Mehwish Bhatti lead officer for the British Pakistani Christian Association has been meeting victims of the Monday afternoon bomb attack on Ferozepur Road
in Lahore (click here).
During her many visits she has been sharing condolences with families of those who have been killed and injured from amongst the Christian victims.
She will be visiting Muslim victims in hospital from today and will be providing counselling and prayers for any who wish to receive it.
Saul Samuel (RIP)
The first family Mehwish met was the family of Saul Samuel (11 yrs). Saul was in the vegetable market area at, Kot Lakhpat, Lahore waiting
for a rickshaw. Saul was going to travel to his father Samuel Masih at Liberty Market where they sell small toys and drinks every day. He dedicated
a few hours after school every day so that he could help his father earn money to support the family.
When the incendiary device exploded at 3.30pm on Monday 24th July 201, Saul was amongst those nearest to the blast and is believed to have died
instantly from the force of explosion. His family only realised he was killed after the young boy so close to his teens, failed to arrive at work.
After hearing about the explosion family members rushed to the scene of the bomb attack and found young Sam dead.
Saul was a regular church attendee at Full Gospel Assembly Church in Bahar Colony, Lahore. His father tells us that in recent months he was developing
a great passion for scripture and even expressed a desire to be baptised. His parents told us they gained some solace that Saul will be baptized before
Mehwish, has met the family and has been providing biblically-based trauma counseling. The family are extremely traumatised and Mehwish has agreed
to meet regularly with the family whilst in Lahore this month.
Sam was one of six siblings and the only one of them dedicated to supporting his family through employment which he did of his own volition. His father
says he earned the family a minimum of £100 per month because of his strong work ethic. The family are extremely poor and will find it hard to cope without the extra income of Sam and we would like to raise £600 for his family to support them for six months as they try to get their lives back on track after this devastating loss. Any donors wishing to contribute to any of these victims and their families, can donate by clicking (here)
Sam’s Mother Nargis (54 yrs), said:
“My heart aches for Sam, he sacrificed so much to support our family despite being so young. He displayed great love and selflessness that none of us deserved, now I can never repay him. He will always be remembered by all of us he was such a caring child he deserved so much more. I don’t think I will ever stop crying he is such a great loss.
“The cruel men that have taken my son will be judged by God for their evil crime. They have taken so many lives because they believe a lie. While they will burn in hell my son will now share a place in heaven with his Father and Creator one day I will reunite with him.”
Mehwish also visited Daniel John aka Jugnoo ((35 years) a rickshaw driver who had just dropped off a passenger as he passed by the vegetable market
on Ferozepur Road, when the explosion occurred.
Daniel John was thrown to the floor with his rickshaw by the force of the explosion. He was immediately rendered unconscious and woke up in the
midst of the huge rescue effort hours later. Daniel sustained severe skin damage on his left arm, back and left leg due to being thrown on extremely
rough terrain mixed with shattered glass. He has been asked by doctors to take two weeks off work. He is also exhibiting signs of severe
trauma and Mehwish has been providing some counselling and will be repeating visits to the family.
Daniel has requested help in raising funds for the two weeks he is expecting to be of work and for the repair of his rickshaw windscreen and tyres which were damaged in the blast. The total cost of this will be around £400.Any donors wishing to contribute to any of these victims and their families, can donate by clicking (here)
Daniel who is a regular member of Saint Peter’s Church in Bahar Colony, described his experience of the explosion, he said:
“I heard a loud bang suddenly everything went black. I must have woken up about an hour later and was surrounded by people in a panic. I knew this as all I could hear was screaming and shouting and people moaning from the pain they were suffering.
“Two paramedics helped me into an ambulance and gave me some water to drink as I was thirsty. Within a short space of time we reached Hameed Latif Hospital and I was injected with morphine for pain relief and a glucose drip was feeding me with energy.”
“Whilst recovering in hospital I realised how fortunate I had been, if I travelled just 20m further I would be dead now. I believe God has a purpose for my life and hope I can fulfill it – I do not deserve His grace. So many innocent people were killed all I can remember is their dead bodies and the screaming of those who survived. I have been praying for all the survivors and the families who have lost loved ones may God give them all peace. I understand their pain.”
Mehwish visited the family of Ilyas Masih (24 yrs) at his funeral. Ilyas had set up a struggling furniture repair business within the vegetable
market. His brother Nadeem Masih (26 yrs) had only just left the shop to eat some food when the blast occurred. Ilyas was killed immediately
as his shop was only metres from the explosion.
Nadeem Masih, described the traumatic moment he realised his brother was dead.
“I was eating at home when the explosion occurred. I immediately realised my brother would have been in the impact zone. I rushed with other family members to be with Ilyas but on arrival all I could see was the lifeless body of my brother who had always been so full of life, ripped to pieces.
“I gripped his corpse trying to hold it together hoping it could somehow be revived. and sat with him as I called other family members to tell them the news. When we got to the hospital Ilyas was declared dead on arrival. It was then that I really felt his loss, I realised I would never see his beautiful smile again and my heart felt so heavy.”
“I still have not come to terms with the loss of my brother he was younger then me and my responsibility. I will grieve his loss every day.”
Ilyas was a committed member of St Francis Catholic Church in Bahar Colony and he leaves behind his wife Samira (21 yrs), who is expecting a child.
Samira, spoke of her loss, she said:
“Ilyas and I had only known each other for 8 months but he was my life. I am very broken now and feel lost without me. He was my shield of protection and now I feel vulnerable. I am carrying his child and thank God for this blessing to provide a legacy for Ilyas who lost his life so young.
“My child is my focus right now I am worried about how I will be able to bring my child up without a father and seek prayers for this burden I am feeling.”
His distraught wife is seeking help financially as Ilyas was the main breadwinner and she cannot work due to her child. We would like to support the family for at least a year at the rate of £133 per month, which was the average monthly salary for Ilyas. Any donors wishing to contribute to any of these victims and their families, can contribute by clicking (here)
be for a long term basis no doubt as Samira gets to grips with life alone as a vulnerable single mother in Pakistan – a nation with no welfare system
and a warped honour culture that may mean she is never remarried.
There are four more Pakistani Christian victims we are still in the process of meeting with and we will update this post as soon as we have details. The names of others victims includes:
Patras Masih age unknown
There will no doubt be a need for funds to support these individuals and we ask that any donors wishing to contribute to the overall restoration of lives of the victims and their families, donate by clicking (here)
Mehwish and our BPCA team have also been visiting Muslim victims and their families and have been offering prayer and counselling to victims. Two Muslim victims have sought prayers for healing. More details on these visits will be included on our next update.
Adnan Mukhtar (22 years)
Amir Rasheed 38
Images of Ilyas Masih Funeral:
Image of Saul and family before bomb attack:
Images of Saul’s funeral: