On February 10th, ten visitors from the US met in Doha, Qatar to catch our flight together to Lahore and spend a week at Forman Christian College. We came from New England, Atlanta, DC, Alabama, Florida, California, and Indiana. We were pastors, mission directors, Friends of Forman board members and staff, and the president of the Presbyterian Foundation. Only two of us had been to Forman before, eight were seeing it for the first time.  Some of their reflections (and pictures) will make it into our Spring newsletter. Here is what I found that was new about Pakistan and Forman on this visit.
1)  Visas took days not weeks and in one case just hours! This new government of Imran Khan is trying to encourage tourism. Our fairly rapid visa process might be an indication of how serious they are about this priority.

2)  Forman is still in need of a campus center and is ready to begin the construction process any day now. Fencing surrounds the site where the building will be constructed. Our team read Scripture and offered prayers as a ribbon was cut to start the work on the power generation site next to the center.  It was a powerful symbol of Eastern and Western cooperation on this next step for Forman.   As soon as a permit is granted from the local officials, the work will commence. Meanwhile, students still jam the hallways when it rains and scatter themselves on the grounds when it doesn’t. Meeting space and modern library space is desperately needed.

3)  While I’ve always felt safe on the campus, going out and about Lahore also felt safer to me. The Christian churches are required to have gates and fences with concertina wire on top all around the perimeter of their property. I was struck how the people prayed in worship for the Lord’s protection of those protecting them. It takes great courage to be an active and vocal Christian in a Muslim majority society, especially when even the government has trouble controlling the extremists. I found that there are many Christians who practice their faith with joy and gratitude despite these necessary security arrangements.

What hasn’t changed was the free exchanges I had with Muslim and Christian students on campus. Students love to interact with foreign visitors, and we had impressive encounters with students in their dorms (called hostels there), classes, and chapel. Light of Hope students still have first class facilities and instruction – giving them a life-changing experience. Forman is truly flourishing and its reputation in the country is growing. Each of us who made the journey came away impressed and blessed. Please join me in praying for Forman to continue to be a blessing to all the people of Pakistan.


Gratefully Yours,


Rev. Sam Schreiner
Executive Director
Friends of Forman Christian College



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