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Javed: A Christian in Pakistan

(Source: VOM-Australia. Photo: A family in Pakistan)

How did you celebrate Christmas last year?

Did you go to church? Decorate your house? Eat special food? Exchange gifts with family members?

That’s how Javed, a Christian in Pakistan, enjoyed the occasion. But he wasn’t always able to celebrate Christmas in special ways.

Like many Christians in Pakistan, he started working at a young age to help support his family. Christians in his country often do not have the opportunity to get a good education or job. Family members of all ages have to work sometimes. Javed was 6 years old when he went to work and live at a brick kiln. He was forced to work to pay off the debt of a relative he didn’t even know.

Click here to learn more about the tasks of a brick kiln worker.

The brick kiln bosses forced his family to work on Sundays, so they were not able to go to church. They could go to church on Christmas, but only if they left one family member behind to prevent the family from trying to escape their harsh jobs and lives.

When Javed made a mistake on the job, he was fined, and the loan debt was raised. He would never be able to finish paying off the debt, no matter how hard he worked. But thanks to God and kind Christians, Javed was freed from the brick kiln when someone paid off his family’s debt. He is now an adult, free to attend church, celebrate Christmas, and have a somewhat better job.

But his struggles are not over. His wife died of an illness because they couldn’t afford medical treatment. Javed does his best to take care of their four children, and he is thankful to be able to go to church and celebrate special occasions with them.

Pray for Christians in Pakistan who work in the brick kilns.

Learn more about Christians in Pakistan in Bold Believers in Pakistan, available in the Downloads section.

Watch a video about Pakistani Christians here. (Parents and teachers: Please preview the video before showing it to younger children, and if children view it, stop the video at the end before additional videos appear that you have not previewed.)


Escape from Kidnappers

A Pakistani girlA Pakistani girl

The following story about Parveen, a girl in Pakistan, is from the Kids of Courage archives.

“I am 13 years old, and I live in Pakistan. My name is Parveen.

“My father believes in Jesus. But when I was a year old, my mother left my father, became a Muslim, and married a Muslim man. My father remarried, and now I have a stepmother.

“I go to a Christian boarding school in a large city. In the evenings, a pastor’s wife prays with us. She told us that Jesus sacrificed for us because he loves us. I started studying the Bible every day. After that I decided to follow Christ and got baptized. I was very happy.

Read the rest of this entry »


Chapatis

Chapatis

Chapatis are a kind of flatbread cooked in Pakistan. They are round and about the size of a dinner plate. Pieces of chapatis can be used instead of a fork to pick up other food.

To make chapatis, mix 1¼ cups of flour with ½ cup of water until you can form the mixture into a ball. (Add more flour or water if necessary.) Make golf ball-size balls out of the dough. Roll each ball in flour, then pat or roll it into a 5-inch to 6-inch circle. Put each circle in a hot frying pan for a few minutes until it is lightly browned. (Use no oil.) Turn it over and lightly brown the other side.

Can you share chapatis or another Pakistani food with someone while also sharing facts about Christians in Pakistan with them? Enter “Pakistan” in the search box to find more stories. Find additional Pakistani recipes here or in Bold Believers in Pakistan, an activity book in the Downloads section.


Pakistan: Kid of Courage Stands “Alone”

Pakistan

(Source: Kids of Courage archives)

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:13, NIV).

The Assembly
One day, the teachers at a public school in Pakistan called all the students to a special assembly. At the assembly, a teacher announced to the entire school that the “Injil” has been changed and is now false. “Injil” is the name that Muslims call the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pakistan: Escape from a Snake

Rebekha

Rebekha was angry. Her teacher expected her to sit by a new girl in her ninth grade class in Pakistan. The new girl was a Christian, and Rebekha hated Christians! She chose to sit on the floor rather than sit by Mary, the new girl.

Rebekha then had to miss school because she was sick. She needed help studying for a test. None of the other Muslim girls would help her study. Mary offered to help, and Rebekha began to like Christians a little bit more.

A Bad Attitude
Some Christians started a sewing class in Rebekha’s village, and Mary invited Rebekha to attend. Rebekha went to the class, but she sat separately from the Christian girls. She still did not like Christians very well.

The Christian girls were sad about Rebekha’s attitude. They spent much time in prayer for her.

Rebekha realized that she could find nothing wrong with the Christian girls. After two months, she asked Mary for a Bible. Mary happily gave her one. Mary asked God to help Rebekha understand the Bible and follow Christ.

Honor
The girls’ prayers were answered! Rebekha not only quit hating Christians; she became one! Rebekha was happy, but her family was miserable. They tried to get her to return to Islam, the religion of Muslims.

Honor is very important in many Muslim countries. A man receives honor if others in his culture respect him. He loses honor if members of his family do not follow the customs of those around him. Some Muslims in Pakistan believe they will lose honor if someone in their family becomes a Christian.

That is what Rebekha’s uncles believed.

An Evil Plan
The uncles took Rebekha to a canal near their farmland. When they got to the canal, they saw a deadly cobra swimming in the water. “Good,” the uncles said, “the cobra will bite her.” They threw her into the canal and hurried away. Rebekha did not know how to swim. She prayed for help. The cobra disappeared. Rebekha climbed out of the canal and praised God for keeping her safe.

Rebekha returned home soaking wet. Her family was astonished. Her father said she could no longer live there since she had become a Christian. She left home, and Mary helped her find Christians who would take care of her. Rebekha was grateful to God for sparing her life.

(Source: Kids of Courage archives)

(Note: Rebekha’s face is covered in the photo above to protect her identity.)

To Think About
Mary came from a Christian family. What advice do you suppose her family gave her about attending school where most of the students were Muslims? What do you think they told her when she came home and said that Rebekha sat on the floor rather than sitting next to her?

Use this link to find drawings of a Pakistani family to photocopy and color. Cut out the pictures after you color them, and glue them to craft sticks to make stick puppets. With the puppets, act out what might have happened at Mary’s house after she began to attend school with Rebekha.