The survivor of a brutal gang rape at gun point, has found happiness from the depths of despair when she married Shahid Masih (22 yrs).
Farzana (21 yrs), slowly rebuilt her life after being attacked as a teenager along with her younger sister Sehrish, thanks to counselling sessions from BACA representative, Mehwish Bhatti which helped her understand the Biblical importance of marriage.
Shahid, a professional driver, accepted his bride with full knowledge of her tragic ordeal and full of love for his precious wife. This is quite a bold response in Pakistan were honour culture has infected even the minds of Christians, however many churches are responding to this social malaise.
The wedding which took place in Faisalabad on 15th July 2019, was a one-day traditional Pakistani event that started with prayer led by Catholic Elder Younis Masih (43 yrs).
The bride was wearing a beautiful yellow and green outfit as part of the traditional Pakistani rituals of Mehndi before the wedding, where she was anointed with holy oil and henna by female family members and her friends. This was followed by a ceremony at the Warispura Catholic Church in Faisalabad later that afternoon, solemnised by Father Saleem during which she wore a white dress following the European Christian tradition the British left behind.
Blessings were declared for her sister Sehrish (a rape survivor from the same incident) who worked diligently at making Farzana’s special day perfect. Sehrish prayed for Farzana to have a happy marriage like her in response. Later the newlywed couple greeted everyone and thanked them for making their wedding a beautiful occasion.
Farzana spoke with BACA, she said:
“Today I start my new life free of the despair that once consumed me.
“The bond of marriage is a sacred one and I thank God for his work in me that has led to this day and a much brighter future.
“Shahid is a wonderful man and I now dedicate my life to him and to God our protector – may He bless our union.”
Farzana’s father, Ilyas Masih, thanked Mehwish Bhatti for her constant support of both his daughters. He said “it was never possible without God’s grace and the help of BACA. My hope is renewed and when I join my father in heaven I will die without any regrets from this world,”
BACA helped the family with a gift of £450 towards the cost of the wedding.