As we embark on the season of Lent

Dear Friend,

As we embark on the season of Lent, we ask you to remember Fr. John and the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan in your prayers and in your almsgiving.

Your generous support makes Fr. John’s ministry possible. He and his family depend entirely on donations for their livelihood and ministry. He does not receive a salary from the church, and his parishioners live on little more than $3 a day. What they lack in financial means they make up for in devotion and labor, and yet they need our financial support.

With your help, Fr. John can continue to support widows who have no income. Just $5 a month helps feed one widow and her family.

With your help, the OMP sewing center will continue to provide a safe haven for girls and young women, giving them a place to learn a valuable skill while protecting them from being preyed upon.

With your help, Fr. John can continue providing medicine for the sick, and assisting families experiencing hardships.

With your help, lay volunteers can continue to help Fr. John in his ministry. Fr. John ministers to a large territory, and lay volunteers help bring Orthodoxy into rural areas. Your support provides a small stipend to these volunteers so that they can provide for themselves and their families while they work for the growth of the Church.

Would you consider making a monthly commitment? A monthly gift of even $10 or $15 will go a long way. Our goal is to be able to provide Fr. John with a consistent amount of support each month, so that he doesn’t have to worry month to month. Your help, in any amount, can make this possible.

As always, 100% of your donation goes directly to Fr. John and his ministry.

We thank you and pray that you have a blessed Lenten journey.

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We present our good wishes to you

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We present our good wishes to you all on the great occasion of the celebration the feast of Nativity. For us this is great opportunity to thank you for your great support which you have provided to us in the year 2018. The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan is trying to enrich the people in Orthodox Faith. Through your great help we are trying to look after our infrastructure, the sick, widows, orphans, needy as well as the students. Firstly, we have made renovations to the church building and conference hall and covered the foundation of the building with mud and stone.

Dear brothers and sisters, we are really thankful to God and to you that Presbytra Rosy is recovering from her sickness. We pray that God may give her complete and good health that she may constantly support Orthodox Mission through her spiritual and social activities. Presbytra Rosy is very popular among the people not only Christians but in Muslim community also due to her counselling abilities.

Dear brothers and sisters, please be constant in supporting the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, though we are facing many different problems, your encouragement is keeping us always active and loyal to God.

Please come forward and help us so that joy and happiness which we have received on this great feast may we be able to share it with others in different ways.

Your generosity is always appreciated by the Orthodox Faithful in Pakistan. We pray that our Lord Jesus may grant you blessings in abundance, give you health and long life so that His Holy Name may be spread in the whole world.

May the year 2019 keep us united forever!

The blessing of the Lord God is with you all,

Fr. John Tanveer
Orthodox Mission in Pakistan

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The stories of our brothers and sisters

Dear Friend,

Everyone in the world has a story. Our stories can be happy, sad, and everything in between. Today, we would like to tell you the story of a few people that the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan serves.

“Anna” was the beauty of her village. Every young man who knew her wanted to marry her. She finally chose the best and most handsome young man from the next village, named “George”. George and Anna lived on a farm in the north of Pakistan. After some time, George and Anna learned they could not have children, which grieved them terribly. In that part of the country, it is common for the Indus River to flood during the summer. One year, the Indus flooded tremendously, forcing them to leave the family farm, and head to the capital, Islamabad. George had a difficult time finding work for a very long time, and he and Anna struggled making ends meet. George eventually found a job as a janitor, which was the cause for much joy! One day on his way to work, George stepped into the street, and was suddenly hit by a car, dying instantly. In an instant, Anna was widowed, alone, and without financial or moral support. She had no one to help her. She learned from a friend about the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan. She learned that Fr John Tanveer and his family regularly gave food and basic necessities to widows in need. Since she was a Muslim, she hesitated asking a Christian for assistance, but she decided to take a chance, and went to them for help.

“Peter” lives in Lahore. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family, and married a woman who had known him his entire life. He and his wife have five children, and the two of them continuously instructed their children from the scriptures. They pray together, eat together, and live their lives together. One day, a friend invited him to hear a preacher speak. Peter had always been enthusiastic about the scriptures, and opening his mind and heart to Christ’s words, so he readily agreed. That preacher was Fr John. Teaching from the Epistle of St James, Fr John opened the scriptures before Peter in a way he had not before experienced. Peter decided he wanted to discuss the scriptures with Fr John. Peter then introduced himself to Fr John, and then invited him to his house for further discussion. Their conversations turned into a close friendship, and after several months of theological dialogue, Peter decided that he and his family would all become Orthodox Christians. As time went on, Peter could not contain his love for Christ, his enthusiasm for communion with the Church, and devotion to the Mother of God. Fr John recognized Peter’s zeal, and asked if he would consider becoming a lay catechist, as this would give Fr John more time to fill other needs. Unfortunately, Peter had no time to spare. His work and family demand much of his time. With five children and a wife, he needs the means to support them if he worked less.

