“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. (Luke 12 35-38)
We met slaves who are ready. Before you take offence by that word remember that we are the ones who freely gave our lives to Christ. We belong to Him. In time, servants can come to hear every word the Father told His Son, and when they obey Jesus calls them His friends. (John 15:13-15) We met many of Jesus’ friends in Pakistan. The light of Christ shines brightly in the midst of darkness.
Being showered with rose pedals as we made our way along the narrow alley was an amazing way to be welcomed, but we were still not prepared for meeting the congregation. As we turned into an open court we were greeted by children dancing. Watching their graceful practiced performance I cried for joy. More rose pedals were thrown as we walked down the aisle being welcomed by those on each side. Reaching the platform the honors began as the pastor, elders and their wives decorated us with garlands and me with a special hat. In God’s house this cultural display of hospitality was a holy act.
These saints are poor, but are saving what they can in order to have their own building someday. In the mean time they lay their carpets on the ground in an open court-yard to worship God.
These folks are poor too. They were paid to be part of the violent demonstrations that called for the blood of Asia Bibi. Trucked in from rural areas to transportation choke points the poor were used by their masters to disrupt the nation for political gain. In Pakistan the distinction between good and evil is clear, and the fear of persecution is not without reason. Pray for our brothers and sisters here and in other lawless lands where Satan’s hate is spewed out. Help where you can and while you can. Our ability, comfort and security are not guaranteed.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)