Barnabas frees another 100 Pakistani Christian families from debt and bonded labour

26 April 2023

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Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Barnabas Aid has freed another 100 Christian families from the yoke of debt and bonded labour in Pakistan’s brick kilns.

It brings to 1,575 the total number of impoverished brick-kiln families whose lives have been transformed since Barnabas first stepped in to help in 2017.

Pakistani brick-kiln workers are low paid and families live at survival level. If someone falls sick, or another family crisis occurs, they have to take a loan from their employer, the brick-kiln owner.

Sardar Masih, his wife Shakeela Bibi and their three children are now tension-free and happy  

These debts keep the families bonded to their brick kiln, with money deducted from their meagre wages to pay the interest. It is virtually impossible for them to pay off their debts, and families feel trapped, almost like slaves.

Sardar Masih, 37, and his wife Shakeela Bibi, 36, prayed for a miracle to release them from a total debt of £435 ($540, €491). This accrued after they took out loans when their first child was born, and when Sardar needed urgent and expensive medical treatment.

The worry of how to meet his family’s needs on his reduced wages left Sardar feeling anxious. Thanks to the donations of Barnabas supporters he is now “tension-free and happy with my family”.

“I am very thankful for this huge blessing,” adds Sardar.

Yaqoob with his wife Haleema and their son and daughters

Yaqoob Masih had to take out a loan after bad weather caused the ceiling to fall in at the one-room home where he lives with his wife Haleema and their three children.

He struggled as repayments for the money he needed for repairs were deducted from his weekly wages, and worried as the interest on the loan “increased every passing day”.

Now Barnabas has paid his accrued debt of £436 ($541; €493), Yaqoob can buy healthier food for his family, save some money from his wages – and build another room on their house.

His daughters have been able to start school again as Yaqoob can afford their school fees. His son was already receiving a free and good quality education at a school established and supported by Barnabas.

“I and my family saw God’s glory through Barnabas Aid,” declares Yaqoob. “God helped me through Barnabas, and I am very thankful and blessed for that.”

Give thanks to God that the generous donations of Barnabas supporters have freed so many Christian families from bonded labour, and pray that we can continue to release many more. Pray the newly freed families will grow in faith as they rejoice in the Lord’s provision.

Project reference: 41-1356 (Freeing bonded Pakistani brick-kiln workers)

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