This is a complete and accurate transcript of the oral history interview of Raymond Buker Jr. (CN 262, #T2) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words have been omitted, except for any non-English phrases which could not be understood by the transcribers. If the transcriber was not completely sure of having gotten what the speaker said, "[?]" was inserted after the word or phrase in question. If the speech was inaudible or indistinguishable, "[unclear]" was inserted. Grunts and verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. Readers should remember that this is a transcription of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence on the part of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Words in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments by the transcriber.
This transcription was made by Christopher Easley and Paul Ericksen, and completed in April 1991.
Collection 262, #T2. Interview of Raymond Buker Jr. by Joel Woodruff on November 8, 1983.
WOODRUFF: This is an interview with Raymond Buker Jr. by Joel Woodruff for the Missionary Sources Collection of Wheaton College. This interview took place at the Archival offices of the Billy Graham Center on November 8, 1983 at 2:30 p.m. [Tape recorder turned off and on] Mr. Buker, if you could now, I'd like for you to tell about your experiences working in the heating plant while at Wheaton College.
BUKER: Yeah, while at Wheaton I chose to work in the heating plant because that was about the highest paying job on campus. At that time the regular jobs were go...were going for fifty cents an hour, and they paid seventy cents an hour [pauses] at the heating plant, so I applied for a job there and I got it [clears throat]. It was a little different in those days than these days. It was run by coal and the [pauses]...there was a big storage place for coal at the other end of the lot. So we had to take it by wheelbarrow, shovel it into the wheelbarrow, and bring it into the heating plant, and then shovel it into the storage place there for it to go into the furnace. So that kept us working real good. And then during the summer they would empty the water out of the boilers and we had to crawl in and chip the scale that had come on the boilers, and that was like lying flat on your back, and you had these flues...pipes going through. You had hardly any place to lift your back. It involved chipping away with the [pauses] stuff falling in your eyes, and if you had tendency to claustrophobia, you'd really get it there. It was also real hot in there during the summer. So that was my job at the heating plant.
WOODRUFF: Did you hold any other types of jobs while working at Wheaton?
BUKER: I worked for Buildings and Grounds, doing a variety of work for them on the grounds and inside, repair work, [pauses] and that type of thing. Yes.
WOODRUFF: Okay. Now I'd like to get back to talking about your mission work, and especially now [pauses] starting with your second term...
WOODRUFF: ...in Pakistan.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me [pauses] what location you were now at?
BUKER: Well, we stayed at the same place all three terms I was in Pakistan, in the town of Larkana, which became the [pauses] political headquarters for Pakistan when my next door neighbor became president of Pakistan.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell us something about your next door neighbor?
BUKER: His name was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His father was called Sir Shanawaz Bhutto, and he was knighted by the [pauses] head of the government of England because he was considered the father of Sind. We were in the province of Sind; he was a Sindhi. He brought this into his being...into being. And then his son went into politics. We actually rented one of his houses, so he became a personal friend of ours. His children grew up with our children. Bhutto then went on to become the [pauses] president of the Pakistan, and when the present regime took over (that is there now), they hung him [pauses] on what many believe is trumped up charges [executed on April 4, 1979]. And this is the political bone of contention to this day because the Sindhi people consider this a [pauses]...a insult to their own tribe and people. And there's a movement now on to [pauses] even secede from the union [of Pakistan].
WOODRUFF: Was he a Muslim [pauses] leader?
BUKER: He was a strong Muslim. It's a Muslim constitution and only Muslims can be in high positions in government there, including the president.
WOODRUFF: During your second term, what type of work did you do?
BUKER: I continued on, mostly the work we'd started in the first term. First term was really preparation: learning the language, getting [to] understand the people. The second term was largely evangelism with the Muslim community. We had a small Christian group, and it was pastoral work and discipleship with the Christian group. We were also involved in producing some tracts, and started to revise the Sindhi Bible. It was a great variety of things such as that, as well as in sometimes helping to teach Sindhi to new missionaries that were coming out and helping them get settled in various cities where we decided to start a new work. I also would do a lot of administrative work as field chairman during those days.
WOODRUFF: What type of tracts did you produce, and what subjects were they on?
BUKER: They were tracts aimed at Muslim population, on [pauses] the way of salvation, helping out in a correspondence course, courses which we had started to reach Muslims for Christ, which would explain such things as what do we mean by "Jesus is the Son of God," "Is the Bible corrupted?" We'd go into prophecy concerning Jesus and the future. These are all topics that were of vital interest to the Muslims.
WOODRUFF: In working with the Sindhi Bible, what did that entail?
BUKER: Well, the Sindhi Bible has already been translated, but it needed to be revised. And so a process was started and I was on the committee to help in this direction.
WOODRUFF: Who had translated the Sindhi Bible earlier?
BUKER: Way back it was [pauses] some people from England and Australia. That was the New Testament. And then the Old Testament was translated by a Sindhi, who was a [pauses]...a high up Hindu, and he became a Christian and was then a church leader. And his name was Chandu Ray. He became bishop of the Anglican church afterward.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me what were some the major changes [pauses] between the first term and your second term?
BUKER: Well, the first term was laying the foundation, [pauses] because we were the first missionaries there, with another couple [pauses] learning the language, surveying the area, trying to figure out what to do. So the second term we could really go into what we would consider real missionary work: more widely involved in evangelism, and producing materials to help win Muslims to Christ, getting our feet on the ground.
WOODRUFF: Was the government in Pakistan any different at that time?
BUKER: The government keeps changing periodically. It's always a Muslim government. And as far as the government's opinion of Americans [pauses] and of missionaries, it would keep changing. If they had a war with India, then they'd become very anti-American, because they would say we supplied the arms for India. We, of course, supplied them for Pakistan too, [pauses] not to fight each other but to ward off Russian and Communist Chinese influence in the north. So political opinions changed, and depending on this situation.... We could be their best friends and the next moment be their bitterest enemies. But we always tried to keep away from politics, and said we didn't represent America, we represented Jesus Christ. We had no hand in the politics, and we were here representing a kingdom outside of this earth, and [pauses] tried to approach it from that way.
WOODRUFF: Were there any changes in church strategy in Pakistan at that time?
BUKER: Well, I think, more and more we learned more how to carry on [pauses] Muslim work. I think in the beginning we were very aggressive [pauses] in mass distribution, and meetings more in the open. But you've got to be careful in Muslim countries. You can wear out your welcome mighty carefully [sic] and be invited out of the country. So I think we switched to more correspondence, one on one, more careful [pauses] personal presentation of Christ, rather than being too open about it.
WOODRUFF: Did you find the peoples' attitudes changed towards you as you stayed there for awhile?
BUKER: Well, they accepted me as a friend over a period of time. Everything goes well until a Muslim comes to the Lord; then the whole community will change overnight. And they'll say, "We see the real reason you're here." And you can get a lot of opposition then: stones thrown at us, our doors torn off several times from the hinges, [pauses] and threats to our lives by letter. That type of thing can happen. If nobody comes to the Lord, everything goes well, but as soon as they do then the whole community gets shaken up.
WOODRUFF: How did this affect your family?
BUKER: It was a real strain on them. This was what I was concerned about, not for my own life. I had to keep them inside. And that included my kids when they were down there from boarding school. There was a period of two, three weeks when I hardly let them out or let them out very carefully. And it was a real strain on them, something like this.
WOODRUFF: Were there changes in church growth during this time?
BUKER: Not remarkably. Al...[pauses] part of the work was the nominal Christian community, which came to church out of habit, and have really...doing an in-depth work with them for quality of lives and real change and there were a number of those that came to Christ and were baptized. A few came from the Muslim community, but in Muslim work, it isn't fast church growth. It's very slow, [pauses] hard persistent work.
