Published: 15:35 GMT Daylight Time - Wednesday 01 September 2010
Christian flood victims in Pakistan tell their story
Project(s): 00-634, 41-919
“I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23: 4
Barnabas Aid’s regional co-ordinator for South Asia, Wilson Saraj, is visiting Christian families in the areas worst-affected by the flooding. Below are the inspirational testimonies of some of the thousands who have lost everything.
Younas Masih (59) of Tarnab near Peshawar toiled for around 25 years to construct his own house. It stood just 20 feet from the river bank and collapsed under the strain of the gushing floodwaters. The only wall that remains standing displays a Christian picture.
Younas said he has never seen a catastrophe of this magnitude and, at his age, can hardly imagine rebuilding and re-furnishing his home. His monthly income merely covers basic household expenses.
And yet, when asked how he feels about his plight, Younas said:
“God gave this to me and He took it from me, I do not blame God. God took away everything from Job but later He blessed him as well. I trust God will bless me again.”
Marry Daniels (23) and her family of Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province lost their home and belongings in the floods – but have not lost their faith in the God who watches over His people.
She described the moment the waters hit:
“I was in my home with my mother and cousins when the flood water started to enter our house. Initially we moved our belongings to higher ground but the water was sharply rising and we got worried and started crying. My cousins had already left the house, I told my mum “let’s leave”; I was crying and the water level reached more than four feet. My mother and I left the house and all the time I was telling my mother, “we will drown, we are going to die.”
“ But my mother recited Psalm 23 for me and held me close to her. I thank my mum for her strong faith that encouraged me to walk along with her in deep dirty water. I thank God for keeping my family safe. I will never forget this experience of how God saved me and my mother from the clutches of death as long as I live.”
|The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23: 1-4
Kamal Masih (30), of Tarnab, is married with four children, surviving on a monthly income of just £39 ($60, €47). Their small house, where he had lived for decades, was half collapsed by the floodwaters. The belongings the family left behind were stolen by local Muslims. Despite their sufferings, Karmal is continuing to trust in the Lord.
He said: “All these blessings were given by God, I am happy that my wife and children are safe. I just pray that God will grant me the strength to rebuild my house and continue the schooling of my children.”