“She looked frail, as if she had been ill for a long time,” Ria remembers. “Her two big eyes looked beautiful but grim. Suddenly, the Lord’s compassion overflowed deep inside my heart for her.”
Ria and her friends decided to rest by the tree. As they sat down, the woman stood up to leave, but an inner compulsion told Ria—a GFA missionary—to seize a God-given opportunity. She asked the woman to stay.
Always a Burden?
Nishi was a burden—or at least she felt like one. Her in-laws had rejected her, and now her brothers were becoming frustrated too.
At age 6, Nishi had lost her mother, and two years later her father died. When she was only 16, her brothers arranged her wedding. Then, four months after the wedding, Nishi’s husband left to find work in another country.
Nishi soon gave birth to a daughter, but her in-laws didn’t rejoice. They said Nishi and her daughter were a burden, although Nishi worked hard to serve them. Their continued harassment eventually forced her to leave.
Nishi’s brothers took her in, but she could sense their reluctance. She toiled faithfully every day so their wives wouldn’t resent her. She performed all the household chores with her daughter strapped to her back, and she went to the forest to gather food for their cattle.
“There was no time to rest,” Nishi remembers.
At night, after spending some time with her daughter and putting her to bed, Nishi would weep bitterly. She missed her husband, and the cruel comments of her sisters-in-law proved she was a burden to them, despite all her labour.
“I was in trouble,” Nishi recalls. “But I could not share my inmost troubles with anyone. ... I kept all my worries and problems to myself.”
Then someone actually showed concern. When Ria and her friends began talking with Nishi underneath he tree, they treated her not as a burden but as an individual with value.
“When she found out that we were also ordinary women like her, . . . she gave me her full attention,” Ria recalls. “I talked with her about our Lord Jesus Christ. I told her . . . about His love and grace to ordinary people like us.”
Nishi’s eyes widened as she heard about the One who sacrificed His life for all humanity and promised to save everyone who comes to Him.
“Sister, I would like to meet you again tomorrow,” Nishi said.
Woman Finds New Shelter
Ria and her friends were surprised when Nishi found them at 5:30 the next morning. Although she seemed nervous, Nishi shared her heavy past with them. Then she surprised them once again. She told them that the night before, she realized she had finally found Someone who would love and care for her and her child, and she wanted to follow Him.
Ria prayed for the new believer. Because there was no fellowship in Nishi’s village, Ria introduced Nishi to a Christian woman who would bring her on the three-hour journey to church each weekend.
Nishi’s brothers began to oppose her new faith and eventually refused to let her stay with them. But Nishi has the shelter of Someone infinitely greater. God has now provided her with a room near the church, and her daughter attends school nearby.
Nishi hopes her husband will return one day, but thanks to the compassion of a missionary named Ria, Nishi now knows the love of the Saviour who took her burdens upon Himself and calls her His daughter.