“Pakistani law forbids slavery, yet at least 200,000 Pakistanis work in deep mud pits to make bricks in slave-like conditions,” Frontier Ventures reported in October 2015. “From before sunrise to sunset, earning about $3.50, tiny 6-year-olds and wrinkled grandparents work to pay off family debts. It always starts with debt, and when the poor can’t pay it, an owner steps in to pay the debt in return for labor. As the debt is paid, costs are added by the owner until the debt becomes unpayable. If the family member moves to another kiln, the debt follows them. If a parent dies, the child inherits the burden. There is no escape. Other people deal with their poverty by selling their blood or they become prostitutes. Pray that the veil is lifted from the eyes of the owners that they may see their sin, repent, and free their workers from virtual slavery.”
Brother Haseeb says the number above is grotesquely underestimated. He says “at least 8 million child slaves” in Pakistan toil 14-to-16 hours a day with only a one-hour break, seven days a week. “After hard working they typically receive only one meal per day. If an over-looker sees a child slacking in their work, they are beaten with an iron rod. And little Christian girls and boys are (sexually abused).”
As we looked at photos of these children and asked more questions of Haseeb, we had a Matthew 25 moment. Will Jesus say, “What you did for the least of these, you did for Me”? Or will He say, “As you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for Me”?
So Project 8:36, based on John 8:36 (“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”), is born.
“We can set free the slave children in Pakistan,” Haseeb said. “One slave child cost is $1,300 to $2,000 for his or her freedom.”
Save Pakistan was able to secure the freedom of one child in 2015. Haseeb said, “We are working in this brick factory from the past three years and helping these children regularly as much as the Lord provides to us. We met the owner of this factory (and asked) about releasing the children and he said, ‘Pay their debt and they’ll be released.’ The owner of this factory is a ‘M’ man, so we have to pay him if we want to release the children.”
Save Pakistan will then take the children into their orphanage care and help provide an education.
“This concept may seem impossible, but we must remember that we serve a very big God,” Haseeb said, quoting Matthew 19:26
. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible
Pray that God would make this possible and choose to use us to help free children from this illegal form of slavery.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 (ESV)
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