Seventeen-year-old Parni did not need the ability to see into the future in order to guess what hers might soon look like. If her life turned out similar to the lives of the women in her family and her village, Parni would have a lot of expectations and religious regulations to live up to.
Deeply devoted to their traditional religion, the people of Parni’s community perform every prescribed ritual to please their gods and goddesses. If they don’t have money, they will borrow it from friends or relatives to make sacrifices to their gods.
In addition, women are expected to cover their heads before the elders of their families, and they fast two or three times a week for their husbands’ long life.
But for all their religious commitment, the villagers do not have any peace in their lives.
Learning to Shine like Stars
When Parni’s friend, a Sunday school teacher, invited her to come to a three-day Vacation Bible School hosted by Gospel for Asia missionaries, Parni accepted.
Parni had never attended a Christian event before, and she was fascinated by the way the believers did things. What intrigued her most was the way the leaders took time to pray for all the children. The lessons from the Bible and songs they taught stirred Parni’s heart.
All centred around the theme of “Shining Stars” from Philippians 2:15, the lessons, activities and songs of the VBS program showed Parni and the other children how to shine like stars in the world for Christ. One song in particular moved Parni.
“Some like to be like Shahrukh Khan [a famous actor], some like to be like Sachin [a renowned cricket player], but I will be like Jesus,” the song declared.
After singing those words, Parni wondered what they meant for her own life.
“How can I become like Jesus? How can I shine for Him?” she asked one of the VBS teachers.
The teacher helped Parni see that Jesus gave His life for her so that she could become more like Him through trusting in Him and being transformed by His Word. That day, Parni joyfully made the decision to follow Jesus.
In a village characterized by bondage, Parni discovered the One who came to set her free. And although she does not know what the future holds, she has been given the precious opportunity to know God, who holds her future in His hands.