“If they say a picture is worth a thousand words, we could write a book about the seed of the Gospel being sown in the hearts of these workers receiving emergency food relief under the shadow of the brick kiln where they work.”
So begins the testimony of our partner Vision for the Kingdom in Pakistan (VKP). In June, VKP distributed bags of food to families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those families work as “bonded laborers” in Pakistan’s brick kilns. In other words, they are debt slaves.
The kiln owners loan money to poor families needing to pay for things like education and medical care. In return, the borrowers agree to repay the loan by working in the kilns. Sadly, the lenders take advantage of the situation, adding on high interest rates and work requirements that make it nearly impossible to pay off the debt. Mothers, fathers, children and grandparents can all end up trapped at the kilns for most of their lives, making bricks as fast as they can from sunrise until dusk. While child labor and bonded labor are both illegal in Pakistan, the laws are not enforced in the rural areas where the kilns operate.
“Pictured left is a family of three generations currently serving in bonded labor in the brickyards of Lahore. Let that sink in for just a moment, as we did…”
For these families, the food relief offered by VKP is a huge blessing. Free food means they don’t have to rely on their lenders for living expenses, which are taken from their wages. VKP is also ministering to these families through God’s Word and helping them to gain their freedom whenever possible. Many of these families already follow Christ, as Pakistan’s religious minorities are most likely to end up enslaved in the kilns.
“Despite the challenges, opportunities abound for God’s work in Pakistan—and the current pandemic is only serving to broaden the reach of the Gospel to people during this time of great need. Don’t miss the fact that by your prayers and support, YOU are a part of that story!”
Your support of ICM means partners like VKP can continue freeing the captives—both physically and spiritually. Thank you for making this ministry possible.