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.