In Jesus’ parable of the seed growing into a large tree (Luke 13:18-19), the gospel writer emphasizes the fact that the branches of the resulting tree are a refuge for all types of birds, despite its inauspicious beginning. This image illustrates the situation in Pakistan very well.
To look at Rehan, he seems like an ordinary and inauspicious 17-year old guy – the youngest of six children in his family. The wages he earns from his 12-hour shifts at a restaurant for truck drivers in northern Pakistan are his family’s only source of income; his father was disabled in an accident, forcing Rehan into child labor at age 13 while his older siblings attended school. Serving food and washing dishes of 200 customers daily fatigued the hard-working Muslim boy, but his life was radically transformed when one of those customers gave Rehan an audio Bible.
Listening to the Bible in his off-hours, Rehan was mesmerized by the miracles of Jesus – especially Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes with just five loaves of bread and two fish. “I am also in the same business of feeding people daily. I know how I feel drained after this. I needed to know more about this man who preformed such miracles and the book that tells us about him,” Rehan later told his friend who gave him the Bible. Rehan took time off from work to meet with a few FMI partners living in his area who had provided his audio Bible to ask questions and learn more about Jesus Christ. He discovered the assurance of forgiveness of sins that comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ and was baptized in July 2021. Now he wants to tell everyone else about the hope and joy he has found.
When he shared his testimony with his family, they were hesitant to believe him at first. Then Rehan gathered them all together to watch The JESUS Film. His entire family was inspired to place their faith in Christ, but the feared backlash from the rest of their clan – the 60 other people comprising their rural village. So Rehan courageously decided to speak with the clan leader. The whole village had respected Rehan as a hard worker caring for his family, and so the leader agreed to let Rehan share his story with the clan. Rehan asked the FMI partners to help with his presentation. One evening, the whole village gathered under a tent for the special event. First, Rehan showed he JESUS Film, then an FMI pastor explained how to become a Christ-follower. That night, every person in the clan left Islam and placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
The Lord again blessed the willing offering of a young lad in order to feed a multitude. The families in this village now share seven print copies of the Bible and ten audio Bibles among their households. They also have one copy of he JESUS Film which they love to watch repeatedly together.