WOODRUFF: How large was the church in your area at this time?
BUKER: We would have a membership of about thirty, but we'd consider it a community of a hundred. That is a community of a hundred people that would consider themselves Christians, if you asked them, that would come off and on. It would include their children and families.
WOODRUFF: What do you see as some of the major events or highlights of this period of work?
BUKER: The major thing was many more missionaries came out. We grew to...just our two families to thirty [pauses] altogether. We started medical work. Getting that going and medical personnel came out, and started on our correspondence-type work, [pauses] reaching out to a big broad area. We [pauses] helped to start a missionary children's school for our children. So these were the major events.
WOODRUFF: Were the other missionaries also from CBFMS [Conservative Foreign Baptist Mission Society] or other missions?
BUKER: The ones I'm referring to are from our mission. We have comity agreement in Pakistan, wherein countries [pauses] divided up and various missions are responsible for various areas. We were responsible for half of Sind, the southern part. There were missi...other missions, such as Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, TEAM Mission [The Evangelical Alliance Mission]...such are working in various areas of Pakistan. And [pauses]...many of them were getting new missionaries coming out too. This is as a result of the growth after the war. Missions societies grew tremendously after the Second World War, and this was a part of that [pauses] growth.
WOODRUFF: Did [pauses] your mission society [pauses] combine with other mission societies at other time, or correspond in different ways?
BUKER: Yes, we did a lot of work in cooperation. Like we char...started a children's school together for our children. We started...we helped to become involved in a Bible school, which we cooperated in. Our correspondence school, we cooperate in that, and the producing the literature for Muslims. Those types of things, we cooperate at.
WOODRUFF: What would you see as the major accomplishments during the second term?
BUKER: More proficiency in the language. Striving to get correspondence course and materials into the language. Getting to really know the culture and the people, and then seeing [pauses] some of the nominal Christian community there really giving their hearts to Christ. And so quality growth in the church in that sense.
WOODRUFF: Is there anything you'd like to add about the second term?
BUKER: Well, I think those would be the major events for the second term.
WOODRUFF: Okay. In 1965 then, you returned on furlough, is that correct?
BUKER: That's right, yes.
WOODRUFF: What type of work then did you do while on furlough?
BUKER: Well, I took some [pauses]...a course or two at seminary [Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary], as well as help to co-teach a course on Islamics there. In addition to that there were a lot of speaking. Deputation work had to be done.
WOODRUFF: What part of the country were you living in at this time?
BUKER: We started living in the East, in Massachusetts were my folks are from. That was during the summer. Then for the school year we moved to the West, to Denver Colorado, where Denver Seminary is. And my father [Raymond Buker, Sr.] was professor of missions at that time there.
WOODRUFF: And is Denver [pauses] Seminary associated with CBFMS?
BUKER: Associated with the Conservative Baptist movement, yes.
WOODRUFF: Are their a great number missionaries that come out of [pauses] Denver Seminary into the Conservative Baptist Mission Society?
BUKER: Yes, it...they...there's a lot going to many missions societies and many coming to ours, too. Yes.
WOODRUFF: Okay. Following your furlough, [pauses] where did you go after that in Pakistan?
BUKER: Well, we went back to the same place...city, but we had a drastic change in our work. We changed from Muslim work to [pauses] a tribe called Marwari which were Hindu, and this was a tremendous switch in thinking and methodology, as well as fruit.
WOODRUFF: Could you give a description of the Marwaris, perhaps their heritage and their culture?
BUKER: The Marwaris came over from India about a hundred years ago because of famine. [They] Came into Pakistan. And we found the term Marwari was really a collective term that included many tribes, maybe up to fo...twenty-four tribes. But they actually are different tribes with different names and different languages. And they were really Bhil, Sansi, Kolis, Bagaris, Bazigars, Ods, like that, calling themselves collectively Marwari. But they have different languages. They are different tribes and should be considered as such, [pauses] though they look alike.
WOODRUFF: What tribe did you work with especially?
BUKER: I was really working with the Bhils [pauses]...was the real tribe I was working with, though we worked some with the others.
WOODRUFF: And what was their language?
BUKER: Their language would be called Bhili, or some people call it Marwari, but I think more accurately it was really Bhili.
WOODRUFF: And what steps did you take in learning this language?
BUKER: This language is unwritten. And a lot of it was just monolingual approach. I'd ask them what this was. "This." I knew, of course, Sindhi and I knew Urdu language, and some of them would know those languages, so I could communicate in those languages with them, and they'd give me equivalencies in their own language.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me [pauses] how you [pauses] went about things working with the Marwaris with their language especially.
BUKER: Yes. Well, we had to...the...of course, it was...was unwritten; we helped to reduce it to writing, and we did this by using the present Sindhi script. We had to a...add a couple of more letters to it, cause they had some sounds in the language that were not Sindhi. And then we [pauses] got a little hymnbook in the language. [Sounds of train in background] Some of them were songs from Sindhi and Urdu. But many...but the Lord, in the early days of...of the work, saved several singers from the tribe, and we encouraged them to produce their own spiritual songs in their own language in their own way. So this little hymnbook became very popular. We then started to translate [pauses] the Bible. And [pauses] [the Gospel of] John was translated, and then [the Gospel of] Mark was translated into their language. And so that's the way the work started. Of course, after that you have to teach 'em how to read because they're illiterate, and that's a big challenge too, doing that.
WOODRUFF: How many years did it take to develop this written language?
BUKER: Well, because we used [pauses]...not a foreign stript...script, but one that was present in the province, (Sindhi), we used their letters, it didn't take long at all. It just meant the creation of a few letters. What does take a long time is [pauses] teaching the people how to read it and translating material into it.
WOODRUFF: How did you go about teaching the people to read the language?
BUKER: Well, we would have Bible schools for those that had come to the Lord, as often as they can come for as long as they could stay. We call them "short term Bible schools," [pauses] in which the men and women and children were all involved. We'd go from place to place. And during this time, we always had a session on how to read, teaching people to read. But in addition to that s.... Many of the children went out going to local government schools, where they would learn Sindhi, and we'd point out that we had used that little...same letters. So just by learning one or two more letters they could then read their own language that way. And then they would read it to their own adults who didn't know how to read.
WOODRUFF: Could you compare this language to English in any way?
BUKER: The only comparison is there is no comparison. They [pauses] have fifty-two consonants and six vowels. They have like five d's and none of them are the English "d." I'll give you the five "d's" too. It's duh, duh, duh, duh, and duh [Buker pronounces each differently]. Now, none of those are the way you pronounce "d" in English. And they can change the meaning of the word if you change the "d". They have two "r's", neither of them are the English "r". They have [pauses] four "b's", none of them are the English "b". They also what we call ingressive sounds, so the sound will go in rather than out. So we say "buh", they say "buh" [Buker pronounces each differently]. We say "guh", they say "guh". We say "duh", we...they say "duh". We say "juh" they say "juh". See the air goes in rather than out.
WOODRUFF: How many people have been...or missionaries have learned this language while you were there?
BUKER: Let me think. I suppose about half of our missionary force learned the language. The rest [pauses] learned Urdu. We learned Sindhi. We were told in the beginning that Sindhi is the harder language. Learn that first and Urdu will come easy. And that's true. All of us that learned Sindhi learned Urdu. But those that learned Urdu, very few learned the Sindhi language, and didn't learn it well, because you can get by nationally in Urdu.
WOODRUFF: How...how many [pauses] Marwaris learned their language and then had to or were able to read it enough to...?
