Faith Refined by Persecution,  Testimonies

Seeing death face to face | Sharon Pervaiz

Praise the Lord!
I praise and thank God that he has kept me among the living beings in this world. I belong to Pakistan.  I was born in a traditional Christian family. My parents were very strict with regards to religion and its traditions. My father was very strict in keeping us regular to Sunday school, church attendance, serving Christ. He always gave these things the first priority (above everything else). I really thank God for such godly parents.

I always felt something different about myself from the beginning. I cannot explain it, but I did. I was kind of godly person and would fear God, yet I committed many mistakes in my life.

Since my childhood, I used to play tabla and harmonium in the church. During my college times, I started liking to learn and play guitar. In those days, I encountered an incident which changed my life forever. God saved me and family from a grave danger. He showed me his presence and affirmed his unique for me.

Remember what I (Jesus) told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

It was a Sunday morning of 2001. Sunday mass was about to finish. Last song was being sung and pastor was moving towards exit gate to meet and greet people, all of a sudden, 5-7 man entered into the church. They asked pastor to throw his bible away. Pastor refused to do so and they shot him dead. A bullet was fired on pastor’s forehead and he immediately fell down. He was dead. Immediately after this, these people started an open fire on the church and members. This particular day, we had 35-40 members in the church. We all were scattered and started running. I was sitting in the front rows with my family and as soon as we heard all the commotion, we also ran for our lives in different directions. I am not sure where rest of the family went, but I saw my brother. One of these militants saw both of us and started firing towards us. We ran and hid ourselves behind something. After many rounds, this guy thought that I am dead and he went away. There was a deadly peace for some time after this.

I came out from my hiding place and ran where my mother was sitting. I could not find her but I saw my Sunday school teacher. She was badly hurt and was shot at several places. I tried to help in order to take her out, but she asked me to go away and save myself. I did not want to go but she forced me. I have never seen her after that incident. She taught me and loved me since childhood, and now she was dying, and I could not do anything. As soon as I went out, again one person saw me and he opened the fire on me. I ran and hid myself. I could hear the bullets passing from somewhere near. The sound of the passing bullets was passing through my heart. Yet, I was relaxed. Once the firing was stopped and these militants went away, I came out. My father was searching for me. My entire family was saved, no one died. Apart from us, pastor’s wife, his little daughter and couple of more people were saved. Many were injured but safe; however, several people were deeply injured who died later in the hospital (probably my Sunday school teacher was one of them). Many died in this incident on the spot. I saw pastor, who was peacefully lying on the floor with his bible on his chest, held tightly.

My brother observed that I was bleeding. He checked me and found that my back was injured. They immediately took me to the hospital. I was not in pain though, but I was bleeding. Doctor did an X-ray and found that 2 bullets had passed touching me which had injured my backbone. Looking at my shirt, they found that approx. 6-8 bullets had touched me, but most of them just passed through my clothes. My belts hook was also torn away. It could have been fatal, but God saved me. This incident increased my faith in God manifold and faith life has changed ever since. I have seen the living power of Christ to save me from harms and dangers. I still remember my aunt (Sunday School teacher) a lot [in fact, as we were writing this testimony, bro. Sharon’s eye’s were full of tears]. She would say that as I minister to every child, I am not making a faithful person, I am molding a complete household. She has impacted my life deeply too.

I became a part of a believer’s (full gospel) church in 2005. I repented of my sins and received Jesus as my personal savior and Lord. I became Christian in a true sense. Now I am saved in Christ, not only the harms and dangers of this physical world, but the eternal danger of hell. Now I am compelled all the time to share about the love of Christ with all. He came for us all to live, to die, to rise again and now lifted up and sitting in heaven. The talent of music what God has given me, I use it for the glory of God. I want to live for him. I lead worship in the church now and I am confident that as I offer myself to God, he will use me in a mighty way.
If you are encouraged by my testimony, then you should also confess your sins to God, repent from your sinful life, believe in Jesus and receive him as your personal saviour and Lord. Give him the first priority and start attending a believers church, God will change your life and bless you abundantly. Amen