Published: 00:01 GMT Standard Time - Wednesday 23 March 2011
Easter Appeal 2011
Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry...” Matthew 15:32
Younis is a 60-year-old Pakistani Christian. Three years ago, he had a heart attack and was no longer able to work. In August 2010, his house was destroyed in the devastating floods. His family is now receiving monthly food parcels from Barnabas Fund. Younis told us:
After all we have gone through in the past months we can now see a beacon of light. We have hope that life will be back to normal again in one or two years from now. The Lord brought us brothers and sisters from far to help us in our time of need. We are full of joy and very thankful.
Rocketing food prices
Food parcels, distributed through local churches, help Iraqi Christian families to survive at this time of desperation as they suffer threats and violence
Over the past few months, countries in the Middle East and North Africa have been rocked by civil unrest as people come together to protest against their leaders and the conditions in which they are living. Unemployment, rising prices and widespread dissent have already brought down governments in Tunisia and Egypt, at the time of writing, and led to chaos and rioting in Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Iran, Algeria and Yemen. But such monumental changes can have a knock-on effect across the region as food and oil prices rocket and vital resources become scarce. In February, protests in Egypt brought the country's economy to a grinding halt and the cost of basic supplies such as rice, potatoes and lentils doubled, causing immense hardship especially to many very impoverished Christians.
Our brothers and sisters can suffer for their faith in countries where they are a despised minority and where discrimination can make them extremely poor. When civil unrest causes global food prices to rise, Christians already living in poverty are thrown into a desperate plight. Such price rises can also affect Christians in countries that are already ravaged by famine due to drought and failed harvests.
Feeding our family
Last year, Barnabas Fund provided food to an estimated 104,000 Christians in contexts where they were suffering more intense need than other sections of the population. We regularly support Iraqi Christians, both those in Iraq, and those who have fled to nearby Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to escape anti-Christian persecution. We also provide food parcels to Christians who suffer for their faith in Pakistan and Egypt.
Barnabas Fund also offers emergency relief to Christian families in times of disaster and famine. In the last four months, we distributed food supplies to hundreds of Christians affected by drought in Niger and Burundi, while in Benin and Nepal we provided food aid to Christians after flooding left families struggling. We have sent food to help Christians affected by the floods in Sri Lanka in January and February this year.
- Pakistani Christian family Christians in Pakistan are extremely poor and can often barely afford food. Barnabas Fund provides monthly food parcels for more than 600 needy families and for hundreds of others affected by the floods last year
- Christians affected by flooding in Sri Lanka in early 2011 Thousands of Christians were affected by flooding in Sri Lanka in early 2011. Help from Barnabas Fund is distributed through local churches
- Christian child collects aid in zimbabwe Massive inflation in Zimbabwe has crippled the country and left thousands of people unable to afford supplies. Barnabas Fund supports struggling Christians in this country
- Christians in Niger recieve supplies Barnabas Fund distributed essential supplies to Christians in Niger when drought left them without food
Supporting Christians at Easter
Our Lord is concerned for the physical needs of His people as well as their spiritual needs. Just as He asked His disciples to feed those who had been listening to Him, so He calls us to provide for our hungry brothers and sisters as they struggle to provide for their families. We would like to invite you to join us in helping to support those Christians who are in desperate need at this time. Please would you prayerfully consider giving a gift to our Feeding Fund, to enable us to direct help to those who need it most? If you have recently given to Barnabas Fund, please do not feel pressured to do so again, but please do pray for Christians who are facing difficult circumstances this Easter.
With our Lord's blessings this Easter,
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo
International Director, Barnabas Fund
If you would like to donate please send your donation to:
Feeding Fund - 00-636.
Alternatively, you may give to the General Fund - 00-000
and allow Barnabas to use it wherever the need is greatest.
If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 00-636 (Feeding Fund).
If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference 00-636 (Feeding Fund).
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/636 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is currently available only to UK supporters).
PS: If you have recently given a gift to Barnabas Fund, please do not feel pressured to give again, but please do pray for Christians who are facing difficult circumstances this Easter.