Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-Lds Continues to Help Forgotten Flood Victims
By Zainab Javed
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-Lds responds to natural disasters and catastrophes throughout the world with speed and promptness that is the envy of relief agencies. Blissfully, its members are not content with their instant and initial response to a disaster: their interest in rescuing and rehabilitating the victims is sustained and abiding.
I vividly remember that it didn’t take Mr. Nate Leishman, in-charge of the Church, too long to dash to Pakistan after the floods ravaged the country last year. He launched quick and effective rescue operations in Charsada and Nowshehra, the two cities that were hit the hardest in Pakistan and suffered colossal losses.
Mr. Nate Leishman, world relief coordinator, along with Mr. Floyd Ko, partner of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-LDS responsible for humanitarian work of the Church, Dr. Jackson and the Saba Trust team joined forces to proceed to Charsada to a remote place where the river had done the most damage. It was difficult for to believe that the sturdy concrete bridge had given way against the gushing water and ripped apart into two. One part was swept away and was lodged well over one-and-a-half miles from the original site!
Under Mr. Nate Leishman’s stewardsip, the group visited many homes, schools and other places. Mr. Leishman, Mr. Floyd Ko and Dr. Jackson started the urgent relief work, distributed the much needed blankets and other items of basic necessity of life, including flour, rice, pulses, oil, spices, sugar, tea, salt, soap, towels, and concentrated drinks throughout the day untiringly moving from one place to another to provide succor to thousands of people. The happiness one could see on every one’s face was truly soul-lifting for each member of the rescue group.
The response of Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints-LDS to a catastrophe and its ensuing humanitarian work is truly electrifying: before Mr. Nate Leishman flew to Pakistan, the Church had wired funds to Saba Trust to provide the desperately needed relief. With the funds at its disposal Saba Trust was able to move immediately to the flood affected areas.
On the first day, the Saba team got off the motorway to Nowshehra. It was like a perilously long and wide ocean. Practically one couldn’t see a patch of land anywhere. Once we reached the village, the scene was more shocking. We gained the first idea of the enormous losses caused by the flood. We could see the water marks about 12 foot high - that’s how high the water had risen. When Mr. Nate Leishman, Mr. Floyd Ko, Dr. Jackson and Saba Trust team were visiting flood affected areas of Nowshehra and Charsada, they were greeted with a number of heart-wrenching scenes. One particular incident comes to mind.
We were distributing food items among the villagers of Nowshehra. All the people were standing in a queue and waiting for their turn. It was then that we came across a man, who according to another person standing in the queue, was the richest man in the village, was a multi-millionaire, and besides other assets had 65 buffalos, countless goats and lambs. His property and livestock had been devastated and he stood with everyone in the queue, glum and despondent on his losses, for a plate of food. On seeing his plight tears burst forth from our eyes.
I sometimes wonder if such stunning happenings testify that this life is a test for all of us and he who succeeds will get a special place in Heaven. It’s the test of all of us from Allah (SWT), Who wants to see how the people He created behave in difficult, testing times.
Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints-LDS appears fully committed to serve humanity throughout the world. In the post-flood period three teams from the Church visited Pakistan. The first official team was headed by Mr. Nate Leishman, the second by Dr. Jackson and the third by Dr. Jackson Jr. Anytime, anywhere when a disaster strikes in the world, Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints-LDS team is ready to serve the suffering multitudes. Their devotion is exemplary, their untiring services laudable. Today, blissfully they continue to serve the forgotten flood victims in Pakistan. The world seems to have forgotten them, but not the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints-LDS.
May Allah (SWT) always bless their enthusiasm and zest with success.