For such a time as this
Qaiser Julius invites us to help him equip and strengthen a church under pressure.
While Pakistani law promises minorities a degree of religious freedom, in practice non-Muslims and moderate Muslims must practise their faith cautiously and under threat from Islamists.
In this hostile climate, Christian teaching and publishing ministries must be exercised with confidence and wisdom.
For over forty years the Open Theological Seminary (OTS) has been working to equip God’s people for work in his service in Pakistan. Each year since 2008 enrolments have grown by an average of thirteen percent. Local classes are conducted throughout the country by over 500 volunteer tutors.
Wherever Urdu is spoken
The OTS is now serving Urdu-speaking Christians not only in Pakistan but also in the Middle East, the Gulf, Afghanistan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and Australia. We currently provide contextually appropriate Bible teaching and lay leadership training to more than 5,000 men and women from many different churches. Students graduate with a certificate, diploma or bachelor degree in theology.
Not just a printer
Tutors receive training and help write, field-test and refine course material. At least two drafts of any new courses are circulated before it is published and released. This process of review and correction will be greatly facilitated if our editorial team can print draft curricula in-house.
Editions of 5,000 copies of the manuals and workbooks for our most popular courses are produced by commercial printers. However there is an urgent need to be able to efficiently print smaller editions in our office. Short print runs are required for gatherings, seminars, tutor training and material for our courses published in minority languages such as Sindhi, Farsi, Pushtu and English.
A secure investment
Current conditions make life difficult for Christians. The ability to print-on-demand will mean that sensitive material need not be stored in our office or a commercial print workshop. Having our own printer will increase our productivity, effectiveness and security.
We are very grateful to our friends and partners around the world who have contributed to the development of this strategic ministry. Your provision of a digital printer and photocopier will enable OTS to continue to flourish in adversity.
Will you pray that Christian leaders will be equipped to serve a church under pressure? Ask that we will be given the gifts of grace and courage so that our Heavenly Father might be praised and glorified.
Qaiser Julius is the director of the Open Theological Seminary in Lahore. He is currently completing doctoral studies at the Melbourne School of Theology.