Pakistan is an increasingly difficult country to live in for Christians. There are many who, in spite of challenges, live and serve the Lord in Pakistan. Today, we hear the story of Shahbaz Masih Boota. He is the new Principal of Zarephath Bible Seminary, is married to Sylvia and they have three children. Here, he shares his testimony of how he came to Christ:
I was born in 1978 into a nominal Christian family in the province of Punjab. My village was a Muslim village with very few Christian families. There was no school in our village, so I studied at a Mosque with other Muslim children for which I am thankful. I did not know that God would bring many people from this community to my life and that some years later I would be used by God to show them the love of God.
There was no church in our village or the surrounding area, so I was unable to attend in my childhood. However, I was interested in spiritual things. My grandfather and father were good and moral people, and I had a firm belief that I was a good person and I would go to heaven. I felt there was something missing in my life and it wasn’t until much later that I realised it was Jesus.
Our family moved to Rawalpindi when I was nine years old, where I began to attend a small church regularly. It was here that I heard the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. But I always said to myself that I am fine because I am a good person. The word of God began to work in my life, giving me a taste of God’s goodness. I realized, no matter how much I attended church or did religious things, how much I boasted of my moral life, something was still missing. I was ready to ask Christ to forgive me of my sin and receive Him as my Lord and Saviour, but no one shared this with me at that time.
I felt there was something missing in my life and it wasn’t until much later that I realised it was Jesus
When I finished secondary school, I met a church leader who invited me to a Bible study class. It was a life changing course for me. I studied John 1:12 deeply and at the end of this study, I knew I was wrong, because even though I am morally good person, I am a sinner and my righteousness is like dirty cloths before God. I bowed before God, confessed my sin and received Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord on 18 November 1995. This was the happiest day of my life because Jesus came into my life and saved me. Through Christ’s salvation, I received peace and eternal joy.
God provided many opportunities to serve the Lord in Pakistan. God used me to serve as a mission worker, church planter and trainer. Recently I became principal of Zarephath Bible Seminary, a large evangelical theological school, where we train men and women for the great work of God in Pakistan. I have firm belief that God has placed us here with a purpose to help establish His Kingdom in Pakistan. As the Scripture says ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’ (2. Cor. 4:8-9).
- for believers who are prepared to go against what is expected of them in society and give their lives to Jesus Christ. Pray for them as they share the gospel with others, particularly in light of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws
- for the church in Pakistan which has been affected by persecution and attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups and pray that Lord would use ZBS for training more indigenous labourers for God’s work throughout Pakistan
- for peace in the country, particularly in the north western area of the country.