“Sarah” is a fourteen year old who grew up in a Hindu family in Lahore, the youngest of a family of four daughters. Her parents have been searching far and wide for an eligible sutor for Sarah, but this has proved difficult as most of the Hindu families in their neighborhood either have no children, or their children are already married. Sarah has been afraid of her marital status for the last year, as she heard many rumors of women like her being abducted and forced to marry muslim men. Whenever her father leaves home to go to work, she weeps in fear at the thought of someone breaking in and stealing her while her father is away. Her mother happened to meet and become friends with a Orthodox Christian woman who attends a house church that Fr John leads. This woman told Sarah’s mother that she and her daughter could go to the OMP Sewing Center to be safe while Sarah’s father worked. Not only that, the instructor at the sewing center would teach them to make bed sheets they could sell!

Helping those in need is not only the calling of the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan; it is the calling of us all. $5 gives a widow like Anna food for several days. $100 enables a lay catechist like Peter to spend less time at his job every month, and more time preaching the gospel. $1,000 enables the mission to purchase a motorcycle Peter can use to travel between cities, preaching the gospel as he goes. $400 per month covers the costs of the OMP Sewing Center, which include the materials, electricity, and an instructor’s salary. You can find more information about how to give on our give page. We humbly ask that you consider giving to support one of these extremely important ministries.

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Pb Rosy’s Last Chemo Treatment!

An update from Pb Rosy concerning her health:

Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Hopefully you are well .
This morning I went for blood tests. The reports have improved. 
I shall have the 6th and last chemotherapy June 30th. I need your prayers so that the miraculous power of the Theotokos may help me to accept all that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that I will be healed soon.

With love and prayers.
Pb Rosy

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Help Us Help Pb. Rosy

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We hope the fast has provided the means to draw further into life in Christ, and that you have stayed strong in our mutual, spiritual struggle. “During the Lenten season we are trying our best to perform our duty in the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan,” said Fr. John. “Though sometimes we get stuck, God always encourages us to carry on His mission.” It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you of developments with the health of Pb. Rosy.

Pb. Rosy Teaching
Pb. Rosy Teaching

Pb. Rosy was recently diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). She began her first round of chemotherapy recently, which has caused extreme amounts of pain. Her doctors have recommended she undergo six rounds of chemotherapy, one every three weeks, at which point she will undergo further testing to see how the cancer has responded. Her doctors remain optimistic her condition will improve. While this is encouraging, Pb. Rosy’s treatments are very expensive, costing around $1,500 per treatment. Fr. John has saved money for an emergency over the years, and has paid for all her medical expenses thus far. “Rosy is very precious for the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan,” Fr. John said. ”She supports the mission through her writings, catechesis, translation of spiritual texts, teaching, and especially counseling.”

Fr. John and Pb. Rosy speaking with a diplomat
Fr. John and Pb. Rosy speaking with a diplomat

However, supporting Pb. Rosy, and thus supporting the mission’s ability to serve the community, comes at a price. Fr. John cannot travel to serve Liturgy in Wazirabad as frequently. He cannot buy church supplies nor give to as many who are in need. In short, this illness has tied the hands of the mission. In this, one of the mission’s most dire hours, we must humbly ask, will you help? The mission needs your support, by your prayers and financial means, now more than any other time. “I, Fr. John, want to thank you for your kind and loving concern for us. We ask that you remember us in your prayers, and that God may heal her quickly.”

Please consider signing up for our prayer list and making a donation to help Pb. Rosy. You may sign up for our prayer list by emailing us at info@orthodoxpakistan.org.

Pres. Rosy and the Tanveer children
Pres. Rosy and the Tanveer children

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A message from Fr John after Lahore attacks

Dear Friend,

We reached out to Fr John for an update concerning his and our Orthodox brethren’s safety in the wake of recent terror attacks in Lahore. He had this to say:

Thank God, we all are okay, though this incident happened close to our area. Here the situation is very dangerous but thank you so much for your kind concern for us.
God Bless you,
Fr. John

Times like these recall to memory hymns such as this:

“Oh Lord save your people and bless your inheritance! Granting to your people victory over all their enemies, and by the power of your cross, preserve your estate.”
-Troparion of the Holy Cross

Please continue to keep our brethren in your prayers.

