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Pakistani Poverty stricken Christian father saved from having to ‘sell’ his children

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Pakistani Poverty stricken Christian father saved from having to ‘sell’ his children

A poverty-stricken Pakistani Christian who could not work because of serious illness, was recently driven to the extreme measure putting his children up for sale.

Pastor Victor Samuel with Rasheed Masih,
his mother and son

Rasheed Masih, 48, a father of six children, four girls and two boys — the eldest of which is mentally retarded — had been working as a daily wage worker in Rajana, a neighboring town of Toba Tek Singh, but due to viral and stomach diseases, he found it was not possible for him to continue his work.

On top of this, his mother and father are also sick with tuberculosis.

Rasheed had already been facing a severe financial crisis when a heavy rain spell devastated his mud house and he was not able to even buy a tent for the family to live in.

“Children for Sale”

He said he wrote to government officials, including the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan, and also met with a senor minister in the Punjab government, asking each for help but, he said, no one would come to his aid, so finally, in desperation, he gathered his children in the main square of his town and wrote on a board “Children for Sale.”

Rasheed told ANS, “I knew that morally nobody in the world would appreciate my act, but I was so desperate and I wanted to get the attention of the media and also the Chief Justice of Pakistan who could take action and this way we could get some relief.”

Family members thanking God

On hearing of this shocking situation, Pastor Victor Samuel, founder of Grace Bible Ministries, immediately moved in to help this dejected brother in the faith.

Rasheed told ANS, “Nobody had come to help me before, and that’s why I thought of the idea [of selling his children], but thank God, Pastor Samuel brought rations for one month for my family.

“I had been disappointed, but I also had the faith that one day Lord would send help through one of His people, and He did through this kind pastor.”

I then spoke to Pastor Samuel who said, “When I came to know through ANS about the sad story, I prayed for this suffering family and the Lord touched my heart and guided me to immediately help them. I am happy that I was able to share the Word of God with the family and ask them to remain faithful.” (For more information, click the link below to view the ANS interview of Pastor Victor (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpP8nLEk42E )

ANS has observed that there are hundreds and thousands of Pakistani families in the province of Punjab who have lost their shelter because of the heavy rains. These rain-affected Christian families are living in rural areas and they have not been provided relief by the government.

However various Christian organizations have stepped forward to help then in their terrible plight. They include: Caritas, Society for Human Development, Harmony Foundation, AWARD, Doctors on Mission, Grace Bible Church, Doulos International and the Ravi Foundation, each of which have provided rations, building material and other necessities of life. Up until this time, these suffering Christian families have been protesting and demanding relief from the government, but to no avail.

Rasheed concluded by saying, “I hear every day that people in Pakistan are killing themselves because of their poverty, or they commit crimes to feed their families. I did everything I could to provide for my family, but help didn’t come help until this kind pastor came forward to bless us.

“My faith does not allow me to kill myself to get rid of my suffering, rather it teaches me to struggle faithfully.”

And thanks to a caring pastor, they have been able to continue doing  just that!

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Ashfaq Fateh, 38, studied civic and human rights, at Pakistan's leading University, the Aga Khan University in Karachi. He has been working to promote peace, human rights and particularly for Christian's rights. He has also been working against the discriminatory laws prevailing in Pakistan. His wife, Rafia Salomi, is serving as deputy director for Society for Human Development, popularly known as Human Development Center, an icon of Christian's rights in Pakistan since 1984.

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