When we visited our Market 70 Representative in Karachi, Pakistan last year, we had an eye-opening cultural experience. My wife Linda and I were at the airport and Linda was putting her suitcase up on the conveyor belt for inspection. Three Pakistani men shouldered her out of the way and put their own bags on the belt in front of her. As I watched it happen I realized that they were not belligerent, they were not even intentional. It occurred to me that they didn't even see Linda. Women are, by and large, invisible to the men of that culture.
As we spent time together with our hosts we learned more and more of this cultural phenomenon. Women are very much 2nd class citizens. This is not religious in nature, but cultural. We saw similar things even in the churches. In a county where Christians are only tolerated, Christian women hardly seem to exist. There is a great deal of financial pressure on Pakistani men because of the economy. Jobs are hard to come by. As a result, marriages and families are under a great deal of stress.
As is the case in many places around the world, women fill the gap. Women stretch the meager family budget through wise management and hard work. They find ways to bring in extra income. All the while, they try to build up their husbands whose egos are taking a tremendous hit from their failure to provide.
Market 70 is partnering with representatives in Karachi to empower women. This year we were able to raise enough money to purchase land for building a Women's Facilitation Center. And we have begun raising the money for the building. It will be a three story building, anchored by first floor shops that will sell goods and services produced by the women to maintain the building and sustain the work. The second and third floors will be dedicated to education and training. The focus will be on building women's identity and self-confidence, on developing entrepreneurial and management skills, and on starting viable, businesses.
2018 will be the Year of the Pakistani Woman in Karachi
The whole family of our Market 70 Director in Karachi is working toward this goal. They have met with architects and builders and the plans are in place for laying the foundation of the building. They are already working with women, teaching and encouraging them. Linda and I will visit sometime this year to help with the project and to further train and equip staff for this venture. But the benefit is not only to Karachi. The family has "adopted" an outlying village and is working to lift both men and women out of poverty and into self-sustaining situations.
This is truly transformation work! As the people see that the grace of God actually changes their physical situation in this life, they begin to put their trust in Him for the rest of their lives and for eternity, as well.
You Can Help
Building a structure in the city is no small task, but it is cheaper in Pakistan than here in the U.S. We are working this year to try to raise money for the foundation work and first floor. We're estimating around $26,000. Each of the other two stories will be somewhat less. Our National Director in Pakistan is Robin Mubarik Masih. You may communicate directly with him if you would like, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about his church, family and ministry in Karachi.
Please consider a tax-deductible gift that we can pass through to the Women's Facilitation Center. You can contact us directly and make arrangements, or you can give through our Donate Button.
You can give by sending a check for any amount to Market 70, 3120 Torchwood Dr, New Brighton, MN 55112. Or you can give by PayPal at the top of this page. (If you do that, please make a note designating it for Pakistan). Neither Market 70 nor our partners take any administrative fees. The entire donation goes directly to building the Women's Facilitation Center Please, give now. Market 70 is a 501c3 tax exempt organization.