Canada (MNN/HCJB) — A Christian radio producer has been honor by the Queen of England.
Up to 1 million Urdu-speaking people can hear the weekly Christian radio broadcasts produced by a man named Javed (his full name not divulged for security reasons).
But Javed does more than just produce broadcasts that aim to help Pakistanis. He also makes himself available to comfort and encourage those attempting to build new lives, even visiting listeners in their homes.
Is this a report from Karachi, Lahore or maybe Islamabad? Think again. Javed's ministry reaches the Pakistani immigrants in the greater Toronto area.
Javed–himself a Pakistani who immigrated to Canada some 30 years ago–produces 4½ hours of monthly programming that airs Saturday mornings on Radio Station CJMR 1320 AM and on satellite. In addition, he submits content to www.ethnoradio.com, HCJB Global-Canada's Web site designed to support and inspire Canada's many ethnic groups.
Working in partnership with HCJB Global-Canada, Javed has access to training and studios that enable him to produce high-quality programs. The broadcasts inform and hearten listeners, many of whom are immigrants from Pakistan, feeling lost and alone in their adopted country.
In his endeavors to build up and evangelize the Pakistani/South Asian community Javed, who works full time as a car salesman, has founded two organizations in the last two years. In 2010 he started the Toronto United Convention Committee which brings in special speakers from overseas to speak at conferences in Toronto. Earlier this year he launched the South Asian Council of Christian Churches, an organization that helps pastors maintain a sharp focus on evangelism while defending the rights of persecuted believers in their homelands.
Even Queen Elizabeth II has taken notice. Javed recently received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to Canada's Urdu-speaking, Pakistani community. One of several recipients of the award, he received his when the Canadian Christian Association presented the award to him in Mississauga, Ontario, on Saturday, May 26. He was recognized for his eight years of service with Christian media, uniting the community, sharing the Gospel, and highlighting the needs of persecuted Christians worldwide.
"Javed is absolutely tireless in his attempts to reach out and help his people," said Sheila Leaver of HCJB Global-Canada in Cambridge. "In April we sent a letter and submitted Javed's name as a recommendation for this award. We never dreamed that with the flood of all the people who would be candidates that Javed would be chosen. Ah, our faith was too small!"
In the letter sent to Ontario MP Bob Dechert, Canadian Director Ian Leaver said Javed has "consistently exhibited a passion to assist and encourage his people. While he endeavors to keep them accurately informed… Time and again he has encouraged them in the face of the ongoing persecution endured by many family members who continue to reside in their land of birth."
With a wave of Pakistani immigrants arriving in Canada, many facing escalating persecution from religious extremists in their native country, the need for Javed's broadcasts is evident.
"Persecution in Pakistan is rampant," Javed said. "In March 2011 Pakistan's Federal Minority Minister was assassinated for attempting to protect Christians' rights. Kidnapping is an everyday occurrence in Pakistan. It's not even safe for young girls to walk to school, especially in villages and remote areas."
Javed no longer takes his family to visit Pakistan, saying it's "just too dangerous." During one of his recent visits to see family, the Taliban threatened to bomb a school just a few buildings away from where he was staying. On another occasion, Javed's daughter was staying with family in Karachi when six Taliban soldiers burst into the home where she was sleeping, ransacked the house and held the occupants for 1½ hours before leaving them alone.
"Javed feels a strong burden to be an advocate for his country and fellow believers by accurately reporting to the churches/community here what is happening in their homeland," Sheila added. "He keeps a pulse on what is happening in Pakistan, seeking to assist anxious family members in Canada and pursuing government help when such action is appropriate."