The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) answered the call of the Presbyterian community in Pakistan, and launched a donation campaign last year to support the humanitarian program offering help to Afghan refugees in the country. Thanks to the donations of the Church members, RCH was able to offer 14 000 USD to support Tehillim organisation and the First Presbyterian Churh in Karachi within their Give, Act and Participate humanitarian project. Rev. Dr. Eric Sarwar, founding director of the Tehillim Pakistan and minister of the Church expressed his gratitude on behalf of the voluntary team implementing the project Helping Hand and the Afgani families themselves.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me” (Matthew 25:35)
Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Pakistan has become a dangerous ‘sanctuary’ and refuge for the new Afghan refugees. Afghans have been running from their war-battered home country and making Pakistan their home for the last three decades. According to media reports, in 2021, Pakistan ranked the third-largest country to accept Afghan refugees. However, most refugees are concerned about their family and extended relatives stuck in Afghanistan.
As of the Taliban's take over, the impending refugee crisis makes Pakistan's government fearful of handling the influx of refugees. Despite the COVID 19 restrictions, many Afghan refugees crossed Chaman (Quetta) and KPK borders to enter Pakistan. Despite crossing borders still, there is a threat of "deportation, police harassment, discrimination, and poverty," said a teenage boy sitting near the blanket pile. In addition to that, "we also linked to street crimes and terrorism."
Although Pakistan's government has temporary camp cities near the border, it is hard to keep them in camps due to health issues. One of the local coordinators says it is a "humanitarian crisis". These refugees live under the fear of hunger, and displacement as their destiny.
Tehillim (Hebrew for the Psalms) School of Church Music & Worship (TSCM) is a registered guaranteed trust in the sub-registrar office in Karachi. As a pioneer school of worship and music and interdisciplinary learning ministry centre TSCM fosters the academic study of the ethnomusicology, missiology, and tradition of Christian worship in worshiping communities across Pakistan and overseas diaspora.
Despite crossing borders still, there is a threat of "deportation, police harassment, discrimination, and poverty," said a teenage boy sitting near the blanket pile. In addition to that, "we also linked to street crimes and terrorism". One of the local coordinators says it is a "humanitarian crisis." These refugees live under the fear of hunger and hopelessness as their destiny. Helping Hands brings Hope in the Hostile Situation.
With the help and support of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Tehillim Pakistan and the First Presbyterian Church reached the poor neighbourhood of the Afghan refugee colony in the outskirts of Karachi. Amidst the first winter wave, 250 families received two blankets and a bag of food supplies. Despite the limited resources, blankets and a food bag are distributed in two phases. Tehillim Helping Hands work is still in progress, and we are reaching more needy families and children in Karachi and Quetta Chaman border.
Tehillim Pakistan is determined to continue the help and keep sharing Christ's light of hope in the darkness of uncertainty for Afghan Refugees. Amidst the swelling sense of uncertainty, "this is a ray of hope," states an elderly man.
Thanks to RCH for standing in GAP: Give, Act, and Participate to engage Afghan Refugees in Karachi.