10 July 2020

Ameen Masih was burnt to death by angry Muslims in Sialkot, Pakistan, in April 2017. Ameen, a Christian, had bought some electronic equipment by instalments. As a hosiery worker, he had only a small salary, and one month he was unable to pay the instalment that was due. The Muslim shopkeepers came to Ameen’s home, beat him with cricket bats and locked him in his own house. That night the house burnt down, with Ameen inside it.

Rakhal’s husband, Ameen, was burnt to death in 2017 by Muslim shopkeepers

Ameen’s wife Rakhal and their three children had taken refuge in Rakhal’s brother’s house before the angry shopkeepers arrived. So they survived, although deeply traumatised. Like so many Pakistani Christians, Rakhal’s wages were very low and she could not support the children without Ameen’s earnings. She took a loan but could not pay it back. Terrified, Rakhal and the children remembered what had happened to Ameen when he could not pay the money he owed. Barnabas Fund stepped in to pay off her loan and give her a monthly food package. “I never thought that God would help me through His people,” said Rakhal, who prays constantly for Barnabas Fund. Even during Covid lockdown, when the factory she works at was closed, she was always able to feed her children, without stress or worry.

Widow Rakhal cannot earn enough on her own to support her children. But monthly food aid from Barnabas makes all the difference

“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matthew 25:35)

Shazia is another Pakistani Christian widow, bereaved by anti-Christian violence in a different way. In 2016 her 12-year-old daughter Monica was kidnapped by a Muslim, forcibly converted to Islam and forcibly married to her kidnapper as his second wife. When the case came to court, the judge ruled in favour of the kidnapper. Monica’s father Alfred was so shocked that soon afterwards he suffered a fatal heart attack. Shazia works as a maid in the home of a rich Muslim family, but cannot earn enough to support her children.  She was in despair, until Barnabas Fund began providing monthly food and groceries. This has saved Shazia from the awful prospect of begging in order to feed her children.

Shazia and her children stand under the photo of her late husband Alfred

And another wonderful encouragement: Monica’s husband returned Monica to her mother’s home in 2018.

“I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:43)

At the age of 60, Nawab Bibi does not have the strength to earn her living. She has no children and her husband Zafar has been in prison for the last eight years, falsely accused under Pakistan’s notorious “blasphemy law”. Nawab lives on her own in rented accommodation and depends on Barnabas Fund’s food parcels and financial help from a Pakistani Christian legal organisation supported by Barnabas.

With only herself to feed at home, Nawab takes some of the food to jail for Zafar. She prays constantly for her husband’s release, her hopes raised every time a date is set for his appeal hearing and then dashed when the hearing is adjourned and he remains behind bars. His appeal has been adjourned more than 20 times.

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Faithful Christian families, poor or persecuted, have a terrible struggle to survive in Pakistan.

But a monthly package of food and hygiene products can transform their lives. A typical Barnabas food parcel includes flour, rice, lentils, cooking oil, tea, sugar, salt, soap and washing powder.

What a privilege and joy to bring such blessing to our brothers and sisters. Thank you for your donations that make it possible.

What’s more, you are helping the Lord Jesus Himself. (Matthew 25:40)

The typical cost of a monthly food parcel is just £20.

Please give today.

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