I am Pastor Evangelist Rasheed Akther. Jesus Christ, who by his grace, found me when I wandered in sin and darkness; he stretched out His lovely hand and saved me. What a joy that filled my life. It was a great glorious night, November 4, 1972, that I gave my life to Christ. I was got to be a re-born Christian with the power of Holy Spirit on November 4, 1972. I shall never forget my experience on that great night when I received my calling.
I was ministering with operation mobilization of Karachi up to that time. I did not know what to do; where to go. Jesus appeared to me in a dream and asked me to open my mouth, which I did. He breathed His Breath in my mouth and said to me: go and preach the Gospel; I am with you to confirm all you will say in my name.
From that very time my life was revolutionized. I went forth and preached everywhere, and the Lord working with me, confirmed the world with signs following. I visited some parts of Asia, Africa and Europe with different crusades and gave teaching seminars. During some of my evangelistic crusades and revival services, I have seen the eyes of the blind open, the lame walk, the deaf hear and many other sickness and diseases healed by the power of Jesus.
Two years ago, the same Lord spoke again to my spirit saying: “organize the flock of Jesus in Pakistan because many people are suffering and are in need of a spiritual revival and assistance in their disastrous human situations especially in the field of primary and prevented medical health care.
HISTORY OF LoL
Light of Life (LoL) came into being with my repentance. I left my job/business and joined different local missionary teams to evangelize the word of God in my home country.
In 1983, I went for evangelical training in the USA. I came back to my country and organized LoL as a complete evangelistic and welfare organization. An Executive Board was formed with members from different walks of life who volunteered to participate fully or partly in LoL.
Crusades were and being conducted in the far-reaching areas of the country where means of communication are quite difficult. Evangelical recorded cassettes are sold to people at a very low cost and on a no-profit no-loss basis. Biblical literature and Bibles are distributed freely among non-Christians. Other community welfare work is also undertaken through LoL. Different youth organizations have been formed to promote the word of God among the young people.
The LoL was formed on the basis of self help, but the aims and objectives could not be fulfilled completely as the mass media support is very poor due to lack of funds. However, prayer channels have been set up for friends in the home country and abroad who are working for the Lord through whom LoL is survived.
OBJECTIVES OF LoL
- To evangelize the word of God at home and abroad.
- To assist local churches in their ministry.
- To train youth and other evangelistic teams for evangelical works, community welfare and development.
- To conduct evangelical crusades throughout the country and abroad.
- To participate in the welfare of the home country.
- To provide primary education and health care and preventive medicines.
Right from the day of its inception, LoL has organized the following programs:
- Revival & Evangelism Seminar: February 10, 2003, FTC Auditorium, Karachi, with 385 participants.
- Leadership Conference: March 10, 2003, Central Brooks Memorial Church, 74-Garden Road, Karachi, with 400 participants.
- Prayer Program for Peace in the World: March 24, 2003, Salvation Army Church, Saddar, Karachi, with 300 participants.
- Revival & Healing Festival: April 22 – 23, 2003, Roman Catholic Church Ground, Faisalabad, Main Speaker: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA, with 7000 participants.
- Leadership Fire Conference: April 23, 2003, Roman Catholic Church Ground, Faisalabad, Main Speakers: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA and Pastor Chris Dilshaw, Texas, San Antion, USA, with 600 pastors.
- Leadership Fire Conference: April 24, 2003 (Morning), FGA Ground, Lahore, Main Speaker: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA, with 1500 pastors.
- Revival & Healing Crusade: April 24, 2003 (Evening), FGA Ground, Lahore, Main Speaker: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA, with 13,000 participants.
- Revival & Healing Festival: April 25 – 26, 2003, YMCA Ground, Saddar, Karachi, Main Speaker: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA, with 20,000 participants.
- Leadership Fire Conference: April 26, 2003, YMCA Ground, Saddar, Karachi, Main Speaker: Pastor Sammy Tippit, Texas, San Antion USA, with 3,500 participants.
- Bible Study Program – an ongoing activity.
- Relief and Rehabilitation Work: In the wake of deadly earthquake of 8 October 2005 in Pakistan, the volunteers of LoL paid several visits to the quack-hit areas and participated in the relief work and distribution of aid in kind and money in collaboration with its benefactors and donors,
- Healing Network Centre
LoL, with its mission of Evangelization, seeks to prepare a ground for the emergence of a local church in the mountainous region of Pakistan. With the Christian message of love and compassion, LoL plans to link its evangelical activity with the humanitarian relief work aims to serve the quake hit people in Pakistan. The proposed project “Healing Network Centre” (HNC) is the first step towards this goal.
The HNC will act as a resource centre to provide moral, spiritual and material assistance to address issues relating to rehabilitation, reconstruction, healing, education, primary health care, physical disability and eco-justice. The HNC will focus on building communities of peace based on the values of compassion, tolerance and inter-faith cooperation. The HNC will approach the indigenous people and run its operational activities through the locally recruited Community Animators. The local people will be given an adequate representation in the management of HNC.
