We checked out of the guest house first thing since we were going back to Lahore later in the day and wouldn’t be back at the guest house. We were doing a meeting for Pastor Azar Noz, who is a Paraklesis pastor. We were going to his home to have lunch first, then on to his church, which is called The Light of the World Ministries Church. The person who was supposed to guide us from the guest house to Pastor Noz’s home was almost an hour late, which put us at lunch late, which pushed the service time back, so everything started later than expected. We were going to try to leave the service fairly early in the afternoon so we could start back to Lahore sooner, but because it started late it was late afternoon when we were able to leave for Lahore.
We had a good lunch with Pastor Noz and his family. Mostly just his family because Pastor Noz had to go get things ready for the service. It was quite the event. It was held in a big tent, with a stage and stairs. There were about 400 people there. It was a combination of the church’s anniversary, graduation from the Light of the World Ministries bible college, and a thanksgiving service. So, there was a lot going on.
Of course, there was all the usual honoring of people, including me. There were a few worship songs, not a lengthy segment of the proceedings. Then I preached a two-for-one message on giving thanks and reaping the harvest. It’s important to maintain an attitude of thankfulness, of gratefulness, for the good and the bad things in our lives. We need to be thankful because God has blessed us, but also because the bible tells us to be grateful. Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let’s show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” Then I talked about the great commission as an act of gratefulness, and then moved into reaping the harvest and how important it is because we are in the last days. We have this unique opportunity after Covid-19 because people are seeking answers that we have, as Christians. I talked about the importance of all Christians, as servants of God, working together in unity. It was a message that Pastor Noz said was very much needed and well received, and a blessing for those who heard it.
Then we had the graduation ceremony for the bible college and handed out the diplomas and took pictures. Each graduate was photographed with me and another pastor, and they kept switching the other pastor so they had turns having their picture taken, but I don’t really know why. Then we took pictures with each type of graduate: the certificates, the two-year degrees, and the Batchelor’s degrees. Then all the pastors and faculty sat in front of the stage with all the graduates on stage behind us for more pictures.
Pastor Noz’s son, Shaloq, was in charge of taking care of me and making sure I had what I needed once we were at the meeting. He ushered me from where I was to where I needed to be, and basically just watched out for me. I had an opportunity to talk to him a little bit and get some of the history of the church. It was actually founded by Pastor Noz’s grandfather, who moved to that area back in 1947, when Pakistan became a country. He got saved and started a church and ministry, and it has been passed down through the generations, since the 1960’s. So now Pastor Noz is grooming his son, Shaloq, to take over for him when that time comes. You can really feel the strength of that church, and it is a great heritage of service to God.
Then we left to go back to Lahore. We got to the toll booths as you leave the motorway going into Lahore, and ran into a lot of traffic. It took us almost as long to get from there to Baber’s house as it did to get from Faisalabad to Lahore. But we finally made it back a little before 10pm. It was a long day and we were very tired, but it was a good day.