In Pakistan, families spend a large portion of their income on education; a sacrifice that parents make gladly for their children.
The mother will normally work until 11pm to make the home clean, tidy, and ready for the next day. This environment and the parents’ sacrifice helps a child to grow up with a heart which is kind and open to God.
At school, Christian children face many challenges. They are often economically poor, ethnically despised and a minority among a Muslim majority (Christian comprise 1.5% of a 190 million population). For a child, these experiences will bring reliance on God and an expectation of Jesus as a personal saviour. If a child has to drop out of school then opportunities for jobs and security in the future become limited and there may be a temptation to ‘give up’ on God. ‘It is by God’s grace that children do well at school’, a parent might well say after each exam!
A father’s task is to provide for the family and be a godly leader in the home. He needs to be Hercules! But his God is more than Hercules. Jobs are scarce and often Muslim applicants will get preferential treatment. His heavenly Father knows this and has promised to provide. But there is more to it than that: God has put him in a place where he can demonstrate grace to his colleagues and superiors. If he has experienced God’s love and forgiveness he can forgive those who persecute and ridicule him. His personal experience with God and walk with Jesus will enable him. The next generation will stand or fall partly due to his demonstration of grace.
In Pakistan, a home, family, classmates, friends and colleagues are opportunities for showing grace. Experiencing grace helps us to understand God, and understanding God will help us to understand grace. God, almighty and self-sufficient, loved us, the weak and dependant. We must trust him for all and in all situations. Appreciating grace from God is to say, ‘Thank you, God; you loved me, as I am and where I am’.
Written by Ashkenaz Asif Khan
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