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Church Planting on the Frontier – Ed and Sue Orme in Pakistan (part 1)

August 11, 2010
This is the story of my friends, Sue and Ed Orme (he of blessed memory), who moved from America to Pakistan 20 years ago. They lived in Karachi, a city of more than ten million souls; there the Ormes first met a young Muslim man that I will call “Diamond,” one of eleven children. His father was a carpenter, and his family lived a good ways away from the big city of Karachi. Young Diamond was 18 years old when he came to Karachi from his village to go to school. Some Christian workers had rented an apartment in Karachi where Muslims could meet and talk freely. That is how Ed met the young Diamond. The newcomer to the city needed a place to live and the Ormes opened their hearts and their home to him, and that is how Diamond came to live in the Orme home. Diamond became the first to believe in his family, perhaps first to believe from his people; a people which numbers in the millions, a people who were about to meet the King of Glory. This is the story of how it happened.

One day along a river Diamond got into a boat with his friends, and they shoved off from the shore. Diamond was showing off when he fell into the water; Diamond could not swim, and the boat drifted away from him. His friends in the boat were freaking out. Diamond slipped beneath the water. What happened next is best told in Diamond’s own words: He said, “I prayed that Jesus would rescue me; and when I came to the surface, the boat had miraculously arrived at where I was.” Jesus answered the prayer of a drowning man. Diamond decided that the best hope for his future was to put his faith in a God who had mercy on his undeserving soul. Diamond began to read the Bible with Ed and began to treasure Jesus Christ above all else. That was in the summer of 1993.

The next spring Ed and another missionary wanted to visit Diamond’s family home when relatives would all be home for a holiday. That holiday was the Eid al-adha, the feast of ‘Sacrifice’, when Muslims remember the story of Abraham raising a knife over his bound son, only to hear the voice of God say to stop; “I will provide the sacrifice”. Ed considered driving during the day, but decided to drive all night so that they would arrive on the morning of the holiday. As the two drove through the night, Diamond’s brother, whom I will call “Cornelius”, had a dream. An extraordinary visitation by the Lord. In Cornelius’ dream, Jesus appeared in shining glory. Now Cornelius was a serious Muslim who had been quite upset on account of his brother, Diamond, becoming a believer. But that night, in a dream Jesus told Cornelius that in the morning two men would come to the gate and tell Cornelius and his family the truth about God that would change their lives.

Came the dawn, as the first light appeared in the eastern sky, on the holy day that Muslims set aside to remember the God of Abraham, two weary sojourners who had driven all night arrived at Cornelius’ house, unaware of what was about to happen. Ed knocked on the gate, and Cornelius could feel the hair rise on the back of his scalp. Cornelius opened the gate and saw two men standing there and asked, “Are you here to tell us about Jesus?” Now it was Ed’s turn to feel the hair on his scalp rise.

To be continued.

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