable opponent on the field of battle. 
Over the centuries Persia and then Arabia ruled the northern areas of India which is modern day Pakistan. Southern India was not really conquered until the British arrived. Alexander the Great took the Pakistan area but as he fought the war elephants of southern India he found the land was far larger than he had calculated for. Great jungles dense undergrowth hindered the invading armies. The final reality is that the area of the Hindu religion was largely untouched by all the attempts by the invaders over the years to take the land.
The northern part on India which is now Pakistan was converted to Christianity by the Apostle St. Thomas (doubting Thomas) in the first century. There exists today a city north of Islamabad, called Texila that has churches that are dated back the first century and is the tomb of St. Thomas is there. Christianity remained in the north until the 16th century when the Arabs brought in Islam with the sword. There were many Christian martyrs but the power of prayer was no longer in the land. At that point churches were converted to mosques and Islam became the religion of the land. In the city of Lahore the conquering Moslems built the largest mosque in Pakistan called Kings Mosque in the early 1600 hundreds which today is in excellent repair and is larger that many of the great cathedrals of Europe.
The Arab rule over India was largely incomplete. Southern India maintained its identity and its religion. There is also another dividing line classical music. I first heard Pakistan music at the prayer meetings in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Here in Pakistan I met with a Professor of music Mr. Badar who is the head of the music department of the University of Lahore. He has researched the classical music if India and Punjab (northern India now Pakistan) and told me the two had formed separate paths over 1000 years ago. He has awards for his work from both Indian and Pakistani governments and is the recognized authority on both forms of music. The music Americans identify as Indian is Hindi music from the south (modern day India).  In my own opinion the classical music of Pakistan is more pleasant to western ears than Hindi music.
The total population of Pakistan is 165 million people, contrast that with the 1 & 1/2  billion population of India and the size difference is huge. Why does India want to own Pakistan so badly? Rice if the staple food of the Indian people is rice, it is Pakistan who grows that rice. If India has Pakistan it will grow its food inside its own borders.
Why am I making such a fuss about the difference between Pakistan and India? The reason is I am personally convinced that it is the intention of God to make Pakistan a Christian nation. One of the major problems between Pakistan and India is the contrary nature of the Radical Islamic right; who are ruthlessly determined to drag Pakistan back to an ancient culture, eliminating the teaching of English in all schools and limiting the teaching of math to only a chosen few selected by the Islamic clergy. This would include sending the young Moslem woman banker I wrote about in my last email back to her home and limit her to raising children and cooking for the men.
The religious right are tolerated by the Pakistan people but only tolerated.
The average Pakistani is catholic in nature about their religion. Like Catholics in America who go to church Christmas and Easter still consider themselves catholic, the Moslem of Pakistan goes to mosque several times a year and by and large does not feel bound by the dictates of the Islamic clergy.
Again to return to the young Moslem woman banker, Jonathan pointed out how she looked all the men in the eye and clearly informed us of the policies of her bank. An Islamic clergy would want her whipped for such impertinence in her attitude toward men. For a Moslem woman to talk with authority on any subject to men is outrageous to fundamental Islam. This young woman did not just come from nowhere, her parents sent her to schools and university training, they spent big money to educate their daughter there are no scholarships in Pakistan.
Modern day Pakistan is Moslem by identification; they are a very conservative people and like the Catholics of America are not willing to just abandon their identity. Yet at the same time to repeat they do not see themselves bound to the dictates of the Islamic clergy.
They are not subject to the stricter views of Islam. Unlike America there are no atheists or agnostics in Pakistan. The Pakistani all believe in the existence of God, but they see the freedoms of the people of India and are determined to get these freedoms for themselves.
There is an amazing underground here that is not repeated else ware. Many Moslem families are Moslem on the outside and Christian in side their houses.
Bishop Jonathan's mother has died at 2:AM this morning. Her husband and creator of Church of God Pakistan died in January of 2007. Jon's mother wanted to be with her husband of 50 years. Her time was up here and she and her husband have left Pakistan a better place to live in, with more hope, more opportunity and a greater future than most of the Pakistani people ever dreamed of. The vision and foresight of Bishop Daniel Rehmat created a network of 260 churches that span from Iran across Afghanistan and Pakistan into Pakistan Kashmir. The publicized percentage of Christians in Pakistan is 3%. I have found entire villages of Christians here and visited one of the largest villages in the country which is completely Roman Catholic. There is a Catholic church in almost every village in Pakistan. I believe that the percentage of Christians here is 8% and that is a very conservative number.
