Lahore: October 25, 2015. (Mark Ellis) God has given a Pakistani pastor the vision to build a 100-bed Christian hospital in an area south of Lahore that is 98% Muslim. He’s building a 10-foot-high wall around the property and housing for security guards first.
In 1989, after Pastor Saleem Massey earned a seminary degree in the U.S., someone asked about his ministry vision as he returned to the land of his birth.
“I want to plant 12 churches, start a Bible school and a hospital,” he told the inquirer. Some 26 years later, he has planted 16 churches, multiple schools, and is on his way to fulfilling the totality of God’s plan.
Poor villages surround the five-acre parcel he purchased on a main highway south of Lahore where he plans to build The Good Shepherd Christian Hospital. There are no existing medical facilities in this area and his plan is to treat the poor for free.
“My passion is to introduce Jesus and spread the fame of Jesus by compassion, love, and mercy, to let the Muslim world know we love them,” Pastor Massey says. “It will be a charity hospital and the poor will not pay,”
“The cross will be exalted on top of the hospital,” he adds.
Born in a nominally Christian family, Pastor Massey accepted Jesus as his Savior in 1972 after attending an evangelistic meeting conducted by his cousin, Pastor Ashiq.
Pastor Massey has encountered fierce opposition in his efforts to plant churches in predominantly Muslim villages. “They don’t want us to plant churches among Christians living in Muslim villages,” he notes.
“The Christians are working for the Muslims as bonded slaves. We go there so we can lift them up.”
A few years ago, Muslim opposition forced him to stop construction of a church in Ladi Village.
“We do not allow you to build a church because you believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – that’s blasphemy,” his Muslim accusers said. “You beat drums for your music and we have a mosque nearby and don’t want to hear it. And, since Islam has come there is no need of any other religion.”
Pastor Massey fought a legal battle to build his church for two years in the courts.
One day he received three emails, two from churches in the U.S. and one from a church in Australia, telling Pastor Massey they were praying for him to get approval to build his church.
Then something amazing happened on the same day he received the email. “That day the judge issued the order: ‘The Christians have won the case and they must build a church.’”
A few months later, Pastor Massey had the opportunity to meet the Muslim judge who ruled in the case.
“What happened?” Pastor Massey asked the man. “You were very tough on us for two years and then you changed.”
“The Lord Jesus appeared to me in a dream and said, ‘Son, go ahead and allow them to build the church.’”
“I respect Jesus as a prophet,” he told the startled pastor, “so I was obeying his command to allow you to build.”
In The Good Shepherd Christian Hospital, Pastor Massey will have Christian and Muslim doctors work together. “Our Lord is a Prince of Peace,” he says. “He taught us to love our enemies so we don’t discriminate. We want to win the world with the love of Christ.”