The Presbyterian organisation Tehillim Pakistan has started a food supply campaign for day labourers and marginalized poor Christian families amidst of COVID-19 lockdown in Karachi. Also Muslim families in need received food packages and support.
“The misery of human suffering is a mystery, Christ is the comfort for the wounded and weary world”
This motto is guiding Eric Sarwar, Presbyterian minister from Pakistan, founding director of the Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship, as he commits himself to help those who are seriously affected by the novel Coronavirus emidemic in his home country.
RCH was able to answer the Coronavirus emergency appeal of the Pakistani community positively, an offer a modest support of 3000 USD to the “Helping Hands” initiative of the Tehillim Pakistan team for the sake of the most vulnerable and underprivileged community members and families.
The minority Christian communities are often discriminated against when it comes to social support and humanitarian aid related to the Pandemic in Pakistan. Amid the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, there has been evidenced cases, when Christian families have been refused to get food from the Muslim Welfare Trust in Karachi.
“These incidents express the staggering situation of hunger and lack of food supplies in the megacity of Pakistan. Our friends and families requests to provide the necessary food supplies for Christian families in Karachi,” reads in the appeal.
“Helping Hands” provides a bag of food supplies to needy Christians in Pakistan. Local partners and teams have collected data for 700 families and started first distribution from the two critical Christian colonies in Karachi. “The Presbyterian Community provided packages containing unperishable food, including wheat flour, sugar, lens, cooking oil, and rice, already before Good Friday to share the gift and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, Rev. Sarwar reported.
Eric Sawar and family, crnca.org
Eric Sarwar is a Ph.D. student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, USA, in the area of intercultural studies, researching the role of Zabur (Psalms) in Muslim-Christian relations. For the past twenty years he has served as an on-the-ground practitioner, Presbyterian pastor, and a visionary voice in this missional movement, serving as a musical peacemaker in an Islamic context. He is the founding president of the Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship, Karachi, Pakistan.
Tehillim Pakistan team and the First Presbyterian Church in Karachi joined forces and beside food also in-cash support to more than 150 families and individuals in Karachi. They shared the love of Christ with the most vulnerable such as widows, orphans, and needy families in four Christian colonies (Essa Nagri, Azizaabad, Muhammad Khan Goth, and Jatlane in Karachi). Additionally, children with special needs and pastors in a difficult financial situation have also been supported in various areas of Pakistan. “Moreover, poor Muslim families contacted us and experienced the love of Christ through your support”, emphasized one of the team members.
“The First Presbyterian Church in Karachi is a strong partner with Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship during this lockdown. The lockdown extended for two more weeks and we are praying to reach at least 200 additional families during this critical time,” told Rev. Sarwar.
RCH’s relationship with the Presbyterian community in Pakistan has developed in the recent years in the sign of Christian solidarity and mutual encouragement in Mission. In the last years RCH has been listening compassionately to stories and witnesses from Pakistan, we have welcomed scholarship students at the Károli Gáspár Reformed University of RCH, kept posting prayer requests and reflections from the local Presbyterian community, but the most grounding and transforming experience was to welcome three young church members at the Starpoint Youth Festival last summer. RCH was also able to offer small support to the Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship (TSCM) which is committed to achieving the best use of music and creative arts in worship and mission and serves the Presbyterian and wider Christian community through education, training, publication, advice and encouragement.