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A Miracle Schools house church

True courage in suffering
  • by Guest Contributer
  • June 7, 2021

Amelia van Netten – Ambassador, Miracle School Ministries

Join with me in imagining this:

Your father, and your father’s father, were all born in slavery on the brick kiln. Everyday life is filled with the rolling and moulding of bricks in the scorching sun. Alongside your wife and two children, you feel the deep sorrow of the conditions you live in.

There is no clean water to drink, your owners don’t always pay for your work, and food is scarce. Christians are persecuted in Pakistan. According to your birth certificate you are a Christian, but you have never heard of Christ or how to follow him. Yet, every day you suffer in His name.

That was until you met a Pastor from Miracle School Ministries.

This is the true story of Shafi and Sani*. Miracle School Ministries has been reaching families on the brick kilns by sending pastors to meet people in their homes. This is where Shafi and Sani came to hear the Gospel for the first time. For around six years, they continued to hear the message but weren’t sure if they wanted to follow Jesus. One day Sani saw others in her community being baptised, and realised that she was ready to follow Jesus. That day she decided to be baptised!

It took a little while longer for Shafi, but with Sani’s great encouragement he too decided to follow Jesus. Not long after this, Miracle was able to start a local house church where Shafi and Sani could meet with other believers. Shafi and Sani are so grateful that their children can attend Miracle’s teaching and Sunday school programs to hear about Jesus too. 

At the end of last year, through the great generosity of Australian supporters via Anglican Aid, together we were able to release this family from their bonded slave debt on the brick kiln. Shafi and Sani now live a few streets away from the brick kiln they were once enslaved to. 

Recently, Sani faced a miscarriage due to the local environment and health conditions. In the face of great suffering, Shafi and Sani were able to endure as followers of Jesus with the comfort that the present sufferings they face are not comparable to glory that is held in the new creation for them. 

For many families like Shafi and Sani, Miracle’s work is the only opportunity their families have to hear the Gospel, become educated, and be set free from the bonded slave labour that binds their lives inter-generationally.

Many of the brick kiln people are unable to work and disheartened because of the ongoing pressures of Covid. Miracle has taken every opportunity for both pastors and teachers to spend time with families on the brick kilns. In the past month, 29 people have come to faith and been baptised! These families have joined local house Churches, and their children continue to be educated through the work of the teachers. 

“Knowing God’s grace in our suffering is the thing that gives us true courage. It is only in Jesus and His Word that grace in suffering is found.”

 

Miracle co-founder Angela Michael told me, “Although it is a very hard time for the brick kiln people as they face starvation, hunger and sickness, we have all been learning that knowing God’s grace in our suffering is the thing that gives us true courage.

“Bringing hope in this difficult time is the most important part of our ministry and Covid has given us new opportunities we never imagined. It is only in Jesus and His Word that grace in suffering is found. We have never before seen so many be baptised. God is using even our greatest sufferings to save His people. All glory to God!”

Will you consider partnering with Miracle so that families like Shafi and Sani and many more can have the opportunity to be educated, free from slavery and come to know the grace and hope found in Jesus?

As the End of Financial Year comes around, please prayerfully consider how can be part of strengthening our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

Miracle School Ministries seeks to serve the poorest and most vulnerable people who face poverty and slavery as their daily lot. Miracle School is working to educate over 1000 families across two school sites and has recently grown to have 15 house churches. Through these ministries, Miracle has incredible opportunities to see people freed from slave labour. Amidst Covid, education has mainly been limited to home visits by Miracle’s dedicated teachers. It is the hope of the gospel that sustains the children and families of the ministry.

Brick kilns in Pakistan

Let grace flow through generosity

All donations to Anglican Aid for this project are tax deductible. In the case that a fundraising appeal has received sufficient donations, any surplus funds will be used for a similar activity or an activity in the same country.

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