We have covered a lot of territory both physically and spiritually in Kashmir. Our second week we traveled to Kargil along the India/Pakistani line of control and prayer walked for 2 days, along the river, in the surrounding hills, and through the town. Many missionaries have prayed and labored there over the years with little results. Those who have become Christians in the past have left and there are currently no known believers in Kargil. God has highlighted this area to us as a place He’s wanting to break through…so we continue to pray.
Next we went to Leh where we had 4 days of prayer walking and ministering to the local believers. There are less than 200 believers in this entire region dominated by Buddhism. We were able to meet with Pastor Elijah of the Moravian church and have a wonderful time of prayer with him. The church has been divided for some time now and has brought much damage to the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit ministered deeply to Pastor Elijah and we have great expectation of victory in the days to come. Later, God directed our steps to visit a home of another Moravian pastor in a nearby town, who, I found out, has been opposing Pastor Elijah. I spoke about unity, humility and forgiveness…and God smiled.
Our first week in Kashmir began in Jammu where we met Pastor Ashish, a church planter with a government position as Minister of Religion in Jammu-Kashmir…a man of influence and action. We both feel our time together is strategic in laying a foundation for much more ministry in the future…his heart is for unreached people groups. He then joined our team for the remaining time in Kashmir…only God could put this together! The Christian school in Jammu where we ministered has over 300 students and about 70 orphans…such beautiful children. I shared my testimony and we prayed with the teachers.
In Srinagar we were able to celebrate the Muslim holiday called Eid at the home of our friend Irfan. There are two Eid celebrations each year and we happened to be in Srinagar for both of them this year. Each time God’s presence and love has come into the room so beautifully.
We spent time in the Gujjar village to initiate the sheep project. THANK YOU to all of you who gave and prayed to make this happen. God has miraculously provided! What a joy to pray with the village leader and go from house to house in the village praying for the shepherds and their families. They are so gracious and so grateful for this opportunity. This picture is an example of the sheep that will be purchased this coming month.
They have invited us to return next June. The shepherds have agreed to take us trekking in the mountains to visit the shepherd camps and some other villages. I am so excited about this opportunity to trek with them, and pray in this region.
Again, thank you so much for partnering with us in prayer and giving as we GO!
The airport was shut down. The roads were closed.
The snow kept falling. This was Kashmir’s worst snow storm in 17 years.
We sat with Pastor Sunny drinking traditional Kashmiri tea, called kahwah, and praying. Our 2-day visit had now turned into 5. My team was beginning to think we had wasted our time coming here, doing nothing of significance.
As we sat watching the snow get deeper a man came to see me. Irfan, is a Muslim businessman who raises sheep in the mountains along the Pakistani border. He told us about a people group called the Gujjars who live a life of poverty high in the mountains of Kashmir. Irfan proceeded to share his vision of helping the Gujjars through an economic development project of raising sheep.
It took me a moment to grasp what was happening. As we sat, stranded in a snow storm feeling like we were wasting our time, God used a Muslim man to invite us into a region that had been closed to Christianity for 2000 years.
Last month I was able to return to Kashmir and Irfan took us into the mountains to visit a village of the Gujjar people and meet the shepherds chosen for the sheep project.
We were received very warmly as we went from house to house drinking tea and breaking bread together. It was a beautiful day as we walked up to top of a hill with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Then the shock came…Irfan and the village leader led me to the top and said, “This is the land we will give you to build your center so you can bring people here to pray for us.”