Christians in the remote villages of Kasur around brick kilns were given a special treat this year during our annual Easter outreach mission. Christians living in the area suffer extreme hardship under some of the most difficult and dangerous working conditions this earth has to offer. Families are usually indentured slaves who have signed their lives away for a small loan of around £50. This is usually to pay for medical treatment for a wife going through pregnancy as the government of Pakistan offers little or no help.
Trustees and the management of British Asian Christian Association, wanted to resume our previous outreach programme which had somewhat stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind we began a programme of visits to several communities where churches do not exist, The church here survives through local missionaries who share the Gospel with these remote Christian communities during occasional visits.
On 13th April BACA’s outreach team visited the brick kiln of Haji Riaz, Kasur. Pastor Junaid Haqani presided over the service which was attended by 25 Christian families. A simple resurrection message was shared with them based on the Gospel account from Hebrews 9 v 12:
“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”
Pastor Junaid, reminded visitors that their lives were redeemed through the blood of Jesus. That as such they were equal participants in the kingdom of God despite their circumstances. He appealed to Christians to stay strong in their faith as they were assured a glorious place in heaven. He said:
“It’s the blood of Christ that has redeemed us from the the bondage of sin.
“We are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb who was crucified for us so that we may have eternal life with Him.
“No matter what condition of life we are living on this earth, the blood of Christ has ensured a glorious life in Heaven.
“We will be with him if we believe in the power of His blood.”
Special prayers were said for the Ukraine and Russia Conflict.
On 16th April, BACA’s Outreach team lead Easter worships at three more locations in different districts of Punjab, taking travelling Pastors Munir Masih and Yusuf Masih.
One service was held at a brick kiln in Liliyani, district Kasur, two other worship services were carried out at the brick kiln of Haji Tariq at Rana Bhatti, and the brick kiln of Rana Shaukat at Morawala District Sheikhupura.
25 families at the Liliyani Brick Kiln welcomed our team and worshiped the Lord joyously, during a long awaited service. Despite the difficult lives these Christians face their desire to hear God’s word remains strong.
6 Christian families at the brick kiln of Haji Tariq heard the message of salvation. Sister Nazira, a worker at the brick kiln of Haji Tariq said,
“I am thankful to the servants of the Lord for coming to us and sharing the message of hope with us.
“Without the Gospel we would not be able to survive our harsh lives.
“Our community is starved of the Gospel and we worry for our children who have little understanding of our faith.
“They are easily bullied into accepting Islam, or do wrong things because they do not know what is right.”
Pastor Yusaf Masih shared a message of forgiveness with the Christian workers at the brick kiln of Rana Shaukat, he said:
“Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross and forgave his persecutors.
“We must learn to forgive those who persecute us because of our Cristian faith.
“Christ has set the example for us; His people are to forgive others.
“If we hold on to hate and anger it is our souls that will be spoiled.
“We must trust God and in his plans for our lives.”
Celebratory food including biriyani Rice were served to all visitors in observance of the resurrection of Christ. For many of the Christian families it was the largest and most nutritious meal they had had in a long time. Though painful to realise how destitute these families are, it was a great gift to be able to share time and food with our brothers and sisters on such an important date in the Christian calendar.
Pastor Juniad Haqani, was moved by the attentiveness to his service in by local Christians in Kasur. He has suggested to BACA that we help establish a small church and Sunday School at these brick kilns.
While in the brick kilns our Field team met with Pakistan’s infamous slave community. Some of them spoke with us.
Samina Bibi, a brick kiln worker, informed us that she works at the brick kiln along with her six children. Her children work with her as she has no other option. She cannot afford school fees and costs and her children would have to travel too far for her to get to work which for them starts very early.
Zarina Bibi, another worker at the brick kiln, spoke with our team, she said:
“I have been making bricks for the last six years with my husband.
“We are both paid 800 PKR (£3.47) each day and our salary is paid weekly.”
“It’s a very hard existence sometimes I feel great despair but my hope is in God’s promise of heaven.”
Zarina has seven children who work with her and her husband. Zarina has been unable to send her children to school because there is no school nearby.
“I would send our children to school if a school opens nearby in future”
These outreaches have a number of significant costs including travel, printing and wages. We also would like to print Bibles at the cost of £4 each and to distribute these liberally at each of our events so that Christians everywhere have access to the Word of God for free. If you would like to help us raise the funds to continue this work then please donate (here).