The women are loudly keening the passing of Jon's mother in the back bedrooms of the compound. The men are gathered in the large living room the chairs and couch removed and they are all sitting on the floor tribal style, not really saying anything but they are there to give respect to their leader. Jon has used his money and influence to help the local people (Moslem) of his village with many issues and he is the de facto elder of this village. The room is filled with Moslem and Christian men surrounding the one unifying element of their village, Bishop Jonathan Rehmat.
When I came here it was to help Jon strengthen his church in what I believed was a hostile environment. What I found was a country of villages aching to get into the twenty first century. Christianity embraces the future, the hope and dreams to the people, Islam is terrified of the future and wants to retreat into the ancient past.
For Islam to accept the future would mean crushing the male dominated culture it is composed of.
In every city we have visited there are billboards advertising colleges for women. There are huge chinks in the armor of Islam all over Pakistan.
The pastor of the church I preached in last night is doctor of theology, his wife has her doctorate in one of the sciences, and his sister has her masters degree and works as a high level tech in the local hospital. I call them working class professionals, their home is large enough for all of them, it is in a village, but the brick on the inner walls are all coated to a smooth finish and painted it is very attractive.
Another large chink in the armor of Islam is the army itself. The officer corps is highly educated and they need to be. India has its army sitting on the borders of Pakistan looking for any opportunity to strike. The army uses computers in all its tanks and advanced weaponry they also speak English and many of them speak various European languages as well. Retired army officers are placed with corporations in lue of giving them retirement pay. The current crop of officers in military school are required to complete their MBA before they can retire.
They army has ruled Pakistan for the last 60 years. The political process here is pulled all out of whack by the Islamic clergy whose motives are more political power than religious purity. The one stable force in Pakistan is the highly disciplined British trained military corps. Democracy will only be viable here when education spreads to the masses. The army and the wealthy Moslem want the western world with all the perks. Education is working its way into the villages and the desire for a better life is motivating many changes. I am not suggesting that education is alone the answer however the educated Moslem is beyond tolerant of Christianity. Some of them are trying to be Moslem-Christians.
Remember that Islam is a culture here it does not stop at being the religion of the people. They do not want to reject their culture in order to embrace Christ, who most of them know is God. In all the villages the Moslem men send their women to bring bottles of water and oil for the man of God to bless. When they are sick or hurt they will apply the water or oil to the place of pain believing that God will heal them. It is something like storing up a healing prayer in a bottle until the day they need it.
Right now the Islamic hard line clergy are losing the battle to the army, the wealthy, the moderate and the middle class. The trick for America is to learn to separate the culture of Islam from the religion of Islam and respect the culture.
Now speaking about the culture, Jon's younger brother Joel's teachers from the University (5 of them) drove here (45 minutes) to the house to give their sympathy and support for a student who has lost his mother. Could you in anyway expect that from College professors in America? Yes these teachers are all Moslems. Jon asked me to give them the words I spoke to him and Joel. I told them that Joel's mother wanted to be with her husband of 50 years and that her job was done here and she wanted to go home. That the time has come for the changing of the generation from the parents to the children. And it is a bittersweet time for us the living who will miss her yet we cannot help celebrating her joy and happiness at her reunion with her husband of 50 years. That she and her husband were together in heaven with God enjoying the fruits of the years the spent bringing the Kingdom of God to the people of Pakistan. And the time will come when Jon will pass his heritage on to his sons and children for that is the plan of God.
Pakistani are pretty up front with their emotions, it they like what they are hearing they smile and nod their heads. I had much smiling and head nodding as I spoke with to these men. Jon asked me to bless them and all bowed their heads as I lifted up before the Father the faithfulness of these men to come to the aid of a fellow who is in pain and suffering and that God would bless each one and in greater measure than they gave. Each man gave me a hearty hand shake to let me know they were blessed.
Islam is a religion of the soul, composed of intellectual decisions and human wisdom. They see Christianity as a rebellion to the true faith and are totally unable to see why people convert to Christ. They have no personal relationship with God, they have no concept of it.Why is it so much more powerful to be humble, when it is so much fun to be a vain, arrogant, egotistical, pompous ass? Because God does not work thru the mans ambition, He works thru the mans obedience. Vision inspires man to heights that ambition fails to reach.
Grasp that no force on earth can humble the man, he will die like William Wallace, unbent, strong, unyielding and unbroken. The only humble men on earth are those who will willingly kneel before the Living God and take His hand and place it upon their head and accept His sovereign lordship over their lives.
This act alone gives man the necessary spiritual power to bring the ego and passions of their flesh under control.
It is these men who as they pray feel the breath of God upon their cheek as they seek His face.

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