Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Story Behind The Photo :)

This is another Compassion Bloggers Assignment :) However this is an older one that I found on Pinterest and thought would be good to do, as opposed to one that landed in my inbox saying "write me!" "write me!" :).
The idea is to pick from a set of four photos and imagine but life events lead up to the photo :). I choose this photo of an Indian women and now I am going to attempt to tell a story that could be her story. :)
I'm entitling my story - "The Growing Hope" :).

Her name is Abha, these days it fits her very well as it means 'lustre' or 'shine' which is exactly what her eyes do, well that's what they do these days but it wasn't always that way. A year ago Abha's eyes didn't shine, not even a little, in fact she rarely even looked up at people. Up till a year ago Abha's life was one full of suffering and sorrow; it started when she was born and her parents discovered she was a girl and not the boy they had been hoping for. Due to this her father beat her mother and as she grew up he beat her too. Her parents were eventually able to have a boy but not before two more girls had joined the family. Even after her mother had a son it did not stop the beatings that her father gave to his wife and it increased the beatings he gave to his daughters. Not only did he beat Abha and her sisters but some days they weren't allowed to eat even though the family had enough food for them all. Abha's brother got to eat as much as he wanted and he never had to do any work but Abha and her sister worked from sun up to sunset each day - to earn their keep - breaking rocks at the local quarry, often fainting from exhaustion or hunger. When this happened they would get beaten by their overseers and often arrive home covered in bruises, when this happened they also got extra beatings from their father for being so incompetent. The thing that made Abha the most sad was that while her brother got to go to school and learn she and her sisters and mother weren't even allowed to touch the school materials he brought home with him. Her father said that women were too stupid to learn and it would be pointless to send them to school or even to let them share the books their brother brought home. As soon as they became 15 both of Abha's sisters were married to cruel men who asked for a smaller dowry than the other more suitable suitors. However nobody made an offer to Abha and when she turned 18 her father threw her out of the house and she took to living on the street. She didn't have any money or anywhere to go, the meagre amount of money from the quarry job she had was paid to her father so she didn't even have that. She decided to start selling herself on the street and even though the constant beatings she had endured at home had stopped she was often beaten by the mean who used her services and after selling herself for a couple of months she became very sick. It was at this point of desperation and suffering that a light dawned for Abha. As she was selling herself on the street a man came up to her but instead of paying her for sex he just paid her to talk. The man said things that Abha had never heard, he said that she was special and that she was loved and that the God of the universe cared for her. Abha wanted to believe these things but she knew better than that. However she could not refuse the man's offer to come to his house and meet his wife and have dinner with them. She was so hungry and weak that she decided to go with him in spite of all his talk about a loving God that she knew wasn't true. When Abha arrived at their house she didn't want to go in as she was so dirty especially since the house was so clean but the man, she'd learnt his name was Aafreen and his wife, she found out her name was Aahana, insisted she come in and get warm. She didn't know what they wanted or why they were doing this but she was too weak to care. All the time they were having dinner she was trying to work out why they were doing this for her, then they asked her to stay with them and she guessed that for all their fancy manners and talk about a loving God what they wanted to do was use her like the men on the street but she so desperately wanted to have somewhere to live again that she agreed. When she asked what her duties would be she was confused when they mentioned that she would not have to do anything until she had her strength back. Over the time it took for her to recover she realised that she had misjudged them and that they weren't interested in her for body but that they really wanted to help her. They also kept talking about how much God loved her. At first she was skeptical but as she heard more of the stories of the bible she started thinking that maybe God did love her. When she heard about the stories of Rahab and the prostitutes Jesus spent time with she could not believe her ears. She started asking her new friends many questions and they answered all of them and told her many many things about God. By the time she was almost better she was almost starting to believe that she could have a changed life but then she realised she had no skills and wouldn't be able to earn any money. She was crying about this when Aafreen and Aahana came into her room and asked what was the matter. She said that she wanted to start anew like the people she'd heard about in the bible but that she didn't have any talents and couldn't earn any money. Aafreen and Aahana smiled warmly and said that she could stay with them as long as she needed and that they'd be happy to teach her a trade that she could use to make money without needing to sell herself. Shortly after that conversation Aahana started to teach her how to bake and sew so that she would have things she could sell - other than herself, Abha was a quick learner and became very good at baking and sewing and was able to set up a stall in the local market. She managed to make enough money to be able to rent a small house as well as having money for food and other necessities. Aafreen and Aahana said she could stay with them as long as she wanted but she wanted to free up her room so they could help someone else out! Abha continued to be discipled and loved by them and the church family they belonged too which she had also joined! Abha became passionate about reaching out to other women in need and nothing gave her more joy than when she was able to share the story of the amazing thing God had done in her life and how it was possible for anyone to come to know God and get out of whatever terrible situation they were in! These days Abha's eyes are lit with hope, joy, and peace and everywhere she goes she spreads the wonderful light of God's love!

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