A Fylde councillor has returned from a humanitarian visit to Pakistan – with fond memories of the warmth and friendship of the many people he met.
Frank Andrews was among a party which travelled to Lahore to encourage Christians who are being persecuted.
The visit was in conjunction with Release International, and Frank, who represents Wrea Green on Fylde Council said: “This type of visit is especially important after the dreadful bombing in Lahore when 74 people lost the their lives recently.
“The visit schedule was programme was hurriedly amended to include those affected by the Easter Sunday suicide bomb blast in Gulshsan-I-Iqbal Park in Lahore centre.
“As well as 74 people being killed, 370 were injured - most Christian families enjoying the Easter holiday but this indiscriminate action killed Muslims too.
“We visited many of the bereaved families along with those in Jinnah Hospital and attended the funeral of one victim.
“The bomb exploded in the playground area of a beautiful park and as we walked among the blood stains, broken glass and scattered personal effects, it was so sad to imagine a happy family day in the park turning to tragedy and chaos. “Among the people I met was a father of three daughters, one of whom was killed outright, one was in intensive care and the other recovering at home. I did what I could to comfort him.
“Throughout the week, we met many involved with other aspects of Release International’s work, including Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan, which concentrates on Christians who receive unfair treatment by the majority Muslim community and are frequently imprisoned.
“There are many other heartbreaking stories but for the entire week we were there, we were surrounded by smiling faces, with wonderful generosity from the poorest of homes, warmth and friendship from the very many people we met.
“It has changed my view of Pakistan entirely – they are a wonderful people.”