BUKER: Oh, I [pauses]...it's hard to say. Most of the kids could read it because they [pauses] went to school and learned Sindhi, and so they could automatically learn theirs. Yes.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me [pauses] what type of socio-economic condition these people were in?
BUKER: They're very...they're very poor. Ten percent of the [pauses] land of [pauses]...ninety percent of the land of Pakistan is owned by ten percent of the people. The rest are virtually serfs, peasants. And these people are the poorest of the poor. Most of the people give back fifty percent of what they have to the landlord. But because of these people's religion being Hindu, [pauses] they had to give back seventy-five percent of what they owned to the landlord. And they, of course, use very primitive agricultural methods. They may rent three acres, four acres at the most from the landlord, cultivate it, but they...they produce very little, and they have to give back seventy-five percent to the landlord, and then they get into debt. They barrow money. They charged 100% interest a year for the money. So they can't hardly pay the interest off. So they inherit huge debts. When dad dies, his sons inherit these debts. So they're just all in debt. You might call them serfs and slaves, almost, that way to the landlords. So they're very poor because they're Hindu. They are not given justice in court. They're not allowed to own property. That type of thing. They're very much downtrodden people.
WOODRUFF: How...are they very dedicated Hindus and how does the religion affect their lives?
BUKER: Well, it would vary. They are socially strong Hindus. As to practicing Hindus, they would practice some things [pauses], many may not practice many other things. But socially they're very strong and they've formed a strong unit to ward off Islam, and they dislike Muslims very heartily. And that was the reason it was hard to...initially to break through this because they were a solid unit. We let them know we were not Muslims, and [pauses] Christ had come to lift them up from where they were, to give them meaning in life, and to give them dignity in themselves as sons of God [pauses] and kings of the King of Kings, and that we did mean something to the Lord. He loved us and paid his [pauses] own life...gave his own life for us.
WOODRUFF: What were some of your first impressions when meeting these people?
BUKER: Well, it was a [pauses]...they were very primitive. We lived with them in very primitive situations. But they were very friendly, and open once you got behind the...the wall of suspicion. And many were very open to the Gospel.
WOODRUFF: How did you go about [pauses] getting into their culture and communicating with them?
BUKER: Okay. We have sixteen steps we use to entering a new culture. We sort of learn these by reading, by experience. And one of the major things is [pauses] that you pray that God will raise up somebody from that tribe, who will become a Christian and you link yourself with him. He then interprets your ways to the tribe, and interprets the tribe's culture to you. Becoming a bridge like this [pauses] helps the work a lot, because if you go in cold turkey, you make a lot of cultural mistakes, which can be very serious ones, and take years to overcome. So it was invaluable, this method. And God did raise up a man, named Damji, a real leader among the tribe. He came to Christ [pauses], and he was a very zealous Hindu, too, before. And all this zeal he put towards spreading the Gospel [sounds of train in background]. And it was a tremendous help to have him to work with [pauses] in this tribe. And then we found, as we continued work, you had to identify with them in certain ways, which was eating their food, using their bedding, and drinking their water. These are symbolic ways, because they were considered outcaste and untouchable. Muslims and other caste Hindus would have nothing to do with them in these symbolic ways. So by identifying in this way you got an entrance to the people, to show them that "we are one in Christ, that the Lord doesn't have these distinctions, and we love you even as our brothers."
WOODRUFF: What type of food did they eat and what kind of living conditions as far as housing and all did they have?
BUKER: It was very poor housing. There would be little shacks. Some made of mud, some made just of brush they would get from trees, leaves and [bumps microphone] grasses around, and you have to stoop down low to go inside. The food [pauses] was also [bumps microphone repeatedly] poor food, because they were very poor people. The general food of Pakistan is what we call [pauses] chapatis, which are very much like tortillas. They're made of whole wheat and larger, with curry, which is really seasoned stew - highly seasoned stew that goes with it. These people couldn't even afford the [pauses] flour, the whole wheat flour that you use in chapati, so they used sorghum [pauses] tassels, and ground that down and made their bread of chapatis from that. It was very tough; it was like eating cardboard. And it gives [pauses] terrible constipation through this type of thing, so sometimes they put a [pauses] type of seed in it, in order not to have...give such constipation. You might go into a place, you might get curry, you might not. It might be just say goats milk with peppers thrown into it, or just a whole onion with it, something like that.
WOODRUFF: What type of water supply did they have? Was it very abundant or not?
BUKER: There was plenty of water, but it wasn't clean water. Some areas there were wells. They couldn't use the regular village well but they had to have their own. In many areas there were only canal water from the Indus River, and that's filthy water. It's so dirty you can't even see down an inch. The refuse from the towns [pauses] float down, like dead dogs, and horses actually [?], floating down garbage. And that was the water they drank, and we drank that with them.
WOODRUFF: What type of treatment were they given by the other Muslims and upper-class Hindus?
BUKER: Yeah. It was the Muslims that oppressed them terribly. They had to live in a different section of the village. They weren't touched or mingled...mingled with. During the war with India, they would be hoarded up, whole villages of them, and thrown into jail without reason because they were Hindu background. They'd then have to bribe their way out with the police. In court, there was no justice. Often to help them I would...they would ask me just sit in the back of the courtroom. You don't even have to say a thing. Just your presence would make a bigger chance of a fair judgement of the situation. There were some kind landlords. Because they were living under landlords, we really had to get the permission of the landlord to witness to 'em. And we tried to do that and befriend them, and there were some kind ones that were concerned about them, but those were few and far between. They weren't able to own property by law of the government. Those that owned land, it was no longer theirs, that it.... Those that owned their own buildings, it was considered no longer theirs, as far as the government was concerned.
WOODRUFF: Did they have their own type of hierarchical structure in their own society?
BUKER: [Sounds of train in background] It was rather loose. They do have their panchayat, which is sort of a committee. And [pauses] some of the leaders that they appoint to represent before government, Damji was one of these. And generally there would be a village head man. There would be a clear head man of the village, but the hierarchy after that was always rather nebulous. There were certain leaders, religious leaders, political leaders, but it wasn't tight knit as you would see in some tribes. And by the way, that was our first strategy, was working through the leaders. And Damji, knowing the leaders, identified them and then we would have them together as our guests, and tell them who we were, what we were doing, and...and reach...we tried to reach through the leadership.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me about some of the [pauses] more successful methods of evangelism that you used with these people?
BUKER: Okay. The first was, when we invited six key leaders to be our guests for three days. (That's when we first got there.) They invited others and we built a little hut in one of their villages. And [pauses] it was about seventeen feet long and eleven feet wide. But thirty people showed up because they'd invited friends. So we all squeezed into this hut, believe it or not, for three days and nights. It was in the middle of January, so it was cold. It was rather crowded there. Somebody jokingly said, "We were so close together, if you got up at night to go out for any reason, you had to have a bookmark to get [pauses] back into your own place." Well, there were three of us there, myself and two Pakistani Christians. And for three days we taught them, an hour each, every three hours our turn would come up. There'd be question and answers. We'd go to bed late at night, start early in the morning, where we'd teach them and they had a chance to question us. So at the end we gave them opportunity to give their opinion. We said, "We've tried to tell you who we are, what we are trying to do, our message. Now, are there any of you that are interested in following this way?" There [?] was about two or three leaders. "Yes," they wanted to become Christians. [Pauses] Some were...opposed us. There were the Hindu religious leaders. They didn't want us changing their religion. They'd be out without a job. The majority were non-committal, but appreciative of us coming. And they said, "We can't make decisions now. We have to think about it, go back to our tribal elders. But in the meantime you have an invitation to come to our own...to our villages [pauses] to spread this news there. And this is what we wanted, 'cause you can't go in unless there's permission from the [pauses] village elders. Otherwise they'll literally...literally by force drive you out. Not because they're cruel, but because they're used to Muslims and others with wrong ideas coming in, and this is self protection. So you have to get an invitation from within. So that was a very successful method to get the work started, that we might allay misunderstandings. And then we'd...a typical thing, you'd go into a village for three days, would be a typical time. And [pauses] you'd come in...in the evening, you...you'd have a fun with the kids, teach them a song, some memory verses. Then after dinner, everybody would come together and you'd have a mass meeting, and we'd show posters on the life of Christ. We'd have slides; that was run on flashlight batteries, 'cause they don't have any electricity. We'd give testimonies, explain clearly the Gospel. In the morning, they'd go out to work, so you'd go out and talk to the men individually in the fields. We'd have women's meetings; you'd go hut to hut to talk to the kids and women. And again you'd come together at night. And this way over a period of three days you can saturate a small village with the Gospel. Then you go on to another, then to another. And when they're open villages then you come back. Several times, those that come to Christ, you baptize. You try to get as big a group as possible to come to the Lord, not singling one out and then another alone, 'cause when you do that there's no fellowship. But you try to get a group to accept the Lord as a group, whole families. Then they can have fellowship and encourage one another, and there's not the strain of ostracism that there is otherwise.
