It Begins With One Cup of Tea

The streets of northern Pakistan were full of traffic – dented but colorfully painted busses, weaving motorcycles, trucks bearing heavy loads, a few private cars. Pastor Ammar was pleased to find an available rickshaw to ride for his errand.

Ammar enjoys engaging strangers in conversation, and he quickly learned that the rickshaw driver’s name was Salahuddin. However, Salahuddin was not accustomed to his passengers showing such interested in him or his life story, but Ammar was genuinely interested, and Salahuddin’s curiosity was piqued. In fact, after getting out his destination, Ammar invited Salahuddin to continue the conversation over some tea at a nearby café.

Their conversation turned to spiritual things. (Many Western Christians think that guiding conversations toward spiritual topics might be difficult in a place like Pakistan, but the reality is that in a land where the call from the loudspeakers of the mosque minarets compels about 97% of the population to prayer five times a day, it is relatively easy to begin talking about matters of faith.) Ammar identified himself as a Christian and offered Salahuddin a DVD about the life of Jesus Christ. “I had long been intrigued by Christians in Pakistan,” Salahuddin admits. We have many beggars in the streets here, but not one of them that I see is a Christian. Even though the Christians here are a minority – usually poor and discriminated against, they are always generous, not beggars. Here was Ammar buying tea for me – a Muslim, and sharing a movie with me!”

As the rickshaw driver watched the evangelistic DVD, he began to understand the source of Christians’ generous and compassionate spirit. “In the film, I saw how Jesus continually gave himself away for the sake of others. Learning that Jesus was willing to go to the cross to pay my penalty was especially moving.”

Ammar and Salahuddin have enjoyed many more cups of tea since that first day they met. Within three months, Salahuddin had left the traditions of his ancestors, began reading the New Testament given to him by Ammar, and placed his faith in Jesus Christ.  “Jesus has provided fresh salvation for me,” the rickshaw driver exclaims. “Now I wish to learn how to share the good news of Jesus’ generosity with my family and with my customers!”

By partnering with dedicated pastors and evangelists like Ammar, your generosity is an echo of God’s grace with the power to transform lives like Salahuddin’s.

Check out the FMI-Pakistan overview.