Mt. Orab church skypes sermon to Pakistan

If anyone has driven past the Living Church of Five Mile on Rt. 68 just north of Mt. Orab, they would think it was just another little rural church in Brown County.
They would be wrong, especially if they talked to its pastor, Don White.
On Sunday, Feb. 19 the church held its first Skype sermon with a Christian congregation in Pakistan, thanks to the efforts of Pastor Don and his friend Brother Paulus Masih who came to America from Pakistan four years ago.
“I first met Brother Paulus through our missions director,” Pastor Don said with a smile. “He was part of an organization there in Pakistan, the Church of God Mountain Assembly, where he was the ‘Overseer’. We are also a part of the Church of God Mountain Assembly.
“We quickly learned that Brother Paulus was a very active pastor over there with a passion to spread the gospel. When I first met him, he was riding a bicycle all over the country, hours at a time, going from church to church preaching and teaching the Christians about Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Don said that he, with the help of other congregations purchased a motor bike which was given to Brother Paulus to make his travel easier.
“When he got that little motor bike, you would have thought it was a Harley,” Pastor Don said. “He immediately put it to good use. That was in 2007.”
It was not an easy life for Paulus while he lived in Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country and he suffered greatly, but never wavered in his mission to teach the world about God.
“About eight years ago I was attacked by a group of Muslims who beat me so badly I was left for dead,” Paulus said. “But I didn’t die, thanks to the wonderful power of prayer and Gods love. I believe my life was spared for a reason.”
Pastor Don went on to discuss the beating incident and said he too, along with hundreds of other Christians in America began praying fervently for Brother Paulus’s recovery and continued safety.
“We, here at Five Mile helped Brother Paulus with his medical expenses and continued our prayers for his work in Pakistan,” Pastor Don said.
“We continued our support of Brother Paulus through the years each month, so he could continue his work. But then a few years after his beating, the Taliban kidnapped his 4-year-old son and was holding him hostage. It was such a terrible time for Paulus and we knew we had to help him.
“We tried going through the right procedures, and eventually managed to get the little boy freed from his captives. But the freedom came with a price.
“Brother Paulus was told by the Taliban that he had two weeks to leave the country of Pakistan forever, and never come back.”
Pastor Don said that no matter how hard he worked, filling out paper work to get Brother Paulus out of the country, the process dragged on for more that seven months. All the while, Paulus, along with his wife and two little boys hid in the basement of a friend’s house, awaiting the arrival of his papers to leave.
“It was a terrible time for me and my family,” Paulus said in almost a whisper. “We could not leave that basement for any reason or we would have been killed.
“At one point, after we had been there  for over five months, the Taliban came to the door of the house where we were and demanded that they tell them where we were. They threatened to burn down the village until they found us. I was so afraid of what might happen to my family.
“I picked up my little cell phone and called my friend Pastor Don to say good-by and thank him for his love.”
Pastor Don said that he received the call while he was in a mall in Louisville, Kentucky visiting his son.
“Brother Paulus quickly told me what was going on and he said he wanted to say good-by,” Pastor Don said. “I told him…. “you’re gonna live, Paulus, you’re not going to die!
“And I began to pray to God with everything I had. I prayed that God would take control and put fear in his enemies hearts.
“I knew that prayer well. I served in Iraq and took part in 109 convoy missions and each and every time that was my prayer, to put fear in my enemies hearts. And that’s what he did 109 times, we never came under fire one time!”
Paulus said the two prayed to God with everything they had, and for whatever reason, the Taliban left the house, gave no explanation and didn’t burn any homes in the village. For the next two months Paulus and his family stayed in the basement and were safe.
Paulus was finally able to come to America with his family in 2013.
“I have been in America for over four years now and I am happy to say I have continued my vision I brought with me,” Paulus said, “and that is to spread the gospel by preaching, teaching and offering an online ministry.
“I have remained in contact with my fellow Christians in Pakistan and now we are sharing Pastor Don’s sermon on Sundays.”
Pastor Don said that his first Skype sermon was a thrilling experience for him.
“To look out at all those faces on Skype, Christians along side Muslims, listening to my every word, was just unbelievable. There were no chairs in the room just small mats, and there were close to 200 people assembled. Paulus would interpret my words.
“It’s an exciting time for all of us. When Paulus first came over to America four years ago, there were about 42 Christian churches in Pakistan. Today there are well over 200 and new churches are popping up every two or three months.”
Paulus returned to Pakistan in late 2015 for about 18 days. He was guarded by Christians during his visit. He said he felt like he had Pakistan in his heart and needed to visit one more time.
“I look forward to the future,” Paulus said, “with the help of Skype, we can reach anywhere in the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.”