The last couple of days were such a blur but full of things we will never forget. I am able to upload videos now, thankfully so will do that periodically this week. On Wednesday, our last day in Pakistan, we were to attend an awards ceremony (that we missed due to late visas) at St. Thomas High School in Lahore. The school met for our benefit re-presenting the program just for us. Mainly because my friend Scott Dix was to present awards named for his daughter, called the Alyssa Award for Best Performance to students and teachers this year. This is an award the administration felt led to give after hearing the story of Alyssa Dix. They presented 3 students and 3 teachers with this award and Scott was able to personally give to each one. Here are the actual awards and then one student and one teacher that was honored in memory of Alyssa Dix.
Right after the award ceremony which was a bit emotional for all of us, we were to visit the area where just last month, over 170 Christian homes were burned by Muslims over a charge of blasphemy, supposedly made by a young boy. It is against the law in Pakistan now to blaspheme the Koran or the Prophet. After the burning of the homes there was a protest against this law where the doors of St. Thomas school were targeted with teargas bombs from the police. Our coordinators and brothers in Lahore, Azeem & Shehrazer were targeted and have received phone threats since then. This is all so foreign to us......will we ever know this kind of persecution.
So we took what was about a 10 kilometer drive to St. Joseph's Colony. We arrived and the rebuilding was almost completed due to the government's help--since political elections are coming up in May. We met some of the most beautiful people and quickly began to draw a crowd, which was not a good thing, so we were not able to stay long. We did get to pray with a group of them, see their church (below) and encourage these brothers and sisters just with our presence. We would have given anything to have been able to stay and help with the repairs, but the climate is so very fragile still and the police were monitoring all who entered. God Bless the people of St. Joseph's Colony in Lahore.