I have been receiving the most wonderful bios from India about the girls now attending RGI. Each girl has told her heartbreaking story. It is overwhelming to know what they have had to endure just to survive in their world.
One girl states that she was so excited to get accepted to RGI UNTIL she remembered she had no Punjabi outfits (their type of clothing) to wear. Her Story:
“When I heard that I am being called to RGI I was very happy but at the same time I feared as to how will I get money for the travel? My neighbor gave me some money and some was the wages that I had earned. I had no Punjabi Dresses to wear, I had brought my mothers saris to wear in RGI but the Lord miraculously provided for me through some people.” NOTE: GIRLS DO NOT USUALLY WEAR A SARI FOR EVERYDAY UNTIL THEY ARE MARRIED, SO THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EMBARRASSING.
Our original plan was to have uniforms of two Punjab outfits for each girl, but the expense is just too much for now. The administrator has managed to acquire a matching sari for each girl. They will wear it for special occasions. Amazingly, some of the girls did not even know how it put a sari on.
Not an easy task—I know from experience.
Savita says that it was very hard for her to leave her mother, sisters and grandfather. Here is her story.
Savita came to RGI with the evangelist who works in their village, but she kept on insisting for him to take her back. We (the administrator and assistant) asked her to stay but she cried continuously for four or five days and said, “I want to go back, who will take care of my mother and help her if I study here?” Then one day we counseled her and told her, ” If you go back the situation in your life will not change but if you stay you will be better educated and you will be able to care for your mother and sisters in a better way.” So she agreed to stay back and now she has adjusted well here. Savita opened her heart to us and told, “I was scared in the beginning whether I will be able to live here or not, whether these city people will accept me or not. But now I know I can stay.”
Parvida says, “I have seen a lot of pain in my life, I being the eldest daughter saw my mother struggle to feed us after my father deserted us. No one came to help us, not even my mother’s brother who lives in the same village. My mother toiled hard for us. Sometimes my mother would not have enough to feed us. She used to boil water and put little jowar flour in it and make a watery porridge similar to the consistency of tea and we used to drink it to satisfy our hunger. Even today when I sit to eat at RGI I cry as I am reminded of my mother and young brothers. I get such good food here at RGI, but I wonder what they must be eating at home. But now I know that Jesus has come into my life and with my education he will change my family’s life too.”
Madhuri is a very good girl. She grew up in a Christian Children’s Home and does not know anything about her parents. All she knows is that someone brought her to this home when she was 2 and half years old. She has a good voice and she was trained to say a speech on 15th August, India’s Independence Day. She gave a short speech in English, the only speech that was given in English by any student ever. She says she likes the discipline in RGI.
When asked about the kind of houses they live in, this is a typical answer. “My house is made up of wood, mud and bamboo with a dirt/dung floor. We have two rooms with tiled roof. There is no toilet and bathroom.”
Most of the girls answer the question, “Why is it important for you to attend Prakash Institutes?” basically the same way:
“It is very important for me to study in RGI because I want to stand on my own feet and help support my family financially. Whatever I learn here is very important for me. I went to a sewing class in my village but I cannot stitch I was given only book knowledge and no practical knowledge. Therefore I want to learn to sew and do it well.”
Every single one our last year RGI girls received 100% with distinction on the government-sewing/tailoring exam.
Nagina comes from a very poor background. She was admitted through a Christian hostel (orphanage) in Chamorshi district. She is a quite girl by nature. When asked what do you like about RGI she says, “I like the discipline. The one thing I like about RGI is the importance of time. I never did anything on time in my life specially getting up early in the morning. This habit of doing everything on time will be useful to me all my life.
“I got my first Bible in RGI. I come from a Buddhist background. I like the prayer time in RGI. When I have many questions about the Bible, I try to get answers from other girls. They guide me when I read the Bible. I never heard the names that are given in the Bible about different people, but I like Starting Point Book because it is easy to understand.”
Every girl has said something akin to this about her sponsor:
“I want to thank my sponsor for their help and I praise God for the help that they are sending for me. Just as you are helping me I too will help someone when I am able to. I see that even our own relatives are not willing to help us in the time of need, but you have come forward to help me even though you have not seen me. So when I become self -sufficient I too will help others. (NOT ALL OF THESE PRECIOUS STUDENTS HAS A SPONSOR YET. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE A $55 A MONTH COMMITMENT TO RESCUE THESE GIRLS
We covet your prayers that each of these girls will come to have a greater understanding of a true relationship with Jesus and they will leave RGI with the Life skills, Job skills and Spiritual skills so that they can live a more abundant life.