India (MNN) — The devadasi life-style is outlawed in India, however the apply stays in pockets of the nation. Devadasis are temple prostitutes devoted to a selected god or goddess. They carry out sexual favors, and far of the cash they earn goes to the temple as a spiritual providing.
Haida was solely seven-years-old when she grew to become a devadasi for the goddess Yellamma. Her household worshipped Yellamma, and Haidas mom pressured her into spiritual servitude.
At first, Haida was mesmerized by the devadasi dedication rituals and processions for her. However issues rapidly grew darkish as she realized what was anticipated of her. When Haida tried to run, her mom stopped her and compelled her to remain or danger stoking the goddesss wrath.
Worry stored Haida enslaved in temple prostitution and stole her childhood. She finally had two daughters by totally different males. By the point she was a younger grownup, Haida was working exhausting labor outdoors the temple to earn additional revenue and help her kids.
Haida by no means had an schooling and couldnt learn or write, so different employment was out of the query. She was terrified that her daughters can be pressured to develop into devadasis as effectively. In despair, Haida made plans to take her personal life.
However God intervened. Haidas cousin, Raheema, was a Christian and came around Haida on the day she deliberate to finish her life. Raheema informed Haida the story of Jesus and His love for her. It was the primary time Haida felt a glimmer of hope.
Raheema was additionally attending an Grownup Literacy Class with Mission India simply down the road. She invited Haida to affix her.
Mission Indias Grownup Literacy Lessons are important for ladies like Haida who’ve solely identified degradation and disempowerment.
Erik Morsehead with Mission India says, One of many best issues about Grownup Literacy Lessons is that they, for the primary time, get to grasp their worth — their worth of their household, their worth of their neighborhood, their worth to themselves, and finally and most significantly, the worth that God has put upon them.
Ladies and men go away these lessons after a yr with a fifth-grade stage in studying, writing, and math.
These lessons additionally present microeconomics. They educate girls how you can begin their very own enterprise and earn an revenue. Actually, they supply lifelong abilities that they’ll switch to their household. So the mother at all times comes again to the household and helps carry that household out of poverty and exhibits their daughters the ability that they’ll have and the way useful they’re.
Grownup Literacy Lessons dont simply change college students lives educationally and economically; there’s additionally a non secular facet.
All through your complete yr, they really get to study Scripture and interact with Scripture and so they get to listen to the Gospel. The academics that we now have, not solely are they expert to assist the scholars educationally and financially, however they’re additionally expert in sharing the Gospel and speaking the saving truths of Jesus Christ, Morsehead says.
Oftentimes, we get to see girls obtain Jesus and their lives are endlessly modified eternally.
The price to ship one lady to an Grownup Literacy Class for a yr is simply $40.
I’m nonetheless blown away by that — $40 to offer somebody the instruments to raised themselves bodily, emotionally, and spiritually I believe is so incredible.
In the meantime, please pray for devadasis like Haida to seek out hope and freedom in Jesus. Ask the Lord to melt their hearts and sense His love for them.
Morsehead asks, Additionally simply pray for his or her confidence — confidence in taking the subsequent step educationally, confidence in attempting to earn an revenue, confidence in attempting to have troublesome conversations with a partner, and actually develop into the ladies that God has created them to be.
Header photograph of Haida courtesy of Mission India.