Dear brothers and sisters,
I greet you in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, who identified with the poor of the poors, in the days of his flesh. Though he was in the form of God, yet he did not consider it a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself and took the form of a servant. His becoming human enabled him to practically share the sufferings of humanity. His love for the down trodden, misery ridden, and rejected humanity was unprecedented. We are called to emulate him in service to God and humanity. We as Pakistani Presbyterians are placed, by God, to demonstrate his love to 170 million Pakistanis, out of which 95% are Muslims. Recent Monsoons have devastated over 21million people through out Pakistan. The story of their sufferings cannot be told in words. One has to be there to catch a glimpse of it. We continue to pray and support the victims of floods. Presbyterian Church of Pakistan set apart First Sunday of September, throughout its congregations, to hold special services and raise funds for supporting the flood related IDPs. Our congregations participated enthusiastically. In spite of their own poverty people gave generously. We were able to raise RS.300,000; Some more money is still coming. We were greatly encouraged by the generous giving of our small and poor village based congregations.
We took our next expedition to sever our brothers and sister, whose lives are ruined by loss of everything they had. Our next target was to reach a community at Hassan Garrihi, in Suburban of great city of Peshawar. Distance from Gujranwala to Peshawar is roughly 400km. We gathered the goods in the boy's hostel of the Gujranwala Theological seminary. We spent all our after noon and evening loading stuff on the Truck. At 10pm, on September 5, 2010, I myself, Rev. sabir Gull and number of seminary students were loading truck in the dark. Because of the plague of load shedding, power was off, [ some times power is off for up to 16 hours a day]. At 11pm, the truck bound to Hassan Garrihi, Peshawar, went ahead with two young seminarians, Isaac and Christopher. Rest of the team started their journey at 2am on September 6, 2010. September 6th, is a defense day, and we were off to defend our brothers and sisters, elderly, and young children attacked by the natural calamity. The team was personally led by the moderator PCP, Rev. Arif Siraj and Rev. Dr. Maqsood Kamil, executive secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Pakistan. Other important members included, Rev. Sabir Gull, Rev. Yousaf Nawab, Rev. Jullius Iqbal Nisar, Rev. Salim younis,Rev. Samuel Titus, Rev. Wasim Riaz, Mrs. Nosheen Khan and Mrs. Nahid javed. We traveled on the historic Grand Trunk Road [GT Road]. We arrived in Rawalpindi at 5am, where Rev. And Mrs. Samuel Titus, pastor in service at the St. Paul Presbyterian Church, welcomed us to their dinning table. We were treated with nice breakfast and very warm hospitality. During the travel Mrs. Naheed suffered from travel sickness and threw up. She had chance to change her dress and had a little rest. I tried to persuade her to stay back and take rest but she insisted to accompany us. From Rawalpindi, Samuel Titus joined us. On our way to Peshawar, Rev. Wasim Riaz joined us from Texilla. We took the motorway to Peshawar. We crossed over the mighty Indus river and watched in awe, the devastation caused by its fury. We entered in Peshawar, where we were stopped by the local traffic police. Peshawar is a very sensitive city and one of the most hit by the suicide bombers. We sought permission from the higher police authorities, to carry relief material to the flood victims. We were allowed to enter the city but the truck has to take the circular route all around the city. In Peshawar, our host was Bishop Humphrey Peter. He is a wonderful man of God who is taking a very keen interest in relief work. We enjoyed his very relaxed and friendly personality as well as his hospitality. He sent some of his men to lead us to Hassan Garrihi and help us in distribution of the relief goods. Locals helped us to down load the truck. Hassan Garrihi is a slum area at the out skirt of Peshawar. People who were hit most severely were those living on the bank of the Buddhi, [a small river passing by Peshawar]. People living there had opted to live there because of the low rent housing. They are all menial workers. During the monsoon, water rose up to 16 feet. Thankfully, it did not hit the area at night. Men folks were at work and only some women and children were at home. They ran to save their lives. Everything they had were swept away. Water touched the ceilings of their houses. When we visited, water has receded and people were returning to their homes. But houses were filled with mud, and all sorts of bacteria. Eye diseases and water born diseases were spreading quickly. The story of their suffering was hard to take in. They were extremely grateful that we have arrived to help them out. In a public meeting, as we worshipped together, they openly confessed that the kind of expensive package we were providing to them to rebuild their lives, no one has given to them. Our team made sure that the goods we provided must be of the very best quality. Moderator shared the Word of encouragement with the hopeless people. We were the most tangible hope of Christ for them. Our team with the help of the local people assembled the pedestal fans. And then we distributed all the gifts of God we had carried for them. In the beginning we had some problem but then everything fell in place. It took us couple of hours to distribute all the stuff. As people carried their share to their home, joy on their face was unbelievable. Out team were thankful to the Lord, that in a very small way, we could share the Love of Christ with them and help alleviate some of their misery. We came back to the head offices of the Peshawar Diocese. Bishop Sahib, welcomed us back and joined us at dinner that he had insisted us to have with him and his pastors. It was an additional joy for me to meet some of my old students serving in Peshawar Diocese. Bishop showed us newly renovated Cathedral, one of the most beautiful and historic building in Peshawar. He thanked us whole heartedly for joining him in these relief efforts. We took leave of him with the promise to come back to support other areas of population affected in his jurisdiction. We are planning our next trip to Noshehra on October 7th. We arrived back in Gujranwala next day at 3am.
- 2 steel beds
- 2 blankets
- 2 bed sheets
- 2 pillows
- 1 pedestal fan
- 1 bucket
- 1 mug
- 1 kit women hygiene, each containing things for three ladies
- Cash PKR1000/-
This package was provided to each family. We served to 40 families.
The Presbyterian church of Pakistan.
We are most grateful to our friends all around the world for their prayers and support. May God bless you all. Pictures are being attached with this email.
Rev. Dr. Maqsood Kamil