Donations sluggish for fear of Pakistani extremists

By August 20, 2010

Pakistan (MNN) — As Pakistan braces itself for
20 more days of rain which are forecast, some six million people still have yet to
receive aid.

Relief agencies are finding donors are more sluggish to
give, compared to the aid that poured into Haiti earlier this year.

However, Ray Cooper of Operation Mobilization said their teams
are doing what they can and have been hard at work since August 1, dividing
into a northern team near Peshawar and a southern team in Sindh.

Initially, OM set out to help 500 families with $25 packets,
consisting of flour, sugar and oil. But the need soon grew, and they have
been able to supply over 1600 families with these packets.

In other areas,
teams have hired cooks and are preparing food for 500 families every day.

Christians have long faced persecution in Pakistan: "Christians
are really a persecuted and discriminated minority in their own country, even
though Pakistan constitutionally allows freedom of religious," Cooper

Since these teams are made up of Pakistani Christians, they
are finding this to be a wonderful opportunity to show Christ's love to people who
would otherwise be opposed. Cooper said, "They've actually gone out in the
name of Christ, saying 'We are Pakistani Christians, and we're bringing this
relief. Do you want to take it from us as Christians?' And the Muslims and
Hindus have just been so thankful and been surprised that Pakistani Christians
have come out to help their fellow countrymen."

Yet, Cooper fears donor support is slow in coming because
Pakistan is a Muslim country known to harbor terrorists. In fact, the U.S. is
worried about extremists exploiting the current crisis of the water sodden

Most of these fears are unfounded, according to Cooper, as Muslim
extremists only make up a small fraction of the population. "I think that
there is a perception that Pakistan is a terrorist state … but these are people
just like you and me, who are in incredible need right now."

With such mindsets prevalent, OM needs help more than ever,
especially since providing relief has been deterred briefly by people snatching
packets, vehicles getting stuck in the deep mud, and sickness affecting members
of their team.

No matter, OM will press on as long as they have the funds
to do so. Click here to help today.

Also, pray diligently for the millions affected by these
floods and the ensuing waterborne illnesses. Pray that this disaster will open hearts to Christ and to the teams who bring His message.

Pray for the safety and health of the OM teams as they continue
to give food and hope.

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