The violent incidents last August against Christian churches and the homes of many Christian families in the city of Jaranwala (Pakistan), have not left anyone indifferent. A serious risk situation for our brothers and sisters in Christ there, who were able to flee and there were no human losses to be regretted, remaining under military protection. After what happened, great disturbance and pain has accompanied these families, although the people of God understand that He “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear (…)» (Psalms 46:1-2 KJV).
Churches and homes looted and burned. Crosses, bibles, personal objects and furniture in ashes. It is in this context that our MECES Pakistan delegation, serving in the country for more than six years through local collaborators, has immediately made an urgent call for help for Christians in Jaranwala, receiving as first news the need for food and water, although our collaborators informed us shortly afterwards that the government of Pakistan had made vouchers or checks available to the affected families in the amount of 2,000,000 rupees, which is equivalent to just over €6,000, according to the currency exchange rate at the time of writing of this article, and this for the rehabilitation of their homes.
Despite this, the need remains very broad for Christian families in the area, since there are many poor families and this help is not enough to cover all the needs and repair the damage, in addition to the fact that this help only reaches about 100 families, there being many more Christians in the area who need support in this time of difficulty and great persecution. Likewise, churches are taking stock of the damage they have suffered and need a lot of financial help right now.
This is how, through some donations received at MECES for this purpose, brand new changes of clothes have been purchased and given to more than a hundred Christians in the city of Jaranwala. This is the daily clothing worn by both men and women there, called “shalwar kameez”. This important need has been seen initially, especially during this rainy season.
But not everything ends here, because we are entering a time when it is necessary for the ministry to continue sowing, not only and as in the last six years in the Punjab region in Pakistan, but also at this time specifically in Jaranwala. In this regard, I want to refer to the following biblical passage: “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days” (Ephesians 5:16 NLT). I also like how the New Century Version expresses it: “Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times”. And yes, dear brothers, we are facing a great opportunity that God gives us to bless the Christian community in Jaranwala.
It is a Divine occasion that we cannot waste. When the wind blows, I mean the direction of the Holy Spirit towards a place, we have to obey and let ourselves be carried towards that goal. And at this time the wind of the Spirit is blowing towards Pakistan, and towards the Christian community in Jaranwala, awakening compassion in His people around the world to bless and strengthen God’s work in this region.
You can be part of it, and if God tells you to help, do so, above all for the good of our brothers in Pakistan, but also taking into account that “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself» (Proverbs 11:24-25 KJV).
Finally and in any case, we can pray according to the following:
1.- Prayer for economic provision for Christians in Jaranwala; we pray that the wound in their hearts may be healed, they forgive, and they are strengthened and freed from all anguish and fear.
2.- Prayer so that this situation of violence and persecution does not spread to other areas of the country, and the «fire», the «anger» is put out.
3.- Prayer for the pastors and each Christian family in Jaranwala, that a revival may reach the region.
4.- Prayer for peace in Pakistan. Respect for religious minorities in the country.
We are very grateful that you are part of this mission with us, and we give glory to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.