Geoff, Mel and Emmanuel here, just writing to say thank you so much for your support of the freeslaves.org project. 2017 has been a busy year and there is a lot to celebrate.
The Safdar family spent 13 years in bonded-labour slavery after taking a loan to pay for medical expenses. The family came to a point of utter desperation and Safdar cried out to God to be set free from his suffering. Around that time, we connected with this family and with help from our supporters, the freeslaves team paid their debt and arranged for work as a car driver. After he was set free, Mr Safdar gave his life to Christ and his family is now attending a local Church where they live. Safdar had this to say:
“Me and my family were having a very difficult time. I was sick and not able to do anything. So, I cry out to God and He heard our cry to free us from slavery. Now me and my family are very excited to start this new life. I have a job driving a car and my children are able to go to school.”
Ten years ago Kashif’s parents died. After their deaths, his brothers sold him to work in the kilns and used the money to fuel their drug habit. Kashif was young and broken and utterly trapped. I personally thought it would take ages to get Kashif free–after all his debt was $1600 which is more than many families and he was just one person. Yet one person donated $300 towards Kashif. Then on the same day, another person also put in $300, then another put in $1000. Within the day we had enough to set him free. I talked to the first donor and asked why he put in $300 towards Kashif when so many other families were listed. His reply was simple: Jesus told me to. I was moved by their generosity and yet Kashif was far more moved. After we set him free, he talked to Dilbar about what had happened:
“I was so discouraged. My father died and then my brothers sold me into slavery. I was so discouraged and thought that no one loved me. No one even knew about me. But then I was set free and I thought who are these people that love me? I want to know this God of love.”
Kashif gave his life to Christ and now has a new life as a fruit packer and is connected to local believers. Thank-you so much to our sponsors who made this possible. See Kashif share a bit of his testimony here.
Currently we have: 5 Schools | 8 Teachers | 180 students
Our schools are going well despite a setback earlier in the year. We set up a school in a remote village of 21 families where the men are all employed at a nearby quarry. This school was the first school in the village’s history. Both parents and children were really excited. We built a roof over an existing structure and began classes. However, the quarry owner heard about the school. He met with our teachers and for two hours threatened them that if they did not shut the school down that he would fire all the workers from the village and kill the teachers. I believe that the quarry owner wanted to close the school in order to ensure a future supply of workers. The heart-breaking decision was made to close the school. A few months later, the opportunity came up to open the school in a different village around 3km away. This has been successful and unhindered. In fact, when it became known that the school had started again, three families from the original village moved to the new village so their children could be educated.
With so many children, we are encountering need, especially medical and basic need, on a daily basis. Our goal is to lift our school funding to $1050 NZD per month. This equates to $6 per child, and would pay for teachers, supplies, medical aid, emergency food and scholarships for further study. If you would like to help support our schools on a monthly basis, please visit our website.
Our other work this year has included the continued support 15 Pakistani refugee families in Thailand, giving medical grants, support for widows and families in critical need, grants for students pursuing tertiary study, occasional support for pastors in rural communities.
For the first time, we have been able to connect sponsor families with the family they have set free. See the video below:
This year marks the beginning of connecting sponsors with the families they have set free.
In 2017 we have seen slow but steady growth. There is no short supply of families who need redeeming, but we are limited by the time our people in Pakistan have available. It’s our goal to grow our team and extend our work in redeeming slave families, arranging work for families, managing small-group discipleship, and overseeing follow-up. Our goal for this team is $2000 NZD per month. We currently have $850 monthly coming from a range of donors, which means that we only need another $1150 monthly. Please pray about supporting the freeslaves.org project on a monthly basis. Even small amounts add up to something significant. So if you feel led to give to help support our Pakistani team, please visit freeslaves.org/donate.
Other Opportunities to Give
$500+ Aid for families in need in Pakistan
$500+ We are hoping to send some aid to the refugee families in Bangkok
$1000-$1500 We are hoping to set free another family before Christmas
It’s our goal to continue to raise awareness of Christian slavery and to see more families set free. If you are on facebook, please consider re-sharing or liking the facebook.com/freeslaves.org posts. It’s an easy way to involve more people in the project.
On behalf of all the families that have been set free so far, Emmanuel, Mel and I want to thank you for responding to the call to set the captives free. We pray that you would be blessed for your generosity to the body of Christ in Pakistan. When we give to the poor, we lends to the Lord. May God repay you for your kindness.
Yours in Christ,
Freeslaves.org | NZ Administrator
m: 027 3111 092