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Come and See the Wonders of Orthodoxy in Pakistan

Dear Friends,

The blessing of our Lord God is with you all!

Since the Great Feast of the Nativity is fast approaching, it is my duty to thank you for the contributions you have made and to share my all pastoral activities from this year. The Lord Jesus Christ came for the Universal Salvation without discrimination among poor and rich. Salvation for the sinners, the sick, the needy, the poor, the orphans, the widows, the outcast and the marginalized.

Pres. Rosy and the Tanveer children
                   Pres. Rosy and the Tanveer children

In the environment where the Orthodox Mission is working, we face all sorts of problems; but through your great encouragement our mission is growing. St.Paul says that he can do everything because Christ is with him. Our motto is the same because Christ is with us through you as we are one in Christ. 

Dear friends, the year which is passing we have constructed a community center with two rooms and two washrooms in the church compound at Wazirabad. This building will be used to conduct different seminars, Bible study, youth camps, catechism and moral classes for young girls so that they become strong to save themselves from brutal men. This building is ready but we need furniture etc. 

The new community center in Wazirabad
                  The new community center in Wazirabad

As you know that we are facing faith problems, three years back one of our faithful was in the jail but by the grace of God and through your financial help he is out from behind the bars. I really appreciate your support because this is the first case of court which we won. God  bless Pakistan.

The sewing center has now operated for 5 years, where we train young girls in stitching, as well as to save them from the bad society where they are abducted by people of other faiths. We help them in different ways like providing them legal support by hiring lawyers. In January 2017 we will offer beauty parlor training at our center so that they can become self-supporting for their family. The teacher is ready who has been trained through your great support.

For this training we need your assistance so we must save our girls who also are the daughters of Abraham and Jacob.

Women learning in the sewing center
                Women learning in the sewing center

A few months before we distributed two hundred Holy Bibles to enrich our faithful in spirituality. We performed  the Holy Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation and marriage.

Since the Orthodox Mission was founded we are helping the school, college and university students. We cannot do much as our resources are limited therefore we are always in the requesting position before friends and donors.

Often we distribute food, but due to limited resources we cannot do much. We appeal you to share your table with the needy and hungry.

food dist

We tried our best to help the sick people through medicines and hospitalization. From January I myself have not been so well so I had to go through some medical tests but thank God I did not lose my hope and the mission work was not stopped. A few other Orthodox were having problems so we tried to cope with them. Recently Semion an Orthodox faithful underwent a gallbladder surgery and by the grace of God after being two months in the hospital he is healed.

Fr John visits Semion after surgery
               Fr John visits Semion after surgery

Dear friends, I want to request you to pray for Presbytera Rosy who is not well and is undergoing medical tests. Your prayers are very much needed. You know that she is highly qualified in Theology, Scripture and Counselling, so she will start different conferences in the coming year so her health is very strongly needed.

At the end I want to thank each and every one of you who so eagerly are at our back to support us in all spheres of life.

 

United in Christ,

Fr.John Tanveer and the orthodox community in Pakistan

Please consider making a Christmas donation to help Fr. John & the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan.

 

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Orthodox Mission in Pakistan July Newsletter

Dear Friends of OMP,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. Fr John and Presvytera Rosy continue to labor for the Church under difficult circumstances, strengthening, supporting and comforting the Orthodox faithful in their daily lives. We’ve included here a few highlights of recent activities. Each time we speak with Fr John, he emphasizes how much he is encouraged and strengthened by the support and prayers of Orthodox brethren around the world. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. And please help us spread the word about Fr John and the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, by sharing this email with your fellow parishioners and friends.

OMP Offers Help and Comfort in Time of Need
               OMP Offers Help and Comfort in Time of Need

On Sunday, March 27, a suicide bomb blast in a park in Lahore killed more than 70 people, many of them Christians who were celebrating Easter. The park is less than 1 kilometer from Fr John’s home. He heard the blast and ran to the scene that day, witnessing the “horrible situation.” Recently, Fr John and Presvytera Rosy carried out a food distribution, providing sacks of flour, sugar and tea to families who were affected by the bombing.

