Abid Munir is an active member of our congregation, serving on vestry and representing the parish of St. Mary Magdalene at PWRDF meetings in the diocese. On a recent visit to our church, Bishop Geoff asked him to share his story and he agreed.
Abid was born in Peshawar, a city in Northern Pakistan with a population of two million people. It is an ancient city close to the border of Afghanistan. Abid’s parents are Christian and value education, working hard to see that all their children would go to school. His early education was in Christian schools. When he reached Grade 10, he was able to earn money to help himself and his family. Later, he became a “homework teacher” at an elite school, where the remuneration was good. As a member of a minority group, he was always aware of some discrimination against Christians, but only began to experience it seriously when he attended university. He worked hard to obtain a Bachelor of Commerce degree and continued his studies in the same field.
In 2001, many things changed, and the terrorist attacks of September 11 in New York made the greatest difference. The U.S. increased their military presence and, along with other allies, brought humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. There was great disruption in all aspects of life in Pakistan and at the University; examinations were put on hold for many months. When he finally graduated with his Master of Commerce, Abid obtained an NGO job, running a program for Afghan Refugees. He was helped by a friend to obtain employment in Kabul, working for an NGO. He continued in the areas of development, relief, and aid for eight years, working in finance and administration for different agencies. In his work and travel back and forth to Kabul by road, there was often extreme danger. More than once he and his travelling companions were caught in the cross fire between the Afghan troops and the Taliban.
Abid met and married his wife Rashida in 2008. They decided to raise their family in a safer and hopefully more accepting environment, and made an immigration application under the skilled worker category to come to Canada. When this was finally made possible in 2012, their three sons had been born.
In Canada, he first found work through the help of a Christian friend as a machinist. While grateful for the job, in time, Abid began to look for other opportunities suited to his skills. After obtaining a project management diploma from University of Winnipeg, he began working for the TD Bank in Financial Services.
Abid has always prayed and shared his specific hopes and a dream with God. He has a heart and passion to help the underprivileged people around the world, and having experienced many spirit-filled moments in his journey so far, he is hopeful for the future despite his constant concern for family and friends back home.
Heather Britles worships at St. Mary Magdalene, where she is also the co-editor of The Magdala News. She enjoys her roles of sister, mother, grandma, and friend.