Besides the joy of seeing GKCM’s new building – half finished, preaching to Ghaffar’s base congregration and baptising 9 new believers with him, the highlight of the meetings in Lahore has to be the counselling of Muslims after the morning service. The morning service itself was an intense experience of worship in very cramped quarters sometimes in pitch darkness due to power cuts and sometimes with the lights and fans on. There was an anointing of fire and several people were touched by the Holy Spirit.
A mother and son and friend had travelled over 3 hours to get deliverance for this young man from a spirit of divination. Musalmel had clear premonitions of accidents that then happened because no one took his warnings. His arm and shoulder were damaged because of such a car accident.
We delayed praying for him because I wanted them to understand that Jesus is not just one of the prophets before Mohammed and that there is power in his name because he is the Beginning and the End of all things and that he wants to come into this young man’s life and use his gift for God’s glory.
This was all too much for the unseen world and a commotion started outside as Muslim neighbours – not knowing what we were talking about – started to demand that Ghaffar buy their home (EUR 30’000) so they could move away from the noise and disturbance of the church. I perfectly understand their position. No non-member wants a lively noisy church across the alley from their home. But at this stage we were just talking quietly. Ghaffar was able to calm them and the ministry continued unhindered.
I continued to push them towards the edge –”Your son, Musalmel has a radio, a gift of spiritual sensitivity – that is from God. I want him to learn to tune into God’s frequency. You just want me to break the radio. Yes we can heal and deliver your son in Jesus Name – but God wants your hearts, Jesus wants to live inside of you – the mother started to wail – We are Muslims but you have something we need: “Please please help my son for the sake of humanity. Share what you have with us.” Then she said “Just tell me one thing – is my son plagued by an evil spirit?” “Yes” I said. Immediately she fainted just like in a film. When she came around I said – “Of course we will help him now – but we just want you to get lasting freedom not a short-term fix. “Just break the radio” she said “Make him normal.” So I prayed for him, closed all doors to the demonic world and told him that as proof of my authority to do that his shoulder would be healed. It was immediately healed, the pain left, mobility returned and he could give a firm handshake for the first time since the car accident.
You can imagine the grin on his face and the joy and amazement. Then we prayed for the mother and her friend (also a Muslim) who got slain in the Spirit.
I have had one day off spent under ‘hotel arrest’ (heat and security reasons) which provides its own share of amusing episodes. I had the strange experience of swimming in the hotel pool in the midst of a furious dust storm which turned the sky brown and stung your face whenever you popped your head out of the hot water of the pool.
The rest of the time in Lahore was spent on home visits getting involved in the local church life and teaching the members in their homes. The long car journeys with Ghaffar and Deacon Jimshay provide opportunities to share and encourage one another, discuss strategies and seek God’s wisdom for sometimes complicated life situations.
Gojra, Punjab, Pakistan: We are now in a town famous for massive anti-Chrtistian rioting in 2009 where 100 homes were burned and 8 died. We had permission for the mass meeting from the highest Police commissioner but at the last minute a well-known radical group told the local Police chief that he would be responsible for severe consequences if he let the meeting proceed. He was obviously unhappy. So we suggested a compromise of an alternative smaller location in a mainly Christian area and the local team with a first time organiser managed to move all the carpets, screens, stage, lights, generators, PA etc. in 3 hours.
The crowd was much smaller than expected due to the last minute change but we had a powerful meeting as I preached a message of the unstoppable GOOD NEWS of the love of God – A God is not just Merciful and Compassionate but also Loving. Indeed he is LOVE. He comes down to our level to meet with us and heal our wounds giving beauty for ashes and double honor for shame.
I also talked about the wedding at Cana, not knowing that the violence of 2009 here started at a wedding. Because of his love, Jesus, changed his own rules (My time has not yet come) and abused the symbols of religion, ritual uncleaness and fear of a harsh God – the water jars – to make the wine of celebration. 70% of the crowd joined in the prayers of forgiveness and there were many healings and great joy among the people.