OMP Support to Girls and Women

When we speak with Fr John, he always mentions his special concern for girls and young women, especially those who have been the victims of kidnappings and rape. Unfortunately, these crimes are not uncommon against Christian teens and women, who are often then disowned by their families out of shame. Fr John wants to create a shelter for these teenagers and young women and provide skills training to them, so that they can provide for themselves. Recently he helped to return three kidnapped teenagers and women to the community.

Fr John Interviewed by NY Radio Program

On March 31, Fr John was interviewed by WIBX 950AM, a talk radio program in Utica, NY. In the interview, Fr John talks about the persecution faced by Christians in Pakistan, their struggles and needs. Listen to the interview here on YouTube.

Fr. John’s Prayer Requests

“There are so many seekers here,” says Fr John. “But due to the situation, they are in fear so they cannot openly proclaim. So pray for them and for me and Rosy also. Pray for our Metropolitan (His Eminence Konstantinos) and our community and the people of Pakistan and for peace in this country.”

Consider Becoming a Monthly Donor!

Please consider becoming a monthly donor. No amount is too small. Even $10 a month makes a real difference to OMP! Monthly donations give Fr John more stability and enable him to plan the assistance he provides to the Orthodox community. It’s easy to do – follow the steps here on our website.

Click here to learn more about the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, and to make a convenient donation online.

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Fr John, A First Responder to Attacks

The priest from Pakistan: Hearing the blast, I immediately ran to the place of tragedy

March 27 near the children's section of the park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Lahore (the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab), an explosion occurred. The blast killed 70 and injured more than 300 people. Terrorist attack in Pakistan was directed against Christians. Orthodox priest from Lahore, and a witness of the tragedy, John Tanveer told "Pravmiru" of the attack and challenging ministry in a region where the faith can die at any moment
March 27 near the children’s section of the park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Lahore (the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab), an explosion occurred. The blast killed 70 and injured more than 300 people. Terrorist attack in Pakistan was directed against Christians. Orthodox priest from Lahore, and a witness of the tragedy, John Tanveer told “Pravmiru” of the attack and challenging ministry in a region where the faith can die at any moment

 

Yesterday we were with my mother at the liturgy in our church. When we returned home in the evening, I went out into the yard and heard the noise, both from the Big Bang, because my house is not far from the park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Lahore, where the tragedy occurred. We were separated less than one kilometer.

I immediately went down the street, saw people running. People on the day was very much in Pakistan celebrated Easter. I have seen the bodies of dead and wounded, it is now known that killed more than 70 and wounded more than 300 people. Many are in a critical situation in a hospital. We already know that most of the dead and injured were Christians: Protestants, and Orthodox (although there were not many) were in the park that day. Day in Pakistan is very hot, most families went for a walk with the children is in the evening, and then tragedy struck.

Unfortunately, I do not think that the Christian Church in Pakistan will be able to help people with something other than prayers and visits to the wounded in the hospital. Yesterday I celebrated the Liturgy. If we talk about the Orthodox Church, I – the only Orthodox priest in Lahore. Of course, I’ll do everything I can, I will visit people in the hospital, but my options are limited. I am very sorry that we can not do more!

Photo: AP Photo / KM Chaudary
Photo: AP Photo / KM Chaudary

The situation in the region – a critical, Christianophobia and discrimination is very strong. I was in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, to refer to the European Union and the international community on this issue. I am very glad that this will write “Pravmir”, maybe it will draw attention to the issue of the persecution of Christians in the region. I am glad that people are at least concerned about the situation.

 

During my last visit to Moscow, I already told you that we are in some dire straits. I have no way to help, but I have to be with their parishioners, with his people. My house is right next to the place of the tragedy, I’ll probably have to think about how to move to a safer place, but in Pakistan, such a place may simply not be the pressure on Christians is felt everywhere.

In St. Petersburg, I met with Patriarch Kirill, which heard me – “strong man,” I serve time in this region. But I – not a strong man, my strength – in your support, the support of the faithful, and I’m not talking about money! We have the cross that we must bear every day. This – the main thing I want to say. Of course, we need the support – is in very short supply of medicines, many people are just hungry … People here are not very well educated, but they have a sincere faith in God. We are oppressed, but we know that they are able to do anything until the Lord with us.

Fr John Tanveer

If you would like to make a contribution to help with the difficult but critical work being done by Fr. John in Pakistan, please visit our donation page.

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