Faizaan was thrown out of school when his parents could not pay the fees. Distressed and longing to study, “I prayed to God that He shows me the right direction and helps me out of it,” explains Faizaan. His prayers were answered when he heard about a Barnabas-funded Christian school where he could study almost free of charge. “Thank you, God, for your love,” says Faizaan as he finishes his testimony.
Faizaan is one of more than 11,000 poor Christian children attending Christian schools in Pakistan supported by Barnabas Aid. With Barnabas’ contribution to the running costs, the schools can charge minimal fees, affordable by their parents, who work in low-paid jobs such as labouring, domestic service, or brick kilns.
The free schools provided by the Pakistani government are usually very tough for Christian children, who feel hated, despised and discriminated against. Christian pupils are made to feel so inferior and the pressures are so great that some drop out of education altogether, unless their parents can afford private schools.
Local schools, caring atmosphere
Other Christian children could not previously go to school at all because their nearest school was far away. The daily journey would be not only an extra expense for a poor family but also a danger, especially for the girls.
But many of the schools supported by Barnabas have been set up especially for the poorest Christian communities, right on their doorsteps. This includes 35 schools for communities of Christian brick-kiln workers.
At the schools supported by Barnabas the atmosphere is caring, respectful and Christian. The children love their teachers, always praising their kindness and dedication.
Growing in Christ
Many pupils, teachers and parents express their happiness that the children are taught more than their lessons – they are also taught their Christian faith. “In school we learn psalms and hymns and we also teach them to our parents,” says Misbah. “My father feels blessed when he hears Bible stories. He is happy for all of us.” Misbah’s father works as a hotel cleaner and her mother as a housemaid but their wages are low and the family often faces financial difficulties. “As a family we always pray to God Almighty for help,” says Misbah.
Hope for the future
The Christian schools not only give hope to individual children. They also give hope for Christian families and for the whole Church in Pakistan.
Your gift will strengthen the Church in the future, as a generation of youngsters grows up well educated and strong in the Lord.
Currently Barnabas assists 120 Christian schools in Pakistan, some big, some small. Another 12 schools will be added to the programme in August, God willing. Please give today.
£9 ($12.00; €10.50) is a typical* cost to support a Pakistani Christian child in school for a month (*cost varies with region, age of children and other factors)
£25 ($31; €28) could cover a typical teacher’s monthly salary in a simple school in a brick-kiln area
£55 ($68; €61) could provide books, exercise books, slates, pencils and other stationery for 20 children for one year in a brick-kiln school
We also have a sponsorship programme. You can become a Living Streams sponsor through a regular monthly gift of any size. Click here for more details.