South Asian villages come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small, off-the-map communities with few roads or amenities—difficult to find and even more challenging to reach. But many other villages are quite large and even modern.
A young girl named Nabha lives in such a bustling village, located near the Hemavati River. With more than 5,000 families, this large community plays a key role in the surrounding agricultural industry. Government subsidies aimed at increasing production and ensuring food security have led to farming being the main occupation of this region. Even so, poverty remains a reality for most.
The people of Nabha’s village share another common trait: strong religious piety. Although Nabha’s family practiced a different religion than most of their neighbours, they remained no less devoted to their god. They regularly followed all of the rituals and traditions common to their faith.
But life for Nabha was not easy. Her father’s devotion was to alcohol, and despite his employment at a local hotel, he pilfered the majority of his income away on booze. Most nights he quarrelled with his wife, and beatings often followed. It wasn’t long until Nabha’s mother abandoned her faith. What good were her prayers when there was no money for food and her husband continued to behave so viciously? She worried about Nabha and wondered what would become of the girl’s future. The horizon looked dim.
Around this time, a group of people, including key staff members of the local GFA Bridge of Hope centre, visited Nabha’s family. They spoke with Nabha’s mother at length, and she could sense that these strangers genuinely cared about her. Nabha’s mother began to pour out her heart regarding all the troubles the family had been going through. She told them that her daughter would have to drop out of school and find work to help support the family. Our staff members offered to enroll Nabha in the Bridge of Hope centre, where she would be able to receive a daily, nutritious meal, to continue her education and to regain hope for the future.
Nabha and her mother could not believe their ears. Yes, of course they would accept their offer! Nabha is thriving in her new environment, fostering skills and educational habits that will serve her well as she grows older. An excellent student with a healthy appetite for knowledge, she participates in all of the centre’s activities and has developed a love for memorizing Scripture.
Nabha prays every day that her parents will find the same faith in Christ that she has received. In the meantime, she relishes the peace and joy she has found in Jesus, and she looks forward to a much brighter future with Him.