At the end of last year, Suneel Shivdasani, one of SAC’s trustees, attended a Pakistan prayer summit. Suneel comes from a Hindu background.
Why did you make the trip? I went to Pakistan to pray for Sindhis and those working amongst them. It was a four day prayer summit and 58 people attended including 11 from overseas and 8 expats who live there.
What did you do in the prayer summit? The first few days were spent at the centre with a full programme of prayer, worship, and sharing. Then we spent a couple of days visiting a place or project where we could pray “in situ” before coming back together at the end of the week.
Is there much Christian witness among the Sindhis? There are about 35 million Sindhis around the world and 30 million of them live in Pakistan. These are mainly from a Muslim background, with less than 500 who know Jesus (i.e. under 0.002%). The rest of the Sindhis are scattered around the world, with most being in India. They are from a Hindu background and some say there may be 10,000 who know Jesus (0.2%).
In the Sindh there is a Christian Women’s Hospital, a Bible Correspondence School, and other projects run by the Diocese of Hyderabad. But still the number of church planters working there is limited to a handful – probably one hand at that!
Wasn’t it dangerous? Not particularly – Karachi is apparently much better than it used to be. Our time was spent in Hyderabad and a rural centre. I don’t think Pakistan is a popular destination, yet it really wasn’t any harder to go there than many other countries.
What did the prayer summit achieve? It was a privilege to encourage those living and working in Pakistan; not many visit the country, so it was good to say to our brothers and sisters: ‘We’ve not forgotten you’ as these comments show:
The week was a blessing. I had been very discouraged but have been strengthened spiritually and now want to reach many people.
Before I thought we were on our own in Pakistan, but now I see that others around the world care for us and it encourages us that we are not alone.We’re praying for cities and villages of Sindh.
Before I came I was afraid to speak about Jesus, but now the fear has gone. As my husband and I work alone it is hard to keep going. The week has really encouraged us to keep going, and we have many ideas.
Personally it has pulled me out of my apathy towards the country. I am now ready to visit again when the opportunity comes.