WOODRUFF: What type of baptismal ceremonies did you have?
BUKER: Well, we, of course, have baptism by immersion, we do outdoors there [pauses] so other people can see. We encourage them to do their own baptizing. Missionaries, we baptize the first seven; after that we didn't baptize any more. We told them to choose a leader. We would show him how to baptize, and [pauses] they would do it. So they chose Damji, and from then on he did the baptizing; we showed him how to do it. So we tried to turn the work over to the people right from the beginning.
WOODRUFF: What type of response did you have from the people? Were they very open generally or [it] just depended or...?
BUKER: Yes, there were...compared to the Muslim work it was very encouraging and fruitful work. We saw numbers come to the Lord. It was as fruitful as [pauses]...more fruitful that any other ministry in Pakistan, and...because the people were ready, they were Hindu and [pauses] open.
WOODRUFF: How many people were in this tribe, about?
BUKER: Probably collectively, up to half a million [pauses]...collectively when we talk about all these tribes. Probably the Bhils, (and its hard to get an exact number because the census reports aren't clear), maybe a 150,000.
WOODRUFF: And how big a land area did this cover?
BUKER: It was about four hundred miles long, fifty to a hundred miles wide.
WOODRUFF: And were you responsible for this whole area?
BUKER: Yes. [Pauses] We were the only missionaries, our family, in the beginning there. When we came home another family took over. So it meant a lot of traveling, and we.... And these are little villages. They don't live in big groups. Way out in the sticks it was hard to get to some of these places. Roads were very bad. Some places you had to walk, some places four-wheel drive jeep, and you'd get stuck [pauses] and have to get pushed out, and...and those types of things. But it was very rewarding work.
WOODRUFF: Did you establish a base and work from there or how did you cover this area?
BUKER: Well, the base...we stayed where I was in Larkana, and then I would have to commute about a hundred miles up to them. And I thought this was quite a drag, and "How could the work continue?" But we found out that this was probably of the Lord. 'Cause I'd go up for three days, five days, maybe a week or ten days. Then I'd come back for a week or so [pauses, paper rustles], and then go back again [pauses] maybe after a week or two weeks. This way the work wasn't dependent upon me as the foreign missionary there. But this way, they realized they had to develop their own churches, own fellowships. They had to answer their own quie...questions from the Word of God and through prayer, rather than always having to run to me to do it. So it...it turned out to be a healthy way to do the work.
WOODRUFF: What were some of the major problems or challenge that you faced working with these people?
BUKER: Well, a major thing was they were coming to Christ a few here, a few there, scattered all over the place, and then they were also semi-nomadic. You may have five families coming to the Lord here. You come back few months later there was only two left. One had gone over here, two over there. So to actually establish an organized permanent church was very difficult. So follow-up, discipleship, bringing them together in groups of believers was the major challenge and it is to this day a major challenge.
WOODRUFF: What [pauses] size of church did you have with this tribe or was there an accurate way to tell this?
BUKER: Well, if you want to [pauses] define the church as people who've come to the Lord and been baptized, about a thousand have been baptized in the tribe. But these are not in one area; they're scattered abroad [laughs], and then they come together and.... So you have to teach them to [pauses] have worship services that they can conduct themselves wherever they are, and it...it has to be done by new Christians, so you have to find out ways they can do it themselves, and teach them that it [pauses]...everybody's responsibility to witness for Christ. This is the normal thing. That everybody witnesses and shares Christ regardless of their persecution and pressures. This is why we're here. And they had to [pauses] be taught to depend on the Lord [pauses] quickly. And we had to put the church right on them right from the start, and that was healthy.
WOODRUFF: What type of worship ser...worship services did they have? Where they [pauses] similar in any way to ours or was there a basis...?
BUKER: Not too much resemblance. They [pauses]...because we encourage worship services every night. The major reason is they're illiterate, they've come right out of [pauses]...out of a non-Christian atmosphere, and [pauses] haven't had much training. At night they're free, no TV to look at, nothing to do. They just sit around their fires and talk with one another. Why not make this an opportunity, learning more about the Lord and of worship, [pauses] and...and memorizing God's word? So, we trained them to have meetings every night. Now obviously, I couldn't be at every place every night, so we had to have services that they could conduct simply. So hopefully among the group there would be one or two who could read. We would give them the Bible. Then we'd give them hymn books. They would sing the songs; they really loved those. And they were songs with Scriptural base. Like the ten commandments: you would sing them. You'd sing the books of the Bible, you'd sing verses. That's the way they memorized Scripture in content. And they really remembered that. Then [pauses] at every service, everybody would give a testimony and everybody would pray. That was expected, that was our routine. They are small groups, fifteen, twenty, thirty, and [pauses] that was [pauses]...they were taught to do that. So you had to give a fresh testimony. You can't get up and say, "I was saved ten years ago." You'd be saying that every night. So they had to [pauses] give a testimony on how the Lord...what the Lord did for them that day. This way you got to appreciate the very simple things of life. The very fact you had enough food to eat, [clears throat] that you were well, you had a place to stay. These are all blessings from God. But his mercies are renewed every morning. "What were the new mercies that were renewed?" They didn't have to be startling things. And this is a very healthy.... Everybody prayed. They didn't realize you weren't suppose to pray. So we all get down and everybody would be taught very simply how to give a simple prayer. And [pauses] then [pauses] we would teach some of the leaders there how to bring a simple devotional message. "Here, you read from the Word and give some simple thought." We also introduced the first Scriptures that we produced, a method we'd heard about in...among tribal people in north Brazil by this [pauses] lady, in which [pauses]...in the Scriptures you had the verse or one or two verses, then you had a question put in right there which was to illuminate the verse. So you do it this way: you have the men sit here, women sitting there, the leaders here, okay? The leader reads the verse, he ask the question below it. They answer the question. They read the next verse, they ask the question, the women answer it. They read the next verse, they ask the question, they answer it. This way they are made to pay attention, of what they're reading, and the question, which is there to illuminate the meaning, then in itself is a message. For instance, in John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God." The question is, "Was the 'Word' Jesus Christ?" See, you'd never find that out from that verse. Later on you do, but of course the answer is "yes." So it illuminates the meaning, "Who is the Word?" that way.
WOODRUFF: What type of leadership did they have as far as in the...in the local churches?
