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.
We made a visit to a girls orphanage yesterday. There are only 5 girls living there to assure the best care for them possible. The baby you see Maddie holding on your left is named Rachel after Gene’s daughter Rachel that died on Christmas Eve. When Gene picked her up, she looked right into his eyes and smiled the biggest smile at him. She talked to him like they were old friends, and she’s only two months old.
The baby you see Whitney holding on your right is named Rhema. She was born 20 days before this photo drastically underweight and with a cleft palette. Her parents took one look at her and said “No way.” A common practice in the villages for such a baby is to just let it die. Thank God for his divine intervention in Rhema’s life. Rhema snuggled right up to Whitney. She was scared to hold such a teeny-fragile baby, and so was I!
Visiting these children was my favorite part of my day yesterday. It amazed me to see what the light and love of Jesus has done for these children. Love has brought them life. Amazing.