Pakistan 1st Report

PAKISTAN 2007

Smoke Signals from Pakistan
Richard Twiss
Dec 15, 2007
 

Hau kola, 

Our first two days here in Pakistan have been filled with great expectation and wonder. Anwar has done a really amazing job in arranging his historic unity dinner meetings each evening. They have been attended by Muslim, political, professional and ministry leaders. More than 700 people have attended the first two. It is very historic to see such a diverse audience sitting together at a distinctly “Christian” event. At the conclusion of each meeting Dave, I and other key leaders jointly held a large knife and cut a cake as a small sign of good will. We then placed pieces of cake in each others mouths, Muslims to Christians, Politicians to Pastors, Doctors to Professors – quite a remarkable thing.

After the first meeting one Muslim leader deeply lamented the fact that his fellow Muslims couldn’t find the kind of unity he saw demonstrated among the Christians. Anwar said every year there are suicide bombings between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Pakistan where dozens and hundreds people die, frequently in the mosques and during religions holidays.  

Dave and I have been shuffled from meeting to meeting by eight fully armed “elite squad’ police commandos. They follow us in their police vehicle with their lights flashing while two armed security men ride with us in our van with automatic weapons. When we arrive they secure the immediate area then whisk us out of the van into the venue. Even a trip to the toilet is accompanied by at least two men who first secure the men’s room before they allow us in. There has been no real cause to have such heavy security for a couple of local war-hoopin NDN boys, but because of the political climate and upcoming elections, and we’re from the U.S. of A., they chose to eliminate any and all possibilities problems.

 

Anwar received two difficult calls today. First, he received news that one of the pastors who attended last nights meeting was walking across a main road to catch his bus when he was hit and killed by a large truck. Second, the Head Mullah of Sialkot called to say President Musharef had made a last minute decision to hold a political rally today here in Sialkot and told Anwar, as a result,  today’s large Peace Conference was cancelled. Both disappointing, yet because ALL things ALWAYS work together for good, we trust the mercy of God to produce good in the bigger picture. 

 

The Mullah was sincerely apologetic in delivering his news and also expressed his willingness and desire to personally meet with us. This might easily be part of the “bigger picture” of why we’re here. Also, a Pakistani National Assemblyman candidate (equivalent to our Congress) spoke with Dave and I during the meeting last night and was insistent on our coming to his home for a visit today. We hope to visit the regional chief of police and visit some Mosques in the next day or two. We have three more days of meetings, both public/church and private “peace building” with key leaders. 

Thank for your prayers – Richard & Dave Gomez

 


 
 



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