Earlier this year, Bibles Plus packs were distributed to Christians in Pakistan.
Christians in Pakistan are often extremely poor daily wage earners. Due to systemic discrimination, many are illiterate, and most are employed in menial jobs. They earn little money and most have no savings.
Our distribution partner in Pakistan reported that:
Due to COVID-19, the country was in lockdown and Pakistani Christians were among those who suffered the most.
Lahore and neighbouring towns were at the centre of the pandemic and we were greatly concerned for our brothers and sisters there. We are grateful that because of your support, we have been able to help them during an extremely difficult time.
Pakistan is a poor country and it was not possible for the government to supply food to all its daily wage workers. The food parcels that were made available, were mostly distributed by Muslim organisations. Unfortunately, Christians and other religious minorities were often excluded or pushed to the back of the queue.
The Bibles Plus packs, funded by VOM Australia allowed us to support many families who were on the brink of hunger. We met several families who had not had proper food for several days. We have been able to reach many of our brothers and sisters living in slum areas and provide them with food, medicine and protective supplies. We were able to do this with the help of churches serving the poorest communities.
Apart from Lahore and neighbouring Kasur, we distrusted Bibles Plus packs in the rural vicinity of Faisalabad. While the pandemic was not as bad as in Lahore, poor Christians were suffering because there was no work for them.
The Bible Plus project blessed many families, such as those below.
Sumera who is living in a remote village of Faisalabad is strong in her faith. She is the only literate one in her family which consists of ten adults and 13 young children. The family works as tenants in the fields of landlords.
She was extremely happy to receive the Bible. When asked to read a passage from the Bible she willingly turned to the parable of the ten virgins.
For her, this parable means to be always ready to accompany the Lord Jesus for He can come anytime to take us. The family listened carefully when she read, they all witnessed and found peace, joy and hope while listening to God’s Word.
Their faith gives them hope. They are poor in a material sense but rich in faith. Living among Muslims, the family are witnesses for Jesus.
Sumera said that she prays daily and that the Lord revealed a miracle in her life when she was healed, after losing a child, and blessed with additional children. She is very much empowered, confident, hopeful and proud to be a Christian.
The family face hatred and discrimination because they are Christian.
Another young woman, Shazia, who lives Faisalabad is the only one in her family who can read the Bible. She lives with her husband and children in a large joint family of in-laws. The whole family was very happy and grateful for the food package and new Bible. Shazia’s family is poor as her husband is illiterate and works for the Municipal Corporation as a sanitation worker
During the lockdown, while churches were closed they dedicated one room of their house for worship. They had daily morning prayers and Bible reading. Every Sunday the whole family gathered for Sunday Worship. Young children recited verses and Psalms by heart. Shazia and her sisters-in-law say the Lord has blessed them with the gift of children and their every need is fulfilled. They look to the Bible for guidance and direction. “The Word of God leads us towards the right path and we are protected from evil,” said Shazia. She loves the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. Jesus became the guest of his and said, “This day is salvation come to this house….” Shazia proclaims that, “Jesus Christ is their Lord and Saviour and the Bible makes us better at life.”
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