“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)
“You are like Moses, leading us out from slavery!” said Jamila, a bonded brick-kiln worker set free when Barnabas paid off her debt.
Brick-kiln families in Pakistan are bonded labourers, tied to their brickkiln by a debt they owe its owner. Many Christian families are basically “enslaved” in this way. The debts − incurred at times of family illness etc. − can be passed down from generation to generation. He borrowed to feed his children
Amanat worked seven days a week in a brick-kiln, making 1,000 bricks a day which earned him 800 rupees (approximately $7.30).
But Amanat never took any wages home because every rupee went straight back to the brick-kiln owner to pay interest on a loan taken at the time of a family crisis. He even had to borrow money to buy food for his children.
“My Lord has sent me good news through Barnabas Fund. Now I enjoy freedom from debt!” exclaimed Amanat.
After paying off their debts, brick-kiln workers can spend all their income on raising their families. Barnabas also helps them stay out of debt by providing them with food packages so that they can put some money aside to pay for future family emergencies or other outgoings such as school fees.
Just $36 can provide a monthly food parcel, while $46 could enable one adult from a brick-kiln community to learn to read, write and add up at an adult literacy class. And $80 provides one year of schooling for a child.
Barnabas has paid off the debts, which can range from $445 to $4,450, of hundreds of families, but many more are in need.