Missions in Pakistan Need Our Help

world peace

How Can we help the poor of Pakistan?

Hi friends,

Since my first novel, The Lion’s Den came out, I have had many friend requests on social media from Pakistan.  I guess  where the plot of the book involves the hunt for Osama bin Laden, people from Pakistan are curious about an author from a province on the east coast of Canada, who chooses to write about the politics and customs of their country.  All of the interactions I have had so far with these beautiful people have been positive and respectful.  A couple of them, in particular, have shared snapshots of their lives and work, giving me a deep appreciation for the struggle and hardship that the majority of the people in this country suffer in living their daily lives.

Now, you may ask yourself why would I be interested in helping needy people in Pakistan  when there are plenty of poor people here in our own country?  I would say to you that a large chunk of our tax dollars  is spent on social programs for our needy.  We have medicare, welfare, support programs for drug and alcohol dependency, mental health programs, school lunch programs, and the list goes on and on.  In addition to that, as individuals, many of us support community food banks, and support groups , for example, for single parent families. We donate used clothing to charities for distribution to the poor and hold fundraisers for people who suffer health problems that require medical intervention beyond what our free government-funded health service provides.

Poor Pakistani families, by contrast, have no such support system. Work is difficult to find, therefore money to support a family, and to  look after their health is hard to come by.  A corrupt government system keeps the wealthy wealthy, while the poor people are left to scratch an existence as best they can.  We in the western world cannot imagine a world where people don’t have access to decent food, clothing, shoes, or clean water.  We can’t imagine having to sift through a dump in order to find something to eat.  Most of these people have never seen the inside of a doctor’s office, or even used, let alone owned so much as a toothbrush!  This is what abject poverty looks like.


Pakistan poverty 1Pakistan poverty 2

Thankfully, there are some people in Pakistan who are trying to improve the lives of people in their communities.  My friend, Asma Rehman, works through the Cottage Support Welfare Organization. They have been concentrating for years on getting the over 5 million children who are not in school  the financial assistance they need to get enrolled.  They advocate for women and girls, and fight for their rights to work and receive an education.  Through American-sponsored programs such as “Ball to All”,  Asma and her group have been able to provide free footballs (soccer balls) to deserving children within the community.  The result is that the youth have a positive outlet for recreational activity, and are less likely to get involved with radical religious groups.  Football tournaments are being held, and team spirit and community pride is growing. In addition to the Ball to All program,  the Cottage Support Welfare Organization is involved in holding food and clothing drives and many other positive outreach programs.

ball to all

cottage suoort welfare org



Another friend of mine, Amir Javed, is interested in creating a sustainable, self-sufficient community.  His mission, the Young Martin Welfare Organization, was established to support and uplift the needy families of Lahore, Pakistan.  In a community where the Islamic faith is predominant and the persecution of Christians by extremist Islamic groups is common, Amir’s mission introduces people to the Christian ideals of faith, hope and charity through the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The mission is very hands-on, with a group of dedicated volunteers ministering to needy and impoverished families, gathering children together in Sunday schools, and celebrating the holy seasons such as Christmas and Easter with joy and hope.

In addition to the spiritual teaching, Amir hopes to address the health and welfare of his community by instituting a “Fruit for All” program whereby native fruit tree seedlings will be harvested and  transplanted into a fruit tree nursery. Volunteers and community members will work together to raise the seedlings until they are mature enough to be distributed to all of the families in the community, providing fresh fruit at no cost to everyone. Species such as Guava grapes, mangoes and oranges are some of the fruits that can be successfully grown in this area.  The benefits to the health of these people, who are impoverished to the point where they cannot afford to buy fresh fruit, will be enormous.  Amir is presently doing research and is seeking the expertise of organizations such as  the Feed the World program, who are presently engaged in running similar agricultural programs in many areas of the developing world.  Funding will have to be sought to provide tools and equipment for this enterprise. If any of you have knowledge to offer on projects such as these, please get in touch with Amir through the Young Martin Welfare Facebook page.

Pakistan Christmas


balls for all 2

I can barely put into words how gratifying it is to be able to give to a charity where one hundred percent of what you donate actually goes to the people.  I made a modest donation to Amir’s mission at Christmas time, and he sent me this photo (left) of what my money went towards.  The joy on the faces of these children, who have so little is truly heartwarming.  We are presently working towards putting together some Easter Coloring books, which tells the story of the Passion of Christ in terms the children can understand.   I am working towards sourcing crayons at low cost to provide the 600 or so children in Lahore with this educational tool that tells the  story of hope for the world through Christianity.   I have no intentions of trying to influence people of any region to convert to Christianity, but it is my hope that through exposure to other religions that we can foster understanding and respect between our world neighbours.

What heartens me, too, is to see people of both the Islamic and Christian faiths working together within the same community to support one another.  The picture to the right shows children of Amir’s mission receiving footballs under the Ball to All program, part of the Cottage Support Welfare  Association that Asma helps co-ordinate. In a community in which Christians and Muslims are so often at odds with each other, it gives me hope that the more they work together, the better their community will be served, and peace can become a reality.

If you have information that you would like to share with the leaders of either of these missions, you can contact them through their Facebook pages under the

Cottage Support Welfare Organization or the Young Martin Welfare Organization.

or if you prefer, contact me by leaving a comment on this blog, and I will put you in touch with either Asma or Amir directly.

Either organization would be happy to receive a monetary donation,

I am soliciting help with a couple of projects I have undertaken to supply hand knit Izzy dolls and Prayers blankets to Amir’s mission.  If you are interested in contributing to either of these projects, please get in touch with me by leaving a comment on this blog.  I promise to not share your email address or contact information with anyone, unless it is your wish that I do so.  The comfort that these simple handcrafted gifts can provide is immeasurable.


Izzy doll


prayer shawl verse
prayer blankets 2














love, norma












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