Kashif, his wife, Sana, and their daughter
We are both from Pakistan. Born in Christian families, we were very involved in our church’s youth ministry and choir. In Pakistan it was our routine to participate in every church activity, because we know how difficult it is for us to live without God. When we moved to the US in December 2019, we were worried about our Christian life. When you move to a place where you do not know anyone it’s scary. But we prayed a lot for ourselves and especially for our daughter, Joy.
In Pakistan we had an idea that people in America are far away from God and if you go to church you will only see old people, because the young generation do not come to church.
But when we came here and met Pastor Chris we felt that we had known each other for many years. He is our spiritual father, always helpful, and loves us as Christ loves us. So when pastor Chris told us about OVF, we were very excited. We thought, “Wow! How amazing it will be to pray in our own language in a place where other people will also listen to us pray and sing in our language.”
We really feel proud and thankful to God that we are a part of OVF. There is no distinction based on where you are from. People listen to our testimony, about how hard life is to be a Christian in Pakistan. So it feels that we are all the same here. As the Bible said, we should love each other as God loves us!
Yaovi & Patricia lead our French-speaking team.
Yaovi and Patricia are part of the One Voice launch team, leading our French-language ministry and small group.
When we first heard about One Voice Fellowship, my wife Patricia and I immediately agreed that God wanted us to be a part of this new church. God, the great Artist, made each of us in His own image. To Him, people of every language and culture pray, “Our Father.” (Matthew 6:9-13). In Christ, all nations are blessed through the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 22:18). Who are we to question God’s wisdom by saying one culture is better than another? Instead, we celebrate His divine wisdom when we welcome one another as God has welcomed us (Romans 15:7). This is why we want to be a part of One Voice—to welcome others as Christ has welcomed us.
In this welcoming spirit, there is no longer a distinction of race, gender, language, or economic status. Instead, we can live in harmony. Our differences allow us to help and sharpen one another as a family united in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
I tasted the sweetness of this welcome when I first came to this country. My brothers and sisters in Christ have been for me the hands and feet of Jesus. They have shared their homes with me, their possessions, and literally clothed me (Acts 4:32; Matthew 25:36). In their love, God’s Word became tangible and sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103).
More importantly, Pastor Chris shaped my understanding of true Christianity. He taught me to love unconditionally. His ministry and sacrificial heart have transformed my understanding of how to be a good husband, a father, and to love my neighbors unconditionally.
Dorothy Day describes the kind of community we are building here: “Living together, working together, sharing, loving God and loving our brother, and living close to him in the community so we can show our love for Him.”
In my home country, pastors are like small gods. They take advantage of their authority. But Pastor Chris has the humility to say, “I am sorry” when he is wrong. Thank you for this.
In heaven, we will see a great multitude that no one can count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne to worship God (Revelation 7:9). We surely can’t wait for that day! But today, we can get a taste of this at One Voice Fellowship. We are excited to serve in a community of believers from all corners of the world, working together to bring the good news to all our neighbors so that, together we may with one voice glorify Our Father (Romans 15:6). We hope you will join us in this ministry!
Any good logo will tell you something about the organization it represents. Here are three ideas behind the One Voice logo:
1) Global — The shape reminds us of the earth, and that God’s people are called to share the Good News with all people groups, wherever they are found.
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all ethne, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
2) Christ-Centered — A prism divides white light into red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Like a prism, language and culture often divide the Body of Christ. But the cross is white in our logo because Christ’s Body already contains people from every tribe and language. We can experience more of the fullness of Christ’s Body when we participate in a diverse community.
“I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” (John 10:16)
3) Intercultural — Many churches strive to be multicultural, as they should. Intercultural is a step further and is our goal at One Voice. See how the colors change when they interact with one another? As in marriage, our goal is to be in such close community with each other that we are both changed by the experience, for the better.
“When we begin to interact with someone whose cultural formation is different from ours, whether at the ends of the earth, in the next valley, or on our own street, and when we attempt to understand one another well, we are involved in “intercultural” interaction. Intercultural describes what happens between cultures. Intercultural learning happens when we learn from one another as our lives intersect.” (Christians and Cultural Difference, Smith and Dykstra-Pruim, 15.)