Free to Bloom

“No, no, no!” shouted the little girl as she stomped her feet in protest. What was this all about?

Nine-year-old Sany* had the lead role in a skit as a pampered child used to getting her own way. During the course of the skit being performed in the Mission church, the spoiled child becomes curious about Jesus and wishes for Him to visit her. His visit changes her. What a performance!

Applause arose from the audience. I clapped loudest of all, I think. I’m the guardian of her Flower Family, the Dahlia Family. I was so very proud of my little girl. You see, I know Sany’s story and that of her sister, Saroj*.

Sadly, their father had died and their mother had run away. They went to live with their grandma, uncle, auntie and their children. But Sany and Saroj were treated much like slaves.

Although very young, they were expected to wash dishes, scour pots and pans; fetch and carry water (which is brought in from outside in much of village India); sweep and mop the floor, and walk barefoot to the market for needed supplies. Answering to commands, doing heavy household chores every day and attending poor schools off and on summed up their life in that village. The school they attended had no proper system in place but was still an escape for a couple of hours from the house they lived in. The years of their life that should have been filled with playing house and dolls instead were filled with housework and almost no play. Yet, this life, hard as it was, was all they knew.

Soon the family decided they didn’t want the care of the two girls any longer. They were brought to the Mission. In spite of their hopeless life, this sudden change to a huge, unknown place frightened them and left them feeling unwanted and scared. Saroj (then 6) mournfully cried day after day,“Ajji paije (I want Grandma)!” She wanted to return to the only home she knew. Little did she realize that there would come a day when she would not want to leave the Mission’s gates.

Part of the Dahlia Family of nearly 20 girls, Sany and Saroj found it hard to settle in. After having been treated as grownups, they really didn’t know how to be little girls. They had picked up bad habits and dirty language.

Having heard nothing before about Jesus, all the teaching about Him and His Word left them confused. However, slowly the teachings began to make some sense as the Lord worked in their lives.

Free to play, dream and grow, Sany and Saroj are blossoming. One day I asked Sany, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “A doctor!” she gushed. Not to be outdone, Saroj, piped up, “I want to be a doctor, too!”

*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.

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