Karachi, Pakistan Visit
11-18 August, 2008


In the beginning of this year, a Pakistani Bible believer, Bro. Khalid Yaqoob, visited Singapore and came to fellowship with us one Sunday morning.  He has been a regular visitor to the Prophetic*Revelation website for the last two years.  Leaving Singapore, he took home with him a set of Prophetic*Revelation books and said that he would like his pastor, who is his brother, to read them.  Not long after that, I received an invitation from the pastor to minister the Word in Karachi.

A week after returning from my visit to Cambodia in June, I was struck with a right ureteric colic.  The stone passage took three days.  However, after the episode, my right back and right hip became extremely sore about three weeks before I was due to leave for Karachi. I committed the trip to the Lord and the pain lessened two days before I boarded the plane for Karachi.

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic nation comprising of 97.6% Moslem, 1.5% Hindus and 1.7% Christians.  Discrimination and violence against Christians are not uncommon.  The city of Karachi, being in the south, is generally calm compared to those in the north.

11 August

I arrived into Karachi in the evening and was taken to a hotel in the heart of the city called Saddar.  Karachi is heavily polluted with dust and smog.  (I had to use a mask whenever I left the hotel.) I did not see many trees in the city.  The area around the hotel I stayed is very badly polluted.  A foul smell of stagnant water and sewage crept into the hotel room whenever there was a breeze.  When this happened during the night, I would be awakened from sleep. The hotel is less than two years old but not very well maintained.  I was charged US$35 a night.  (A better hotel in a cleaner area would cost me not less than five times that amount.)  Bro. Khalid, who once worked for a short time in the same hotel, told me that the hotel hardly sees foreign visitors.  Its patrons are mainly the Pakistanis themselves who come from other cities and towns.

12 August

Several ministers and believers, including the pastor and his wife, came to have a chat with me in the hotel room.  Most of the time, Bro. Khalid kept me company.  He is active in the work of the Lord.  Plans were made for me by Pastor Shamoon Yaqoob to minister from 13 August till 18 August including three meetings in three other tradition churches (of which two were cancelled) whose pastors are friends of his during his teens.  I was given a timetable for the six days of meetings.  The evening meetings were to start around 7.30pm till midnight.  I could not comprehend the late hours until I was told that the people are generally not punctual.  Their worship could last till 10.00pm or even 11.00pm before the preacher takes the pulpit and usually for not more than an hour.

13 August

Today's meeting was in a district called Azizabad.  I was told that I was to be picked up at 9.00pm. Later Bro Khalid called and said it would be 9.30pm, and a little later, he called to say, 10.00pm. I came to realized later that the Pakistanis generally do not keep time when it comes to meetings.  They are a carefree people, "free and easy".

Together with several believers in a hired van, we reached Azizabad at 10.45pm, a 20 minutes drive from the hotel.

The meeting was to be held in an open area but for the drizzle that came some time before, it was moved indoors to the church building. However, we did not proceed to the meeting area but went straight to the house of the pastor of the church.  Bro. Shamoon and Bro. Khalid had no idea what was going on.  After some time, a little after 11.00pm, we walked over to the church building and I was informed that there was to be a church dedication ceremony. This included the cutting of ribbon, welcoming and garlanding of guests, garlanding of the active believers, helpers, etc. Of course, there were plenty of laughter, joy and entertainments.  It took some two hours.  The time was nearly 1.00am. The pastor of the church then left and went to his home and the people were just talking.

The believers from Bro. Shamoon's church were getting impatient for they came to hear the Word. Due to the ceremony they wanted to leave to go home since the following day had a seminar, starting at 9.30am.  About 15 minutes later, a Pakistani Moslem singer came into the church.  He was invited to sing but he came late because his wife was warded to the hospital.  He is a well-known singer and has received accolades from the general populace for his songs and his singing.  I was told that the songs he was singing for the church that night were written by him and the songs were about the Lord Jesus Christ and His love.  The singer testified that he loves Jesus and that he would see him one day.  One of the song he sang (in Urdu) was about an empty vessel seeking a touch from Jesus.

