by Gregor Ferry
Gregor is from a family with a strong mission heritage and he is serving short-term in Murree Christian School, Pakistan.
In November 2017 I returned to Scotland after teaching in a school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had a desire to serve the Lord and had been praying for six months that He would show me the way forward when I read some matters for prayer from Echoes International: one was camp work in Romania and the other was a school in the Punjab, Pakistan. I prayed, ‘Lord I’m going to write to both places, please open one door and close the other.’ He answered and Murree Christian School responded the next day. Over the next months there were many seemingly insurmountable challenges – the Lord overcame them all. Often when the Lord places us in positions that are impossible, it is so that He can show His glory and that He can overcome any challenge. Nine months later I arrived in Islamabad with Joshua 1:5 in my mind, ‘As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.’
Murree Christian School is located at over 7,000ft in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in Pakistan. As the weather in Murree changes, the daily challenges change with it. Several times a week, I have found myself digging my way in and out of the house, wading thigh-deep in huge drifts of snow. Despite the weather, I have been encouraged to see the love of God working in the hearts of all those who live here. When you live in such close proximity to your students and colleagues, it provides opportunities for the Lord to teach what it means to truly walk with Christ and to be ‘Christ like’ as in Acts 11:26. This is especially the case when going outside the compound is not an option. Grace is needed, especially when students and staff are limited by the weather conditions. Yet, I have been encouraged to see the way that they respond to these challenges.
Eager to Learn
The students have not only engaged well, but have taken an interest in spiritual things. There is a Bible club every week and it was a privilege to get on our knees before the Lord and give thanks for three boys who professed faith in Jesus Christ one evening. We regularly meet to pray, study and talk about the Lord and His work in Pakistan and abroad. It is a joy to see these younger students taking a stand for Jesus Christ. J, Y and H are students whom I teach every day. We have been reading in the Psalms, 1 John and Genesis, and they have a genuine interest. You can imagine our joy when I learned that they had trusted the Lord. I have also had good conversations with some of the other students. While teaching English pronunciation one afternoon, my students asked to discuss Daniel’s 70th week and the Day of the Lord in order to help their pronunciation. These girls are only 14! The students have a youth group, which they organise themselves. They sing and listen to various ministries, either from invited speakers or online. A number of senior students have a great desire for a living relationship with the Lord and their enthusiasm for the Word of God is wonderful to see.
In the past few months, I have been privileged to teach English Grammar, History, Drama and Religious Studies. There is enjoyment to be found in all subjects and the frequent challenging questions from the students are refreshing and encouraging.
The new semester has seen opportunities for clubs and fun as well as study, but it has also provided time to spend with the students outside of class. Being in a Christian boarding school does not mean that the students are sheltered from the usual challenges; it is a humbling experience to sit and listen to the things that concern them. When a student approaches you to speak about the questions that they face, it is good to be able to turn to the Word to show how God’s grace is greater than our circumstances.
…their enthusiasm for the Word of God is wonderful to see.
Beyond the School
We do not live unaffected by the outside world. There have been rumours of conflict with India over the past few months, and a few miles to the south there was a bombing raid by the Indian air force. The social and political climate, which had calmed since the Asia Bibi case, has re-escalated and the political tension was expressed by the number of airlines unwilling to fly in Pakistan’s airspace. It is important to show the love expressed in John 3:16. If we are loved to such an extent that God gave His only begotten Son then that is the love we should aspire to show to others. This can be a great challenge, not just in school but when situations arise due to the current hostilities. ‘By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (Jn 13:35).
I was blessed by the fellowship with the Lord’s people over the holidays. I stayed with a couple who run a Christian school in Lahore and are also responsible for heading up a work translating Christian literature into Urdu. I enjoyed seeing other Christian ministries, including the wonderful work done by MIK and the literature they produce. When we visited their school, I was surprised to see the children learning Mandarin, which is increasingly becoming the language of trade, and even more surprised to discover that it was easier for me to speak to them in Chinese than Urdu. We were treated to ‘Jesus loves me this I know’ in Mandarin and I responded by singing to them in Malay.
Mae Logan (UK) and I went to Lahore for the annual missionary conference. It was good to hear what others were doing for the Lord in other parts of Pakistan. The principal areas of engagement were medical and educational, with pastoral and discipleship opportunities alongside. It was physically and spiritually refreshing for everyone.
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus
One of the things I enjoyed most was the opportunity to fellowship at Bethany Assembly in Lahore. It was great to gather together and remember the Lord Jesus with local believers. It was quite different singing in Urdu; I felt God’s presence as we sang ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus’ and broke bread together. I was asked to speak and shared some of what the Lord has been teaching me through the life of Jacob.
Pray for the students at Murree Christian School as they cope with exams, boarding life and the challenges that teenagers everywhere face, which are intensified when you are in a minority group facing religious pressure. There is a constant need for the Word of God to saturate minds and fill hearts with a desire for His service. Despite the difficulties faced, God is faithful and His grace is abundant. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phil. 4:13). Pray for Pakistan, that by the power of His Word the people of Pakistan may come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.