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A Time To Remember the Afghans

A loud explosion shook the entire village near Kabul. Mullah frantically shouted for his loved ones hoping that no one was hurt, but no one survived. Sadly he went through the rubbles and picked up the bodies of his wife, three children and father. With tears of anger and frustration, he dug five graves and buried his loved ones. Almost everyone in his neighborhood lost a family member. With nowhere else to turn, Mullah started off on the six day journey through the mountains to Pakistan hoping to find help on the other side.

                                                                                                        

Faroza could not stand to see her children and parents starving to death. Two decades of war and the recent drought left them living on the streets begging for food. The children were weak and her aging parents lost their eye sight and are on the verge of dying. Faroza with the little money that she had hired two donkeys and walked four days to Pakistan in search for help. The journey was difficult, but it was too late to return. The struggle finally ended in Pakistan.

Arriving in a strange land where there are already more than two million refugees, the reception at the border was harsh. Many were turned back to their homes but the most vulnerable were allowed to make their way into Pakistan and placed in camps until the situation in Afghanistan improved. Mullah and Faroza walked around the camps hoping that someone would take them in and provide them shelter. They were fortunate to find other refugees who had similar experiences who were willing to share their tents. The thought of hoping that help is on the other side quickly vanished as Mullah and Faroza realized that there was no food and help for those who had recently arrived from Afghanistan. Many like Mullah and Foraza had no other choice but to beg. They knocked on doors of humanitarian organizations only to be treated like dirt by the guards at the gate. When they heard of food distributions they joined the hundreds of others hoping they would be lucky to receive some form of aid. In most cases, they went home hungry, angry and frustrated because there were too many people and insufficient humanitarian aid.

As all hopes were dashed, Mullah and Faroza heard there was a hot soup kitchen not too far from their camp. This was their only hope or to die of hunger. As they rushed to the soup kitchen there were hundreds of men, women and children waiting at the entrance. One of them said, gThe soup kitchen was closed for a week but it has started again, we have hope.h

As the gate opened, a line formed and the food was served. Men, women, and children who had not eaten for a week could not wait to taste the rice and lentils. gPlease give us more,h was the cry from everyone.

As I was taking pictures, Mullah and Faroza came up to me with tears in their eyes saying, gYou have given us hope, please do not close this kitchen. We have no where else to go to.h With tears rolling down their cheeks, they told me their story of how they had to leave their homeland in search of hope. The elders of the camp said a special thank you and pleaded to keep the soup kitchen opened. Looking at the desperate situation I promised them we will try our best to keep the kitchen running till they return home. About 1,250 families received food to share with their families on that day. Operation Blessing donated $8,000 dollars to keep the kitchen running for a month. For a small amount of money about 6,000 people are being fed a nutritional meal daily for a month. Currently Operation Blessing funds will last until mid December and my plea to you is to donate towards another two months of support.

Those who are not fortunate to be in camps live with relatives and friends, causing more of a burden on the host. I know of families hosting at least five other families. These refugees are given a small package of food items that will keep a family fed for 2-4 weeks. These packages contain a bag of flour, rice, beans, oil, sugar, and tea, it only cost $15 for a family.

The worldfs attention is on Afghanistan. A lot of money is being promised by many countries to help these people, but it is not getting where it is needed most. During my one month stay in Pakistan with Operation Blessing, we were able to provide food items for 650 families and to bless many others in need. This soup kitchen gives life and hope for those who have gone through war, drought and earthquake. Every person who received food at the kitchen only had words of blessing to those who gave. Those who received the food packages go home knowing they will survive for few more days. You and I have the opportunity to bless these people.

During this Christmas season letfs remember the unfortunate. They do not deserve this treatment; they are made in Godfs image and we who are blessed are called to bless others. For $8,000 we can feed 6,000 people a day for a month. For $15, a family can have food for 2-4 weeks. Letfs make this as a special outreach in supporting these Afghan refugees. I am planning to be back again in Pakistan together with my wife in December, and hopefully Afghanistan as well. For three weeks we hope to bless thousands of refugees through the hot soup kitchen as well as through the food distribution. I hope to encourage the people through your donations in bringing hope during these difficult days. Thank you.

Kumar & Smita

Please help us bring aid to the innocent!

Donation:
Postal Furikae 00160 7 162438 Nihon Kinkyu Enjotai or CPO 833, Tokyo, Japan 100-8692

Emergency Supplies:
Operation Pakistan, Box 65 Azabu, Tokyo, Japan 106-8691

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