There was supposed to be only two songs but a third was requested. The singer obliged and the people were entertained by more of his singing.  As the Moslem sang, several members of the congregation approached him and offered him money in plain view of the congregation. All in, he took about half an hour to sing three songs.

By the time, the Moslem had finished his singing, it was 1.45am.  As he left the church, many people were also leaving the church after him. The reason is obvious: they were there to hear a great singer sing.

I finally took the pulpit at 1.50am and could see many of the people were tired.  Nevertheless, I preached for those whose heart was on the Word for a good hour, enough to point out the importance of hearing and understanding God's Inspired Word.

After the preaching, there was a dedication of deacons followed by a meal.  The decision of whether to stay and eat was quickly made as the time was near 3.30am.  We left.  Reaching the hotel at about 4.00am, I cleaned up and got into bed at 4.30am.

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Except for the Sunday morning service, all evening services in Pakistan go late into the night. I noticed that the little shanty town shops, such as hardware and grocery stores are even opened in the wee hours of the morning.

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14 August

Today was a Thursday and also Pakistan's National Day. Hence, it was a holiday. The seminar was to take place from 9.30am to 5.00pm in a rental hall of the Salvation Army in Saddar, a 10 minutes walk away from the hotel that I stayed in. I was requested to speak on the Signs of the Endtime, Religions and Politics, and the Mark of Cain. Some 60 people out of an expected 100 came for the seminar. That was a fairly good turn out, seeing that the percentage of Christians in Pakistan is a low 1.7%.

Bro. Shamoon Yaqoob's fellowship is one of three Endtime Message believing churches in Karachi.  There are others in the city of Lahore in the north of the country.

The main subject for the seminar was THE MARK OF CAIN.  Many believers had questions relating to the Original Sin and the Seed of the Serpent.  Bro. Khalid was the interpreter. The language was, of course, Urdu.

Because of the desire of the congregation for the Word, the teaching went on till 6.00pm.

15 & 16 August

These two evening services were held in another part of the city, in an area called Kashmir Colony.  The gathering was in an open area, a walkway, some 7 metres (22 feet) wide flanked by blocks of apartments and houses.  Both ends of the walkway were curtained off and the floor was carpeted for a distance of about 50 metres (160 feet). Each meeting was to start at 7.30pm.  But I took the pulpit each night near 10.30pm and both meetings ended after midnight.

I spoke on subjects of THE BOTTOMLESS PIT and THE SEED OF DECEIT respectively on the two nights. The congregation was a mixed group. Besides Pastor Shamoon's congregation there were those from the traditional churches, even a few Moslems were presented.

17 August

The Sunday morning service was held in Pastor Shamoon's church, a little distance away from the previous two night meetings. The service started fairly on time.  I spoke on the endtime scenario with regards to Abraham's three seeds -- Ishmael, Isaac and Christ Jesus, and of the soon coming of the Lord.  I exhorted the believers to live holy and honestly before God and man in obedience to His Word.

The evening service was devoted to answering questions.  There were many, especially on the "mysteries" concerning the happenings in the period of the beginning (in the Book of Genesis) and the strange statements uttered by Bro. Branham.

After the meeting, the pastor told me that my message and exhortation in the morning had produced some fruits.  Several sisters had removed their ear and nose rings and had stopped using cosmetics. One of them is his youngest brother's newly wedded wife.

My stay in Karachi was well cared for especially by Bro. Khalid Yaqoob, who often enquired if I had eaten enough and whether I was keeping well.  I thank God for getting me through the 5 days of rough experiences with regards to the late hours and heavy pollution. The day I left, I had a mild sore throat and a hoarse voice.  But it was gone a day after I reached home.

Pray for the ministry and work in Karachi. Living in an Islamic nation where more than 97% of the people are Moslems is certainly not easy. May the Lord bless and keep them; may His Face shine upon them.