International Christian friendship in the face of a pandemic

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Published: 25th September 2020

When lockdown struck in March, Fairfield Church in Evesham, like many others, began live-streaming acts of worship online. One Sunday just after Easter, the church experienced an unprecedented reach, with almost 2,000 engagements recorded for their service. Following this, lay worker, Sarah Hewitt, received over 40 Facebook friend requests from Christians all over the world.

One such request was received from Mansoor Imran (pictured) from Renala Khurd, Pakistan, with whom Sarah began a prayerful correspondence. Mansoor explained how the pandemic had affected life in his community, with many people unable to work safely due to poor access to healthcare and social services, and how numerous people were nearing starvation.

After establishing contact between the Dioceses of Worcester, Manchester and Lahore in Pakistan, eventually Mansoor was found. Sarah set up a GoFundMe page and within 5 months raised enough funds for the Diocese of Lahore to source and buy food for 50 families for a month. The 45kg food boxes were transported 130km by donkey cart to Renala Khurd and contained items like wheat, cooking oil, rice, sugar, tea, salt, chilli and turmeric powder, milk and soap.

Sarah said, “My thanks go to God first and foremost for inspiration and encouragement, coaxing me not to stop until I found a way through. Also to all who generously supported us with time, financial contributions and prayer support.

“To Bishop Irfan in Lahore, his Chaplain Rev’d Qaiser, Mr Zeeshan and Mr Wilson who located Mansoor, and all the other people I don’t know about.

“Finally, thank you to Mansoor who reached out and not once asked for help but simply shared a story. It is now my pleasure to say that I’ve gained a whole family of friends in Pakistan and a new long-distance sister in Sunitavictor!”

Videos of worship in Renala Khurd and the delivery of the food boxes are available to view online: https://www.facebook.com/sarahjhewitt/posts/10158455109397819.

Find out more about Fairfield Church on its website: https://fairfieldchurch.co.uk/im-new/.


Page last updated: 25th September 2020 6:54 PM
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