(Jesus speaking) "You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them... (Mark 14:7).
Here’s a new twist to my daily encouragement - (and please forgive the length)... Many of you will have seen a young man called Haroon Joy from Pakistan posting here over the past few months. Haroon contacted me last night and started to share his distress over the Brick Kiln Factories in Pakistan. I won't bother paraphrasing but will simply let Haroon speak to you in his own heart-aching words …
“An estimated 4.5 million people work in 20,000 brick kiln factories. Most are effectively slaves who are driven by poverty or illness and deluded by taking small loans from brick Kiln ‘masters’, and master's affix thumb impressions of laborers on papers to accept the condition that they have to make bricks to pay back the loan, they quickly become trapped in a cycle of extortionate interest rates and spiralling debt, working for up to 15 hours a day for as little as $5. Heavy deductions are made if targets are not met, and to cover ‘expenses’ and breakages. Though most workers are illiterate, they have no way of verifying the accuracy of their accounts. They can never really pay it back. So they spend the rest of their lives making bricks and become their slaves. The master owns the whole family.
As I meet this community, I thought I should raise the funds to pay each family’s debt and set them free, but I come to know that If you’re an outsider and try to redeem a family the master will charge you double, triple, quadruple to outprice you, In reality, a family kept in a lifetime of bonded labour is worth far more to a brick master than the repayment of the initial debt.
This is the story of 4.5 million families, which are trapped in bonded labour” with adults and small children working long hours in horrendous conditions of weather to make thousands of bricks each per day, even female got raped and harassed due to their slavery and poverty!
Child labour is banned in Pakistan but enforcement of the law is zero. So an influential person runs everything according to his will. So the result is up to 70 percent of the bonded children, often inheriting their parents’ debt. They receive no access to education, healthcare, or even basic sanitation.
God spoke to me that releasing them from bonded labour is not enough to fix the abject poverty that drove them into it in the first place. “I will make a way and you have to educate them this will enable them to gain employment, break the chains of slavery, pay off their parents’ debt, and sustain their family once released from slavery.”
I have asked Haroon how we (his Christian brothers and sisters) can help in this dire situation and he's begun by asking for Books, Stationery, Notebooks, Uniforms, Shoes, a Teacher, Desks, Classroom/ School appliances like chairs and boards etc.
PLEASE pray for them and contact me if you feel you'd like to help ... ALL IDEAS WELCOME ... Bless you.
URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS
NB - New and urgent prayer requests and updates are coming in thick and fast and getting too long to just be tagged onto the daily encouragement. As such, I've created a separate page for you to view on the below link, which will be updated constantly ...
The Lord Bless you for caring