A suicide bomber in Pakistan has left an LDS family living in Pakistan, without a home. Skyler Swartz, a sophomore studying sociology, is raising money to help the family overcome the ensuing health and financial difficulties.
Swartz served his mission in the Philippines Bacolod Mission with Fahmida Sabar, a daughter in the Sabar family.
“I got a phone call from her a few weeks ago, explaining to me that a suicide bomber destroyed their home and the surrounding churches and homes,” Swartz said. “Their home was no longer habitable, so they had to move in with their extended family, where they had little food, beds to sleep on and fans to keep them cool.”
Swartz immediately began helping the Sabar family after receiving word of their situation.
The bombing caused Fahmida Sabar’s mother to have a life-threatening heart condition, and surgery was necessary to prevent any further heart complications.
“Since the bombing, Fahmida’s mother has experienced two heart attacks, which made it necessary a surgery be performed to prevent any further heart attacks that may ultimately take away her life,” Swartz said. “The other day, I received word that Sister Sabar’s heart surgery went well. She is currently recovering in the hospital.”
Although the Sabar family was in great need, they had decided not to lean on the financial support of others, Swartz said.
That is when Swartz stepped in to begin raising funds for the family.
Swartz said that despite difficulties in getting such an undertaking started, he is motivated by a sense of responsibility.
“It has been somewhat stressful having this responsibility [while attempting] to raise money,” Swartz said.
Swartz said he saw that no one else was taking action and that realization gave him motivation to stay involved.
“I knew if I didn’t take accountability and act in coming up with a way to help them, then no one else would,” Swartz said. “Serving in the Philippines helped me to see my First World problems are nothing compared to what those in [other] countries are facing each and every day.”
Religious persecution is an increasingly dangerous threat in countries all around the world, according to Pew Research Center.
Pakistan is on the top of the list of countries with very high government restrictions on religion and high social hostilities involving religions, according to Pew Research Center.
These types of hostilities can range from vandalism of religious property and desecration of sacred texts to violent assaults resulting in deaths and injuries, according to the Pew Research Center.
Swartz said that while religion shapes how all people view and treat one another, it does not teach and encourage feelings of anger and pride.
“Religion does not create the world’s problems,” Swartz said. “It is the people who claim to be followers of a sect, and their own choices, pride and selfishness that cause some of our world’s political and economic problems.”
Swartz said his mission president taught him that if he noticed a problem in the world, then he should find a way to solve it.
Swartz said he strives to live by the principles of personal accountability, an attribute that he points to as influencing him in taking such an active role in assisting the Sabar family overcome their current health and financial issues.
Swartz said maintaining individual accountability boils down to four steps when dealing with a challenging trial: identify the problem, take responsibility for the problem, think of a solution and carry it out.
Swartz credits his religious leaders with motivating him.
“If we assume in life that someone else is going to solve those problems in the world, then we are preventing progress to take place and people from being lifted [by others],” Swartz said. “We all have a circle of influence around us, and we must do what President Uchtdorf said, and that is to ‘lift where we stand.’”
Swartz said that those wishing to donate and to find out more information about the family and their situation can visit www.gofundme.com/sabarfamily.