Local muslims are angry. No, their fury is not directed at me. On the contrary, this protest is in support of our Gospel Festival, and against the police force, because the permit for the Gospel Festival has been withdrawn due to suicide bomb threats. The people are desperate. Some have traveled great distances because news has spread of the miracles that have happened already during the first three days. I have just been told that many muslims are also at the local press club, demonstrating and complaining to journalists that the Gospel Festival has been stopped. Hundreds of police moved in on the Gospel Festival ground and began to tear down metal detectors, lights, the sound system and stage. In a situation like this it’s always difficult to know what is truth and what is fiction, but one thing is sure; tens of thousands of muslims are angry because they are being denied the Gospel. Word on the street is that I am under house arrest by the police. Another version is that I was attacked leaving the last meeting and have been captured, while the third version is that I have been forcibly ejected from Pakistan. I can assure you that none of this is correct. This is a telling example of how rumors and speculations take hold and then take on a life of their own.
Here are the four facts:
We had bomb threats earlier in the week but were able to get the police to guarantee the continuation of the Gospel Festival.
Saturday night there were further credible threats and intelligence information of a planned suicide bombing against our meeting.
Our campaign committee, together with several leading moderate Muslim clerics and politicians, lobbied the police chief’s office on our behalf late yesterday but to no avail. The Chief of Police claims to have received a directive from the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel us due to suicide bomb threats.
This weekend has been a bloody one in Pakistan, with suicide bombers attacking in three other locations. Currently the injury list is at 139 with 23 dead.
Personally, I feel we could have continued the Gospel Festival without an incident, but of course one never knows. I would rather err on the side of boldness than on the side of caution. These are difficult times because I want to take every opportunity to preach the Gospel. Ultimately, our life is in the hand of Jesus and He knows what is best. 80% of our mission to Hyderabad has been completed. Our seminars made a tremendous impact and the Gospel and the reality of Jesus have echoed throughout the entire province. Many thousands who have never heard the Gospel or had any exposure to Jesus Christ have been saved, healed and touched. It would be easy to hold crusades and events in areas where safety is always guaranteed. How we would do that? By staying in the “Christian” areas, which includes South and North America, Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa. Our mission is the un-reached, and so we do step onto dangerous territory from time to time.
Our local co-ordinators are awesome people, dedicated to Jesus, and they have asked me to come back. Next time in Pakistan we will go to the province of Punjab, possibly to the capital of Islamabad itself. For the last 24 hours muslims have been waiting almost non-stop in the lobby to receive ministry and prayer. There is a huge disappointment and backlash against the police as the people feel deprived because the final meeting didn’t go on as scheduled. That backlash in itself is a good thing. It means Jesus is very desirable to the people; they want to hear more about Jesus, not less.
Partner, I appreciate and love you. Thank you for standing with us in these historical outreaches. What we have seen this week in Hyderabad, Pakistan has never been witnessed before. This was the first ever Gospel Campaign in an area where the Gospel light has been desperately needed for a long time.
Seven days from now we start our campaign in Kupang, Indonesia. I still need help. When I headed to Pakistan all the necessary money had been received. Now we believe Jesus will speak to people this week so that the same may happen for the Indonesia outreach. Thank you. Keep blogging. -Peter