My Voice For Hers

India Iphone 057

Shortly after we visited the village of Kalavai last summer, the girl in the pink and green sari, Monjue, gave up all hope of ever going to school.  Her mother beat her because the goats she was watching during the day did not produce enough kids, so the family would go hungry.  Monjue ran into a field and ate as many poison berries as she could and tried to end her hopeless life.  Rajendran happened to be at the village that day, picked her up from the field where her friend found her, and sped off with her to the hospital.  Raj told her about Jesus.  told her God loved her.  Slowly, as her body healed, her soul did too.

The faces of the other girls in this photo all have a story too.  The girl directly behind Maddie’s head did not have any pants or skirt to wear.  She only wore a long shirt and no shoes.  Her short hair cut tells a story of shame unknown in their culture.  She smiled and followed me around the entire time we visited Kalavai.  I want to know more of her story.

They all have stories and no voice.  I can only imagine Monjue’s pain as she sat in a field baking in the sun day after day with no one to listen.

In church tonight, we focused on India.  Shelly performed a monologue about her first visit to India and how she learned that they killed infant girls in the village she visited.  Whitney, my 10 year old , leaned over and said to me with tears in her eyes, “Mom…they kill the girls?”  Then she wept and wept and wept for them.  My heart ached for her that she had to know that horrible truth.  My heart ached for the baby girls that will never live past a day old in India.

My heart ached to give them a voice.  In America, we grumble when our voice doesn’t get heard in Church.  It’s important, yes.  But in tiny villages in India, girls are never heard, ever.   Even when infanticide is not practiced, women don’t get choices like we do. 

We leave for India 4 weeks from today.  My hope is to capture the stories of these women so they will finally have a voice.  My voice will be their voice to the world for now.  Pray for us as we get ready to leave in these next 4 weeks.

5 thoughts on “My Voice For Hers

  • May 6, 2010 at 10:02 am
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    Michelle – I knew all the things that were talked about at church last night but it was good to be reminded. We get so busy with our lives that we forget to be thankful for how good we have it. I grumble because we need new flooring in our house. My washer and dryer died a few weeks ago and I grumbled about going to the laundromat. These women have a dirt floor in their house and what few clothes they have are washed by hand! I will not grumble anymore! Instead of complaining, I am going to do whatever I can to make a difference for these girls! We all need something to give our life meaning. As Donald Miller writes in his latest book “We need to make our life a story worth living.” I will be praying for you and your family daily. Please let me know if there is something I can do to help! Love, Karen

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  • May 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm
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    Now THAT is a women’s issue I can get excited about. Take a small tape recorder with you so you don’t forget anything. I know you’re passionate about this, so maybe this is where God will have you write about. Loved this post.

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  • May 6, 2010 at 10:16 pm
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    Oh, Michelle. I am praying for you and your family – that you will be able to be the voice for the voiceless. You’re absolutely right that society in general forgets about those who need us most. It’s easy to forget about someone if you decide to never look at them. I think that’s one of the problems – people need to stop hiding their eyes and actually look at the world. They need to be like you and your family – they need to care and realize that they can help! Whether it’s with donations, prayers, being a voice, or being a source of support, we can all help each other. God has blessed you with an open, loving heart and a caring and Strong soul. He is blessing us by sharing you and your gifts. I know I am blessed to read your posts and hear your thoughts. You are very wise, Michelle. What you have to say has such meaning and importance. Never let anyone tell you different or try and silence you. You have power. Your power is improving the lives of many people. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe.

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  • May 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm
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    Michelle – great insights. I’ve linked to a movie trailer (Petals in the Dust) on our website that has been on Youtube. It might be the best 6:30 overview of female infanticide, feticide and discrimination against the girl child in India I’ve seen on the issue.

    I think the local church must play a critical role in moving females from being perceived as a liability by Indian culture to one of value. What might happen if the local church would train its women to become midwives that would offer love and care to their Hindu neighbor women? What might happen if we could create micro business opportunities for the church or one of its families where the additional revenue would be used to provide foster care to unwanted or abandoned baby girls? The local church would become a beacon of light and a rescuer of the least.

    Proverbs 24:11-12 (Message) Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know – Someone not impressed with weak excuses!

    I think of Monju a lot since I first met her the day after she almost died. It bothers me that less than $2 per day would hire a shepherd to watch the goats and allow Monju to fulfill her dream of going back to school. Education is the key to allowing Monju to have a better say in her future and dignity. Without a better education her economic value will always be determined by someone else and she will have very little say in what her future looks like.

    Advocacy usually has a cost to the advocate but without it Monju will probably pay a much higher price.

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