FS: A Life Blessed

FS: A Life Blessed

“Flat Sujata, would you take these tablecloths to Rupali?”

“Sure,” Flat Sujata responded to her housemother.

“Can I go?” inquired Sami eagerly. Their housemother nodded, and the two girls skipped off with the tablecloths under their arms. “Who is Rupali?”

“She is one of our older sisters,” answered Flat Sujata. “I don’t know her story, though.”

“We should ask her then,” Sami offered. When they arrived at Rupali’s shop, Sami was surprised. There were no tables or chairs in the large room, but it was bright and airy. Sitting on the floor was a young woman ironing clothes and other materials on a large board. Sami wondered why there was no furniture in the room. She was about to ask Rupali when she moved the clothing she was working on. Sami gasped. Rupali had no legs!

Hope Healing Life and a trade

“It’s okay,” smiled Rupali kindly.

“I didn’t know,” stammered Sami. Flat Sujata gave Rupali the tablecloths and the two girls stood awkwardly as Rupali wrote out a receipt they could give to their housemother.

“Um,” stammered Sami some more, “how did you, you know…”

“Lose my legs?” smiled Rupali. Sami just nodded. “When I was younger than you, I came down with polio and later had to have my legs amputated.”

“What’s polio?” asked Flat Sujata.

“It is a virus,” revealed Rupali. “It spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis. Polio is mostly not a problem if you get the vaccine when you’re little. My family was too poor to get the vaccine.”

“That must have been very discouraging,” mumbled Sami.

“Well, my family thought I would have no options in life like going to school,” began Rupali. “I was very disappointed about that. I wanted to learn and do something with my life. But we were very poor.”

“How did you get past the disappointment?” asked Flat Sujata.

“My mother knew Jesus!” Rupali smiled broadly. “She read to me from the Bible and led me to Jesus. My life changed because God gave me a new life. My mother always told me, ‘God is good,’ and I learned to believe that, too!”

“I learned to trust Jesus too,” Flat Sujata beamed. “I’m flat, you know.”

“I can see that,” Rupali smiled her beautiful smile. “We’re similar. You probably blamed God at first too.” Flat Sujata was nodding. “I was weak and traumatized. But God gave me the strength to trust that “all things are possible in Him.” 

“How did you come to Mukti?”

“Well, Flat Sujata, my family found out about Mukti and they welcomed me here too. Since I have been at Mukti they have provided me with my education through a college, right here in this village.”

“I like your plaque,” Sami ventured. Pinned to Rupali’s wall on a simple wooden board were the words of John 6:51: “I am the living bread that came down from Heaven.  Whoever eats this bread will live forever.  This bread is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.” 

“While Rupali doesn’t know what the future may hold for her after receiving her degree, she knows God has a plan. 

“What are you going to do next?” Flat Sujata inquired.

“Well, after I iron your tablecloths, I have a lot of other things to iron.”

“No, I meant ….”

“I know, giggled Rupali. “I don’t know. God hasn’t told me that yet.” She smiled. “I want to spread the joy of Jesus, and I hope to work with the younger handicapped children at Mukti, sharing the encouragement I have received.”

“That’s great,” Sami noted. “Thanks for telling us your story, Rupali.”

*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.