Today I returned to Hamburg from Islamabad, Pakistan, where I spent the last ten days with my friend and colleague Rev. Dr. John Bombaro. My assignment there was to preach at local churches (see picture) and to teach a ten-hour class on “Law and Gospel.” While the key to understanding Holy Scripture is Jesus Christ, one needs a special set of “glasses” to see Him clearly. Hence these twin doctrines—with the Law showing our sin and the Gospel illuminating our Savior. Our hosts were fellow LCMS missionaries Rev. Jay and Mrs. Julie Dass, who did magnificent prep work by inviting some 25 Christians to our classes—half of whom are Pentecostal pastors most eager to learn about the teachings of ancient Christianity, as taught in the New Testament and to which we Confessional Lutherans hold. Churches? Pastors? In a country that is 98% Muslim? Yes, indeed. You see, while only 1% of Pakistan is Christian, in a country of some 230 million people that translates to well over two million Christians—who can be found all over. And we indeed bumped into fellow believers everywhere, identifiable by the crosses around their necks and by their body language and demeanor. But it gets better still: these brothers and sisters in Christ can reach their Muslim neighbors with the Good News of Jesus Christ—in the local languages—in a way we Westerners could never do as well. There is a huge potential for outreach in Pakistan and I am so privileged to play a part in this great work—having personally witnessed how the Lord in this part of the world is advancing ancient Christian teaching and preaching.
(Photos: J. Bombaro).