LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- The Pakistani college students stepped gingerly through the pile of bricks, barely recognizing the church building. Its once-white walls were ashen from hours of burning and heat still radiated from glowing embers.
Sarah and Vijay Cheema* stood frozen, taking in the scene up and down the street, unsure what to do. All around them, people were hurting as they sat in front of their damaged homes, 180 in all in the mostly Christian-minority community.
Sarah's attention turned to a crying 4-year-old girl who said she hadn't eaten in two days. Her family's food and money burned with their home. Sarah immediately opened her backpack and shared her own snacks.
"My heart broke," Sarah said. "It's very painful to see so many hurting at once, especially the young ones who did not understand what had happened."
An angry mob descended on Joseph Colony in Lahore, Pakistan, on March 9, wreaking havoc after accusations that a Christian made a derogatory comment about Muhammad, an illegal act under to Pakistan's blasphemy law. While Muslims are frequently accused of blasphemy, members of Pakistan's small Christian community are especially vulnerable.
Sarah and Vijay Cheema, who are brother and sister, had watched news reports of angry crowds destroying sections of the small colony and, the next day, decided to take friends across town to offer help.
"I remember that like it was yesterday," Vijay recounted almost two months later. "Our lives changed that day. We knew that we had to help but we were just poor students. We wondered how God could use us if we had no money."
What the Forman Christian College students lacked in funds, however, they made up in energy and drive. They rallied a larger team of friends from the student body, around 18 in all, and put out collection boxes for clothes, money and food. ... Read More