Copied here is a letter from Veeda Javaid. Please pray for Pakistan and the Presbyterian Education Boark:
December 20, 2014
For many years, Pakistan has been a divided society, politically, socially,
religiously. Over the years, terrorism has increased. People are no longer
surprised at news of bomb blasts and shootings. Pakistan has lost thousands in
terrorist attacks, but December 16, 2014 will be remembered as the bloodiest
day in the history of Pakistan, the day terrorists attacked a school and
massacred innocent school children, the day that united Pakistan.
Following the attack on a school in Peshawar, political parties have turned
aside from their own agendas and the nation now stands with one voice, “No room
for terrorism.” On December 16, 2014, one hundred and thirty-two children died,
shot in cold blood by members of the Pakistan Taliban. These children should
have been part of Pakistan’s future. Instead, for many families in Peshawar,
there is no hope for the future. As one grieving father said, “My son was my
dream. Today I buried my dream.” For the first time the country is empty of
dreams. We do not have the words to describe the grief of a parent who lays his
child in the earth before his time. It is a sorrow too large to bear. As
someone has said, “The smallest coffins are the heaviest.”
But, with sorrow, there is anger in Pakistan today. There is anger at those who
turned their eyes away from terror and let the cost be paid in human lives.
There is anger at those who supported the killers and there is shame - shame
that as a country we could not protect our children. There is shame amongst
people who remained silent at the time of crises. Dear friends, we as a nation
have a bad habit of forgetting everything within days and weeks, no matter how
big a tragedy is, but this time history will not forgive us if we forget the
blood of our children. People have finally started to realize and accept that
extremism is a national issue; it is a war we are all involved in. We cannot
turn a blind eye to what is happening in our country. As a nation, we have to
stand united against this brutality.
All Presbyterian Education Board schools observed black day. Children wore
black arm bands and candles were lit for the children of Peshawar. Many
churches and Christian organizations have cancelled Christmas celebrations and
have instead held special prayers. One student came to me and said, “I want to
be an army officer because I want to punish the Taliban.” One mother shared
that she was worried and concerned for her 3 daughters and didn’t want to send
them to school, but the girls were adamant that they wanted to come. “We are
not scared of terrorists,” they said.
The government received information that more terrorists are planning attacks
on schools and in order to protect students, asked all schools and colleges to
close for winter break from December 19, 2014 until January 5, 2015. Before
Presbyterian Education Board schools closed, we were able to deliver Christmas
gifts to all boarding house students.
Please pray for
Executive Director, Presbyterian Education Board in Lahore, Pakistan
Monday, December 22, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
A beautiful, new thank you message is posted on the Presbyterian World Mission website. Thank you to all our congregation that participate with and support Presbyterian World Mission.