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Aid and comfort a village destroyed by flood in Pakistan

Simon Bennet

Touchstone Projects, UK, combined efforts withActivated Ministries and Missionary Services of Pakistan to bring physical and spiritual relief to a village in the Pakistan flood area.

Touchstone Projects provided physical relief in the form of duvets and foodstuffs while Activated Ministries sponsored the printing and distribution of 2,000 tracts and 1,000 Urdu “Obstacles Are for Overcoming”, a Christian inspirational book. Missionary Services of Pakistan provided all the necessary logistics on the ground.

It’s hard to overestimate the effect of distributing aid and Christian literature in this particular area and at this particular time. The problems that Pakistan has faced in relation to the floods and religious extremism have been well documented. However we believe that the love and word of God are the ultimate weapons in the war to win hearts and minds. Bringing the life – giving water of His word into these areas will have a dynamic effect in the hearts and lives of the people, especially when coupled with physical aid.

How It Happenned

The water arrived past midnight. There had been some warning for the village of Bastishaha Walla, 75 kilometres east of Multan, that flood waters were on the way. Elders in the village scoffed at the idea. After all they were 100km from the flood plain and the last recorded floods had been 120 years previously, when a mere one foot of water had come into the village. However people now ran for their lives as 8 feet of water invaded the village, destroying their homes and carrying away all their possessions.

Three months later we were greeted by scenes of devastation. In the aftermath of the flood, government aid had failed to materialise. The majority of the villagers were still living in tents and poorly prepared for the long cold winter that was soon to be upon them.

Yaqoob Ilyas from Missionary Services of Pakistan led the team and, having already visited this particular village, had arranged a meeting with the local Imam Hafiz Ahktar prior to distributing the aid. We were struck by the warmth of his reception as he greeted us enthusiastically. He gave us a brief tour of what was left of the village. We asked if we could gather the villagers together to share a message of hope and to distribute Christian literature prior to the distribution of the physical aid and he gladly agreed.

Yaqoob proceeded to share a message of Gods love and peace with the hundreds of villagers and we offered the tracts and books to all those who were literate. We were surrounded by people and all the books and tracts were distributed in a very short period of time. This was undoubtedly the first time these people had been exposed to the Gospel. Over 150 books and 300 tracts were distributed during this visit

The Imam had made a list of the neediest people in the village and as he read their names an orderly queue was formed. We started to distribute the duvets and foodstuffs. In all, over 120 duvets and 150 bags of foodstuffs were delivered.

The seed has been sown. The Bible says that Gods word will never return void but will accomplish that which He pleases. (Isaiah 55) Thanks to all who have played a part in investing in and changing this part of the world. May it just be the beginning of a fresh outpouring of His word into these areas.