There are many men in Pakistan who feel called of God to work in small churches in impoverished areas. They are paid week-by-week with whatever comes in the offering that day - usually not very much.
Then there can be complications. Like pregnancy. The man above pastors a fledging congregation and now his wife is pregnant and medical costs will need to be covered. Add to that the COVID-19 quarantine which has not allowed churches to meet for several months (now that restriction has been lifted), so income was non-existent during that time.
And then there is the pastor pictured above with Shakeel who was very ill and spent an entire month in the hospital. He is still having health problems, but we are hopeful he will be back with his congregation soon so he can serve as God has called him and, at the same time, some income will be coming to him and his family.
In addition to the pastors pictured above, Manzoor and his team were able to help eight pastors in Islamabad and Rawalpindi who lik...
Life among the minority religions in Pakistan is difficult all the time. Jobs are scarce and low-paying. Good education is a dream, not often a reality. And families often face troublesome health issues. That is the basic day-to-day living for many people in this often-distressed country. And, for women, these problems are sometimes compounded.
Today we want to tell you about two beautiful Pakistani women who face great challenges:
The first is a widow - not an unusual circumstance in a country with a life expectancy of only about 67 years. Her husband died young, though, leaving her with four children to care for. Without an education, she is classified as a domestic worker, helping out in homes of those better off so she can make enough money to feed her children. With COVID-19 on the scene, householders are hesitant to have others in their homes, so the work has been non-existent. With the help of RTN and Manzoor's Islamabad team, she has food for her family for the next few weeks. Ma...
This family in Hyderabad has been living in poverty for some time now and were hopeful their children could have a better life by getting an education. But they were not able to pay the school fees, so the children you see here have not been going to school for the past year. Additionally, they got behind in their rent. and they had run up a bill at the grocery store.
The scenario was bad, but got worse when the COVID-19 shutdown came, and their meager earnings were cut off. Shakeel had heard about their problems, and had decided to include them in the Reach the Nations food distribution.
When he arrived, he listened as they told him of the father in this family going to the grocery store the day before to plead for food because his wife and children were hungry. The shop owner refused to extend more credit because they had not been able to pay previous bills. The father came home and shared the sad news with his family.
The next day Shakeel arrived unexpectedly at their door with en...
Reach the Nations ministers in Pakistan specifically to Hindus and Christians. But, as job losses related to COVID-19 continue, both Hindus and Christians are finding that their Muslim neighbors are suffering, too. In our May food deliveries, we were able to reach out to some of those families with food supplies to help them through these hungry times.
One Muslim neighbor works as a gardener, but work is scarce with the recent COVID-19 lockdown. In addition to income problems, this man's son has been suffering with cancer. So the pressures have been mounting for this family, and Manzoor and his team were able to reach out with provisions for the next several weeks. As they gave the gift of food, they also gave this man a message, "We have brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying for you and your family. They are not only praying, but are showing their love practically through this food package."
As we deliver food to many families in Pakistan, we pray that physical hunger will be s...
Three of the men in this picture make a living by working as Hawkers in the market. They used their small savings to buy fruit and then went to the market to call out to people asking them to buy from them. They were able to help support their families this way, but because of the COVID-19 lockdown in Pakistan, their work was stopped.
Mehboob and his team visited with these men and were able to provide them with food that will get them through the next month. They are so thankful for the help, but asked for prayers that they will be able to restart their work as hawkers soon.
We are grateful that markets are beginning to reopen in Pakistan, but there still is much need. Please pray for the Reach the Nations team as they minister to those who are suffering in these days.
"Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor."
Shakeel is shown here with an elderly couple from Hyderabad. The woman was earning money by cleaning houses for those who are more prosperous. She has lost her cleaning jobs, though, because of fear of the Corona Virus. Her husband is in frail condition, but he gets up early every day and searches through garbage to find plastic bottles to redeem at the local shops. But with temperatures often reaching 100 degrees this time of year, even that work has been harder to do.
When Shakeel heard of their problems, he included them in a delivery of food from Reach the Nations, and he visited with them about their needs and about God's loving care for them. The woman acknowledged that they had no food in the house and wondered how they would be able to eat that day.
Keep praying for the people of Pakistan in this time of distress!
"Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’" - Deuteronomy 15:11b
The man shown with Mehboob above is living in day-to-day desperation. He was working as a day labourer in houses of well-to-do people, often as a maid. But, during the time of the COVID-19 shut down, there is no work for him.
He had two sons to help with the family income, but the elder son became paralyzed and then died. His second son was working as a day-laborer, and he lost his hand while performing his work. The family has seen much grief and experienced much pain.
The visit by Mehboob and his team was a surprise for Muhammad Asghar, and he was very happy and thankful for this food package they provided. The food is essential to his survival during this time, and we should not underestimate the impact of someone noticing his dire situation and reaching out to help. Thank you, Reach the Nations team, for caring for this man.
Pray that Mehboob and Muhammad will be able to continue conversations about truths that matter well beyond this present life.
Once again, St. Thomas Church in Islamabad was the center for distribution of food packages to families in need. The recipients had been pre-selected by Manzoor Masih and Rashid Manzoor (shown on the left below) and, in all, 52 families were served.
As the sign below shows, it was made clear that all the food was donated by and distributed by Christians, and local pastors prayed with the Reach the Nations team as they ministered in this very tangible way to people experiencing hunger due to COVID-19 work loss.
Everyone entering the area around the church was required by local law-enforcement to walk through this disinfecting tunnel. Face masks were provided as well to prevent the spread of disease.
A few more photos below will tell more of the story of this food distribution:
Please continue to pray for these efforts to alleviate pain and suffering during this difficult time in Pakistan so that all will be done to the glory of God, needs will be met, and many will come to realize the tende...