Girls’ voices bounced off the Honors’ Academy walls as they chatted about upcoming vacation time with relatives. If Mukti girls have relatives who can come for them, they may go with them for visits during vacation times. But Rita* remained silent. “My mother and grandfather are far away and I have no way to contact them,” she finally said. “I will stay here at Mukti with the many girls like me.” Rather than being sad-faced and pouty, Rita held her head up. She would trust the Lord to give her joy and would help the others ‘left behind’ to have fun, too. After all, He had blessed them so much in their Mukti Home. Events were planned on campus for the 75 who would remain.
“Nisha*, will you come and keep me company while I work? It would be so nice to have a sweet little girl like you with me today,” I said as I attempted to soothe the sobbing child by my side. “And, look! Here’s a yummy cookie for you, too. But you’ll need to stop your crying to enjoy it. Otherwise, it will get all wet and won’t taste good!” I gave the sobbing six-year-old a squeeze and grasped her hand as we walked off together toward the kitchen to wash vegetables and prepare lunch. Her father drank too much and spent long periods away from the family. Her mother became ill and slowly grew sicker. In her final days, she spent all day on her