When Renee Debias, a member of St. Benedict Parish of Johnstown, learned about Imran’s ministry for the Christian children in Pakistan, making a difference became her goal. Gathering a group of Christian women together, Renee shared the children’s story and without hesitation the group quickly began to work on a project to not only make a difference in the lives of the children, but to also share the love of God with them.
With no resources available for a school, the children must attend classes on the roof of a building. Because early mornings are often chilly Renee and her group decided that they would make blankets so the children could be warm on their rooftop classroom.
Imran unpacking the homemade blankets for the children.
The team also provided needed school basics such as notebooks, pencils, crayons, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils and included rosaries in the shipment. The children’s school day is filled with daily lessons that along with primary study, includes religious education. Huddled on their “rooftop” classroom, the children sing songs about Jesus and learn their prayers.
Imran distributing the new school supplies to happy students!
There are only four Christian families left in Imran’s village and there is no church in the village. Worship services must be conducted in the home.
Persecution of Christians in Pakistan is rampant. Imran works hard to provide for the needs of the children, but life is tremendously difficult for Pakistani Christians. Most jobs are awarded based on “who knows who” rather than academic credit, skills, or experience. Networking and word-of-mouth references are an essential part of the job search. Anyone with professional connections is encouraged to make use of them.
Christians are excluded from the better quality and better paying jobs. According to an article in the New York Times in May 2020, Christians in Pakistan find themselves marginalized and relegated to “dirty jobs and grim fates.” Usually, the majority of Christians work cleaning out the sewers, which involves using their bare hands to unclog crumbling drainpipes, plastic bags, and hazardous hospital refuse. They fill about 80% of those jobs.
According to Salary Expert powered by ERI (The Economic Research Institute), the work is backbreaking and dangerous. The workers are paid about $1.20 US dollars per hour or $2,900 US dollars per year.
The complete article can be found at: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/05/04/world/asia/pakistan-christians-sweepers.amp.html.
Pakistan is currently in the middle of its third wave of the COVID 19 pandemic, and it shows no signs of abating. There are no vaccines for the villages, and food is now getting very scarce. The goals for our mission are to assist in any way we can to provide the necessary school supplies, raise funds to establish a proper school building and provide for basic food staples as best as we can.
Below is a link on Pakistan’s COVID 19 pandemic:
The United States Commission on International Rights and Freedom released their 2021 report on April 21, 2021, making their official recommendations to the Department of State on which countries should be labeled as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) and should be added to the Special Watch List. Once again, Pakistan was recommended for CPC status. The organization “For the Martyrs” lists Pakistan as #1 on the list of countries where Christians face the most violence.
From their rooftop classroom the children say “Thank You”!
If you would like to make a difference in the lives of these children, please contact Deacon Michael at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or at (814) 288-3036. A GoFundMe page has been established by Deacon Michael for this worthy cause. To visit the page please use the link below: