Brother Andrew: “We Are Here For The Book”
“Don’t ever forget we are here for the Book.”
It’s the message Brother Andrew has devoted himself to ever since he first said “yes” to God’s call 63 years ago to serve and strengthen the persecuted church. It was also the message he shared on a recent trip to Pakistan to encourage the local church.
For the church in Pakistan, Brother Andrew’s visit brought them renewed hope and refreshment.
“We are fatigued, weary and aching,” a local Pakistani church leader said.
“Seeing Brother Andrew and his friends reminded us that we are neither forgotten nor alone. We are loved ever so much by the Body of Christ, this time represented by Brother Andrew.”
The trip took place only a few weeks after Brother Andrew’s beloved wife, Corry, passed away.
“The Christians in Pakistan will forever remember her as a stalwart woman, full of faith,” said a local church leader, “always praying for countries such as Pakistan.”
Image: A few of thousands of Brother Andrew's Bible collection in many languages.
A Voice For The Pakistani Church
Brother Andrew took part in an opening ceremony for the new chapel, ‘St. Stephen And All The Martyrs’.
A Pakistani church leader explained the significance of the name.
“This chapel is to remember the call to lay down our lives as did Stephen–the first martyr of the Church–and then all the martyrs ever since.”
Brother Andrew led the procession into the church–followed by family members of Pakistani Christians who have lost loved ones for their faith, as well as survivors of deadly attacks.
“My daughter and I are so happy to be in your midst,” Brother Andrew said, “because we want to see what God is doing in Pakistan. We know that the devil is doing many things, but we will never celebrate what he does. We only celebrate what God did in our midst. We feel so much one with you. And when we go back to our own country, we will certainly tell your story.”
Brother Andrew’s presence at the ceremony encouraged many believers.
“God has worked in brother Andrew’s life as well as the lives of people here,” said a young believer. “His teaching is grounded in the Word of God, strengthens what remains in a shattered community of believers, and brings hope and joy.”
“Brother Andrew stood with delight, hope and boldness and spoke of his love for this ministry,” said another believer. “He wants to be our voice and challenges his home church to recognize their responsibility in the killing fields of persecution and to be aware of those who are suffering. We are all part of the same Body of Christ. He encourages every one of us to be a thread in the blanket of prayer covering not just Pakistan, but all the nations.
Image: Brother Andrew addressing the opening ceremony of the new chapel.
Persecution and Practical Support
There is a situation in Pakistan at the moment where many Christians are forced to work in brick kilns. They are modern slaves. However, through practical ministry like job training, education and employment, the local church is able to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable believers. However, ministry in Pakistan is extremely difficult, challenging and even dangerous for the local church.
During his visit, Brother Andrew also met with students he had spoken to several years ago and warned to prepare for coming persecution. Years later many of those same students suffered violence at the hands of extremists because of their faith.
“For us–Brother Andrew is ‘family’ in Pakistan,” said a local believer, “he continues to be the reminder of God’s call to go forth, take risks and sincerely love our neighbour. God is not done with reminding the church in Pakistan to stand up and proclaim, to stay and be present, to be a vibrant burning presence and to serve the church in Southwest Asia, unflinching in the resolve of Christ to comfort the people of God, to awake, to strengthen and to restore.”
In his parting words to the church of Pakistan, Brother Andrew took a moment to focus on “the book” he has loved and served for decades.
“Don’t ever forget we are here for the Book,” he said. “If we are here for the Book and the One who gave us the Book, we have to obey Him. Obey Him. Be Jesus in your form in Pakistan.”