Assisting the Pakistan Flood Victims

Accompanying and assisting the flood victims in Pakistan is one of hundreds of ways in which Medical Mission Sisters around the world try to be a healing presence to others today.

For the past seven months, our Sisters in Pakistan have been in mission with victims of the terrible flooding that affected one-third of their country. Millions of people lost their homes, belongings, crops and animals.

Sister Sylvia Strahler, originally from Ohio, lives and works in Faisalabad and is our District Coordinator in Pakistan. “Initially our team worked with Caritas in their survey, medical camps and food distribution programs about 93 miles from Faisalabad,” she explains. Our Sisters then partnered with a non-government organization to provide goats to the most needy families in a village. “This gives ongoing help to the families in the form of milk for the children who are mostly malnourished…each family that gets goats is committed to give two young goats to another family. This is how many people benefit.”

Before Christmas, our Sisters in Faisalabad helped to distribute food staples to several hundred families of kiln workers. Sister Sylvia explains, “They are some of the poorest people, since they are paid very little. Most of their children are not going to school, but helping to support the family by making bricks.”

During this same time, Pakistani Sister Pauline Sadiq went to her home province, Sindh, and worked with the Columban Fathers in assisting the villagers, giving them warm clothes and also providing goats to needy families.

Sister Agatha Titi Prawati, who is from Indonesia and now serves in Lahore, Pakistan, reports that our Sisters in Lahore ministered in the area of Kasur. They held five health camps in coordination with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. “We decided to focus on health, rehabilitation of the villagers’ crops, and repairing their houses and boundary walls,” she shares. They gave seeds to needy families, and sewing machines to some young women who do not attend school, and helped to repair houses with bricks and cement.

With gratitude to the generous donors who have been helping our Sisters’ mission in Pakistan, Sister Agatha says that, for the people, “It is their faith journey that teaches them to believe that God always cares for and loves them. God never leaves us alone, and God doesn’t give us a challenge that we cannot cope with…we journey together and experience God alive in our midst.”

February 1, 2011