ACSI Australia Term 2 Vol. 2 Update – Focus on Pakistan

Service Learning and Mission Focus

Ben Campbell, EO of African Enterprise Australasia, is developing an exciting initiative which focuses on how young people are working through the current COVID crisis in Africa. He has been developing a brochure that highlights various ministry dimensions across Sub-Saharan Africa, and is hoping that Christian schools in Australia might get involved.

Read more about the Foxfires Youth evangelism project in the brochure, where African youth give up a year of their time after school to evangelise schools through songs, dance and drama. With support from Australia, Ben’s plan is to get video updates during the year and build connections between Australia and Africa. Ben would love to engage mission minded schools in ‘adopting’ Foxfires teams as listed in the brochure and bring to life the very real situation of schools in Africa and their receptiveness to Jesus. 

 


Focus on Pakistan

We don’t hear a lot about God’s mission in Pakistan, but He has raised up visionary Christian leaders and educators there who need and request our support and prayer. ACSI now has four member school groups in Pakistan.
  1. Christ School System, Lahore | Principal Hamid Iqbal
  2. Friends School System, Lahore | Director Ashraf Rahmat
  3. Our Saviour’s Academy, Quetta | Principal Johnson Emanuel
  4. Queenstown Model School, Islamabad | Principal Joseph Sardar, Chairman Daniel Sardar
These schools particularly need our prayers and our support during this COVID-19 season. The situation for many families is dire.
 
It was such a joy to have Johnson representing Pakistan at the October 2019 ACSI Asia-Pacific Roundtable in Singapore. Some of you met him and can appreciate his humble godly character. Read more about his school in this edition.
 
We welcome Queenstown Model School (QMS) in Pakistan as our newest ACSI Asia-Pacific member. Rev Daniel Sardar is the Chairman of Christ Evangelical Mission Pakistan (CEMP), which oversees QMS. He writes, “Thanks to ACSI that we have received the Certificate and letter of confirmation of membership of Queenstown Model School, Islamabad, Pakistan. God made it possible.  I hope some time an ACSI delegation will come to bless QMS. Pray that Corona is finished so we can travel safely and meet. Meantime view our website. God bless each one at ACSI”.
 
Kaleem Masih, the International Coordinator for CEMP and now based in Utah USA, writes, “On behalf of Christ Evangelical Mission, Pakistan (CEMP) I would like to say thank you very much for accepting Queenstown Model School (QMS) as a member school of ACSI. I believe this will open a great opportunity for not only administrators to learn more but for staff to learn the new methodology of teaching to raise up wonderful students with knowledge and skill. QMS staff is always ready to learn so they can better serve the students. I also encourage the ACSI team to visit our school whenever they feel convenient. We are ready to host you. Keep CEMP and QMS in your prayers at this difficult time.” 

Queenstown Model School, Islamabad

Daniel, at Christ Evangelical Ministries, has informed me of the crisis facing his community during this time of COVID lock-down. He writes, “We need your prayers. Most of the people are suffering from unavailability of provisions, utilities, food and livelihood as they are stuck in their homes.  There is no job and no income.  At some places some NGO’s offer [conversion to] Islam and deny Jesus for food. Pray for the Grace of Jesus that people may stand for Christ at this time of great temptation.  Schools and other educational Institutions are closed up to 31 July 2020. Be with us in prayers that Corona may be wiped out from our country and people’s needs be met at this time”.

And an update …  “Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I feel joy to write you that we all are well here by the grace of our Lord and prayers of HIS believers. When our Government loosened the lockdown for one week at the Eid Festival, the situation became worse and the death rate increased. A new lockdown stronger than before will be more problem for the poor, the jobless and for servants of the Lord like us. Educational Institutions are still closed.  We are trying to carry on teaching by providing the students with homework and follow up.  It is not easy to carry on this way in these circumstances. I am not allowed to go in any public meeting, out of home and or any kind of gathering due to Covid -19. We hope in Jesus you all are safe and sound in the hands of Almighty God and in good health. I send an open invitation and welcome to anyone who feels God’s calling to join us physically as a teacher, having managerial, library and computer skills.  We give all the glory to HIM. Keep in your prayers that the Corona Virus may be removed from the world by the power of the Holy Spirit so that paths for preaching of the Word of God be straight and people receive Jesus the Christ as Savior.  God bless you greatly.”