Financial Assistance needed for capital expenditure in order to raise the infra-structure of the HNC and later for operational expenses for at least three years to run the project. During this period efforts will be made to make the project self-reliant through local fund-raising campaigns and community’s donations. The details of the initial funding required is given at Annex – I.
- Maternity Home: Establishment of a maternity home for pre and post-natal health care of the poor women.
- AIDS Awareness Program (AAP): An animation program for young people, focusing on preventive measures, medical advice, supply of medicines and related literature, audio visual aids and providing forum for discussions on the issue of AIDS/HIV.
- Evangelistic Outreach Project: Mission among the Tribal People
LoL seeks to expand its evangelical activity beyond urban areas of the country. Pastor Rasheed Akther and his team paid several visits to the rural areas of interior of Sindh and Balochistan Provinces to do the leg work for formulating the Evangelistic Outreach Project, which aims to serve the neglected indigenous poor tribal people who are more receptive for the Word of God and Salvation of Christ. The project will also encompass welfare work for the socio-economic development of these people. The project would spread over different phases. During the first phase, audio-visual aids (presenting Christian teachings and hymns) will be prepared and distributed among the tribal people for evangelizing them. In the second phase, mission centers will be established for them. These centres will provide spiritual, educational, health and recreational services to the people.
Since there is no electricity available in these areas we need to distribute at least 500 sets of cassette players operatable by solar energy. But in order to produce audio-visual aids for the purpose of evangelization of these people we need to set up an Audio-Visual Recording Studio also in Karachi, for which financial and technical assistance is required.
We would begin our outreach activity focusing on the tribal people of the rural Sindh. However, at a later stage, we also plan to work among the tribal people of Balochistan Province.
We must acknowledge and appreciate the pioneering work of the foreign missionaries among the above tribes. But, at the same time, it is imperative to consolidate the past efforts and to take new initiatives for evangelization and, in some cases, re-evangelization of the people of these downtrodden tribes. History tells us that Christianity has been instrumental in bringing about social change among the depressed people in many third world countries. As servants of the Word of God we are called to proclaim the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ among these tribes who are already yearning for the salvation of Christ.
There are many Pakistans. Pakistan has its poor as much as its rich, its indigent and forgotten population tucked away in segregated zones, ridiculed by racism, poverty and the frustration of being poor.
In fulfillment of its mission and goals, LoL now seeks to venture upon the gigantic task of evangelization/re-evangelization of the tribal people stigmatized with untouchability, social hatred and discrimination – sons and daughters of “great” untouchables who shaped and moved forward their history bare handedly.
The benefactors/donors are requested to support LoL Evangelistic Outreach Project with their prayers and financial assistance. In order to accomplish this project we precisely need:
- Equipment to set up an Audio-Video Recording Studio;
- 500 sets of cassette players opertable by solar energy;
- Funding for preparation of audio-video cassettes (presenting Christian teachings and hymns) to be distributed among the tribal people;
- Funding for running expenses of the Audio-Video Recording Studio; and
- Funding to set up a Mission Centre at Sukkur to serve the tribal people in Sindh.
- Christian Primary School
The school will be set up on a plot of 1000 square yards land in Mehmoodabad, Greenbelt Area, in District South of Karachi city, 5 kilometer away from the central town, which comprises of the following slum (Basties) areas inhabited by a large number of poor Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities.
- Kashmir Colony
- Azam Basti
- Rehman Colony
- Jenejo Town
- Manzoor Colony
The project will focus on a concentrated area of District South of Karachi, which has a population of approximately 500,000 inhabitants of mixed ethnic and religious background. This concentration in one geographical area will have several benefits i.e.
- Maximum resource utilization
- Focused action in one geographical area will produce greater impact.
- Can be used as a model for future work.
Most disadvantaged children of Pakistan (especially low caste Hindus, poor Muslim, disadvantaged Christians) will be the beneficiaries of the project.
- SEWA Project
It is two years ago that LoL decided to launch a MOBILE HEALTH CARE UNIT (MHCU) in Karachi to provide primary health care and prevented medicines to the poor slum people of Karachi. MHCU is an animation program, focusing on preventive measures, medical advice, and supply of medicines and dissemination of related literature for awareness with audio visual aids. Operating with a vehicle and volunteer doctor primary health care and preventive medicines are provided at the doorsteps of the poor slum people in Karachi. And in reality, the SEWA Project is an attempt to institutionalize and consolidate LoL’s efforts initiated through the MHCU, which is already in operation.
“SEWA” is a Punjabi language word that literally means ‘service’. SEWA is a centre established by Light of Life, Pakistan with an objective to empowering the community of a designated area by providing services specifically in the fields of education, health and professional training.
SEWA is located at Akhtar Colony in District South of Karachi city, 10 kilometer away from the central town, which comprises of the following slum (Basties) areas inhabited by a large number of poor Muslims, Christians and other religious minorities.
- Akhtar Colony
- Kashmir Colony
- Azam Basti
- Rehman Colony
- Jenejo Town
- Manzoor Colony
SEWA consists of the following service providing units:
- Health Care Unit
- Vocational/Professional Training Unit
- Education Unit
The target group of beneficiaries comprises of both young men and women who forms the poor and marginalized section of the local community to be served.