Last month, I shared with you the story of Pastor Stanley from Bugoma, Kenya in Africa. Pastor Stanley has been praying seven years for a bicycle. I am happy to report that one of the generous readers of our North Columbia Devotional Newsletter called me and said she and her husband would provide the bicycle! She said that we are so blessed in the United States and that God has blessed them with the funds to help this dear, dedicated pastor. She added that sometimes we forget how good we have it. I know you join me in this act of generosity, and praise the Lord with me. When I informed Pastor Stanley of this good news, he responded, “Thank you Pastor Dan. I am very happy to hear from you this morning. May the Lord bless you so much. The Lord is good. He has answered my prayers. He is a good God. I will rejoice in Him. Amen. Be blessed.”
In this issue, I introduce you to Pastor Anwar Hossain another member of North Columbia Church International. He serves the Lord in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the capital of Bangladesh, with over 12 million people. Dhaka is constantly ranked as one of the least livable cities in the world. Bangladesh’s total population is 150 million people in an area about the size of Wisconsin. That’s 2,639 people per square mile compared to my home county, Columbia County, Georgia, with 308 people per square mile. Bangladesh is sandwiched between India and borders Myanmar (Burma) on the southeast and the Gulf of Bengal on the south. Over 88% in Bangladesh are Muslim. It is one of the world's poorest and most densely populated countries. Half of the population lives below the poverty line, and eighty-one per cent live on less than two dollars per day. Its per capita annual income is only $350. Bangladesh is subject to constant natural disasters such as cyclones or hurricanes and tsunamis. In 1991 a cyclone killed an astounding 140,000 people.
It is in this environment where Pastor Anwar helps oversee 29 churches. He is a church planter and asks that we pray for pastors to serve these churches as they need more pastors. Presently, they have only four pastors and two evangelists. He has invited me to come and hold teaching seminars and revivals. Hopefully, one day I can go.
Almost 90% of his congregants come from a Muslim background. He tells me, “There are many difficulties. It starts when people come to Jesus. For example, many people are poor. They don't have a personal tube well for drinking water. A tube well is a well made by driving a tube into the earth to a stratum that bears water. When the person becomes a Christian she/he cannot use the common tube well, which she/he could use while she/he was a Muslim. Their children are neglected in school. Normally they lose their job.
“My call from the Lord is to announce the gospel to Muslims and plant churches. I would be very pleased if you could let the other Christians know of our needs for our evangelical works over here. We need Pastors, Evangelists and Bibles.
“I have served for almost 20 years in the ministry. The membership in our 29 churches is not less than 20 and not more than 50 in every church. Every one is a new believer, and all have had to be baptized. I am not affiliated with any denomination. We are non-affiliated like your church in the USA. Bangladeshi people are hungry for the Gospel - especially the Muslims. I would like to say I have received many, many blessings from God.”
Pastor Anwar reports that he has served as the chairman of the Bangladesh Bible Society for the past three years. He has two daughters. One is married to a doctor. The other daughter is studying law in London . He also has a son in high school. He rents a home and has internet access in his home. Pastor Anwar is a native of Bangladesh.
The following items are needed for his evangelical work in Bangladesh. He asks for prayer for these needs.
1. Bibles (For the target people and new believers)
2. New Testaments (For the target people and new believers)
3. Life of Christ Books (For the target people and new believers)
4. Primary Education for Children (For new believers Children and our new churches area)
5. An Evangelist (For the new area we are going into)
6. Pastors (For our new churches)
7. A Church Building ( for our new area)
8. Medical help (for our churches area)
Seminars for new believers
Seminars for Evangelists and Pastors
A Training center (For Pastors, Evangelists and, new believers)
Please include Pastor Anwar, his wife, his ministry, the people of Bangladesh, and the needs for his work this month in your daily devotional time, in your Sunday School classes, and in your Bible Study groups.
I know you are thrilled and humbled like I am in hearing how God’s work is going forward in other parts of our world in spite of meager resources through dedicated servants like Pastor Stanley and Pastor Anwar. Please contact me if you would like further information about these two men and their ministries or if you want to help fund their work.
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