Safia grew up in a small village with parents who had a difficult, destructive relationship. As she observed their relationship, she decided that marriage was not what she wanted. Instead, she focused on education. An educated woman in Pakistan can be viewed with disgrace, especially if it is a statement that she does not want to marry. It is unheard of for a woman not to marry! Safia brought disgrace and shame upon her family, and they eventually disowned her. She moved to another village to live with distant relatives to pursue her dream. However, her family continued to pressure her to marry.
Safia graduated with two Masters' degrees: history and education. She began her career of training teachers while living in a hostel. It is challenging for a woman to work independently in a male-dominated society; it goes against the culture and the mindset of the people in Pakistan for a woman to dedicate her life to work and not marriage. That would also mean that she is alone and without a male in her life. A woman walking in a village would feel secure even with a young boy beside her, but a woman walking alone is open to harassment and abuse.
Transportation became another obstacle, as she had to depend on a man to drive her into the villages. There was no longer anyone who could take her and stay with her. Safia, being a pioneer, decided that she would learn to ride a motorcycle. Again, women do not ride motorcycles, and the few who do face significant opposition from men. Safia's love for God and people give her the courage to take on this new challenge.
Safia knows that great courage comes from a great God, and today she rides into villages to share the love of Christ! She is an amazing, God-centered evangelist for God’s Kingdom. Safia is, indeed, a female version of David slaying Goliath! Let’s remember her in prayer!
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Despite everything, Safia continued in her career until her boss started to become abusive toward her and another female. She experienced other significant problems and four years ago decided to quit. Safia was without family support and a job, and she prayed that God would open a door. God led her to a training course for teachers that was arranged by Waqas Moazzam – our partner in Pakistan. Waqas hired her to teach in his school, and she was soon promoted to the school principal.
But something else was going on in Safia’s heart. God placed a burning desire in her to disciple and evangelize families in villages. Safia took her newfound desires into dangerous villages, but she did not seem concerned about the danger she could encounter because of her excitement about the possibilities that God brought her. During the day, Safia worked as the school principal, and in the afternoon, she went to the villages.