The first time I visited Arianwali village was in 1981. It was eight hours’ travel from where I live in Rawalpindi by bus. Brother Jamal Masih, Pastor of Calvary Church Faisalabad, was my contact and fellow traveler. There I met Ratan Masih, a believer in that village, and at that time a member of BD. BD members are the local representatives of government. Ratan had a small shop, like a grocery store. He also sold herbal medicines, repaired old shoes and made new shoes for the people of Arianwali—village style shoes.
In those days this village had no electricity, and no road. The track into town was dusty. In the evening when people brought their livestock from the fields to their homes, it was difficult to see other people because of the dust along the track. The clouds of dust danced in the air.
On that mission, Pastor William Gill of Emmanuel Church Rawalpindi also traveled with us. He helped to lay the foundation of the first Emmanuel Church in that area. Now by the grace of God in the year 2013, there are seventeen Emmanuel churches scattered throughout the country. Arianwali village is situated in the district of Faisalabad but geographically the district Toba tek Singh is very nearby. This was the first church building project in my ministry.
Two sons of Ratan Masih, Rock and Mushtaq, were studying in primary classes at that time. Now Rock has completed both his BSc and MA (Political Science). He is the vice principal of the high school in his own village, and the senior science teacher. Mushtaq did his MSc (Statistics) and teaches in a government school. At that time, cousin Joseph, son of Mangta Masih was one year behind those boys in school; now he owns and operates his own business.
The Church has good witnesses in the area. These three young men have really worked hard. They received Christ in their early life and the Lord has blessed them materially. Those people who follow the Lord, Lord indeed blesses them abundantly.