On October 4 and 5, 2018, the first of two PAK7 Charter Meetings was held at the Loyola House Retreat Center in Lahore The theme was “Great Things from God, drawing inspiration from the life and works of William Carey who famously said “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
The staff of the Pakistan Mission Society did an amazing job of hosting the event which drew some 80 participants, including church leaders representing all branches of the Church, as well as political leaders, media professionals and students. Participants enjoyed dinner, music and fellowship the evening before the main meeting, which featured outlines the PAK7 vision, mission and plan. PAK7 CEO Andrew Hart and Program Manager Naina Mall led a follow-up informal with young media professionals and students to discuss ways PAK7 could support them in their work.
Speakers included Bishop Humphrey Peters, Moderator and Primate of the Church of Pakistan, Rev. Curtis Young and Gordon Bell as well as CEO Andrew Hart and Naina Mall who served as the emcee.
The Working Group announced the 15-member International Council that will lead PAK7 International. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Training, was elected to serve as Chairman of the Council and Dr. Farhana Nazir was elected Deputy Chairman. Dr. Nazir serves on the faculty of Gujranwala Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Curtis Young, senior pastor of Church of the Atonement was elected Secretary of the Council.
Dr. Terence Ascott, Founder and CEO, SAT-7, was also elected to the International Council, as was Bishop Humphrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar.
Shortly after the Lahore meeting, the London Charter Meeting was held from October 8 through 10 at Westminster Central Hall. This venue was selected as it afforded a view of the statues of the Ten Martyrs of the Modern Era over the entrance to Westminster Abbey. These Martyrs include Esther John, the Pakistani martyr who was selected to represent the martyrs of South Asia.
This invitation-only meeting drew some fifty participants, including PAK7 founding partners World Witness, Church of the Atonement and World Harvest U.K. as well as representatives of various Christian organizations, denominations, churches and foundations as well as representatives of various branches of the Church in Pakistan.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali presented a devotional message and led the first session on the mission of the Church. Keynote Speaker Terry Ascott, founder and CEO of SAT-7 shared some of the great things God had done in bringing SAT-7 into being some 23 years ago. Early on, a panel of experts said it couldn’t be done. Twenty-three years later, it is obvious that God had other ideas; SAT-7 now reaches some 25 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa with a positive message of hope. Other speakers included Council member Rev. Dr. Curtis Young and PAK7 Catalyst Gordon Bell as well as PAK7 International CEO Andrew Hart and Program Director Naina Mall. Topics included the mission of the church, the PAK7 vision, mission and plans.
The group enjoyed a guided tour of Westminster Abbey which highlighted memorials to great men and women of God such as William Wilberforce, William Carey and Esther John. Esther was closely associated with PAK7 founding partner World Witness, which has served the Pakistani people for a hundred years.
At the end of the London meeting, Curt Young and Mike Underhill led the final sessions and the group expressed the seriousness of their commitment to see the people of Pakistan blessed through the good news of God’s love and grace through media by signing the London and Lahore Declaration.