Christ School System, Lahore | Principal – Hamid Iqbal

Hamid provided the following information which can also inform our prayers.

The crises facing Pakistani Christians: “Failure to provide education is, without doubt, Pakistan’s most urgent self-inflicted disaster.” The statistics speak tragically for themselves

  • In rural areas only 22% of girls and 47% boys complete primary school.
  • Only one third of Pakistan’s children go on to secondary education.
  • 35,000 high school students drop out of school each year due to corporal punishment.

For Christian, the situation is worse. Christians in Pakistan suffer discrimination and it is hard for them to get education and jobs. Government schools are neither sufficient in numbers nor accessible to Christians. If Christians want to be educated, they have to do it themselves—often gathering a class in the church or the open air and hiring a teacher for a small sum.

 

How Christ School is Different from secular or madrasa schools:

  • It is under the auspices of a Christian church
  • It is co-educational with a focus on education for girls – Over 80% of our student population is female. This is a great feat since the national literacy rate for women in Pakistan stands at only 38%.
  • Education is intentionally child-centered and activity-based rather than a traditional system of rote learning. Child-centered education encourages creativity, critical thinking and social skills.
  • We have a robust monitoring framework and complete financial transparency.
  • We have a low-dropout rate of only 1.85%, which is an enormous achievement considering the nationwide dropout rate in Pakistan is 45%.

Challenges

  • Sight checks and provision of glasses – Children are often unaware they have a sight problem as they may never have been able to see properly and have nothing to compare it with.
  • Health checks – Full vaccination programs to ensure no children suffer from polio, tuberculosis etc is our aim. It is better to prevent health issues than to try to solve them after they occur.
  • Infrastructure and furniture – Investment in more durable and sturdier furniture is essential. We need more classrooms, furniture, desks, chairs, books, stationery and teacher salaries.
  • Power supply – ‘Load-shedding’ is a constant problem and alternative power supply like a generator is desperately needed in the school.
  • Security from attack

Friends School System, Lahore | Director – Ashraf Rahmat

Ashraf is the President of Christian Schools Association Pakistan. He is thankful for all prayers and encouragement for Christian schools in Pakistan. He asks us to remember in our prayers all Pakistani Christians who are facing discrimination and persecution because they follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Ashraf wrote, “We need your prayers, guidance and support. May God bless and protect us all. Amen”.

               

Find out more about Friends School System.


Our Saviour’s Academy, Quetta | Principal- Johnson Emanuel  

Our Saviour’s Academy was started by Rev Emanuel Daniel who came to Quetta from Punjab Province to plant a church. He saw the ugly face of poverty derived from a multitude of factors such as inequality, lack of education, marginalization and sometimes persecution of hundreds of poor minority communities. To meet the educational needs of the poor, he started a small literacy centre for street kids in a rental house in 1994. After much prayers he bought land for the church and school through his generous friends.

Vision  |  To see thousands of deprived children from Christian and other minority communities in Pakistan take the journey from ignorance and poverty to a life of dignity and responsibility

Mission  |  To give hope to the children of Pakistan by enabling Our Saviour’s Academy to provide education and an environment for students to learn and achieve, inspire ambition, and prepare a generation to take their place as equal citizens in the country’s future.

Pastor Johnson Emanuel has worked as Principal of Our Saviour’s Academy since 2009. By the grace of God under his leadership OSA upgraded from middle school to secondary school. Johnson and his wife Saima are working hard to make OSA an institution where children would become Ambassadors for Christ.

 


ACSI Global Update

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