BUKER: Well, [pauses] it was this type. We built it upon them from the beginning. And [pauses] it was leaders, again, that they had chosen. And when we had these small Bible schools, we would say, "You choose the leaders and send them to the schools." (These schools are only three days and at the most five days long.) They were lay leaders, but they gave them the authority to baptize, to lead the meetings, like that. Communion...I only served communion twice myself alone. After that I said, "You come up and help me," and another time "You come up." Then I'd sit down and say, "I'm not going to serve anyone communion," that "you know how to do it. I'm just going to sit in the audience, and you're going to serve me." I use to do all the preaching in the beginning, or when we go into a new village, I'd be doing the work. But I soon...we soon taught them how to do it. On [pauses]...we would call this a "running Bible school." Wherever I went, I'd try to take two to three people with me, to constantly be teaching them. Like in [claps] II Timothy 2:2, the Apostle Paul told Timothy...he said, "That which I've taught you, you teach to faithful people who will teach others." That's multiplication. So I picked two...two or three people that were faithful [pauses] that would teach others, and I poured my life into them. Everywhere I went, I'd be teaching somebody. If I wasn't teaching somebody I'd feel I was wasting time...if I was doing the work alone. But constantly teaching somebody, and then when I'd get to a village it came to the point, "Well, I've worked all day. I've been teaching you as we've been walking, waiting. Now you're in charge of the service. I'm going to rest, just listen to you." So more and more they would take complete charge. I was the one behind the scenes guiding them and teaching them. I'd do none of the up front work then. Let them do it.
WOODRUFF: What type of work then did your family do, or your wife, while you were out working, meeting the tribe?
BUKER: Okay. She was living a hundred miles away. I would take her and the kids up once in a while, just to get the relationship [pounds table].... It was a pretty hard situation, [sounds of train in background], the family living irregular. It was very primitive [pounds table], and a hard situation, but off and on here and there. Where she was in Larkana, she was ministering to the church women as well as to the Muslim women. I couldn't reach Muslim women for Christ. You can't talk to a Muslim woman as a man. So she would go to their homes, and they would love to see her as an outsider. They were in what we called purdah, veiled, confined, couldn't go out. Glad to see her, she would invite them to her home, and that way have a ministry.
WOODRUFF: How did your lifestyle change as far as your family life, once you started working with this tribe?
BUKER: Well, it means I was away a lot. And when I was home I was [pauses] preparing lessons, and getting myself ready to go back again. So that was one of the drawbacks...was that I was away much more than I would have other been...been otherwise.
WOODRUFF: Did you have to...how did you integrate into the Marwari culture?
BUKER: Okay. [Banging noise in background] By adopting their way of life. We [pauses] used their bedding initially in beginning, 'cause again this is a symbolic act of being one with them. As far as adapting, we were one with them. We were with them in their villages. Sleeping there, they sleep outdoors most of the time. Eating their food. [Pauses] We had to greet the way they did. We were one with them. There was no other way, no other question of not being one of them.
WOODRUFF: Could you point out some of the possible highlights of this period?
BUKER: I think one highlight was when the first seven Marwaris came to the Lord themselves. What they had done is [pauses] the [pauses]...Damji.... We had never ever heard of this tribe, didn't know it existed. We'd been there ten years. But he picked up one of our correspondence course leaflets. We used to advertise it by throwing application forms out of our car window wherever we went. He picked up one from the road. By God's grace he could read and write. Only one percent of the tribe could read and write. He was a leader. [Bumps microphone] He was hungry for the truth. He took it. He'd been searching for truth. He lived in a cemetery for a whole month hunting for truth, meditating, done many other things. But as he took the course, he felt, "I think this is it. I'm on my way to truth." So he took six others of his friends and relatives with him. Came to the first missionary seventy miles away. Stayed with them a few days. They all came to Christ, were baptized. That was the highlight. That was the beginning of the movement. Now as they came to us, we didn't go to them. We didn't know they existed. He then invited us to go into the tribe, and I was the one that was asked to follow up his invitation. Again, that became the bridge. I think another highlight was having all those thirty leaders with us for those three days. This is the very beginning of the work. They were the religious and political leaders, a brand new situation. Some of the other highlights were some of the Bible schools. We had these short term Bible schools of leaders that came there to them. And then seeing regularly people coming to the Lord, [pauses] all over the place. It was a real thrill, after the years of terribly hard work with Muslims, and seeing these people open to the Gospel.
WOODRUFF: Do you have anything else that you would like to add about this time in the Sind?
BUKER: Well, I think this [pauses]...the work is still going on to this day, and to this day it is probably the most fruitful work in Pakistan. And the work is only begun and there's been a lot of opposition by Muslims. They started to send missionaries there, paid by the Muslim government, threatening them if they didn't become Muslims, and [pauses] the government put lots of pressure on us, too, because of it. And so where the Lord's Word goes forward the devil also counterattacks. But to se...continue to be a thrill to see the way they've grown in grace, with so little teaching from us, and that the Holy Spirit has taught them from very little, [pauses] some of the essentials and they've have gone on from there.
WOODRUFF: How many years did you work with this tribe?
BUKER: Four years [pauses] [unclear].
WOODRUFF: And what years were those?
BUKER: Those were when we went back. From s...[pauses]...it was really...the [pauses]...sixty...end of '65 to '6...through '69, it was the middle of '69.
WOODRUFF: As far as some of the cultural matters [pauses], I'd like to talk about some of the medical facilities in Pakistan at that time. What were some of the medical practices and traditions that you saw?
BUKER: Okay. Muslims follow [paper rustles] what we call unani medicine. And unani means...is a Greek work for Greek. And it's interesting, they had customs that came from Greece, early days. And they have a principle of what we call hot and cold, [pauses] that certain foods are what we call hot foods, certain foods are cold foods. If you have a certain disease you should have hot foods, if you have another disease, cold food. Now the food itself has nothing to do with being hot or cold. It's just some sort of a decision that they'd come to over a period of time, and it comes out of Greek ancient medical lore. And [pauses] they have what they call their hakims, which were their sort of medicine men, and they cook up these various brews and...and give it to people. That would be the local type medicine. In...among the Marwaris, in addition to that, if a person didn't get well, they may sacrifice a chicken or a goat and bury it in front of the house there, and hopefully they would get better from that. So very primitive-type medicine. Their [pauses] midwifes, most of 'em are illiterate, had no concept of sterility, and so with birth of babies, fifty percent would die before they were a year old and terrible infections would set in for the mothers. So medically, it's a very poor situation. Just the little medicine I had, they used to call me "Doctor So and So," and I'd bring a few pills up and with the little knowledge I had [pauses] it was able to go quite a ways. They'd come all over the place, when I was there. And it was just [pauses] a few simple things we...that you could do a lot with.
WOODRUFF: Did you find [pauses] this ability, hav...having a little bit of medical knowledge help you in reaching certain people?
BUKER: Yes, it brought a lot of people around. As you took care of a few basic diseases such as bacillary and amoebic dysentery and malaria, (those are the basic diseases), you could take care of almost ninety percent of their ills.
WOODRUFF: You mentioned that your mission eventually established some type of medical facility, or [scraping noise] work. Could you tell me about that?
BUKER: Yes. Yes, we established that at a place called Shikarpur, and that was a women's hospital. Because of Muslim teaching, men and women are separated. [Sounds of train in background] Therefore, men doctors are supposed to treat men, and women doctors treat women. A Muslim would never think of having a male [pauses] doctor deliver a child. That would be unthinkable. And so we started a women's hospital, for their...such was not available for them, with all women staff doctors as well as nurses. But people would come from miles and miles around, just to be treated by them, and so their name has gone out all over the place there, this type of ministry.
WOODRUFF: What sources did you have for medical supplies? Were they shipped in from the United States or...?
