This project is part of a wider WITH initiative to encourage the development of training programmes for church leaders in communities experiencing conflict or persecution.
WITH is mentoring eight local Training Developers in Pakistan. The Developers’ job is to create training and resources for church members and Christian leaders to be confident in their faith, despite marginalisation and pressures and be equipped to engage with the majority culture.
WITH mentors have originally trained the founder of Deir Mar Thoma, Zafar Ismail, and its then National Director, Ruth Ambreen. Devastatingly, in August 2019 Ms Ambreen went to be with with Lord after a short and sudden illness. Although it was a heavy loss for DMT operationally and for the team personally, we are grateful that the Lord has raised a worthy replacement for the position of National Director – Ms Azeeqa Barkat.
Furthermore, our dear colleague Zafar Ismail went to be with the Lord rather suddenly in April 2020. His legacy is very much alive and DMT’s ministry continues to thrive and further its vision and reach.
Ms Barkat is now working with their team of six Pakistani leaders to develop the training further. These materials will be carefully designed to make sure that they are culturally relevant and sensitive to the often hostile environments they are to be used in. WITH mentors will also provide extra coaching to the local training Developers as they work on these resources.
When completed, the local Developers will use these courses to train facilitators across Pakistan. The facilitators will, in turn, train and equip groups of believers and congregations in these culture-sensitive forms of engagement with their neighbours.
“WITH’s training has transformed how we think about our ministry. We have reorganised our teams to embrace the WITH approach to bringing community transformation.”
As Deir Mar Thoma also works in Nepal, WITH will also be offering its leadership team further coaching. This will help them produce biblically based and relevant training and resources, suitable for training pastors and evangelists serving in remote and predominantly Hindu communities there.
Deir Mar Thoma (Pakistan)