The Parish of Sandal Magna

Faith and Endurance

Many of you will know that Rupert and I have had the privilege of Tasawer and Rubina with their four children Aaron 13, Mahshameen 11, Anya 8 and David 4, staying with us in the Vicarage since last June. We have been so blessed to share our lives together in so many ways over the last year.

They came from Sialkot in Pakistan where Tasawer was a Baptist Pastor and Evangelist. His first degree was in English Literature and then he studied theology for three years in South Korea. He can speak 5 languages and has translated for visiting preachers to Pakistan at big stadium events. For 14 years he ran a Bible School and baptised many people.

He would go out to the rural villages on his motor scooter because there were no pastors there, often arriving home late at night. Unfortunately he was attacked by Taliban extremists and after living away from home for more than a year, despite trying mediation, found it too dangerous to return home, Tasawer having nearly been kidnapped at a stadium event in Punjab.

They sought asylum here, and after they had to leave Urban House, were taken in by Dick and Flora from Wakefield Baptist Church who have an amazing ministry to asylum seekers alongside City of Sanctuary. The Spring was a place where they also received hospitality regularly. They then came here and for 8 months awaited their appeal hearing in January this year. Many people were praying for them and the decision was made in their favour with leave to remain on Asylum and Human Rights grounds.

Now they have decided to move to the outskirts of London nearer to Tasawer’s brother, where he can better use his gifts as a pastor, evangelist and linguist. Through the generosity of many in the Church they have been able to put down a deposit to rent a flat.

We have been blessed as churches by their presence among us, worshipping and teaching here and at Wakefield Baptist Church. On a personal note we have loved sharing our home with them. We have especially enjoyed a year of Birthday celebrations, with wonderful meals cooked by Rubina, an extraordinary woman of quiet courage and talent. We have prayed together at mealtimes, with the phrase; 'no prayer, no pudding!' The children have flourished at Beckets, Sandal Castle Primary and the Pre-5 Centre and have grown in confidence after their traumatic ordeal. We have enjoyed much fun and games, with the children learning how to play French Cricket and Charades. They have lived by faith in God’s provision, and their example has taught us all to trust God more.

Last Sunday Tasawer expressed the gratitude of his family for all the support and gifts which they have received over the last year. Some of the smallest gifts made the most difference, like a regular supply of eggs from one parishioner, or a donation towards school meals from another. Rubina cooked a delicious chicken curry and pakhora for everyone to share afterwards in the Emmaus Rooms.

This passage from Philippians 4:18-9 expresses their gratitude for God's provision through so many people. "I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

We in turn are truly grateful for the privilege of having got to know such a beautiful family whose example of faith and endurance we will always remember. We wish them every blessing in their new venture of faith.

Sally and Rupert Martin

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© Sandal Magna PCC 2016.
Registered Charity Number 1131795.


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