Photo Credit: Diocese of Peshawar
From the Diocese of Peshawar with additional reporting by ACNS
Members of the Church of Pakistan's Peshawar Diocese have undergone counselling training to help those affected by the double suicide bombing in September.
Seven people, including some who had themselves lost friends and family in the attack on All Saints Church, travelled to Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, for the training organised by Interserve.
A spokesperson for the diocese wrote in its latest newsletter, "Still the Christian community of Peshawar is passing through a very difficult time full of grief after the blast at All Saints' Church, Peshawar.
"They need proper comfort and counselling. The diocese has deep concern about them and is struggling to provide them with spiritual counselling and comfort."
As a result the seven were sent to learn more about how to support those coming to terms with loss and injury. Sessions included 'Effective Listening' and 'Overcoming Grief'.
The training aims to help people such as Fehmeeda William whose husband and two children were killed in the blast.
She explained that she had received help and support after the incident from a range of charities and Churches, "They all gave me moral support and...financial help as well. It is worth mentioning that the Diocese of Peshawar has arranged a team of Medical professionals who provide Nursing Care, Physiotherapy, and Psychological and spiritual counseling on a regular basis."
Mrs William, who was herself injured in the attacks said that, four months on, she is physically on the mend and it is her faith in God that is helping her cope with the loss of her family.
"I keep praying to God and he blessed me with patience and peace of heart. Although it’s a great loss, as my children and husband will never come back, the Spirit of God is with me, and it consoles me all the time. Praise the Lord!
"I am mobile; I can walk with the help of a walking frame. I can socialise with others, and the healing process is still going on. Hopefully, with the grace of God, one day I will be fully recovered, but I will always be in debt to all those people who helped me and my family, especially my in-laws and Diocese of Peshawar which I am sure will never abandon its people."
On 22 September 2013, a double suicide bomb attack took place at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 78 people were killed and 130 injured. It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.