It is with great sadness of heart that Harvesters International Ministries announces the passing of our Pakistan partner Pastor Bashir Bhatti of Omega Ministries Pakistan. We received word from his son Christopher on February 3rd that his father had gone home to be with the Lord after several months of poor health and numerous hospitalizations.
Pastor Bashir Bhatti was born into a nominally Christian family. In 1965, a man came to his village and preached on Isaiah 5:3-4. This message made Pastor Bhatti realize that Christ had done everything for him, but that he had done nothing for Christ. At that moment he accepted Christ as his true Lord and Savior. He became active in his local church and in the youth activities. He had a dream of himself sharing the Gospel. Subsequent to that, he met a lady missionary from Holland who said that he would go to the US and gave him a dollar to remind him of her statement. He received one year of Bible training from 1970-71 and began sharing the Gospel after that.
In 1980 Pastor Bhatti went to Saudi Arabia to purse a job opportunity. In 1982 he began holding weekly Bible School classes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the following year he planted a church there which he pastored for the next three years. In 1986 he returned to Pakistan. His current ministry is located about 2 hours north of Lahore (pop 8.3 million people) in Gujranwala which is on the eastern border of Pakistan and India, northwest of New Delhi, India. He leaves behind a legacy of many pastors and churches as far north as Islamabad and along the Pakistan/India border. The ministry focuses on reaching out to Muslims through the sharing of the Gospel, church planting, medical ministry and Christian Education. The ministry supports widows and orphans and hosts quarterly conferences. Pastor Bashir has laid a strong network of pastors and evangelists who we trust the Lord will use to continue the work He started through this pastor.
In the spring of 2011 Pastor Bashir was able to spend a little time with some of the Harvesters board members and cut his trip short to be able to attend his son Christopher’s graduation from Seminary, which was a high point in his life. Shortly after that Bashir’s medical issues began. He leaves behind his wife Rafhide, four grown children and four grandchildren. We know that Bashir will be greatly missed, but please pray with us that new leadership and unanimity of spirit will merge in the ministry to reach the lost in a very spiritually dark place.