Thank you for your continue prayer support, we are both safe and in good health although a little tired from the weekend.
On Thursday last week Hammad launched a second video of Goa Goa Goa on his face book page. Thanks to the amazing network of friends reposting the video there were approx. 1,600 views in the first 24 hours, now up to 3,6000. Hammad has been visiting many TV channels in Lahore giving them the HD quality version of the videos so they can run them on the cable and satellite stations in the run up to Christmas. He has also recorded some Christmas messages that will play out in Christmas week.
On Friday the concert in memory of our friend Frank went very well. It was extremely moving to meet Frank’s mum and his brothers and sister. They were so thankful for the evening together and for our support. We had expected about 70 people to be present but in fact there were 150 people crowded into LEM’s upper room. Pastor Waseem Khokher did an amazing job with his network of contacts spreading the word and inviting pastors by text message. We had a 2 hour programme with singing many lament songs including Psalm 23 in Urdu and English, we had a bible reading and short talk from me and then a wonderful tribute from Frank’s brother Charles. It was good to remember all those who lost their lives in the attacks on churches in Youhanabad in February this year as well as giving thanks for Frank’s life. We took up a collection for Frank’s family and presented them with flowers. We sang a couple of upbeat Christmas songs to encourage everyone and then the evening ended with a meal and fellowship.
On Saturday we drove to Sangla Hill for the interschool singing competition for the Presbyterian Education Board. There were 10 soloists and 10 Choirs with a very high standard of performance. Everything was well organised except for the fact that the regional Governor was supposed to appear as a guest of honour so the end of the event was delayed for over an hour and in the end the governor sent his senior represented and there were pictures and speeches. Lunch was finally served at 4pm and we were back on the road 2 hours late having lost the daylight. There were road works on the way which meant some scary driving with oncoming traffic on our side of the road ignoring the cones to separate lanes and mostly with headlights on full beam. Thanks to your prayers we arrived home safely, tired but in one piece – Praise God. There was a family party locally and much pressure for us to attend so after one hours rest we got all dressed up and went for a couple of hours.
Sunday morning we were up early and off to JDMN church (Jesus Disciple Ministry for Nations www.JDMN.org) with Pastor Yousaf Bhatti. What a wonderful man and so humble, his whole team were servant-hearted and we felt very welcome. We arrived early in order to set up the sound system before everyone arrived for a 10am start. I spend some time with the Pastor’s children, 2 boys aged 2 and 4 both of whom are disabled (unable to hold their head up and with poor co-ordination, the younger one seemed blind as well). The pastor’s wife was busy in the church and I sat in the office looking after one boy and then the other, feeding them from a bottle. It was such a privilege to help in the this small way showing love and total acceptance. It came to me that although the boy was blind he could see the spirit world and was fascinated by the angels. I told their mother her children were beautiful and they could see the angels. The church was very small and the generator was not working, the electricity went off every other hour, so we were only able to perform for 40 minutes although we were there for 4 hours, chatting, encouraging them and having lunch together. They were very generous giving me flowers, and gifts to both of us. Pastor Yousaf has many ministries teaching church leaders, organising gift boxes for poor Christian Children and doing women’s ministry. There was a picture of him with Heidi Baker on the wall and many examples of his outreach work working with different poor community. He also run a TV channel called Holy Fire Christian TV. Our performance was recorded so will no doubt be playing on the channel in the coming weeks. He was invited me to come and talk at a leadership conference next year. Let’s see if it’s in God’s plan.
Sunday evening we had a family gathering with a traditional Christmas dinner, so I roasted 4 x 1kg chickens (no turkey available or larger chickens!). 21 family members gathered to enjoy roast dinner with chicken gravy and trifle for sweet. It was lovely to see Hammad’s sisters, and brother and all their children who live in Lahore together. Hammad’s nephew Luke’s wife is expecting a baby any day now, so I have celebrated with them in anticipation of the birth which will probably happen after I leave shortly.
Hammad is still visiting TV channels daily to record Christmas messages and distribute the videos. This evening is the final judging session for the Voice for Jesus singing competition organised by Rev Patras Bashir and then on Wednesday he is playing at Pastor Anwar Fazal’s Wednesday healing meeting in Bahar Colony (the pastor also runs Isaac TV channel). On Wednesday night meeting had been cancelled for many months due to terrorist threats but has started again Praise God. Please do pray for security in Bahar colony as Hammad and Lloyd play there on Wednesday evening and Thursday evening Hammad and Lloyd will be playing again in Bahar Colony in a Christmas worship programme organised by Samuel Gill Evangelist / Divine Healing Ministry.
On Friday 11 Dec Hammad and Lloyd will be in Sailkot (about 2 hours’ drive from Lahore) for a Christmas worship programme organised by The Biblical Pentecostal Church of God Rev Irfan Albert. Hammad gets a rest day on Saturday to do his packing and then final show is in Sahiwal on Sunday (3 hours’ drive from Lahore), and then an early flight back to UK on Monday morning. Please do pray for a wonderful spirit of worship and joy at these events and for Hammad’s energy levels as he will be driving himself as well as performing. Please pray that he gets back from Sahiwal safely and in time for a few hours sleep before his flight on Monday morning. He will arrive back in UK on Monday at 8.25pm.
It’s now time for me to leave for the airport to get my flight at 3.25am arriving at Heathrow at midday on Wednesday 9th December.
Please do pray for a comfortable flight and a few hours’ sleep. I’m looking forward to seeing my dog Xena and returning to work on Thursday morning. I feel that I have had Christmas already in Pakistan but now Christmas is coming in the UK and I have much preparation to do. Please pray for some focus time preparing for services and for celebrating the birth of Jesus in my home church.
Many thanks for your continued support and your patience reading my long rambling emails.