The Story of an Egg Seller

Sunil* and Sunita* wearily waved goodbye to the last child in the Day Care Center (1) they staff. While they loved the children, it had been a trying day. “Let’s go for a walk to unwind!” Sunita suggested to her husband, who readily agreed. 

Meandering down the village path, they passed dozens of tiny shops. They bumped into and swerved around both people and animals all vying for space. People were bustling to buy things, talking loudly about their day, or making their way to the bus stop in the midst of a cacophony of noises: horns honking, brakes squeaking, goats bleating, chickens clucking and dogs barking.

A wine store and bar seemed to be a magnet for many men. Alcohol deceptively offered an escape from the poverty that stalked them. Yet, something diverted Sunil and Sunita’s attention.

Just outside the bar, stood a crudely constructed small shack. It was so dimly lit they could barely see if anyone was inside. But sizzling sounds escaped the drooping doorway along with some mouth-watering smells. They drew closer and peeked inside.

“Welcome!” came a boyish voice from within. “Hello, young man,” Sunil responded.  The boy appeared about ten, was raggedly dressed and had a crop of black hair that hadn’t seen a brush in many days.

“Would you like an egg omelet? I’ve sold several today,” the boy said.

“Why, yes,” Sunil answered. “It smells delicious. Sounds like you’ve been working all day, don’t you go to school?”

“I wish I could, but my mother can’t afford fees, books or a school uniform. For the past two years, since my father died, Mother has tried hard. But food is about all we can afford, and sometimes not much of that.”

Moved with compassion, Sunita learned the boy’s name and asked, “Praveen*, we work for a ministry that helps needy children. Would you take us to meet your mother, and, if we can provide an education for you, would you go to school so that you can have a brighter future?”

“Of course I would!” Praveen nearly shouted, while thinking, “Who are these kind people and why do they care about me?”

After Sunil and Sunita met with Praveen and his mother, it was settled: he would attend the Day Care Center, go to school and be given hot, nutritious meals as well. Praveen and his mother did not quite understand why they were doing this for them, but they learned that they were followers of Jesus who cared for people out of their love for Jesus, and they were very grateful.

Praveen glowed when the day arrived for school to begin. He proudly looked down at the uniform he was wearing and his school bag filled with books. His thick hair was neatly combed, and he joined the crowd of children wending its way to school. However, for the first few days, he was still making imaginary omelets over the little fire in his sagging shack. It wasn’t easy for him to come out of his former world: he saw himself as an egg seller.

Many times Praveen would share his past with Sunil and Sunita. They learned he had suffered as a child-businessman. Some, coming drunk from the bar, would order eggs and then refuse to pay. If he protested, they would beat him up and/or run off.

Now, however, Praveen’s life is transforming. He studies hard and earns good marks. He is learning about hygiene, the importance of forming good habits and building moral character. The other children in the Center have become his friends.

Thank God for the little egg seller who is becoming so much more! Praise the Lord for Sunil and Sunita who love their tough job of mentoring needy children because they love Jesus!

[1] Mukti not only has residential homes for children but also day care centers.  The children in the care centers live in their own homes but spend weekdays at the center.  They receive teaching in life skills and are provided three meals a day, clothes and an education: a relief for the present and hope for the future.

 *Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.

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