Missions Spotlight: Pakistan
Did you know that less than 3% of people living in Pakistan are Christians? Pakistan is mainly a Muslim country. Because of religious persecution and the law, our Christian brethren meet in homes. Currently, we support seven home-congregations that believe as we do.
Why do you believe in God? Have you ever been asked this question? After being asked this question, I would often flounder around saying things like “Ummm because I was raised in it” or “because the Bible says it’s true” or “God and Jesus changed my life” (meanwhile I didn’t really know how they changed it). When it came right down to it, I didn’t really know why I believed in God. If we take our faith seriously, we are not allowed to stay in ignorance; we have to be ready. There has probably been a time and place when we all had to give an account for our faith to someone, or at least when we have questioned our own beliefs. Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 3:13 – 18 to see what a very wise man had to say about this subject.
“13 Who is [c]there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [d]are blessed. And do not fear their [e]intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but [f]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [g]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [h]reverence; 16 [i]and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if [j]God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the [k]spirit”
Verse 15 blankly states to always be ready to share your defense, or your testimony of the hope that lives in you! So let’s get practical and dive into the nitty gritty of what a “defense meant to convince” might look like. Here are several starters to get you thinking about what elements of your personal faith story are powerful to your testimony.
- Align your actions with Christ’s.
It’s not enough to just be different from the world. Buddhists, Muslims, even moral atheists live differently from the world. If you aren’t living like Christ than anything you say after that can as easily be dismissed as saying the word ‘hypocrite’.
- Highlight your personal change
Show how you lived before and how your life is different now, only through the power of God’s grace and strength; you couldn’t do this alone!
- Highlight your hope for the future
The kingdom of God resides here on the Earth now and in the future!!! This belief has given you purpose. HOPEfully your peers will be able to perceive this from the way you have been living. Our actions and mindset produce joy!
- Highlight the coming judgement
There is a judgement day approaching; it is sooner now than it has ever been. This aspect is meant to help others perceive the urgency of believing
- Historical/ontological/teleological arguments for trusting the Bible
If you feel like you can articulate these aspects well, go for it! These are very valuable reasons for believing. However, you do run the risk of appearing uninformed if the person you are talking to is studied up on these subjects. You wouldn’t want someone to tear apart your arguments and thus misinterpret your testimony.
- Highlight the changes in others
Express stories of growth and change that you have witnessed in others. This is a great time to offer a friend the chance to believe!
I encourage you to take some time and write out your testimony on paper. That way, when the time comes you will have a “defense meant to convince” ready to go.
In Pakistan, people are not Christians because it is casual, it is the exact opposite. With only 3% of the country practicing Christianity, our brothers and sisters are not doing it because of the trendy churches, or latest fad. These people believe in God and Jesus because they have experienced it; they have a powerful testimony to share. They have done the preparation and know that this is the best way of life. Although it is not the popular belief, they are prepared disciples. I am inspired by our brothers and sisters in Pakistan to testify boldly, and to stand ready to share my defense.
If you would like to support our family in Pakistan with Bibles and money for meeting grounds, please follow this link. Thank you! https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjM0MDg=/selection
Josiah & Amber Cain