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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The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan

The Orthodox Mission in Pakistan is the Canonical Orthodox Church in Pakistan. The OMP is under Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Omophorion of Metropolitan Constantinos of Singapore and South Asia. The OMP’s primary mission is to serve the spiritual needs of the country’s Orthodox faithful. OMP also seeks to witness to and represent Christ’s love by ministering to those in need, without regard to caste, creed, religion, or other social distinctions.

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