The moment seemed surreal. Here I was with a handful of Pakistani Christians whom I’d just met, sipping freshly-brewed tea, enjoying the hospitality of a pint-sized woman named Haquri—all while sitting together on the barren ground of an open plain. It was like a tea party on the moon.
Haquri served us eagerly, and joyfully told us the story of how God had rescued her people from the flooding that devastated Pakistan.
Haquri was one of dozens of Christians I met in that remote area of Pakistan just a few miles outside of the city of Hyderabad. They had relocated there due to the summer floods that uprooted millions of Pakistanis. I was there on behalf of Heaven’s Family to help distribute essentials such as rice, flour, oil and tea to needy Christian families. As Haquri generously served our small team some of the tea she’d just received from us, she began to tell us an incredible story, not just about how God delivered them, but how He used the flooding to bless the believers of her village.
Haquri started her story some years before the floods. She said that the lives of those in her small village had been miserable. In bondage to a cruel landlord, they worked their days in his fields sowing and harvesting wheat, cotton and sugarcane. At night that same landlord literally chained them to their huts to prevent them from fleeing. Worse, they lived in fear of countless Hindu gods who always demanded to be appeased.
Two years ago, however, a Christian pastor visited their village and showed them the Jesus Film. After continued visits by that pastor and his team, almost everyone in the village turned to the Lord. The people no longer feared Hindu gods, but they still lived in servitude to their landlord.
Then the floods came. After weeks of monsoon rains, about one-fifth of Pakistan—an area the size of Florida—lay underwater. The villagers no longer had a place to live or work, so they fled to higher ground about 20 miles away. Open and desolate, the government-owned land where they settled is known as Nonari Goth. The refugees hope that the land will someday be given to them, but for now Haquri and her people see it as their Promised Land—a place where they can live free and serve the Lord without fear.
They’ve named their new little community Hope Village. A dozen or so huts—hastily constructed from sticks and mud—dot the barren landscape. Plastic bags are woven into stick roofs in a woefully-inadequate attempt to keep out the elements. Winter is coming, and the flood refugees will need blankets, warm clothing, and improved shelter. They’ll also need food for the next few months until they find sufficient work. As Christians in an Islamic nation, jobs are limited and low-paying. Because of your compassion and gifts to the Disaster Relief Fund, you can be sure that Heaven’s Family will be helping them.