For the first time in maybe years, I missed a blog on Saturday. That is because Pearls of Promise was staging a conference, via Zoom, for the women at a church in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s eleven hours later in Pakistan, so in order to make this work, we began the conference at 7:00 a.m.
I will admit that it’s a little scary to take a leap of faith like this. There are many pastors from other countries reaching out to us, often asking for donations, so it takes God’s discernment to know if they are truly who they say they are. But I felt the heart of Pastor Sharjeel for his congregation.
We had also spoken a few times on What’s App or via Facebook Messenger, and he sent photos of he and his family. He seemed genuine.
However, it was still a “walk on the water” experience, and when 7:00 a.m. came and the women were not on the Zoom call, I began to sink and was paddling wildly to stay above water both emotionally and spiritually. Did God really say to do this? I asked my POP team and the other ministers that joined us, “Will you still love me if this turns out to be a hoax?”
We found out from the pastor that the Pakistani government, wary of this conference, had shut down the internet. I thought, Did they really? The church would not have internet until the next morning, so we prayed. Lord, we pray that the government changes its mind, and allows this conference to go on. We asked, believing this could happen but we needed a game plan, so we decided to record the conference for the women, and would allow them to put subtitles in Urdu on the video. I will admit that I was still skeptical but figured at a minimum we could put the conference on our YouTube channel for others to watch.
We started with worship by singer Debra Camp. Then I spoke. After me, another guest speaker, Destiny Yarbrough, shared, but then something miraculous happened.
I saw the pastor enter the Zoom room, then I saw the women sitting on the floor of a church in Pakistan, listening. The government decided to allow the internet after all! This was real! Our prayer had been answered, and I realized I was wrong in worrying that this was some kind of cruel joke. “Pastor, do you want to interpret for the women now?”
And from that point on members of our team, Dr. Lynnette Simm, Aurora Ortega Geis and Rosemary Legrand, through Pastor Sharjeel’s interpretation, delivered the word of God to the beautiful women of the Church of the Living God in Karachi, Pakistan.
I will confess that I was disappointed that they did not hear my message, but then I felt like God said, This isn’t about you. If anything, the breakthrough we experienced with the government was a testimony to the women about the power of prayer. The Word of God says God can break through bars of iron and that is what happened on Saturday.
Years ago when I first ventured into full-time ministry, I would have never seen myself putting on an event or speaking in Pakistan, but in my Bible reading, God has highlighted his heart for the nations. This call to reach the nations was a part of “The Great Commission” before Jesus left this earth.
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
After the conference ended, the pastor told me the women loved the event. Our theme was “Understanding God’s Divine Love” and then he said, “We’d love to translate your books into Urdu. You can reach a billion people that way. I thought, Maybe I’ll be able to share with the women after all. God’s plans are far greater than our own.
When we surrender our lives to Jesus, you never know where He will take you, and sometimes it requires a leap of faith to go to the places He calls you, but the joy that comes from serving Him in this way is indescribable. Will you be open to God’s plans for your life, even if it means venturing into the unknown?
If you are curious and would like to watch Saturday’s conference in Pakistan, here’s the link to “Understanding God’s Divine Love.”