How many are interested in going with me on a mission trip to Pakistan?” When Rodney Bowes, assistant pastor of Mentone church, posed this question, he was met with a lot of perplexed looks and comments about how dangerous such a trip could be.
At the Adventist-Laymen’s Services & Industries convention in 2017, Bowes met Amjad Waryam from God of Life International, who showed him photos of Pakistani people hearing the gospel. The Lord put a desire in his heart to go and preach the three angels’ messages in the Islamic country. Although several factors and the pandemic made it difficult, the doors of opportunity finally began to open in the summer of 2022.
Bowes and Jon Opsahl, a medical doctor, applied for visas and were denied, but they didn’t give up. Through a series of providential workings, Waryam met an individual at the immigration office in Los Angeles who got their visas processed just days before their flights were scheduled to leave for Pakistan.
The trip began at the Pakistan Adventist Seminary and College in Farooqabad. Shireen and Daniel Khan, doctors from Karachi Adventist Hospital, and Opsahl provided medical camp advice to the students and staff. Bowes preached evangelistic messages.
They also went to the Northern Pakistan section. Doctors and a local dentist, Dr. Stephen, a Loma Linda graduate, provided much-needed medical services for those who came. Waryam’s wife, Ashee, also provided mental health counseling.
“The people are being blessed by the sermons on Daniel and Revelation and are gaining deep knowledge of the prophecies of the Bible,” said Edwin Bashir, pastor, about the classes.
While there, Bowes had the joy of baptizing 38 souls. The official church membership in Pakistan’s population of 225 million is less than 15,000, so seeing young and old publicly surrender their lives to Jesus in baptism was thrilling.
Bowes and his team plan to return to Pakistan in November of 2023. Pray for their safety and success.
By Rodney Bowes