Adventist church helps Muslim woman widowed after Christchurch attacks

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Members of Garden City Fellowship Church (Christchurch, NZ) have been helping a Muslim widow from their community to clean and move house, and providing emotional support at a difficult time.

Siham* was widowed when her husband died during the mosque shooting attacks in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. She was finding it difficult to take care of her daughter, as well as sell her house and move out.

Garden City Fellowship church pastor Younish Masih, originally from Pakistan, received a text message from a Muslim community leader, asking for emotional and physical support for Siham.

“It is very difficult for her to do things by herself,” the message read. “Also would it be possible to have some ladies come and stay with Siham and her daughter while they pack up to move?”

Pastor Masih shared this request in the Garden City Fellowship messenger group, and a team of volunteers quickly assembled to help with washing windows, weeding her vegetable garden and trimming hedges.

Siham prepared lunch for the volunteers and the group had a time of fellowship together.

The next day, Pastor Masih received a text message of thanks from Siham.

“I couldn’t have done it without your help. May God bless you and your team,” it read. “The ladies were amazing helpers and did a great job. Thanks again and our move went well and thank God.”

Garden City Fellowship was also recognised on the local Muslim community Facebook page.

In light of their experience, the women’s ministry team at Garden City Fellowship have planned a meeting with other Muslim widows in the community, whose husbands were also shot during the mosque attack. Scheduled for March 21, they plan to sit, pray, fellowship, and offer compassion and care.

*Surname hidden to maintain confidentiality.