“Give us more!” the robbers demanded.
It was 9 p.m., and Faisal’s Bible distribution team was eager to be home. After delivering Bibles to eleven Pakistani villages in three days, they had taken a shortcut to get home faster. But as the team slowed their old van to navigate a bumpy stretch of road, they found themselves surrounded by a band of robbers notorious in that part of Pakistan.
Rajehs, one of the workers riding in the van, tried to reason with the six armed men as one of them pointed a gun at the driver and another held a gun against a passenger’s leg. “We’ve given you everything,” Rajehs told them. “Why do you want to kill us?” But even as they were rolling down their windows to hand over their valuables, he knew that the robbers would likely force them out of the van and shoot them one by one.
“We don’t need it!” a robber screamed, throwing the Bible down.
A mile and a half ahead of them on the road, Pastor Faisal and the rest of the team waited nervously in the first van. They could not see what was happening behind them, but they knew something was wrong.
Almost 20 tense minutes later, the team in the van came barreling toward Pastor Faisal’s group with its lights off. Everyone was shaken. The robbers had taken their money and phones, and Rajehs had a bruise on his neck where he had been hit with the butt of a rifle. Before letting them go, the robbers had told the team, “Don’t look back. Do not stop. Don’t turn your lights on. Otherwise, we will shoot you from behind.”
Robberies like the one Faisal’s team experienced are just one of the many dangers Bible distributors encounter in hostile parts of the world. Faisal’s team spends several weeks each year delivering free Bibles to believers across Pakistan who otherwise would not have access to one.
These workers seek out Christians who do not have a Bible, relying on local contacts to provide the names of those who need one. Most of those receiving Bibles are new to the faith.
Despite the dangerous, tiring journeys, Faisal and his team are committed to supplying Bibles to those who need them. “We will show up,” he told VOM workers. “We will do our commitment.”
With each trip, the team travels farther afield. Just before being robbed by the bandits, they had distributed more than 700 Bibles to believers among the Sikh people in the ancient Hindu city of Nankana Sahib.
Many of these believers are extremely thankful to finally have their own Bible. “Thank you,” the believers in Nankana Sahib told the team. “You are water for a thirsty soul.”