Written In My Heart: Mission-Serving Pakistani Christians #15
On Monday, nine people from our church, including our new pastor, left on a missions trip to Vietnam. Actually, missionaries are no longer allowed to come into Vietnam. The group must travel as visitors and cannot conduct meetings nor preach the gospel. They will have to meet people one on one. Also, I am aware that missionaries can no longer go to India now.
Well the same is true for Pakistan. No visas are being issued to missionaries wanting to come into Pakistan. So, what does God do in this situation? This writing is dedicated to sharing one way God is reaching out to some of those who are designated as Christians who live in poor neighborhoods and poor brick maker villages in Pakistan.
God reached across the ocean and connected a local pastor with me through Facebook in February of 2015.
I learned that the Fellowship I am a member of has only one missionary left in Pakistan because it is considered a “sensitive” nation. Quote: “Please know that Pakistan has long been considered by our mission as a ‘sensitive’ nation. Sensitive implies that our pastors, missionaries and churches working in Pakistan accept considerable risk in living, working and ministering to the Pakistani people."
This decision does not stop God. He works in His way and I know that He connected Pastor Vicky with me. I believe it is because God prepared me so I would respond. Some reasons why include what follows.
The Original Connection to Pakistan: My daughter married a man from Lahore, Pakistan, and, she for a while embraced the Islam religion. My daughter traveled twice (1998, 2000) to Lahore and my husband followed her there on her second trip to meet his family and visit the Lahore area. I felt in my spirit that I would in some way minister the Good News of Jesus Christ to Pakistanis, and, I began to pray about how this was going to happen.
Dream-The Birth of Gariel: I did not know at the time, but, I now believe God gave me this dream as the answer to my prayer.
In June, 2003, I had a full-colored dream of my giving birth to a tiny baby girl that I give the name Gariel . This tiny baby does not seem to be very hungry. In the dream, I picture myself and this tiny baby sitting on something like a straw bale overlooking a large field, I don’t know what it is I am looking at. Around me, people are moving about.
Even though I did not have understanding of what this dream meant, I went ahead and founded a ministry I named Gariel Ministries.
A “Love Gift” and the Birth of Gariel Sunday School in poor Brick Maker villages, Lahore, Pakistan. In early spring, 2015, I sent a small “love gift” for the purpose of purchasing children’s books and supplies. I sent this gift using my Paypal account that is set up with the name Gariel Ministries. When Pastor Vicky received the ‘love gift’ from Gariel Ministries, he felt in his spirit that the new Sunday School program should be named Gariel. Together, with some donations to Gariel Ministries, we have now built and completed the first floor level of a little church we have named Gariel Church in the mission colony of Raiwind near Lahore, Pakistan. The cost of land and building this level totaled about $10,500. Wow. This small cost is one reason why I was willing to tackle this project. The church started weekly services in April of 2016. Also, several open air services are conducted each year. And, other projects such as Bible Distribution, Food Distribution and a free Medical Clinic have been offered through Gariel Ministries.
Revelation - The Meaning of the “Birthing” Dream: I truly believe I discovered and now understand the meaning of the dream God gave to me in 2003. The birthing of the tiny baby represents the birth of Gariel in Pakistan. The idea that the baby is not very hungry represents the poor families this ministry is and will be serving. The straw bale, large field and people moving about represent the large fields of bricks and the people working to make bricks.
Gariel has been birthed in Pakistan.
We are now working cooperatively in the effort to finish building the second floor level of the church, at a cost of about $8,000, that will house a primary school for grades 1-5. And, I am about to begin translating some materials from English to the Urdu language for use in the church, in Bible studies and as Sunday School lessons. I have been teaching some Sunday School lessons and have shared a few short messages during church services using Skype. Learn more by visiting the website http://thegarielproject.com/
I have become very committed long term to serving and ministering to these families in villages designated as Christian near Lahore, Pakistan. This is what God has called and put upon my heart to do.
Praise and thank you Lord Jesus!
Testimony of Dorothy von Lehe