Your church in action: Anna's legacy

Spreading the word: Paul Disher preaching to the crowds in Pakistan through an interpreter.
Spreading the word: Paul Disher preaching to the crowds in Pakistan through an interpreter.

Fifteen years ago, Paul Disher was a contented man. He had a loving wife, two beautiful daughters and a good church. Business was booming and Disher’s Fencing was becoming a household word around Tamworth.

Then something happened to change all that.

On May 1, 2005, Anna Disher was killed in a road accident.

As Paul and Lynda grappled to come to terms with their grief, they came across Anna’s diary. On April 5, less than a month before her death, Anna had written:

“I long to have a band and play guitar really well. I want to call the band ‘Wake Up’. I can see myself and the band in Bicentennial Park and the grounds would be filled with thousands of people lifting their hands to Jesus. I can imagine my band and myself going into the poorer places of the world and sharing Jesus’ love and happiness.”

Anna Disher

Anna Disher

More than anything, this was a wake up for Paul. He resolved that from now on, serving Jesus would be his number one priority in life. Anna’s dream would not be lost.

So on September 16, 2006, there was a big Wake Up event in Bicentennial Park and Paul told the story of Anna’s love for Jesus and Jesus’ love for her.

From this, an invitation came to speak at a series of Wake Up events in India.

Paul and Lynda Disher are now living in Toowoomba, but Paul was back last month to share his latest story with old friends at Kootingal Anglican Church.

“It’s all been God’s doing,” he says. “This time it was through Facebook.

“I’d been encouraging a few Christians in Pakistan and more and more people wanted to be my friend.

“They needed Bibles so we’ve been supplying for them Bibles in Urdu – 2000 this year. The money comes from my fencing business and Christian friends and churches.

“Then a pastor wrote and asked if I’d be willing to speak at a number of Wake Up meetings, which we planned together.

“Pakistan is a mostly Moslem nation, but there are over 2000 settlements of predominantly Christian people. Christians and Moslems mostly get on well together. They even have Scripture in school, just like us.

“Fear of terrorists is still a thing for both Christians and Moslems. When you go to church, there will probably be armed guards at the door to protect you.

“So for two weeks we went to a different village each night. There would be crowds of people, sometimes over 2000. There would be a stage and a band, and then I would speak.

“My message was, ‘Who is Jesus? He is God come to earth to die to put us right with God, and He’s coming back again’.

“Many of the people in the crowd were Moslems, even though they knew it was a Christian event to lift up the Name of Jesus. They come because they’ve heard that the Christian God answers prayer.

“So they come and they get prayed for. Often, they get healed and they believe.

“The words gets out. ‘If you want to be healed, get a Christian to pray for you’.”