“God has no more power to send…. No more healing to send…. No more forgiveness to send…. NOTHING….”
Silence fell over the throng of people gathered on the large open field in Karachi, Pakistan this past week at the Friendship Festival hosted by Pastor Peter Youngren. The tens of thousands gathered had come to receive from Jesus, and were thrown into silence as Pastor Peter’s voice rang out over the tightly packed field.
“Everything that God has…. His power, His healing, His forgiveness… He sent in Jesus. Receive Jesus and receive life, power, healing and forgiveness. It is yours today.”
As this simple, yet profound revelation sank in, the crowd slowly started to respond, and soon exploded into a raucous celebration as they realized the answer to their prayers was much closer than they had ever imagined. The answer was not in a prayer, technique or religion, but in a person…. JESUS. Whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, all need Jesus, and all can call on Him, and He will answer.
Set against a backdrop of terror and national “Red Alert” precipitated by impending suicide bomb attacks, Karachi Friendship Festival - October 1-5, 2008 - was an incredible success. On September 20, 2008, only ten (10) days before Pastor Peter’s Gospel Festival, a suicide bomber set off a bomb at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad that killed many foreigners and government officials. This set off a string of bombings in other cities around Pakistan, including Karachi, the sight of Pastor Peter’s Gospel Festival. The Pakistani government and the United Nations security counsel told all foreigners to leave the country of Pakistan or avoid any public place due to these bomb blasts.
Despite the impending danger, Pastor Peter was miraculously able to conduct a sensational five (5) day Gospel Festival in Karachi. Mandatory security was imposed on Pastor Peter and the Festival. Every person entering the Festival grounds had to pass through a metal detector and was hand searched for weapons or bombs. The security went so far as to check people for weapons with a hand metal detector before they came to the stage to testify of healings. Pastor Peter was ordered to have personal security and was surrounded by armed bodyguards everywhere he moved.
Through all the threats and security issues, the people of Pakistan packed the Festival venue full every night. Massive lines formed for hundreds of meters outside the field as people waited to enter through the metal detectors. People from every background and religion passed peaceably through the gates, and there were no incidents the entire week of the Festival. The final night of the Festival the crowd packed the field so tightly that Pastor Peter had to leave the field by climbing a ladder over the back wall of the field. His normal exit would have been impossible to pass through.
Media coverage of the Gospel Festival was astounding. In a country that is 96% Islamic, it is typically very difficult to get the media’s attention for a Gospel event. A TV reporter from Samaa TV, a national TV network in Pakistan, said she had never seen such a large crowd, and the same TV station aired the final night of the Festival LIVE to the entire nation. This was a first in Pakistan. The two largest newspapers in the country carried the Festival adverts on the front page, and TV reporters interviewed Pastor Peter daily. Every day reporters from various news organizations including Geo TV, the largest TV news provider in Pakistan, reported the Festival. A local Muslim talk show invited Pastor Peter to be on their program, where he was given opportunity to share about Jesus.
Incredible miracles were seen every single night of the Festival. The stage was filled with more testimonies that could possibly be reported, and hundreds more who were healed were not even able to reach the platform. People from every background and religion were healed.
One especially touching story took place on the last night of the Festival. Mrs. Zubadia and her daughter, Thamina had heard the news reports of the Festival, and had traveled 1800 km from their home in Abbadabad. The trip had taken them three (3) days on a train. Thamina was blind, and hearing that Jesus was healing people in Karachi, nothing would stop them from attending the meeting. Mrs. Zubadia and Thamina were from a Muslim home, and after having testified to the crowd of the healing, Mrs. Zubadia offered Pastor Peter money for her daughter’s healing. Pastor Peter took the opportunity to share with Mrs. Zubadia and the entire crowd that Jesus gives freely, and asks nothing in return. It was a powerful testimony of Jesus free gift for all people.
Tangible hunger for God was felt in both the Festival and the Pastor’s Seminar. Several thousand delegates packed out the Gospel Revolution Seminar tent each morning to hear revelation from God’s work. Pastor Peter was joined by special ministers from Finland, Pastor David Sterling, and Norway, Reverend Mary Felde, and together they ministered God’s grace and love to the pastors. Already long-term plans are being laid by Pastor Peter and World Impact Ministries to form a Bible College in Pakistan to continue propagating the Good News.
Thank you friend for your support. In an age of increasing religious tension that is flowing over into geopolitical relations, the message of God’s grace and love for all people is the only message that can cut through the clutter of voices and produce lasting results. You are making a difference through your support of Pastor Peter Youngren.