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After I wrote yesterday’s weblog about Pakistan, Pastor Fiaz called me, and we had our first face-to-face meeting on video through Telegram. It was a delight to talk to him directly. His passion is to translate books into Urdu and to distribute books and pamphlets free of charge to the believers in his country.
It is not lawful to pass out such material to Muslims, but somehow some of these seem to find their way into their hands as well. In the past he has translated about 30 books into Urdu, but when he came across my site, he found the teachings to be surprisingly different. He soon realized that these teachings were very much needed in the church in Pakistan. So he halted all plans to translate books other than mine.
The Numbers book was of great interest to him, so he translated that one first. When he paid for the first edition of the book out of his own pocket, I knew that he was truly believing these things and that he was genuinely interested in spreading the New Covenant gospel among the believers in Pakistan. So I paid for the second printing.
There are very few Christian books translated into Urdu, he says. This made me realize that we could make a serious impact on the church of Pakistan if we are willing to invest in printing books and tracts that Fiaz is translating. It’s not like America, where there are millions of Christian books that compete for our attention. There is very little competition there. We have a huge opportunity to spread the New Covenant gospel and to provide Bible commentaries for their seminaries and churches.
He tells me that I am becoming “famous” in Pakistan with the distribution of the Numbers book. Also, since there are no Bible commentaries in Urdu, mine will be the first and will have the greatest influence to the Urdu language group.
He also invited me to come to Pakistan to teach (with him translating). When he asked if I have a Bible School here, I told him that my commentaries are the curriculum and that I have been developing this curriculum for almost 20 years. I told him that the Bible School was the vision of Bob Burgess, who founded our Burning Bush International Bible Institute (BBIBI). When Bob died in Togo while doing missionary work there, we had difficulty filling his shoes, but I continued to prepare the curriculum.
I told Pastor Fiaz that Bob Burgess had traveled to Pakistan to preach the word, and he told me that he had heard Bob speak in Pakistan years ago when he was a young man. So this made another connection.
Today he called me again after I finished the daily weblog. He called from his local printshop, where the two tracts were being printed. Because the Urdu script takes up much more space than English script, it takes 8 pages to set forth the text that fits on a single sheet, front and back, in our English version. He is doing it with a beautiful color cover on card stock and then stapling the pages together. You can view these by going to yesterday’s weblog.
These will be printed by tomorrow and immediately begin to be distributed to the school and the churches. He has a Bible school as well as a regular school (with 300 children). I met his wife today, thanks to technology. She is a teacher in the school. Fiaz is also training his 10-year-old daughter to do translation work. I may be able to post a picture of the school shortly.
Fiaz and I think alike when it comes to funding the ministry. He does not sell books but gives them freely to those who want them. Most of the people are relatively poor, so he wants no restrictions on the spread of the gospel.
You who have supported our ministry financially are the ones who will be financing the work of spreading the New Covenant gospel into Pakistan. I thank God for you all. Keep in mind that by the “cup of cold water” principle, all who participate in funding this work are partakers of whatever reward I get for my work. We work together. That’s how it is supposed to work, so that the rewards never go to just one person.
I have had many offers in the past to translate books into various languages. Most of them, I know, were just looking for a job. Now God has provided someone with that calling. He insists on translating everything free of charge, because that is his passion. He is now making a life-long commitment to translate my books for the benefit of the Pakistani church.
My goal is to translate all my books into all languages. That is a tall order, and up to now I have not felt that God had brought us to that level of ministry. But that time has now arrived.
Meanwhile, we are also seeing books being translated into Nepalese, thanks to the ministry of Lynley in New Zealand. She may soon write a report on the progress of that work.