BUKER: A lot was sent in from the United States. MAP [Medical Assistance Program] sent us a lot. You could buy some things locally, which had been brought in by other medical companies. But the real medicines were almost all produced outside. Yeah.
WOODRUFF: What were the basic attitudes of the general population to medic...medical care, especially Western?
BUKER: Well, they were very appreciative [banging noise] of it, that here you're at least getting [pauses] decent medical clare...care. And when their methods didn't work and [pauses] a person was about ready to die, and desperate, then they would bring them to us. The educated particularly appreciated it [pauses] because it gave them a decent facility.
WOODRUFF: I'd like to talk now some about the education facilities in Pakistan. What type of education did the normal person have, both in the Marwari tribe and also in the...the Islamic people?
BUKER: In many centers, governments had started schools, primary schools. And then in larger centers there'd be high schools. The education though, was very inferior. It was almost rote memory. And [pauses] the exam for the high school, (well, they call it "when you matriculated from high school,") was set by the government, the university. And that was all high school kids, just to [pauses] take the same exam. And fifty percent would fail it that would pass it. Then those that would go on to college, (there was also government colleges, which was practically free to go to [banging noise]), seventy percent of the people who went to college didn't pass the college exam. They had a [pauses] very high fail rate. A lot of it also was run by bribery. A lot of the country is run that way. You bribe your way to get good grades and to pass.
WOODRUFF: What was the attitude of the government to education?
BUKER: They were trying to promote it, by...and [pauses] more and more require people to go to school as it was available in villages. There were, however, what we call elite schools. There's what we call "King's College" [pauses] up in Lahore, [pauses] it used to be called "Chief's College." And this is where the elite, the landlords that had lots of money would send their kids. Staff was also often foreign. People from Britain, America, very key teachers would teach there. So it was a very elite.... These kids [pauses] had servants to [pauses] make their beds, clean their rooms, take their books, carry their books for them to class. They generally had their own horse, with a servant to take care of the horse. So it was that type of elite people. So in Pakistan you have an elite educated people, and some would be sent to Britain, or Europe or maybe the United States, which was a very small minority that had it all. And the rest of them [claps hands together] had almost nothing. So these are the key ones to be the future leaders of the country.
WOODRUFF: What was the general attitude of the people to education?
BUKER: They wanted it. [Clears throat] They wanted to be able to get educated. It would be like there was no future. [Pauses] Particularly difficult for girls, because up until recently, they didn't even go to school. But recently it was being encouraged. So, a small minority [pounds table] would be allowed to go up to a certain grade. But very few under college level.
WOODRUFF: Could you tell me something about the mission schools?
BUKER: Yeah, the mission schools were the best in Pakistan. Presbyterians, particularly, did a lot in that way. They started schools from [pauses] first grade...well, right on through college. And it was by far the best educational system in Pakistan. The government, by the way, nationalized all of these schools. The Muslims took over.
WOODRUFF: So presently there are no Christian sponsored schools?
BUKER: Particularly on the college level. I believe they've almost all been nationalized by the government. And they tried to nationalize all the other schools, high school clear down to grade school. They did in many cases. Some cases they found out they couldn't [bumps microphone] handle them, so they gave them back. But it was...been largely nationalized.
WOODRUFF: Are there any seminaries in Pakistan?
BUKER: Yes. There's one seminary north of us in Gujranwala, a small seminary. There are several small Bible schools in Pakistan.
WOODRUFF: What is the theological stand of this seminary?
BUKER: The seminary is called Gujranwala. It's sponsored mostly by the major denominations: Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian. The denominations there are more conservative than what they represent back in the United States, 'cause liberal missionaries don't often feel called of God to go to a situation like this. So the seminary, in large, is fairly good, not perfect, but it is better than it would be in some other areas.
WOODRUFF: And [pauses] the [pauses] Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, did it have any schools or educational programs...
BUKER: We didn't...
WOODRUFF: ...of this nature?
BUKER: ...we didn't have any Bible schools of our own. Exc...we taught. We had a roaming Bible school with the Marwaris, and we cooperated in several other small Bible schools with other missions, rather than going on our own. There wasn't enough students to warrant it on our own.
WOODRUFF: I'd like to talk some about the economy now in Pakistan. What was the basis of the economy?
BUKER: I think I indicated before, it's largely agriculture, [pauses] with ninety percent of the land held by ten percent of the people. And [pauses], in fact, [pauses] the...seventy percent of the wealth of the country, (this was East and West Pakistan, when they were two countries), was held by twenty joint families, seventy percent of the wealth. And you could know the family by [door closes] its last name. It's sort of a clan type of thing, joint family. It would be those that would be in charge of the businesses. It would always be one of those family members that would be the head of the government, and hold the high offices, as well as the generals in the army. And so they're in complete control. In India, the 600 million people, there're about seventy-six joint families that own seventy percent of the wealth. And so, it's in the control of a few, [bumps table]. And then the landlords, they own most of the land and most of the people, ninety percent, serve under the landlord. They're peasants.
WOODRUFF: What type of agricultural methods did they use?
BUKER: Very primitive. They grow mostly rice and wheat, [pauses] some corn. They use a [pauses] very primitive plow, sort of like a stick...bent stick [pauses] with a ox or a buffalo pulling it. And the yield [pauses] is very low, less than probably fifty percent of what we can grow on a piece of land. Very little use of [pauses]...of the fertilizer they can't afford in the first place, or have much around. So, [pauses] they...they have a lot of irrigation there. The British started it from the Indus River, and they have the largest irrigation system in the world, much larger than Egypt's [pauses] irrigation system. But the irrigation has its own problems. When you pour water onto the land, it brings the water table up, which brings the salts up from below [pauses] to the top. And so you see lot of area [?], because of salt and salination, was just ruined. It looked like snow fields, but it was very hot [pauses] with salt on it. So they've had to reclaim this. It's very expensive. And [pauses]...where you put di...pipes way down underneath, and you pour water on it and it leaches the wa...thing down, and then it [pauses] runs [pauses] the st...the stuff off. And that's the way you reclaim it. And...and with American government help, they con...contributed hugh amounts of money to reclaim land. There's still a long ways to go.
WOODRUFF: Was there quite a bit of foreign investments in Pakistan?
BUKER: There's been a lot of aid given by the World Bank, by America. As far as investment into business, there is some, but it's [pauses] a climate that is very difficult for business to make a go of it. Because of the corruption of the government, and all the rules that bind to them...bind them, a lot of people will start, and [pauses] they'll say, "Well, we just can't get go...keep going here," and pull out. But you have some...yeah, you have quite a few [pauses] foreign companies there struggling to make a go of it. The member of our church, by the way, here in Wheaton is the president of [pauses] a hugh oil company, for a wide [pauses]...president for exploration. And he told me that he [pauses] they had a contract with the government to explore for oil there and that they had a good chance of finding it, but because of red tape and [pauses] the government going back on its word, they finally pulled their whole outfit out. They just couldn't make a go of it.
WOODRUFF: What type of industries do they have, especially in large and heavy industry? [intermittent squeaking noise]
BUKER: Very little [pauses] heavy industry. They have [pauses]...they're trying to produce a plant to [pauses]...you know, assemble trucks down in Karachi. They do it for awhile, and then it [pauses]...because they do [laughs] such a poor job, it closes up. There's not much...much heavy industry. They produce things such as vegetable oil; it's like our lard. And they produce sugar and.... They ex...don't export that much from the country, rice, [pauses] some hides. There's not much natural resources there either, so there's not much industry or much exploiting of material.
WOODRUFF: Has there been much urban growth?
