Haroon lives in a fairly remote rural village about two hours north of campus. His home is in a small section of approximately 75 Christian neighbors, amidst a larger section of approximately 750 Muslim neighbors. Departing our bus, our team walked a couple hundred yards down a narrow alley with an open sewage channel on either side. As we neared Haroon’s home, we were greeted by a crowd of his Christian neighbors and family members all blessing us with abundant rose petals as we entered his small family courtyard. Therein, it seemed that all of his Christian neighbors had taken the day off and crowded into the same small courtyard to greet us.
Haroon’s father used to work in the nearby brick kilns, until a motorcycle accident left him with a broken leg that never healed correctly. He never attended even one day of school, and now works on small brick mason projects. Haroon’s mother finished her education at third grade. Haroon, has excelled in school, and is the only person from his village to ever go to college or a university. His three younger brothers are trying to follow in their older brother’s footsteps if possible.
The family ushered us into their recently renovated one room home, which now has concrete walls after previously having mud walls that deteriorated annually during the monsoon season. They served us tea and we talked together, while the rest of the neighbors tried valiantly to get a glimpse inside through the crowded doorway. They then took us to their small but beautiful church just a few doors down, then back inside for a multi-course feast with dishes lovingly prepared by every one of Haroon’s neighbors.
After more fellowship and praying for Haroon and his family, we departed for a nearby brick kiln to see first hand the very harsh realities of this form of work - which some name as a form of indentured servitude. During the year when Haroon’s father could not work, Haroon and his brothers worked in the brick kiln, and also in the nearby rice fields with their mother, simply trying to earn enough to feed the family.
Thanks to the scholarships you provide through Friends of Forman, Haroon’s prospects, and those of his family, are infinitely better than they would have been otherwise. Our Pakistan hosts suggested that not only are Haroon’s and his families' prospects better, but he is a living symbol of hope and opportunity for his entire village. And, while there might be only one or two other Haroons in that particular village, there are thousands of villages like his in Pakistan each with a Haroon. And there are thousands of stories like his too.
Please consider giving the gift of hope using the "Give Hope" button below. Together, let’s continue to help Haroon and many other students like him. Thank you!