Positive response to evangelistic meetings
Lahore, Pakistan—The Seventh-day Adventist Church in northern Pakistan has completed an evangelistic series of meetings in an area near the cantonment of Lahore, which accommodates more than 5,000 Christian families.
In preparation for the meetings, a team supervised by Abbas Suba, secretary for the Adventist Church in northern Pakistan, worked long hours visiting people and inviting them to the evangelistic meetings held April 23–May 2, 2009.
Between 300 and 400 people gathered on the housetops for each meeting.
The main speaker was Younis Noor Bhatti, president of the Adventist Church in Pakistan, and other church leaders assisted in presenting lectures on health and lifestyle issues.
Before these evangelistic meetings, only two Adventist families lived in this area. But, as a result of these meetings, 29 people have already been baptized.
At the final meeting of the series, when the congregation was asked whether they would like an Adventist church to be established in the area, everyone lifted their hand in support. The challenge now is to meet the needs of this new community. Already literature on the Sabbath, the book The Acts of the Apostles translated into Urdu, and several Adventist magazines have been distributed.
This group of newly baptized members is meeting with other believers in a home to worship together every Sabbath morning until a more permanent place can be found for them. “We hope and pray that God will open the door for us to have a place for worship, and reach more new communities in Lahore and more cities [in Pakistan],” said Younis Noor Bhatti. [TED News Staff/ TED News]
Global Christian Forum
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States—In the late 1990s, a few Christian leaders shared the dream of seeing all of the diverse Christian families talking to each other and praying together. This was the beginning of the Global Christian Forum (GCF). According to its founders, it seeks “To create an open space wherein representatives from a broad range of Christian churches and interchurch organizations that confess the triune God and Jesus Christ as perfect in His divinity and humanity, can gather to foster mutual respect, to explore and address together common challenges.”
In 2007, the first global gathering was held in Limuru, Kenya, with 226 participants. Instead of talking about visible unity, the meeting focused on the Christian’s experience and spirituality. Discussions between various Christian denominations were possible in such a setting, as all participants were able to maintain openness throughout the experience.
An 18-member committee now works on the activities of the GCF for the next global gathering, to be held in a yet to-be-determined location in 2011.
For John Graz, general secretary of the General Conference Council on Interchurch/Interreligion Affairs, the GCF is important because it creates a space where Christians can develop relationships and share spiritual experiences and ideas. [John Graz]