A few weeks ago I wrote a blog called followers-are-not-fruit. Numbers do not necessarily indicate success. We so often get that confused. That being said, I would not liken that to numbers being unimportant. They are important because every number represents a person and people are VERY, VERY important.
It’s been 5 years now that I have lead a team for outreaches at the porn show in Vancouver. Each year we set up a booth, talk to entertainers and patrons, and hand out thousands of Bibles. It’s not just the numbers of Bibles that we hand out that is impressive – it’s the fact that a high percentage of people we give them to have conversations with us, and year after year many come back to talk with us more and tell us that they have read or are reading the Bibles. I am sure many end up in the garbage, but I am also just as sure many don’t, and lives are being changed as a result.
I recently reconnected with a pastor from my childhood. He was the pastor of a dear friend of mine that has gone home to be with Jesus. He has been telling me about his missions work in Pakistan. It’s not a place I have ever felt called to go but I love to hear about God working in and through others in their unique callings.
There were three things that really got my attention from his stories. The first was that there was a festival and some Christians had set up a booth to hand out Bibles – sound familiar? Some members of the team however were beaten by people who didn’t like what they were doing and then the police arrested those team members, thinking they were causing trouble. After some incredible time at the police station that emulates the story of Paul and Silas, the police escorted them back and assisted them by providing protection while they handed out their Bibles.
I am so grateful that our team has never been threated, let alone the victims of physical violence while handing out Bibles. Also the amazing story they have of then receiving police protection is so encouraging.
The second thing about his stories was the actual numbers. At our church’s last Easter service we had baptisms for 5 people (one being my daughter, proud mama here). Those 5 are extremely exciting! The area where the pastors have been ministering takes 8 hours to get to by bus and they were going to make another trip there once 100 people were ready to be baptised. I’m not sure how long that would be but I will say it would be less time than if we waited for 100 people here in Canada. Again the number itself isn’t important but the fact that each number represents a life is! 5 is exciting – so is 100!
Through their missional efforts they reached 400 hundred families – not just people, but families. This leads me to the final thing that impacted me; they only had 200 Bibles to give and so 200 Bibles were given to 200 families and 200 families who want a Bible are without. It’s hard to imagine as I look at the 7 on the shelf in front of me now, what life would be like to want a Bible and not have one.
Just as I have asked people to help us pay for the Bibles we give out in Vancouver, I also implore you to support this team and help them give out Bibles in Pakistan. You can learn more about what they do and donate here at: Bibles for Bahawalpur.