BUKER: Yes, a lot. Karachi [pauses] is the biggest [pauses] place. When Pakistan was first formed, [paper rustles] Karachi's population was 300,000. Today it's 5 million. Yeah, there's a hugh [paper rustles] urban growth around.
WOODRUFF: How has this affected the common people, as had it changed their life in any way?
BUKER: Very much so. They've come off farms [pauses] hoping to have a [pauses] big deal in the big city. But this has really formed massive slums. And they've taken very menial jobs. At least it was healthy with a lot of fresh air in the country. And they came into the city and live in hovels. Lot of poor people there, in the city.
WOODRUFF: Now I'd like to talk some about inter-religious matters, especially between Protestant and Catholic missions, and just mi...the missions in general.
WOODRUFF: What was the basic relationship between [pauses] all the missionaries in...was there [pauses] mu...any conflict in any way?
BUKER: Among Protestants we had a very cordial relationship. [Squeaking sound] First, because most of the missionaries were quite evangelical in theology, even though they might have come from denominations that were fairly liberal in this country. It was the more conservative ones, evangelical ones, that got over there. So we did divide the country up into comity [pauses] arrangements of various missions, working various areas. So we had very little overlap or competition. And we worked very cordially together compared to many other places. That would be among the Protestant mission societies.
WOODRUFF: And what was your relation to...with the Catholic missions?
BUKER: Well, they were there, and [pauses] there wasn't that much competition. They had their work, we had ours. And [pauses] I was always very difficult [?] at reaching...'cause we're reaching out toward Muslims. And [pauses] some of the Catholics [pauses]...there was some renewal movement among them. The [pauses] present bishop...archbishop of Pakistan, who's become a cardinal, [pauses] he's a Pakistani, quite an able person. And I noticed...that was about two popes ago, gave a list in Time magazine of those being considered and he was one, as a possibility. And...but [pauses] there's not a lot of enmity or competition. We both have a lot of work to do there [pauses] and things. And [pauses] there're...some of the missionaries there were fairly co...[microphone bumped] evangelical. Catholic priest in our own town liked our methods of doing work better that he did their's. So when the archbishop came to town he arranged a party, a tea party, where I could explain to what he called, "His Grace," our methods of missionary work, because he felt they were more...better than their methods. And [pauses] so anyway, it was interesting relationship we had.
WOODRUFF: Can you think of anything else that you'd like to talk about as far as Pakistan and culture in general?
BUKER: I think our major problem, again, was [pauses]...was as far as religious, was working with the Muslims, who were very strong religiously. And the country's constitution and the way they interpret things is through the Muslim religion. And the terrific pressure that is put upon people who come to Christ. That was our major problem and challenge there.
WOODRUFF: Following your departure in 1969, did you every return to Pakistan?
BUKER: Yes, I've been back there [pauses] about three times since then, [pauses] for short periods of time. One was for a month of evangelism back to a Marwari tribe, which [pauses]...we're in a different village every day, and that was a very great challenging time. I took a tour group through Pakistan and India so they could see the work of the Lord. So we touched base that way.
WOODRUFF: Has that been in recent years or...?
BUKER: The last time was about [pauses] four years ago I believe.
WOODRUFF: And that'd be around 1980 or 1979?
BUKER: '79 I think, yes.
WOODRUFF: Okay. [Pauses] After leaving the country, what type of work were you involved in?
BUKER: Well, Karachi we left. I was student representative for the mission society for two years, worked out of Denver, in which I went onto many campuses, ostensibly with the idea of recruiting people for the mission field. But because of the unrest in those days [pauses]...of a lot of unrest on campuses and riots, I actually got involved [pauses] with non-Christians, and with that unrest movement. I thought I was out of it because I'd been away from the country for fifteen years. How could I relate to the student movement and the counterculture movement? But in actuality, I found what we'd gone through was really preparation for what was going on here. First, was the drug culture. I had grown up in the northern part of Burma, which was a drug culture, [pauses] the Golden Triangle [in Burma]. Learned something about that, as well as religious worship relating to drugs and the effects upon people. I saw Eastern religions that had come into this country, in the form of transcendental meditation, Divine Light Mission, the Hari Krishnas, as well as a lot of Eastern thought by those who may not be in an Eastern religion [pauses]: belief in reincarnation and becoming one with the world soul, pantheism nearly. And [pauses] also a lot of the occult had come here, which we've had experience...we've had experience with demon possession, witchcraft, and a lot of occult practices were going on here. So by working through organizations such as Campus Crusade, Campus Ambassadors, Inter-Varsity [Christian Fellowship], Navigators, I would be introduced on secular campuses as a guru, representing the largest Eastern religion in the world, having spent thirty years of his life among Eastern religions. So they would advertise it that way and all these students would come out. [Pauses] I'd give a one hour so-called lecture on the various Eastern religions, and end up: "Why I was a member of the largest one rather than others." And we found this a very profitable time. I think I spoke in [pauses] around...on eighty campuses in two years, [pauses] some numbers of times. And on many of these campuses saw people coming to the Lord. I saw that they were very open once you got on their own wave length. And that was a very challenging time. We'd open up to questions and answers afterward. I just had to trust the Lord for the answers, because no way you could prepare for some of the questions they threw at us. And [pauses]...but God was at work in a real way, and there was a real hunger. That's why people had gone the way they had; they were looking for truth, looking for some answers.
WOODRUFF: What type of questions did these students have?
BUKER: Well, they would throw out...like one guy got up and said that Satan was his god, and who was I to say God was God. "I claim Satan as God. Where's your proof God is God?" Another person got up and said, "Well, you've given your interpretation of the life of Christ, from you...what you call your bible. I want to read to you from my bible," (it was called Urantia) [pauses], "on the death of Christ and its meaning," which is entirely different from ours. He says, "Tell me, why I should accept your de...definition and your explanation in that book, rather than mine which is absolute counter to yours?" Others would say, "Why are you claiming that Jesus Christ is the only way, and these others not. Are all these ways, ways to God? Or what is you proof that yours is the only way?" So there'd be...all kinds of questions like that would come up.
WOODRUFF: Following this work with campus work, what type of work did you go into?
BUKER: Alright. In 1972, I was asked to become the personnel secretary for the Society, so because of that I moved to Wheaton, were our Society is located, and since then I've been that. My job is processing all the applications for both short term and long term, as well as visiting campuses to counsel the students who might be interested in missionary work.
WOODRUFF: How many students, in recent years, have you [pauses] met with that are interested in missions work? Have you seen a growth lately or is there change?
BUKER: Yes, I've been meeting with hundreds of students, you might say. Yes, there's a growth. We had a goal of the appointment (last five years, which ended last year) of 650 missionaries, (new ones), 150 career and a hundred...and 500 short term, by that [meaning] one and two years. So [pauses] by the grace of God we exceeded the goals. We appointed 536 short-termers, for one and two years, and a 163 [pauses] long termers. So we have new five year goals for the future, and we see increasing interest, we feel, among students who are committed to the Lord and sincerely seeking his will for their lives.
WOODRUFF: Getting back to Pakistan now, and the church possibly in the future now. What attitudes [pauses] does the...does the United States have towards the country of Pakistan?
BUKER: Well, because of the [pauses] con...conflicts of the past, but right now it is a good attitude, because of the Afghan refugees and the threat of Russia on the border. Two to three million Afghanis are now in Pakistan. America has given them a lot of aid to help in this, as well as a lot of aid to rearm them, because of the Russian threat...threat. And so there's pretty good relationships. However these can change overnight. Politics is very fickle. Again our missionaries realize that they're there to represent Christ, not our government, even when they think well of our government. "Fine, we're glad you think we are [?], but we still represent Christ. And we aren't representing governments." And we have to get that over, that we're not CIA agents or paid missionary agents, which they feel we are, but we represent Christ and Jesus Christ alone. So that should be the attitude of our missionaries. "We're not here to defend [pauses] one way or the other the policies, but to stick to this other." And as far as missionaries too, they're not there to criticize the government or the religion, but again to present Christ [pauses] as the only way and in all his beauty and greatness and goodness.
