Friday, July 5
The Christians in Pakistan are discriminated against and for 31 years were offered virtually no opportunity for higher education. The church leadership was aging. With little or no education, entire families were locked into poverty for generations. The Christian colleges, such as Forman Christian College (FCC), had been nationalized in 1972 and no longer served the Christian community. Indeed, when FCC was returned to the PC(USA) in 2003 there were only four Christian faculty members and 20 Christian students.
A small number of Pakistani Christians and several representatives of the PC(USA) worked tirelessly from 1994 until 2003 for the denationalization of FCC.
The impact upon the Christian community in Pakistan has been clear evidence of God’s providence. Since denationalization in 2003, the number of Christian faculty members has grown to 81, and the number of Christian students to 833. FCC has launched the only liberal arts educational program in any university in Pakistan and added master’s programs in five disciplines. The Christian Life Program features a chapel program with 150–200 student participants per week, plus weekly Bible study and fellowship opportunities. FCC has provided an eight-week summer uplift program for Christian high school students. The Madeleine Case Sorber program for Christian children ages 4–18 provides daily tutoring to help ensure that they can achieve admission to college.
Now there is a new group of young, educated leaders for the Christian churches. Countless Christian families have been lifted out of poverty because of the new earning capacity of FCC graduates. As one example, Shajeel was supporting a family of five persons on an annual income of $900, and now has a good job that provides a middle-class wage of $4,700.
—Dr. Peter H. Armacost, former rector, Forman Christian College
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbyterian Church of Pakistan: Rev. Arif Siraj, moderator, Maj. (R) Javed Rahmatulla, executive secretary, Rev. Ruban Qamar, deputy executive secretary
Church of Pakistan: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Alexander John Malik, Bishop of Lahore
Christian Hospital (Taxila): Dr. Ashchenaz M. Lall, director
Forman Christian College, Lahore: Dr. James Tebbe, rector
Gujranwala Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Arthur James, principal
Memorial Christian Hospital (Sialkot): Dr. David Sohail, director
Presbyterian Education Board: Mrs. Veeda Javaid, executive director
Presbyterian Property Trust, executive secretary, E. Salim Bhatti
United Bible Training Centre, Gujranwala: Mrs. Salma Andrew, principal
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Rev. Mark Koenig, PMA
Melanie Komp, FDN
Joelle Kopacz, PMA
Let us pray
Dear God, you hear the cries of your people. We thank you for answering the prayers of your people in Pakistan and for providing new hope and opportunities for them as an extension of your reign on earth. Amen.