Shakeel and his Reach the Nations team delivered food to the village of Mirpurkhas last week. Here are a few pictures to tell the story. First they made all the purchases in a nearby town, they carried it to Mirpurkhas in a rented truck:
Again, we see women with their faces covered. Shakeel tells us this is because of their Hindu background and, sometimes, the requirement of their husbands. Those with husbands who are more understanding are allowed to be in public with their faces uncovered. Shakeel comments that the lack of face coverings makes it easier to communicate with the women when he tries to minister to them with the Word of God and in prayer.
The people of Mirpurkhas have suffered with the government shut down of many businesses and jobs because of COVID-19. Without work, they cannot purchase food. We have provided for another month for many families in this village and they are grateful. Thanks to all who are supporting this work!
In April, Reach the Nations was able to feed 102 families in Islamabad, Punjab, and Sindh. In May, we expanded our list to 155 families so we could include additional Christian families in need, and also to reach out to non-Christian families who also are struggling to find food in this time of job loss.
So far, we have few pictures to show you of this outreach, as the Hindu and Muslim recipients of our gifts were reluctant to have their pictures taken. But the sacks of food were gratefully received and, we pray, will reflect to them that someone cares.
When the needs are great, the opportunities also are great to share the love of Christ and the generosity of God.
Please pray with us that these outreaches will result in questions, conversations, and relationships that may have eternal consequences.
"For you (God) have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress." - Isaiah 25:4
One of the villages Shakeel and Rustam have been ministering in regularly is Shah G Machine. Of the 24 families in the village, 12 attend the services that Shakeel and Rustam hold, so they took 12 packages of food for those families. One of those families is pictured above.
The rest of the story: The 12 families who received food have agreed together that they will share the rice, beans, lentils, flour, oil, tea, and soap they received so the entire village will be helped. All will be fed, though to a limited degree. Pray with us that God will perform a loaves and fishes miracle and there will be enough for all!
" . . . for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord . . . " - 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
While Mehboob and his team have been busy delivering food in Punjab (northern part of Pakistan), Shakeel, Rustam, and volunteers have been doing the same in Sindh (to the south and west in Pakistan).
In the picture above, Shakeel is talking to people in the area of Kumb who have come for food packages that will feed their families in the coming weeks. The purpose of meeting was two-fold: First, to give thanks to God for His provision and second, to acknowledge that physical food is important for today, but spiritual food, gained through the Word of God, is eternal.
Rustam (on the left) is shown with one family for whom food was provided. Many Pakistani women, especially of Muslim or Hindu backgrounds, cover themselves completely when photographs are taken. She's not hiding, just being appropriate in her culture.
These men are taking the groceries home to their families. Pray that soon the people in Kumb, Khairpur, and other villages in Sindh will be able to be back at their jobs and supp...
Last month we told you of the Reach the Nations team arriving at a village near Sialkot only to find a young woman lying weakly in bed having been diagnosed as malnourished. The advice was to get her to a hospital or she would die. The hospital is far away, she was weak, and there was no transportation, so that seemed like an impossible request.
But, as hope was being lost, Mehboob, Adnan, and Irfan came with bags of food - enough to feed this girl and her family for a month. Hope was restored as she began to take in sustenance. This picture above is of the same girl taken upon the RTN team's return visit in May. She is up, dressed, and able to move around freely, though she is still quite weak. Here our men pray for full restoration of her health.
Other children are suffering, too, from lack of food. The family shown above asked for prayers for their young ones who are beginning to show weakness and other signs of malnutrition.
The RTN team in Punjab delivered food this month...
Do you see the smiles? Mehboob, Irfan, and Adnan delivered food this week to a family in Punjab who has lost its source of day-to-day income because of the lock-down related to COVID-19. Their immediate needs are being met by this unexpected delivery - enough food to feed their family for an entire month.
Do you see the tears? Mehboob tells us that this woman was so overwhelmed with the gift of food that she wept as she gave thanks to God and to Reach the Nations for providing for her family in this time of need.
God is at work in this land, where the needs are always great, but especially so in this time of quarantine, which has become a life or death crisis for many families.
We are grateful to learn that businesses are beginning to open again in Pakistan and we are hopeful that very soon many of the people we are helping will be able to return to their jobs by which they can provide for their families. Please pray for them as they await opportunities for employment.
Please pray for the Reach the Nations team in Pakistan as they prepare now to begin to distribute food to areas of ministry next week. Mehboob and his team (including Adnan and Irfan) will be serving 50 families in Punjab - a second delivery to the 30 families for whom we provided food last month plus an additional 20 families. About 10 of these families are not Christian, but are those to whom Mehboob and his team want to show the love of Christ.
Manzoor, Rashid and their team will be distributing food from a centrally located church in the Islamabad area. One month's food supply will be provided to 40 families who are in need of help because of job loss during the COVID-19 shutdown. Many of those participating in the distribution are pastors from the United Christian Fellowship in Pakistan and we are thankful for their help during this time.
Shakeel and Rustam will be distributing food to some in dire need in Hyderabad including a few pastors who have no income because their small cong...
This man was concerned for his family. He had no work and they had no food. The Reach the Nations team delivered a full month's supply of basic groceries and he was so grateful. You may not be able to understand all his words, but this is his enthusiastic thank you.
If you gave toward this cause or if you you have been upholding the Reach the Nations team in prayer, this thank you is for you. And we all join him, as you see at the end of the video, in giving glory to God.