(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.)