MORE than two years after a suicide bombing that killed 27 members of his family, a vicar in Bolton has described how the response to his appeal to help the victims has aided his journey to forgiveness.
The Team Vicar of West Bolton, the Revd Fayaz Adman, was baptised, confirmed, and ordained at All Saints’, Peshawar, where a twin suicide bombing in September 2013 killed at least 100 people, and left many more injured.
Two months after the bombing, he established Project Ummed — which means “hope” — to raise funds to support the victims (News, 1 November, 2013). With support from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office, and the diocese of Manchester, more than £50,000 was raised to run the project. Mr Adman’s wife, Ghazala, a registered nurse, lived in Peshawar, overseeing the care of the victims and ensuring that funds were properly spent. The project, which has now come to an end, has enabled 150 families to receive clothing, food, and help, and has funded medical care at Taxila Christian Hospital.
On Tuesday, Mr Adman described how his wife went to collect those in need of medical care: “In the beginning, people were not happy to come, but when they saw the result after two weeks, everyone was happy to come to Taxila, because they realised they were providing the best care.”
He said that he was “amazed to see how people have been restored to normal life”.
Among the survivors of the bombing is his niece, Samina, whose husband was killed in the church. Pregnant at the time, she suffered multiple fractures, and gave birth to a son whom she named Adman.
It had been difficult for members of his family, made widows and orphans by the attack, to cope, he said.
“In my darkest hour, the Bishop of Bolton, Chris Edmondson, came alongside me like an angel and a loving father. He and the Archbishop of Canterbury stood alongside me, asked me what help I needed, and encouraged me to set up Project Ummed. People in Peshawar will never forget that the Mother Church supported them and intervened in their lives.”
He went on: “With time, and the comfort and encouragement I have received from colleagues, I am learning to forgive those who damaged my family and community. It is not finished yet, but I am still working on forgiveness.”
Despite continuing persecution and killings in Pakistan, he believes that “the Lord is still with us, and he will enable those victims, my family members, to have a wonderful strong hope in Christ.”