During the month of July Juliet Chowdhry a trustee of the BPCA travelled to Pakistan for the final purchase of our land in Kasur.
We can confirm that documents have now been signed with the local Petwari (land registrar) and that the sale was completed. An architect has now
been selected and he is in the process of finalizing plans and drawings for our proposed school for enslaved children.
This visit was only the third time that Juliet had visited Pakistan, since her husband Wilson Chowdhry was brutally beaten by a security team at the Pakistani High Commissionin
the United Kingdom. Mr Chowdhry was later told that he was beaten and banned from Pakistan as his anti-Pakistani reports were defaming the nation,
since then he has been unable to applying for a tourism visa to Pakistan. Juliet continued with her first visit despite the ban on her husband as
she had to visit a dying family member. During her visit to the country of her birth and current citizenship she was paid a visit by Pakistan’s
secret services on three occasions, one of these visits involved an accompanying Imam who took an inventory of the contents of her parents homes and caused
great terror amongst her family – an act of intimidation that placed great pressure on Juliet and Wilson.
After an absence of 4 years Juliet plucked up her courage and travelled to Pakistan, this time to survey potential land for a school to be established
to serve some of the millions of Christian slave children in Kasur. The trip in March was a great success and though Juliet only visited for a week, Juliet
proposed to visit for three weeks on her next trip to engage with victims and undertake a survey with Christians on the education system of Pakistan.
Our land for the school for enslaved children in Kasur – the local community is extremely excited.
Juliet prays over the new school site with family members and some of the local community.
Whilst there Juliet met with Sehrish and Farzana two gang-raped Christian sisters who BPCA have been caring for over the last two years. The sisters where
abducted at gunpoint whilst using a field as a toilet in rural Pakistan before being brutally beaten and raped for 12 hours. The law courts of Pakistan
failed to convict any of the gang rapists, but the family have moved on and enjoyed a safe house for a year, a period during which we found the male relatives improved
employment and have taught Sherish and Farzana stitching. It is hoped on completion of their stitching course that we will help the two sisters develop
their own business.
Juliet with Sherish and Farzana
“Finally meeting my sisters in Christ was a great moment for me. I have heard their story and spoke over the phone with them so many times, but meeting such brave women in person felt empowering. The trauma these women went through should not be faced by anyone it is totally numbing. But these young women have rebuilt their lives and are eager to live out the next stage of their lives holding great confidence in their future. Times like these can bring you to your knees and I thank God for his favour in the lives of these beautiful women.”
Juliet also took on the challenge of entertaining the children of Shama and Shahzad and the family of Qaisor Pervez at the same time, a feat that can be
daunting for some not used to so many children. However, Juliet a mother of three young daughters could not wait to meet the effervescent children
of Shama and Shazad; Suleman, Poonam, and Sonia again. She was also excited by the prospect of meeting the even younger children of Qaisor Pervez, Sitiash
and Cornelius and to learn about how Qaisor was progressing with his new business, that was developed through the help of the BPCA.
Juliet (in light blue) with family of Qaisor Pervaiz
Qaisor spoke of the great progress he has been making since surviving life-threatening 85% burns and shattered bones, after he grappled a bomber during
the Lahore twin church bomb attack, March 15th 2015. His survival is being hailed as a miracle. Mainly because it is extremely rare for people to
recover from 85% burns, which Qasior did despite their being no special burns unit at Lahore General Hospital where he was admitted. Through a long term
BPCA donor and the growing income of his new business which the BPCA helped him start, Qaisor has become able to rebuild his life. At one point Qaisor
a hardworking man almost watched his life collapse before him, because of an inability to work due to injury and lack f of support from any charity. Now
his recovery has enabled him to live a remarkably rewarding life and he praises God for every blessing. Qaisor has returned to his church security
team and says that if the situation arose again he would be willing to sacrifice his life once more to protect his brothers and sisters in Christ.
Juliet Chowdhry, said:
“Qaisor, shared a moving testimony with me, his life is a testament to the power and love of God. Qaisor’s dedication to return to church and again take up his ministry speaks volumes of his love for God and is a wake up call to all of us. Fear is not a barrier to church attendance in Pakistan, quite conversely it is a reason for the large congregations seen there. The recovery of Qaisor from life threatening injuries without proper medical facilities is no less then a miracle, one that will inspire Pakistani Christian for generations.”
Juliet inaugurated our new safe house that is being funded by Rescue Christians. Our first residents in the home are the family of Khalil Masih an
ice-cream seller who was brutally beaten after Mulslim’s in the tourist region of Changa Munga took offence from receiving products from someone deemed
ritually impure (click here).
Later he was threatened with blasphemy allegations and had to flee his home with his young family. Khalil Masih still recalls the brutal beating
that left him shocked and bleeding and required significant trauma counselling. BPCA have now found him new employment as a rickshaw driver and hope
that soon e will be able to relocate him into his own home where he can rebuild his life and become fully independent again.
Juliet Chowdhry, said:
“That a man could be beaten by extremists and then suffer the ignominy of threats forcing him to leave his home with his young children is disgraceful. The local Police force offered no help stating that the level of animosity towards Kahlil and his family meant their police station was ill-equipped to help them, a whimsical stance that deserves disdain. This is a clear failing by the Pakistani government and I have registered a complaint with the Interior Minister in their behalf. I do not expect a response, however I am glad that as a group we have been able to save this family from further torment and will soon get them back on their feet again.”
Family of Khalil Masih safely in our new haven for victims.
Juliet spoke at 6 churches and met with many other BPCA supported victims and communities, travelling to 12 large cities across Pakistan to do so. Whilst
she was out in Pakistan she undertook a survey on literacy and numeracy skills, attendance at school and barriers to good education in Pakistan. The results
of our survey will soon be incorporated into a report which we hope to share with the Governments of Britain and America two of the larger sponsors of
Pakistan through their respective foreign aid budgets. We hope our analysis will provide both governments with an opportunity to better understand better
the progress made by their investment in Pakistan, and what more can be done to ensure these funds are more effective in attaining their purpose of creating
a more just and stable Pakistan, in which all citizens are accepted, equal and free.
Our work in Pakistan can only continue with the support of our donors. If you would like to help financially to support the work of the BPCA, please (click here)
Juliet sits in congregation.
Juliet’s father Yousaf Arman leads service.
BPCA funded a meal for all visitors to the church service.
Juliet sitting with BPCA nanny for children of Shama and Shahzad
Juliet shares the vision of the BPCA with parishioners
Juliet inaugurates our new safe house funded by Rescue Christians
The first family to enter our safe house belong to ice-cream seller Khaleel Masih.
Parishioners at a church with Juliet.
Family of Khalil Masih
The children of Shama and Shahzad
Mehwish Bhatti with Sherish and Farzana as Juliet’s father prays.
Juliet inspects the kitchen of BPCA safe house (well that’s what we think she is doing…).