In South Asia, more than 383 million people live at or below the poverty line, making just $1.90 a day.1 It’s hardly enough to provide nutritious meals for growing children, or education to help growing minds better themselves and break out of the cycle of poverty. Education could someday help his children earn a better living, but how was he to pay for their schooling? How could he give them a better future?
Family tensions rose as anxious thoughts swirled through their home, until they became crippling. For three years, Maalik could not walk properly, and the family’s troubles grew. Seeking Maalik’s recovery, they performed tribal rituals and traveled to hospitals for costly treatments that depleted their resources. They sold land, trees and cattle to cover the costs. But nothing helped. Instead, their lives became a curse to endure.
Hope for Body, Spirit
Through a neighbor, the couple learned of GFA pastor Shameer. Perhaps he could help. In desperation, the couple asked Pastor Shameer to pray for Maalik’s healing. For two months, the pastor faithfully visited twice a week, praying and believing, until it happened—Maalik was completely healed!
Astonished, the entire family put their trust in the Lord. They began regularly attending worship services, prayer meetings and other church activities. Their outlook transformed as God worked in their hearts, and they began to experience His blessings.
In South Asia, more than 383 million people live at or below the poverty line, making just $1.90 a day.
Widow Struggles to Survive
Their world halted just five months later, however, when Maalik fell sick again. Despite medical treatment, he died within months, leaving Raylea a heartbroken widow with two small children to raise on her own, provide for on her own.
They had managed to scrape together a living with Maalik’s meager earnings, but what now? As a woman—and a widow—her options were limited, and her wages were likely to be lower than a male counterpart’s.2 In her society, widows are often viewed as cursed and blamed for their husbands’ deaths. Could she find an employer who would look past the stigma of widowhood and not consider her cursed? Was this to be a recurring theme in her life?
Raylea’s heart sank as she considered the severe poverty that had befallen her and the two little ones looking to her for their needs to be met. Her shoulders slumped. She was helpless; she had nowhere to turn, no one to turn to . . . or so she thought.
A Hairy Gift