Sargodha, Pakistan Festival
Day after the Festival
After the conclusion of the Sargodha Friendship Festival we traveled by car to the city of Peshawar. We went there to visit the All Saints’ church, where 140 Christians were killed and 200 injured in a bomb blast only a couple of months ago.
In a service especially arranged for survivors, family members and friends of the victims, I had the privilege of sharing a message from Romans chapter 8 about that nothing – no matter how bad our circumstances are at the moment – can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. In the end of the message several in the meeting received physical healing from Jesus. Many also testified afterwards that the message had brought comfort to them in their grief. We thank Jesus for touching these precious people with His love!
Thank you to our partners for sending us to this area in Pakistan where the need for the Gospel is greater than ever before!
- Johan Olehäll
The Gospel Revolution Seminar was finished on Saturday, and it truly was wonderful. Pastors were very affected by the teaching. Daniel received a word of knowledge in the middle of his teaching about a lady with pain in her upper back, and she became instantly healed!
God was really moving at the Seminar. Pastors and leaders are asking us to come back, requesting tapes of the teaching, and especially also hoping that Pastor Peter will come to the city one day. Many local Christians were very sad about the cancellation of the permits, but at the same time encouraged by the Seminar and the Festival night yesterday.
We are also planning to hold a healing meeting in Peshawar on Monday and visit the church were a bomb killed many Christians only few months ago.
We appreciate your continued prayers! Thank you.
- Johan Olehäll
Thursday started with the Gospel Revolution Seminar. In spite of all cancellations and in spite of the news that Peter Youngren would not be coming, many pastors and leaders were present and received the revelation about God’s grace and the New Covenant. I was teaching along with Daniel Oosthuyzen from Edmonton. Pakistan is highly influenced by the Moslem Sharia law, and this legalistic culture has also affected the mindset of the nation’s Christian community. We noticed that the teaching that God does not relate to us based on our performance was new to them, but the message was received with great excitement.
About 3000 people showed up for the festival meeting in the evening. This is of course a very small number compared to normally, but here we must remember that people had found out that Peter Youngren would not be coming. The venues had been changed several times, not to mention the Taliban terror threat against any public gatherings in the Punjab Province and rumors that suicide bombers are in the area ready to strike. Every person who entered the venue had to pass through a metal detector gate and many Police officers were there to provide security, so we felt very safe during the meeting.
I preached from Isaiah 61 that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free and open the eyes of the blind. Many Muslims had come to the meeting to seek healing for either themselves or their loved ones. It was a joy to see the many hundreds of hands raised all over the field during the invitation to receive Jesus.
Jesus confirmed the preaching of the Gospel by healing the sick. We witnessed cases of healing from blindness, deafness, demon possession, joint pain and body aches. We were all especially touched by the healing a small Moslem boy called Mohamed. He had never been able to move either arms or legs before, but today he started moving both legs and arms for the first time in his life.
We thank Jesus for what He did - in spite of all the challenges we have faced here in Sargodha.
- Johan Olehäll
The permit to hold the Festival in the big stadium was just cancelled. These are two official reasons: According to police intelligence sources the new Taliban leader has issued a warning against any public meeting in the area. “72 suicide bombers” are supposedly in the district, waiting to strike.
Also, just before we arrived there was a mass killing between local people in a city nearby Sargodha, where one of the groups cut the throats off 120 people from the other group.
First the police cancelled the stadium and told us to find another venue. The committee suggested a field, which the police indicated it would grant permission for, but later declined. A decision was then made to move the Festival to a church compound and was supposed to start tonight. The police indicated this would be OK, but today they called the committee to the station and stopped us. After negotiations, we have been granted a written permit for a two day Festival in the church compound, Friday and Saturday, in which they promise to provide security. The Pastor’s Seminar will also be held over two days.
Thank you for your prayers!
- Johan Olehäll