PLEASE BRING HOPE TO FAMILIES DEVASTATED BY THE FLOODS IN PAKISTAN
People need food, clean water, and shelter this Christmas
Maryam adjusts the shawl around the shoulders of her toddler. Is he warm enough? The evening is drawing in, and the temperature is dropping in their makeshift tent just outside Peshawar. Her two older children have yet to return from the brick kiln, where they work along with her husband and father-in-law. Maryam watches for them as she hastily makes dahl in a small pot over an open fire.
Maryam wishes she could be back home. In their tiny house, hanging a simple star over the doorway always heralded the start of Christmas. But Christmas will be bleak this year for Maryam. “I am very concerned, as winter has started but we don’t have winter clothes,” she says. “I used to buy new clothes for the family every Christmas – it’s traditional to wear new clothes to Christmas mass. I also used to buy dried fruits and even a small Christmas cake. But am not sure about anything this Christmas.”
Everything was washed away when the Kabul River burst its banks. Maryam and her family do not have the money to replace the clothes and bedding lost in the floods, let alone to make the repairs to their house or buy Christmas cake.
“It is very painful, but I cannot change it. However, I trust in my Lord Jesus Christ, and miracles do happen.”
Maryam and her family are trapped in bonded labour. A practice of money-lending at extortionate interest. Denounced as modern-day slavery by the United Nations, it nevertheless goes on unchallenged in much of Pakistan.
Although the family have spent five years working to pay off an original debt of Rs 45000, equivalent to just £185, the amount they owe rarely goes down, and often goes up.
CAN YOU HELP?
Every year, you – our generous supporters – give to us, so that we can help Maryam and countless others like her.
Thanks to your generosity, we are able to give warm clothes and provisions to those in need, working as bonded labourers in one of the region’s 450 brick kilns.
Never has a gift like this been more needed, as families seek to rebuild their lives after this year’s devastating floods. Last year we supported 450 families – this year, with your help, we hope to support many more.
- £30 will give a family like Maryam’s a Christmas parcel containing items such as, a bag of flour, cooking oil, rice, lentils, teabags, sugar, dry milk and spices.
- £60 will provide a family with a Christmas parcel containing items such as warm clothes, flour, cooking oil, rice, lentils, teabags, sugar, dry milk and spices.
- £250 will give them, or a family like them, an emergency grant to rebuild their home.
Please give £30, or whatever you can afford, to help families like Maryam’s know the goodness and grace of God this Christmas.
2022 has been another tough year for Christians in Pakistan. Just as they were emerging from the shadow of the pandemic, they were hit by floods of biblical proportions.
Alongside working to bring relief, CLAAS has continued to represent Christians persecuted under Pakistan’s discriminatory laws, support Christians fleeing their homes due to violence, and to work for the return of kidnapped Christian young girls and women. By the grace of God, we rejoiced to see two such women reunited with their families this year.
I remain touched by the way you, our supporters, have stood resolutely with the persecuted Christians in Pakistan. It is only through your ongoing prayers and financial support that we can continue this important work.
Director of CLAAS-UK.