By Michelle King
01/26/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On March 27, 2016, a suicide bomber from an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban attacked Gulshan e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan, where many Christian families were celebrating Easter. The attack killed more than 70 people and wounded more than 300 others.
Following the attack, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban claimed that Christians were the target of the attack and that they would commit more acts of terror against Pakistan’s Christian population.
International Christian Concern (ICC) conducted an initial survey and found that the attack killed 23 Christians while another 45 were seriously injured and required hospitalization. Many of the Christians who died in the attack were the primary breadwinners for their families, including Tariq’s brother, Ali, and Zahid’s son.
After Ali’s death, his family struggled to find a sustainable source of income. Tariq recalled, “The Easter day bombing left me alone. My brother always supported me in difficult times; however, after his death I was extremely depressed.”
ICC learned about Ali’s death and his family’s struggle to find steady income sources and sent a representative to determine how ICC could best help the family. After several discussions, ICC funded a beauty salon for Tariq and his family to operate. ICC purchased various materials including cosmetic sets, shelves, racks, revolving chairs, sofa sets, mirrors, and other materials necessary for a salon.
Zahid and his family have also struggled since the death of his son. “The death of my beloved son was almost [the] end of the world for me. I never thought of it. The incident did a lot of financial damage to us…” Zahid’s other son, Paul, said, “I lost my interest in any work, assignment or job [because] I miss him a lot and feel lonely without [my brother].”
To assist Zahid’s family, ICC purchased a sound system including a sound mixer, speakers, microphones, laptops, and tables so that Zahid and Paul can rent out the sound system for special occasions.
Both Tariq and Zahid’s families expressed gratitude for the “great initiative and support by ICC.” One of Zahid’s relatives noted, “We have no words to thank the entire team for your thoughtfulness and care.” Tariq rejoiced that the small business assistance provided “an opportunity to lift me up.”
Please pray for these families as they run their own businesses, that they will effectively manage each operation. Pray for safety and that the businesses will not be attacked. In addition, pray that each business will be a daily reminder of God’s love and provision.
By Michelle King