WOODRUFF: What is the present attitude of your mission board to the country of Pakistan?
BUKER: Well, we feel it's a very [pauses] open mission field, particularly among the Marwari tribe, that we definitely need more people. It is very hard for an American who is going out in evangelistic work to get a visa there. Medical personnel can. But Canadians don't need visas, so we're praying that God will raise up a lot of Canadians to go over, and God is. Looks like right now, that [pauses] over half of our missionary force are now Canadian, so we praise God for that.
WOODRUFF: What is...what are the attitudes of the native population, especially the Marwaris, right now?
BUKER: They're very friendly to us, very open. They want more missionaries. And [pauses]...but the forces are very few. But there's tremendous opportunity [pauses] among them.
WOODRUFF: What are you expectations for the national Christians in Pakistan right now?
BUKER: Well, as far as [pauses] defining a national, I'm distinguishing the Marwaris from the others. Most of the others are what we call Punjabis, that came out of nominal Christian background. A lot of pressure in recent years has been put on them by the Muslim government. That's because of Saudi Arabia, by the way. Saudi Arabia uses oil profits to promote Islam missionary projects around the world. We ought to remember every gallon of gas we buy, we're contributing to Muslim missionary efforts, whether we like to or not. And they've given huge contributions of money to Pakistan, but in the process, have had strings attached: that Pakistan get its act in order, that it limit missionary activity, that it enforce strict Islamic laws. And so because of this...and we...(they have a very strict Muslim president now [General Mohammed Zia ul-Haq]) [bumps table], they've clamped down a lot and made it very difficult for Christians, by nationalizing the schools, the hospital, by limiting American missionaries who can come in, about putting a lot of pressure on the Christians, making it difficult for them to get good jobs. And so the time now is that they go deeper into the Lord and completely trust in him, and not us foreigners from abroad.
WOODRUFF: What are your expectations for the country of Pakistan?
BUKER: Economically? [Pauses] I think if Christ could get hold of them there'd be lots expectations [pauses] because a lot of their poverty goes right back to their religion, which encourages not telling the truth. According to their tradition (I quote), "Invariably, a lie is allowable in three cases: [pauses] in war, to save the life of a friend, and to women." And they interpret this so broadly that you don't have to tell the truth, hardly for anything. Bribery is very deep. There's no dignity of labor. And these are some basic things that Christ can change, their outlook on life. And [pauses] if they change it this way there is a real future, but [pauses] the way it is now they'll have to change some basic outlooks on life if they are going to succeed economically. Our government is trying, others are trying. They've introduced a new type of rice, which has much better yield. They grow wheat. But corruption continues to keep them back as well as population increase. So [pauses, claps hands together] it's not going to be easy [pauses] for them to get ahead economically.
WOODRUFF: What would you say, perhaps, were some of the most thrilling things that have happened to you as a missionary?
BUKER: I think one of the most thrilling...the thrilling was seeing the opening of the work to the Marwari tribe. Where we'd been working so hard with the Muslims and getting so few results, then at the end of ten years, when we didn't even know the tribe existed, suddenly [pauses] the Lord, bringing these people to us, seeing their friendliness, hunger for the Gospel, and openness, and seeing people come to Christ.
WOODRUFF: If you were to talk to a...a future missionary now, what perha...are the three most important things for a missionary to know?
BUKER: First, there's the sovereignty of God. [Bumps table] God is Lord. He is the Lord of the harvest. We are to be faithful in our work. We are commanded to go into all the world, not just the easy fields were people are coming to the Lord. We're supposed to sow the seed in all the soils. The four...seed [pauses] the sower sowed the seed in four soils, only one produced permanent fruit [Matthew 13:1-23, also Mark and Luke]. And so [pauses] to a country that is success oriented, that is America, and looking to numbers, you see, you look to Christ. God is sovereign, and when you go over you are faithful in distributing the Word, in prayer, on the wavelength of the people. And let's remember that God gives the increase. So we remember the sovereignty of God [background noise], particularly that we're to be faithful in ministry, [pauses] third, that we're to learn something about what it means to die to ourselves. We're told that except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and dies, it abides alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit [John 12:24]. Of course, we're referring to spiritual death, and you learn this in a deeper way when you're put in difficult situations. And we weren't...when we really learn to die to ourselves and let Christ live through us, that means our own aims mean nothing, our money, our families. We've all given them to the Lord, laid them at the foot of the cross. We say, "Lord, take over." And in this there is real freedom, because we've been delivered from the slavery of ourselves. And this is an important message for a missionary to learn in a very practical way before going over [pauses] there. And also, concerning the missionary call, I think they need to get that straight. We do, all of us, when in a sense the call is universal. That when we are saved, we join the army of the Lord. We did belong to the army of Satan. So if we're not draft dodgers, this is universal. It's a world war we're in. And we tell the Lord, "Lord, here am I. I'm available. What part of the front lines do you want me to work in?" We don't say, "Lord, if you call me, what part [of the world do you want me] to work in?" It's not a call, it's a draft. And we commit ourselves to the commander and...and chief, and say, "Here I am. You show me where to go in this worldwide battle with satanic forces."
WOODRUFF: What goals do you see for mission work presently?
BUKER: Well, we are there to work with the nationals as brothers. We do not work under them, as some people say. Neither do they work under us. That doesn't work. But we work together as brothers, to reach their people for Christ, on their cultural level in terms that they understand. And, of course, there's still many unreached areas of the world peoples. Our present goal as a mission is to identify the so-called "hidden people" that might be in our midst, and to take steps [pauses] to reach these people, not just with numbers of missionaries, but knowledgeable people who know how to reap the harvest, [pauses] 'cause you reaped harvests in different ways. Corn is reaped in one way, wheat in another. And we need trained reapers. We are international harvesters. Sometimes people ask me what...what I am on the plane. I tell them I work...I'm an international harvester. And they say, "That company's going...that company's going broke." So I explain to them [pauses, Woodruff laughs] that this is the largest business in the world, and that's why we're here. Well, the harvester must know how to reap the harvest. He has to go out there and reap it (it doesn't reap itself) [pauses] and bring it in. And so this is what we're [pauses] doing.
WOODRUFF: What goals do you have for yourself in the future, in mission work or [pauses] in Christian work in general?
BUKER: Well, for [pauses] personnel goals, as far as numbers are concerned in the next five years, we're praying that God will raise up a hundred and seventy-five carrier missionaries and send them out, plus five hundred one and two year ones. We're also praying for quality. We're not just interested in just anybody, that these people be prepared, because we're living in a very challenging world. There're challenging philosophies and tremendous stress and strains [pauses] of unrest in many areas, that these peo...people that are completely dedicated to the Lord. And when I've [pauses] looked for others, I look also personally for my own life, that day by day we might realize more the sovereignty of God and commitment to Him, that He might be in full control each day. I like Campus Crusade [for Christ] principles on how to be filled with the Spirit. In my heart there is only one throne, and two people want to sit on it: Christ and myself. And I have to make the basic decision each day to give [pauses] the Lord permission to be king rather than myself, which is a growth process.
WOODRUFF: Well, I'd like to thank you very much for taking your time to do this interview.
BUKER: It's been my privilege and thank you for the opportunity of sharing with you.
END OF TAPE