Monday, December 22, 2014

A letter from Veeda Javaid

Copied here is a letter from Veeda Javaid. Please pray for Pakistan and the Presbyterian Education Boark:

December 20, 2014

Dear Friends,

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 Pakistan.

Veeda Javaid
Executive Director, Presbyterian Education Board in Lahore, Pakistan

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thank you from Presbyterian World Mission

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.